Ganja Guides

Does Decarbing Weed Smell? 

holding weed nug while wearing glove

When decarbing weed you’ll notice a notable smell that can be off-putting to some.

Our guide will explore how to reduce decarbing weed smell using a mason jar and oven bag. Moreover, you’ll learn how factors such as cannabis strain and terpenes influence smell. 

Photo: Unsplash

Does decarbing weed smell strong?

Heat activates compounds such as terpenes in a cannabis bud. Terpenes contribute to the characteristic smell released when decarbing weed, often described as skunky or herbal

The intensity of the smell will depend on the quantity of terpenes in that specific strain. It’s also important to know that the smell may linger for a while, which can be an issue when you’re decarbing weed in shared spaces. 

Factors influencing smell

The smell of decarbed weed varies and depends on:

The cannabis strain 

Each strain has a unique aromatic profile, depending on the terpenes. For example, if you decarb strains such as Skunky #1, the strain will produce a strong skunky smell. Others with a powerful odor profile include Durban Poison, OG Kush, and Sour Diesel

Other strains have a sweet, fruity smell when decarbed. They include Blueberry, Mango Kush, and Girl Scout Cookies (GSC)

Quality of weed 

When you’re decarbing quality and fresh nugs, they might exude a more profound smell than low-quality ones. 


The ventilation will influence the smell intensity. When you’re heating cannabis in an open space with good air circulation, the smell will be less noticeable than decarbing in a confined room.


It’s recommended to decarb weed for between 30-45 minutes. Some individuals may prefer to decarb a bit longer to increase the compounds released, potentially influencing the smell intensity. 

However, you should avoid heating cannabis for a prolonged period as this can lead to the degradation of cannabinoids and terpenes. 

How to decarb weed without smell 

There are ways to reduce weed smell when decarbing and ensure discretion: 

Mason jar method

Besides minimizing the odor molecules released into the air, mason jars prevent direct heating of cannabis in the oven, saving your precious cannabinoids and terpenes. 


  • Mason jar with lid
  • Baking tray
  • Kitchen towel
  • Cannabis
  • Oven
  • Grinder

Preheat the oven 

Start by preheating your oven to between 220 and 240 °F ( 103 to 115 °C). Then, grind your cannabis to medium consistency. 

Load the Mason jar

Place enough ground weed into the mason jar, taking care not to overload it, and place it into the baking tray. Bake for at least 45 minutes. However, it’s crucial to remove the jar from the oven and shake it a bit to disperse the cannabis evenly.

Once completely decarbed, please remove it from the oven and let it cool down for 30 minutes. You can leave it in the mason jar for storage or use it to make edibles or tinctures. 

Using an oven bag 

The bag traps most of the odor molecules, reducing the smell intensity. You can learn how to decarb weed in an oven bag here.

Other odor reducing techniques 

You can use smell neutralizers such as activated charcoal to absorb odor molecules when decarbing. 

You can also opt for commercial air purifiers to reduce the weed smell in your room. 

Discreet decarbing 

When you heat weed, it activates its classic skunky smell. However, you can reduce this by using a mason jar, oven bag or odor neutralizers such as activated charcoal.


About Jeremy

Jeremy graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Information Technology from the Technical University of Kenya. Over the past four years, he's been passionate about writing on a wide range of cannabis-related topics. In addition to guides, he's explored various aspects of cannabis, including its medical benefits, legalization efforts, cultivation techniques, and its impact on society. You can reach him at [email protected].