growing weed indoors smell

When does it start to smell when growing weed?

The cannabis buds we know and love have a noticeable smell. They stink. I love the smell, some people hate it, and every strain is different.

But when growing weed, do the plants start smelling? And how much?

The answer is that each individual strain and plant is different. But here’s what to keep in mind:

At what age do cannabis plants start to smell?

Short Answer: The smell starts at 3-6 weeks old (depending on strain) even in the vegetative stage. But the smell gets much worse after plants start flowering/making buds.

The leaves of a cannabis plant smell a little, but the buds smell a lot. When plants are young they don’t make a lot of smell, but once the plants get big and start growing buds, the smell can be intense.

  • Cannabis plants are too small to smell for at least the first few weeks after germination.
  • Most plants don’t have a whole lot of smell until they get big or start flowering (making buds)
  • However, I have grown strains where plants start smelling at only 3-4 weeks old in the vegetative stage
  • Usually, by the time any plant is 6 weeks old, it’s big enough to have a noticeable smell
  • Leaves make a smell, but buds create an intense aroma
  • Bigger plants smell more
  • More plants smell more
  • Some strains smell more than others
  • Choose a strain that produces less smell (though plant will still have an odor). Check out these low-odor strains.
  • Take precautions to ensure no one ever smells anything: Learn how to prevent smells while growing

When does it start to smell when growing weed? The cannabis buds we know and love have a noticeable smell. They stink. I love the smell, some people hate it, and every strain is different. But

How To Control The Smell of Cannabis

Unless you’re lucky enough to live in a tolerant country or state, chances are growing cannabis remains illegal where you live. To keep your plants safe and your hobby private, you need to keep those smelly terpenes under control—almost everybody knows the smell of weed. Use the strategies below to limit their spread to your growing space.

How to hide the smell of your weed plants.


Cannabis has one of the most easily-recognized scents out there, which is amazing until you need to cover it up.

Every strain offers a different cocktail of terpenes, but the earthy and gassy scent we know and love always comes to the fore. Such a distinct smell makes using the herb a pleasant experience, but it also attracts attention, drawing in unwanted eyes and noses.

Keeping the scent under control can be tough, but it’s certainly possible, and we’ll show you how it’s done. Find out how to keep your weed plants under the radar using the tips below.

Why Is Odour Control So Important?

Unfortunately, cannabis remains illegal in many parts of the world.

Growing the herb at home comes with many rewards, including the satisfaction of smoking your own weed and saving a bunch of money during the process. However, it also comes with a significant risk depending on where you live.

Some growers live in regions where they’ll receive a warning and a slap on the wrist if they get busted. Others face more serious consequences, including getting evicted by their landlord or ending up in jail.

In turn, cannabis growers take creative measures to keep their botanical passion clandestine. Some cultivators cover up their windows to prevent the obvious glow of pink and blue LED lights. Others go to the lengths of converting cupboards and computer towers into mini grow rooms to keep their plants hidden and secure.

These techniques are effective at keeping a crop under the radar, but the smell of flowering weed remains the most obvious give away. Cannabis terpenes are powerful enough to stink out an entire apartment block if left unchecked. Growers must do everything they can to prevent terpenes from leaking out of their growing space if they want to stay undiscovered.

When Do Cannabis Plants Start Smelling?

Thankfully, cannabis plants don’t stink throughout the entire growing cycle. In fact, they remain entirely scent-free during the seedling and vegetative phase. During these stages of growth, plants direct all of their energy toward getting as big as possible to house future flowers.

Eventually, though, the vegetative phase must come to an end. Depending on the type of plant, a shift in the daylight hours, or an internal genetic mechanism, will initiate the flowering stage. Over the course of the next few weeks, you’ll notice your plants stretch and show the first signs of flowering: small hair-like pistils at the nodes. As these become flowers that grow into full-sized nuggets, they’ll start to stink more and more.

This increasing intensity is caused by another key development, specifically those small crystal-like structures you’ll notice on the surface of cannabis flowers. Known as trichomes, these mushroom-shaped glands churn out a resin that’s rich in cannabinoids and smelly terpenes. This resin, in turn, protects the plant from insects and fluctuating temperatures. Your flowers will begin smelling as soon as your plants start producing this resin, and will stay stinky well after you harvest them.

What Covers The Smell Of Cannabis?

Growing cannabis without any means of odour control will certainly turn some heads. If you live out in the sticks, you might get away with it. But you’ll be playing a risky game if you live in the suburbs—even more so if you live in an apartment complex.

Fortunately, cannabis growers are an innovative bunch. After dealing with draconian measures for decades, green-fingered cannabis lovers have developed tried and tested methods of covering up the obvious smell of the herb.

Carbon Filter and Extractor Fan

Cannabis plants need to breathe. Therefore, you need to ensure your growing space features a constant flow of fresh air. However, the air that leaves the growing space will take a boatload of terpenes along with it—unless you process it.

The combination of a carbon filter and an extractor fan works by diverting and scrubbing outgoing air to rid it of skunky terps. Whether you’re growing in an open room or an enclosed growing tent, you should position an extractor fan next to the air vent of your dedicated space. This device will pull air towards it and form a current that prevents smelly air from leaking out of doors or windows.

By attaching a carbon filter to the extractor fan, you’ll capture the terpenes as the air leaves the growing space. These filters work using the principle of adsorption. Terpene molecules stick to the large surface area of carbon molecules as the air passes through the device.

Carbon filters are easy and cheap to make at home. Just make sure you match the requirements of the carbon filter to the extractor fan.

Air Purifier

Air purifiers work by drawing air through a series of fine filters. As a fan sucks the air through, small particles and pollutants get trapped in the filters and clean air passes through the other side. Air filters create steady airflow and will provide a clean and fresh environment for your plants.

As far as smell goes, air purifiers do make a bit of a difference. However, they certainly aren’t a panacea. We recommend including them as part of an odour-prevention strategy, as opposed to relying on them as an independent solution.

Low Odour Cannabis Strains

Some strains just don’t smell as much as others. Just as cannabis breeders have developed some cultivars to produce sky-high levels of terpenes, the botanical masterminds have also created varieties with subtle smells designed for covert growing. Some of the best low odour genetics include:

The potent smell of terpenes often gives the smell of growing cannabis away. We'll teach you how to mask the scent so you can keep your plants hidden and safe.