CBD is in the spotlight right now, and it’s probably here to stay. Since people often confuse the calming cannabinoid with THC, many are asking “Does CBD smell like weed?” Some forms of CBD have a slight odor, while others do not. It depends on the production and the type of CBD concentrate in the formula.
For the most part, CBD products do not carry the strong scent you might know from other cannabis products (like, um, marijuana). Let’s find out more about what CBD is and which products carry a smell.
What is CBD?
CBD stands for cannabidiol – a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in hemp plants. Hemp is one of the two variations of Cannabis Sativa, which has been used for thousands of years for its therapeutic properties. People also use hemp to make textiles, rope, paper, and more!
Today, we’re able to extract CBD from hemp. That extract is used to make CBD oil, which is then incorporated into various CBD products. Formulas like CBD lotion and CBD gummies are made with CBD oil. You can also grind and smoke hemp flower to experience CBD’s effects.
People use CBD for a whole host of ailments and annoyances. CBD’s relaxing properties may be able to help people with:
- Trouble sleeping
- Worried/nervous thinking
- Upset stomach
- And many more!
Whether you inhale, eat, or apply it topically, CBD provides soothing effects to the mind and body. It’s an all-natural, non-intoxicating compound that has brought peace, comfort, and relief to countless people around the world. The best part is that there’s a form that can work for everyone.
Does CBD Smell?
So, does CBD smell? It’s going to depend on the variety and product that you choose. There are three types of CBD extract: two oils and one powder concentrate. Let’s break each of them down:
- Full Spectrum CBD Oil – Full spectrum CBD oil contains the federally legal amount of THC – 0.3% or less. This level is nowhere near enough to make you feel intoxicated. Full spectrum CBD oil also contains a carrier oil (often hemp seed oil) to balance the potency of the CBD. The carrier oil may give the formula a slight scent. If the oil contains hemp seeds oil, there will be a light nutty fragrance (fun fact: hemp seeds are technically nuts). Other than that, full spectrum CBD oil is nearly flavorless and odorless. There may be a faint cannabis aroma, though it’s often very mild.
- Broad Spectrum CBD Oil – Broad spectrum is exactly like full spectrum, but with one distinct difference: it doesn’t contain any THC. Like full spectrum, it could contain hemp seed oil which gives it a slightly nutty aroma. Broad spectrum may also give off a faint cannabis scent, but like full spectrum, it’s very mild scent (if present at all).
- CBD Isolate – CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD. It’s been stripped of all the other cannabinoids (like THC), terpenes, and flavonoids found in hemp to provide a pure CBD experience. Isolate comes in the form of an almost completely odorless and flavorless powder. It’s non-intoxicating and incredibly potent and versatile. You can also mix CBD isolate into a carrier oil to make an isolate CBD oil. However, you’re more likely to come across isolate in powder form. Some people make their own CBD oils at home by mixing isolate powder into their preferred carrier oil.
Does CBD Smell Like Weed?
Full spectrum and broad spectrum CBD oil may carry a mild, marijuana scent. However, it’s not very strong at all. This is because the carrier oil comes to the forefront of most formula’s aromas, meaning they don’t smell much like weed at all. And when the oil is mixed into another product, like a bath bomb or baking recipe, the other ingredients mask the scent even further.
Isolate will have very little to no scent at all. Since it’s been stripped of everything that can give CBD aroma and flavor, it’s a very mild powder. People love being able to add it to various foods and drinks without influencing the taste or scent of whatever they’re consuming.
What Can Impact the Smell of CBD?
There are a few things that can impact the smell of CBD. Terpenes are the biggest aromatic factor for hemp plants, and they can impact the scent of oils. The carrier oil in CBD oils can also affect the aromas of those products, as can the presence of THC (in some cases).
Different companies use different carrier oils to balance the potency of their CBD oil. Some common carrier oils other than hemp seed oil are olive oil, avocado oil, and medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil. Each of those oils has its own unique scent that can affect the aroma of CBD oil.
Olive oil has a very mild odor, but it’s a familiar scent to many of us from cooking. Avocado oil smells a bit like avocados, but like olive oil, it’s pretty mild. MCT oil can come from coconuts or palm kernels, but it’s most commonly derived from coconuts. It’s almost completely flavorless and odorless.
Regardless of whether a CBD oil is full or broad-spectrum, keep in mind that it is made from Cannabis plant material. Depending on the potency of the product – meaning how much CBD and THC it contains – CBD oil could smell nothing like cannabis, or it could smell overwhelmingly like cannabis.
Some CBD oils may also contain the scents of certain terpenes. Terpenes are compounds in cannabis plants (and many others) that give them their strong aromas. Some terpenes also provide therapeutic benefits such as calming and anti-inflammatory properties.
While not all CBD oils contain terpenes, many of them do contain low levels of at least a couple of terpenes. Myrcene is the most common cannabis terpene, and as such, it may be present in your CBD oil. Myrcene is peppery and earthy, provides calming effects, and is also found in hops.
As we discussed, CBD isolate is nearly always almost completely flavorful and odorless. Once combined with a carrier oil to make a CBD isolate oil, the mixture may smell somewhat like your chosen carrier oil. The isolate on its own, however, will have basically no odor or flavor at all.
CBD Hemp Flower
The aroma of hemp flowers has everything to do with their terpenes. Beyond myrcene, the terpenes linalool, pinene, limonene, and caryophyllene are some of the most common terpenes in cannabis.
- Linalool – Also found in lavender and white birch bark, linalool has a light, floral aroma. It also promotes relaxation, which increases the efficacy of CBD. Linalool is commonly associated with the “classic” scent of cannabis.
- Pinene – Pinene smells like fresh pine (surprise, right?) and features in dozens of hemp strains. It’s also found in pine needles, basil, and rosemary! It’s a very pleasant, natural aroma.
- Limonene – Limonene is found in many citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons. It has a bright, zesty aroma that excites the senses. It can also provide relief from stress and anxiety.
- Caryophyllene – Rich, earthy caryophyllene is found in many herbs and spices like cloves, pepper, and nutmeg. It also has powerful anti-inflammatory effects.
The above four terpenes are only the tip of the terpene world’s iceberg, but they are worth highlighting. Next time you pick up some fresh CBD hemp flower, give it a good, strong whiff and see if you can detect what terpenes it might contain!
Which CBD Products Smell the Strongest?
CBD hemp flower has the strongest scent by far. CBD oils will have drastically milder aromas, though they can still smell a bit like their carrier oil or cannabis. Isolate is nearly odorless.
Topical CBD products made with CBD oil will rarely have a cannabis scent. Most of them also contain essential oils or natural fragrances that give the lotions or lip balms floral or fruity aromas. CBD edibles like gummies can have a mild cannabis scent, though it shouldn’t linger on your breath.
Which CBD Products Don’t Smell?
If you’re looking to avoid the scent of cannabis altogether, we recommend CBD isolate or CBD oil. Both of these products have very minimal to no odor at all, so you won’t have to worry that you smell like weed after taking them. Both products are incredibly effective and versatile.
Final Thoughts – Does CBD Smell?
Some CBD products smell and others are odorless. If you do smoke CBD hemp flower, we recommend doing so outside where there’s plenty of fresh air to help prevent the scent from sticking to your clothes. If you’re taking CBD oil or isolate, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.