Why Does Marijuana Have Such an Intense and Distinctive Scent?

  • Have you ever wondered why your cannabis plants have such a strong smell? Terpenes and trichomes are mainly responsible. 

Cannabis is not the plant with the strongest scent in the world, but sometimes its intense fragrance would suggest otherwise. Aromas vary from plant to plant and from one strain to another. What does it depend on? Firstly, on their terpenes: the aromatic compounds found in thousands of plants that are not only responsible for their fragrances, but for example, also for the good or bad flavours of their fruits.

They also explain why totally different plants can emit similar scents: they have the same types of terpenes, even when their intensities are different. And why does it vary? The answer is simple.

It was a question raised by the researchers Eun-Soo Kim and Paul G. Mahlberg more than ten years ago: the intensity of the fragrance depends on the anatomy of the trichomes, elements that give rise to resin glands that begin to develop during the plant's growth, but acquire special importance during flowering. 

These glands help the terpenoid compounds to volatilise in a simpler way, to better come into contact with the atmosphere, and to mix together quicker. 

Marijuana's trichomes are usually long and quite close together - which means a stronger scent. If some terpenes did not come into contact with others, or if their trichomes were further apart, marijuana plants would not smell like they do. 


Comments from our readers

There are no comments yet. Would you like to be the first?

Leave a comment!

Contact us

Contact us