A Beginner’s Guide to Controlling the Smell of Cannabis Plants
When you grow more than a few plants indoors, you may notice that they give off distinctive aromas. Some of the smells come from the soil, other smells from the nutrients, and the plants themselves give off some scents. The scent may be distinct enough that a Gladys Kravitz-type may turn their nose towards your personal interests.
This becomes particularly important now that growing cannabis is increasingly legal in a number of locations. Even if the day comes that all states approve growing cannabis, some strains and varieties release quite a few volatile organic compounds and terpenes in the flowering stage. Good grow lights, such as those provided by Black Dog LED, can increase the presence of these compounds, which may mean the odor may also increase. That might just bug you or your neighbors
If you’d rather keep your horticultural evidence below the radar, here are a few ideas for both casual and serious growers:
Most basic household odor neutralizers aren’t particularly effective. While sprays, plug-in air fresheners, and other household products can knock down the aroma of a plant or two, they don’t last long and aren’t that effective on stronger-smelling varieties. Home air purifiers like ionizers can handle mild household odors, but can’t stand up to the fragrance of most aromatic plants.
ONA Gel is a specially blended product that is popular with many growers because it’s easy to use and lasts for 4-6 weeks. Be warned though, don’t use these products in the same room as your plants because they can be absorbed by the plants, which will change the taste of the harvest. Confine the use of ONA Gel to adjoining rooms only.
Commercial Air Cleaners
Experienced growers use filtration units with activated carbon to scrub the air of unwanted odors. They’re what you need if you want to really neutralize the scent, and are the only choice for odor control in larger setups with grow tents or dedicated grow rooms.
Since these environments need temperature control and air circulation equipment anyway, adding a filtration system into the environmental controls is a relatively simple proposition. Find the duct size and CFM rating of your ventilation system and choose a filter that will fit and work properly with your system’s flow rate. Mount the unit where it’s easy to access when it’s time to change filters.
Choose a Plant Naturally Low in Odor
Different strains give off different smells, so give yourself a head start on grow room odor control by picking a variety that’s less fragrant but still flavorful and potent. Here are a few to consider:
- Blue Mystic — A hybrid strain created by crossing Northern Lights and Blueberry for exceptionally low odor.
- Durban Poison — The South African sativa is nearly odor-free yet has very high THC levels.
- Northern Lights — A low-aroma variety developed specifically for indoor growing, it’s both flavorful and potent.
- Polar Express — An ideal indoor variety, Polar Express has been crossbred to be compact, flavorful, and extremely low-odor.
- Sharksbreath — Easy to grow and high yielding, this Indica-dominant variety is very low in aromatics when flowering.
What NOT to Do
Your plants need fresh, well-circulated air to thrive. Stagnant, poorly conditioned air is a surefire recipe for disaster, so don’t seal off your growing area in order to contain odors. If you’re able to vent to the outside of your building with a filter, that’s your best choice for odor control. Just be sure to locate your vents where they won’t intrude on unwelcoming nostrils.
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