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Cannabis, most commonly known as Marijuana, is a plant that promotes a sense of euphoria and relaxation when burned or vaped. This powerful drug is believed to treat a number of conditions (e.g. Alzheimer’s Disease) by producing mind-altering hormones that calm down a person.

Unfortunately, marijuana, for a long time, has been looked down upon and has suffered a negative stigma in popular culture. It has had a reputation for being an inferior treatment method even while other substances that promote adverse effects are widely used. To be honest, I also judged it the same way when I was a kid because of how people thought about it. Needless to say I’ve learned from my past stupidity.

Cannabis Regulation

More and more people are gaining access to medical and recreational marijuana as cannabis regulation is slowly starting to gain momentum across the United States. Marijuana has already been legalized in eight states in the US for recreational use. Other countries all over the world are now starting to adopt new laws and push for the legalization of this controversial treatment alternative.

There are still a lot of taboos surrounding cannabis despite the recent pro-legalization momentum. Stereotypes from our less-educated past take a long time to die off.

The Scent of Weed

Because of the restriction and negative stigma surrounding cannabis, people who do a regular scent check often times feel embarrassed about it. Sometimes people make me feel like smoking a harmless joint is something to be ashamed of. One friend even told me that the smell of marijuana makes her “want to punch the wall”. Really? 

Due to the stigma, people who smoke weed often turn to vape pens instead of the traditional way of rolling up a joint whenever they want to feel the effects of pot. Vaping weed is much more discreet when compared to smoking it. I can confirm that from personal experience. Before making the drastic change, people oftentimes ask: do vape pens smell? Does vaping weed give off the same smell as rolled joints?

Do Vape Pens Really Smell?

There is a lot of bullshit on the internet about vaping weed. Many have claimed to offer odorless dry herb vaporizers. Don’t fall for it.

Of course vape pens smell! I think it’s safe to assume that any type of weed will produce an aroma. The severity of the odor depends on what type of cannabis you are going to vaporize. The strength of the vapor and the strain and purity of your herb is a big factor as well.

A responsible vaper should know the difference between smoking weed and vaping weed, especially its odor comparison. I have tried both ways and I can say that there really is a huge amount of difference between the scent it produces.

The Scent of Vaping Weed VS Smoking It

Smoking Weed

When you ignite plant material, you combust it to create smoke. This is how smoking marijuana works. You burn the bud which will then produce fumes. These fumes are what you inhale during smoking.

You actually immediately lose 50% of the cannabis plant when you combust it. What’s worse is that it contains a lot of solid particles of what you just burnt. Smoke isn’t actually a gas. It is merely a product of burning and combustion. So the next time someone asks you why smoking weed smells awful? The answer is that what you inhale contains millions of burnt particles that bring the odor.

This is also the reason why it leaves its characteristic smell to the smoker or anything it can cling to. If you smoke all day from the time you get out of bed to the time you get home from work, you become a walking representation of the amount of weed you inhale.

Vaping Weed

Vaping weed on the other hand, by its definition, works by producing vapor. Vaporizers are devices that can adjust to a temperature so low it can heat a cannabis plant and melt its oils without actually burning the plant itself.

This means that the particles produced by vaping weed are much purer than smoking them. Vaporizers still smell, of course. However, there are no smoke fragments present in vape pens, which means you don’t have to worry about the scent mixed with smoke clinging to your clothes.

Vapor is a real gas, unlike what smoking produces. The awful scent brought by the burnt molecules in smoking weed is also absent in this process. This is due to the absence of combustion in the vaping system. As a matter of fact, many vape users (including myself) can testify to the fact that vaping cannabis does not have the same aroma that is developed by igniting your herb.

How strong is the scent produced by vaping weed?

With everything I’ve mentioned so far, you should know by now that there are a lot of reasons why vaping weed is far superior to smoking it. The reduced aroma is one of the most important in this long string of factors. Combustion doesn’t happen in the vaping system. The only scent you will be smelling upon vaping is the vapor and its flavor.

As we’ve mentioned, vaping produces purer molecules than smoking. Now you might think a purer substance is even more detectable. However, a purer one doesn’t equate to a stronger one.

The vapor emitted from what you inhale diffuses very quickly. There’s really not even enough time for the vapor to stick to your clothes.

It is important to consider that there is still a concomitant scent. It basically depends on what vape pen you use. So there are exemptions.

Some devices, especially the older models, produce a much stronger scent than the newer ones. This happens by putting the herb directly in contact with a heated surface. The odor produced is much stronger the longer the heating element is activated. This aroma lingers for a while but also discharges very fast, so there is no need to worry that your wardrobe could be used against you.

Does Vaping Weed Get You Caught?

Fortunately for vapers, vaping weed has been observed to be less detectable than the traditional way of smoking. This is because unlike the latter, the former doesn’t involve combustion, which is responsible for producing that burnt aroma you smell whenever you pass by smokers. And no matter how much we deny it, the smell of flavored vape is so good you just want the aroma to stay in your nose all day. This scent, together with its accompanying massive, puffy white “smoke” has been common anywhere.

We can’t deny that vaping is more acceptable than smoking. When people see a person lighting up a cigarette, they are automatically disapproved and frowned upon. Vaping, on the other hand, gets a free pass (well, sometimes). People who are worried about acquiring second-hand smoke tend to like vapor that smells like bubblegum or strawberry than an overcooked barbecue.

With this, it has become almost normal to see people with e-cigarettes inside parties or bars, on the streets, and anywhere a smoker won’t be able to indulge in his or her habit.

Tobacco users who use vapes started to look at this as an advantage. And not long after, they started to feel the same freedom they felt before several states started to make laws that prohibit people from smoking in public. As a matter of fact, 37 percent of smokers switch to vaping every week.

And of course, people who smoke weed saw this as the perfect instrument to mask their herb habit. I know I did!

We’ve known so far that vaping produces an odor that is less pungent than smoking, which burns the joint itself (thus, the smell). But now, people who smoke weed can just easily blend in with smokers and get away with it quickly if the police show up.

How Do I Beat The Weed Smell Dilemma?

As I’ve said earlier, there are two methods of inhaling weed. One involves combustion, and one is done through vapes. While the latter is considered to be producing the most tolerable smell, it still smells! No smoking or vaping device is absolutely smell-proof. This is a factor to consider especially when people around you are not used to it.

Older models are the ones more likely to emit a noticeable odor. However, just because your vape is an obsolete device does not mean it automatically exudes that extreme smell. Strong odors only come out when your mod is not used properly.

If you really are concerned about getting rid of the strong odor, there are ways to make this happen. By experience, here are some pro tips I can recommend that can help you decrease chances of an unwanted smell.

  • Clean your vape! This is a no brainer. Of course the dirtier your vaporizer, the more chances it won’t function properly. Always keep your bad boy clean especially if it handles conduction heating, which is the most common equipment in the market. Even the smallest of dirt can stop your vape from working properly when it gets in, preventing the whole device from running smoothly.
  • Keep it sealed in a jar. Since cannabis costs a lot, sometimes people don’t actually smoke the whole joint. Once in a while, I don’t finish the whole thing as well. If you want to save some of your weed, search for a properly tight container in your kitchen and keep it sealed. Consuming it all in one sitting is kind of a waste of your money, especially if it’s a good weed. So save some for later!
  • Make a faux spoofer. This requires some resourcefulness and a visit to your local supermarket. Buy some fabric softener sheets. At home, find used paper towel rolls in your bathroom. Fill the rolls with the fabric softener sheets you bought. Use this artificial spoofer and blow your vapor through it whenever you smoke. You will now smell more like a laundry machine. But it’s better than smelling like weed, right?
  • Install window fans. If you’re willing to spend some cash, search for window fans at the nearest hardware store. After all, it is not that expensive. This can help diffuse the strong aroma of your weed if you install it in your room. If you want to be extra cautious, you can also stick some fabric softener sheets on it.
  • Buy popcorn! I’m definitely not a chemist and have no idea why this works, but this method can be confirmed by some weed vapers, including myself! Opening a bag of popcorn is definitely an inexpensive and effortless way of hiding the smell of your herb. The strong smell of popcorn seems to dominate every smell in the air, including the smell of your weed, in a closed room. It may be hard to resist, but it is not for eating! 
  • Put a towel under the door. People still debate over the effectiveness of this method but it doesn’t hurt to try, especially if you really are eager to mask the unwanted aroma of your herb. Place a moist towel tightly under the gap of your door from the floor during your vape time to reduce the smell.

When someone tells you they offer an odorless dry cannabis vaporizer, walk away. There’s just no way a plant as strong as weed is not gonna smell. These are just gimmicks to make you buy their products. Don’t fall for their misinformation. Always be aware.

Vaping weed is ultimately one of the safest options whenever you want to get high but don’t want to be detected, even when there are people around. An untrained eye will have a hard time differentiating cigarettes from marijuana, especially e-cigarettes specifically designed for this herb. Try to look for some vaping devices fit for inhaling weed and adapt to them on this purpose.

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