Why Does Weed Smell Like Skunk?

Why Does Weed Smell Like Skunk?

We scoured the internet to answer the question: WHY DOES SOME CANNABIS SMELL LIKE A SKUNK?  That lead us to the man, the myth and the cannabis grower legend, Kevin Jodrey, who left us a clue on a quora page where he breaks down that Thiols are the cause of skunk smell, but in weed the skunky aroma arises from the decomposition of terpenes and esters – bacteria and enzymes help convert them into thiols, which combine and causes the skunky weed smell. Below is his post and we also explain much more about why some cannabis can smell skunky, which some people enjoy.  And even Skunk #1 was named for the odor. 

skunk marijuana smell

What Terpenes Smell like Skunk?

There are over 100 unique terpenes in the cannabis flowers that you know and love.  Today we are going to focus on those that may be the smell behind the skunky odor of certain cannabis strains.


Myrcene is the most prevalent terpene in cannabis flowers – making up over half of the terpene profile in certain strains.  For example, Skunk XL has a lot of myrcene in it and smells…well, skunky. Myrcene has a musky, earthy smell that may help explain why your weed has a skunk-like aroma.

Alpha-pinene and Beta-pinene

Imagine walking in a pine forest and taking a deep breath through your nose, that’s pinene that you smell.  It is a common terpene in cannabis as well and is one of the terpenes police dogs are trained on to determine if a suspect has cannabis.

Pinene is found in strains like Island Sweet Skunk, a Cresco Labs cultivar known for its sativa infusion of fruity scents, like grapefruit, to give more uplifting effects.


This terpene is also found in the Island Sweet Skunk strain, but it smells more like tea tree oil, jasmine, or lemongrass. These astringent odors may be related to the skunky aromas that the cannabis plant gives offs.


Linalool is a terpene that smells like lavender, but it also may hold a clue to why some weed smells skunky – it has a thiol attached to it. Thiols are sulfur-containing organic compounds that Kevin Jordey spoke about above.  As the terpene breaks down into thiols, these are the same chemicals that come from the skunk and smell, well, skunky.  A popular strain of cannabis that is high in Linalool is Granddaddy Purple (or GDP).

RELATED POST: Getting a Job in the Cannabis Industry

RELATED POST: How to Open a Cannabis Dispensary


Does weed smell like skunk?

We investigated the internet to find out WHY DO SOME CANNABIS SMELL LIKE A SKUNK? This led us to Kevin Jodrey, the man, myth, and cannabis grower legend who left a quora answer where he explains that thiols are responsible for skunk odour but in marijuana, skunky aroma comes from the decomposition of terpenes and esters – bacteria and enzymes help convert them into thiols, which then bond and cause the skunky cannabis smell.

Why does skunk smell like weed ?

The smell of cannabis is often described as skunky owing to the presence of a specific kind of chemicals called thiols. These chemicals are produced when terpenes and esters degrade,  generally as a result of bacterial or enzymatic activity. so why does pot smell like skunk? The thiols then combine to give cannabis its characteristic skunky odor.

Here is Why Marijuana Sometimes Smells Like Skunk

Have you ever wondered why marijuana smells like skunk?

why does weed smell like skunkThere are many different explanations, but one of the most accurate is that marijuana has ingredients that resemble skunk’s smell. It is noticeable in many different pot consumption occasions that you may have had, and it is still the thing that people ask about marijuana.

So, Why Marijuana Smells Like Skunk?

It is because of the cannabis terpenes that are typically found in each strain of cannabis. No matter what Indica or Sativa you choose to buy, it will undoubtedly have some terpenes that occur to be smelly. Sometimes, the smell will be hard to handle, which is why people choose other types of strains, and sometimes, the amount of cannabis terpenes is balanced, so you won’t have trouble consuming marijuana.

On both occasions, you will notice how the pot smells differently when you consume it. This comes from the marijuana ingredients present in each cannabis plant, and the volume of these ingredients differ from one cannabis strain to another.

How to Avoid Skunky Marijuana?

To avoid the smelly and skunky element in strains, you should go for those cannabis strains that smell more pleasantly. Skunk and marijuana are very different, and if you want to consume clean and enjoyable marijuana, you would have to buy the right strain type.  Also store your cannabis properly to help prevent the terpenes and esters from converting into thiols that may have a skunky smell. 

This leads us to many different strain variations that are less smelly and that affect us more pleasantly. Some of them are the following:

  • Lavender
  • Strawberry Cough
  • Bubble Gum
  • Super Lemon Haze

On the opposite side, we have the more potent aromas, and according to that, more smelly ones. These are:

  • Super Skunk
  • Space Queen
  • Chemdawg Sour Diesel

All these cannabis strains and marijuana variations are attractive on the market, but these are very different marijuana varieties in their structure and their effect.

As a result, we have different smells and aromas that come from these strains.

How to Choose the Right Marijuana for Yourself?

You can go with common sense. If some strain is very skunky for you, avoid it and go for more pleasant ones. Some marijuana strains are more potent in their reactions with other elements in the pot, which is why you can notice how the smell differs at the start of smoking, and the end of the consumption. To make things clear, you should go for the strain that is the most appealing to you.

Weed Comes in Many Different Forms?

Weed, or marijuana, or pot, are all different types of cannabis, and the Skunk is the most smelly option. As the name suggests, Skunk is a marijuana variation that is stronger in effect and has more dimensions of consumption.

If you want to try Skunk, it is best first to try marijuana and the regular variations. If you find the pot challenging to handle, then Skunk will be even worse.

What Marijuana Type Has Best Aromas?

Try to find the marijuana variation that is most appealing to you and go for the less smelly solution.

You will find these variations on the market in many different forms. One of the most satisfying is Trainwreck, which is also one of the best strains for dealing with various medical conditions. It also comes in the form of a smelly but pleasant aroma that opens up when you smoke the pot.

Trainwreck is not the only option. You also have a selection of G13 scents, Granddaddy Purple aromas, and many other marijuana variations that add a unique dimension to pot consumption.

How Can You Be Sure That You Picked the Right Aroma?

Cannabis strains come in different aromas, and if you find the one that is the most pleasant to you, it is a win-win situation. No matter how high you want to get, or how fast you want to notice the marijuana effects, giving yourself the right treatment is essential.

Providing people with the right cannabis strains is essential. That is why many companies try to implement different strategies to combine aromas and unusual strains, which is why marijuana consumers have a huge number of options.

Will You Get “Higher” with Skunky Marijuana?

No. Skunky aromas are only skunkier. And more smelly. If you like these aromas, the choice is extensive, and you can get the marijuana pot that is most pleasurable to you.

In the other case, you can go for the cannabis strain that is more aromatic to you so that you can enjoy your pot completely. If you also find some medical benefits in it, the pleasure is even better.

Why marijuana smells like skunk, and how to choose less skunky aroma is the matter of your choice and the matter of your preference for the right marijuana strain that smells good.


Whether this is your first land use issue or most recent, our office has helped people and businesses alike.

Thomas Howard was on the ball and got things done. Easy to work with, communicates very well, and I would recommend him anytime.

Our cannabis business attorneys are also business owners.  They can help you structure your business or help protect it from overly burdensome regulations.

[contact-form-7 id=”222210″ title=”common-footer-form”]


Want to win a license?

Here’s where you can learn how we’ve won before and will again.