Here’s What Cannabis Smells Really Mean

If you have grown experience with medical marijuana it’s likely that you’ve heard the term terpenes. These are the compounds that are found in many plants that can produce the scents they give off. The basic idea of these scents in nature is to attract pollinators and drive off threats. Classifying some of the smells can also give us an indication of what a cannabis product will do.

If you get floral tones to your cannabis this can mean that it may have a completely different effect to a skunky strain. There are over 200 scents that are present in cannabis and these scents and combinations of scents can often tell us what the plant’s effect may be.

Terpenes would interact with the bodies’ endocannabinoid system which can result in different therapeutic benefits from each type of strain. Scientists have been studying these terpenes for decades and there are some basic guides available to show the difference between the scents and how they can change the experience of cannabis.

Some basic indicators of what cannabis smells can mean include:

Herbal Smells

Deep relaxation is often characterized in herbal smells. This is caused by Myrcene which can be found in hops, thyme, and mango. It is common in Indica strains.


A peppery smell is popular among strains like sour diesel and it’s known for its ability to provide antioxidant protection and a reduction in inflammation.


A citrus scent is caused by Limonene which is commonly found in Juniper, oranges, and lemons. These strains are particularly effective at reducing stress, anxiety, and depression.


This scent is common in time and less common in cannabis. This can be found in big smooth and blue dream and it is caused by Myrcene. These types of scents can often cultivate a more focused and alert mood.

Studying the scent of cannabis can often be an indication on the strains you like. Following your nose and working to discover the scents you enjoy the most can help you discover the best type of cannabis for your needs.

This post was written by Flo Sugyatno, operations manager of LOCAL’d and cannabis expert. LOCAL’d is a helping hand to the companies that strengthen your community in the Washington, DC area. Helping them to grow through financial and promotional support, LOCAL’d is a Washington, DC weed delivery service