Does CBD Oil Smell


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Does CBD smell like weed? We get asked this question a lot. And the answer is, it sort of depends on the CBD product you're using. Generally, though, CBD oil doesn't have much of an odor. But there are some CBD products that do give off a weed-like smell. This is because hemp-derived CBD products come from the same pla CBD is often touted as a non-intoxicating, medicinal alternative to marijuana. However, CBD comes from the same plant. Does that mean CBD smells like marijuana?

Does CBD Smell Like Weed?

And the answer is, it sort of depends on the CBD product you’re using. Generally, though, CBD oil doesn’t have much of an odor. But there are some CBD products that do give off a weed-like smell.

This is because hemp-derived CBD products come from the same plant species as marijuana, and share many of the same terpenes.

So if you’re curious about whether your CBD oil will smell like weed, keep reading! We’ll explain what to look for and how to choose the right CBD product for you.

Key Takeaways:
  • Cannabinoids like CBD and THC don’t have a scent or flavor.
  • The compounds that are responsible for the scent of weed and hemp are terpenes, which are aromatic compounds found in all botanicals.
  • Hemp and marijuana can smell the same because they’re the same cannabis sativa plant, which shares many of the same terpenes—but differs significantly in effects due to their cannabinoid profiles.
  • Your hemp-derived CBD products can smell a bit like weed if they’re made with full spectrum or broad spectrum hemp extracts as they contain terpenes to support the entourage effect.
  • Carrier oils may also affect how your product tastes and smells, but common carrier oils like hemp seed oil and MCT oil do not smell like weed.

Hemp Vs. Marijuana: What’s The Difference?

Hemp and marijuana are varieties of the cannabis sativa plant.

The word “cannabis” is often used interchangeably with marijuana or high-THC cannabis plant strains.

Botanists and cannabis enthusiasts know that hemp and marijuana as chemotypes, broad categories of the plants but with very different chemical compositions—referring to the cannabinoids and their biological effects.

Up until the 2018 Farm Bill, the federal government didn’t have a distinction between the two and were both under the list of Controlled Substances. The latest revision of the Farm Bill defined hemp plants as having less than 0.3% THC and removed it from the list of Controlled Substances as trace amounts of THC don’t produce psychoactive effects. On top of this, hemp has a variety of uses as a crop from textiles, to building materials, and biodiesel.

Does CBD Smell Like THC Weed?

Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the two most abundant cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant (both hemp and marijuana).

Even if your CBD product come from the hemp plant—and not the marijuana variety, it may give off a very strong smell that’s instantly recognizable.

The cannabinoid molecules don’t actually have a scent or a flavor—yet many people often report that their CBD smells like marijuana flowers.

What is going on here?

What you’re actually smelling are terpenes.

What Are Terpenes?

Terpenes are aromatic compounds found throughout the plant kingdom. If you’re familiar with essential oils, terpenes make up a large component of what you smell and their effects in aromatherapy.

For example, the terpene myrcene is also found in mangos and is known to support inflammation and discomfort. The terpene limonene (also present in citrus fruits), on the other hand, is known to boost mood and energize the mind.

There are dozens of different terpenes that have been identified in cannabis plants, and each one has its own unique set of effects.

Terpenes can also interact with other compounds in the plant, such as cannabinoids, to produce different effects in the entourage effect.

Tell Me The Importance Of Terpenes In Cannabis Plants

Terpenes are aromatic compounds that give plants their characteristic smells. They also play an important role in plant physiology, helping to protect against herbivores and pests, regulate temperature, and attract pollinators.

While the exact reasons for why plants produce terpenes are still being studied, it is clear that they provide a variety of benefits that help plants thrive.

In fact, the production of terpenes is thought to be one of the key factors that allowed certain plants to colonize land and become the dominant form of vegetation on Earth. So next time you enjoy the smell of a cannabis bud or taste the resin of a pine tree, remember that you are experiencing the result of millions of years of evolution.

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What Do Terpenes Smell Like?

When it comes to cannabis, there is a lot of talk about THC and CBD. But what about terpenes? These aromatic compounds are found in all sorts of plants, and they give each one its unique smell.

Terpenes can play an important role in the effects as well as strain identification.

For example, myrcene is known for its earthy, musky smell. It is also known for its sedative effects, which is why it is often used in products designed to promote relaxation. Another common cannabis terpene is limonene, which has a citrusy smell. This terpene is known for its mood-enhancing effects, making it a popular choice for those looking to improve their mood.

There are dozens of different cannabis terpenes, each with its own distinct smell and set of effects.

The Different Hemp Extract Types & Their Terpene Content

There are three main types of hemp extracts: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate. The type of extract your CBD product is made from can affect how it smells.

  • Full-spectrum hemp extract is made from the whole plant and contains all of the plant’s natural compounds, including THC (0.3%) and high terpene content. This extract has a strong weed-like smell and flavor because of the terpenes. The strain of hemp used, growing conditions, and how it was extracted will affect the terpenes present in the final product.
  • Broad-spectrum hemp extract is also made from the whole plant, but it goes through a process to remove the THC. This extract has a milder smell because of the extra processing stage. It still maintains many of the natural terpenes, but because they are very sensitive to processing, it may lose terpene potency.
  • CBD isolate is a highly refined hemp extract that eliminates all other cannabinoids and terpenes, leaving behind pure CBD. This extract doesn’t have a smell because of the lack of terpenes and CBD itself is odorless and flavorless.

Carrier Oil Flavors

If you’ve ever taken a close look at the ingredients list on a CBD product, you may have noticed that it always includes a carrier oil.

But why is that? For one thing, carrier oils help to ensure that the CBD is evenly distributed throughout the product.

The carrier oil also helps to improve absorption, as cannabinoids are fat-soluble compounds that are hydrophobic. Since the body is made up of over 75% water, consuming CBD with fat helps to transport the CBD through the digestive system to aid in bioavailability.

The type of carrier oil used can affect the smell and taste of your CBD oil.

The most common carrier oils for CBD are hemp seed oil, olive oil, coconut oil, and MCT oil.

Hemp seed oil doesn’t smell like weed—but it does have a unique scent and flavor that’s also high in fatty acids. Hemp seed oil is made from cold pressing the hemp seeds, and it has a nutty, earthy flavor that’s often used in culinary dishes.

The next most popular option for CBD carrier oil is MCT oil. MCT stands for medium-chain triglyceride and it’s usually made from palm kernel oil or coconut oil it’s highly refined to isolate the medium fat chains, which the body is better suited to absorb and use as energy. MCT oils don’t have a flavor or aroma, which allows the natural terpenes from the hemp extract to shine. Alternatively, you can find CBD isolate mixed in with an MCT oil for a completely tasteless oil.

Does CBD Flower Smell?

CBD flower or hemp flower smells like weed because of the terpenes concentrated on the resin glands on the flower. Some common terpenes include myrcene, pinene, and limonene. Each strain of cannabis has a unique blend of terpenes that contribute to its distinctive smell and taste.

So, if you plan on using CBD flower or Neurogan pre-rolled Neurogettes made from 100% hemp, keep in mind that it will smell like weed because hemp and marijuana share many of the same terpenes. Although they smell alike, only the THC levels will produce psychoactive effects, so CBD flower and Neurogettes will not get you high.

The Takeaway: Does CBD Oil Smell Like Weed?

CBD may smell like weed but it isn’t because of the cannabinoids. Terpenes are actually what’s responsible for the flavor and scent of cannabis.

Since hemp and marijuana are both cannabis plants, they share many of the same terpenes, which lends to the distinct weed scent. But you don’t have to worry about getting high from hemp and CBD products because it smells like weed—the psychoactive component of marijuana is THC and not the terpenes, although terpenes do have their own set of unique benefits, none of them are found to be intoxicating.

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Does CBD Oil Smell Like Weed?

CBD is often touted as a non-intoxicating, medicinal alternative to marijuana. However, CBD comes from the same plant. Does that mean CBD smells like marijuana?

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Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the many cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. It’s revered as a non-intoxicating alternative to marijuana, offering similar benefits without making users feel high.

While CBD remains federally legal throughout the USA, marijuana is not. Many CBD users are understandably concerned about whether or not their CBD products are going to get them into trouble due to the potential “weed-like” smell.

The truth is that some CBD products can smell like weed.

However, isolated and pure CBD products that contain no THC shouldn’t smell like weed at all. This article will explain how and why different CBD products may have different smells and what to buy if you want to avoid the weedy aroma.

Table of Contents

Does CBD Oil Smell Like Weed?

The answer to this question largely depends on what type of CBD product you’re using. CBD is used in many different ways. It can be vaped, taken in capsule form, or ingested through the use of oils and tinctures. Some of these products release a stronger smell than others.

Generally, only CBD products made from high-grade, full-spectrum extracts will smell like weed. This is because most of the odor from cannabis is the result of terpenes. Terpenes are aromatic phytochemicals that are known for producing strong aromas.

Isolated CBD, however, has no odor. If you’re concerned about the smell of marijuana, you may want to make sure you invest in some CBD isolate.

Full-Spectrum CBD Oil

(Moderate weed smell)

$49 – $229
Royal CBD
Royal CBD Oil 30 mL

5 / 5

Total CBD: 500 – 2500 mg
Potency: 16.6 – 83.3 mg/mL
Cost per mg CBD: $0.12 – $0.18
Extract Type: Full-spectrum
THC Content:

Full-spectrum CBD oil is made using all of the active cannabinoids found in the hemp plant.

Throughout most of the United States, CBD products are derived only from agricultural hemp. Hemp is legally defined as any cannabis plant containing less than 0.3% THC. As such, there may be trace amounts of THC found in the end product.

Full-spectrum extracts also include all of the terpenes and other phytochemicals that are found in the hemp plant. These terpenes are responsible for most of the strong, skunky cannabis smell.

However, hemp plants are generally much less smelly than normal marijuana plants. As such, full-spectrum CBD oil made from hemp plants may have a mild weed smell. However, it is very unlikely to be as potent as regular marijuana.

Broad-Spectrum CBD Oil

(Some weed smell)

Penguin CBD
Penguin CBD Oil

5 / 5

Total CBD: 250–5000
Potency: 8.3 – 166.7 mg/mL
Cost per mg CBD: $0.06 – $0.18
Extract Type: Broad-Spectrum
THC Content: 0 mg

Broad-spectrum CBD oil is made in a similar manner as full-spectrum CBD oil. The main difference is that THC is excluded from the final recipe. Other psychoactive compounds, including terpenes, are often omitted from the end product.

This allows the manufacturers of broad-spectrum oils to market their products in regions where THC remains illegal.

Most of these products will not have much of a weed smell. However, some manufacturers choose to include or add terpenes to their broad-spectrum oils. These products can, indeed, smell like marijuana.

CBD Isolate Oil

$88.00 – $148.00
EIR Health
Eir Health CBD Isolate Oils 30 mL

5 / 5

Total CBD: 1500 – 3000 mg
Potency: 50 – 100 mg/mL
Cost per mg CBD: $0.05 – $0.06
Extract Type: CBD Isolate

CBD isolate oils are made using extracted, isolated CBD.

To make these oils, CBD is extracted from hemp plants and completely separated from other cannabinoids and terpenes. As such, these oils won’t have much of a cannabis smell.

These oils smell most like the carrier oil that they are diluted in. Most high-end CBD manufacturers use MCT oil for their CBD tinctures. MCT oil produces a unique but fairly subtle scent. Other companies may use hemp oil or even olive oil for their CBD isolate oils, so you can expect these products to smell like their respective oil.

What is CBD Oil?

CBD oil is an infused oil made from cannabidiol, one of the active compounds found in the cannabis plant.

Many of these benefits are associated with cannabis. However, across the United States and most of the world, cannabis remains strictly regulated. Most countries strictly outlaw its usage. Those that do allow it usually only make exceptions for medical patients who purchase their cannabis through the government.

CBD oils are generally made from CBD derived from the hemp plant. As mentioned, hemp is legally defined in the USA as any cannabis plant containing less than 0.3% THC. These hemp plants are often grown for the express purpose of producing CBD oils.

Will CBD Oil Make Me High?

CBD oil will not make you high. For the most part, the most significant psychoactive changes that people notice after taking CBD involve relaxation and sleepiness. Even so, most of these effects are not strong enough to impair their day-to-day functioning.

The reason CBD oil doesn’t make you high is because of the way that it interacts with your body.

Cannabinoids interact with a system known as the endocannabinoid system. This is a system present in all mammals that regulate things like appetite, mood, pain sensation, sleepiness, and stress levels.

Our bodies produce a number of cannabinoids called endocannabinoids. Cannabinoids found in marijuana and some other plants interact with this same system, causing different effects.

THC is a direct agonist of the endocannabinoid system. This means that it directly binds to and activates the receptors that are found in the system. This allows THC to cause direct and profound effects.

CBD, on the other hand, works indirectly. It does not bind directly to these receptors, instead of causing a number of different reactions indirectly. This allows it to affect the human body in

Does Delta 8 THC Oil Smell Like Weed?

Delta 8 THC is one of the many compounds found in cannabis. It’s very similar in effects to delta 9 THC, which is the ‘alpha’ cannabinoid in marijuana. When people refer to THC, they’re most likely referring to delta 9 THC.

Delta 8 THC, however, has gained traction because it falls into a legal grey area. Delta 8 THC can be found in hemp plants, which are currently legal across the United States. This means that many people interested in a THC experience can resort to using delta 8 THC instead of delta 9, which is often illegal.

Delta 8 THC can also be synthesized from CBD. Since CBD is also derived from hemp, products made from it (including delta 8 THC) can be considered hemp-derived products.

On its own, delta 8 THC doesn’t have much of a smell. Again, it’s the terpenes in cannabis that are largely responsible for its skunky odor. In order to make delta 8 extracts, these terpenes need to be removed during production. Therefore, raw delta 8 THC has no smell to it.

With that said, some manufacturers add these terpenes back into the final product. If this is the case, then the product will likely smell like weed.

If you want something that doesn’t smell, go for pure, unflavored, pure delta 8 THC oil.

What Type of CBD Oil is Best?

There are different benefits associated with the different types of CBD oil that we’ve described today. Whether or not any of them are ‘better’ than the next is a matter of your personal preference.

Objectively, however, most experts agree that full-spectrum extracts are better. This is because of a concept called the entourage effect. The entourage effect is a cascade reaction that occurs when all the active compounds in cannabis work together to produce ‘emergent effects,’ benefits that aren’t necessarily attributed to any individual compound.

In other words, CBD oil tends to work better when you use it as nature would have intended. Who’d have thunk?

Different types of CBD oil have other benefits, though. If you’re concerned about legality, you’ll want to use either a broad-spectrum or a CBD isolate oil.

Broad-spectrum oils are for people who want to take advantage of the entourage effect but can’t legally acquire THC. CBD isolate oils are for people who want to enjoy the benefits of CBD on its own. Isolate oils are also generally cheaper.

Final Thoughts: Does CBD Oil Smell Like Weed?

CBD itself doesn’t have much of a smell, but some of the CBD oil products might smell like weed.

Terpenes are the compounds responsible for most of the skunky cannabis smell, so if you’re purchasing an oil infused with terpenes, you can expect that it might smell like marijuana.

However, many other CBD products are terpene-free and don’t have any smell at all. Broad-spectrum extracts without terpenes, as well as CBD isolate oils or pure delta 8 THC oils (without added terpenes), will produce the same benefits without any of the weedy aroma.

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