Does CBD Smell Like Weed? The Terpenes Connection

Does CBD Smell Like Weed? The Terpenes Connection

If you ever wondered if your hemp-derived CBD product smells like weed, you're not alone. Different CBD products may share a similar scent profile to marijuana due to terpene content. In this article, we'll explore why CBD and marijuana sometimes smell alike and the benefits of these compounds in both plants.

Terpenes: Aromatic Compounds Dictating the Scent of Cannabis

Often responsible for the unique scents of botanicals, terpenes are aromatic compounds that can be found in all plant species, including cannabis. While marijuana and hemp both belong to the Cannabis sativa species, they differ significantly in terms of their cannabinoid profiles and effects.

Nonetheless, some CBD products might smell like weed because they share common terpenes through full spectrum or broad spectrum hemp extracts as part of the entourage effect. Carrier oils such as hemp seed oil or MCT oil do not influence the smell of weed; rather, it is the terpenes that contribute to the distinct aroma.

Botanists classify hemp and marijuana as chemotypes - categories of plants with distinct chemical compositions with respect to cannabinoids and biological influences. CBD products derived from hemp may still exude a strong odor reminiscent of marijuana flowers even though their effects differ substantially. Fun fact: the actual cannabinoid molecules have no scent or taste!

The Role of Terpenes in Aromatherapy

Fans of essential oils will appreciate terpenes' significance in aromatherapy, where they play a crucial role in evoking distinct fragrances and therapeutic effects. Many terpenes have been identified in cannabis plants, each with its own unique set of properties. They work together with other plant compounds like cannabinoids to generate the entourage effect, resulting in varying experiences for users.

Terpenes are believed to be essential for plant survival, and their existence has helped certain plants thrive and become dominant vegetation worldwide. The scent of cannabis or the resinous taste of a pine tree are products of millions of years of evolutionary processes.

Hemp Extract Types and Terpenes Content

Understanding how different types of hemp extracts influence terpene content can shed light on why some CBD products share a similar aroma with weed:

  1. Full Spectrum Hemp Extract: derived from the whole plant, full-spectrum extract contains all natural compounds, including THC and multiple terpenes. The hemp strain used in cultivation, as well as the extraction techniques employed, impacts the array of terpenes present within the final product.
  1. Broad Spectrum Hemp Extract: this also employs the entire plant but undergoes a process to remove THC while retaining many terpenes. However, sensitive procedures may lower the terpene potency.
  1. CBD Isolate: this refined hemp extract removes all other cannabinoids and terpenes, leaving only pure CBD. Since it lacks terpenes, CBD isolate carries no smell. 

Reminder: CBD itself is odorless and flavorless! Carrier oils not only help distribute CBD evenly throughout a product but also improve absorption by aiding cannabinoid transportation in the digestive system. Hemp seed oil, olive oil, coconut oil, and MCT oil—common carriers for CBD—may have distinct scents and flavors, although they do not contribute to the aroma of marijuana. MCT-containing CBD isolates yield completely tasteless, scent-free oil blends.

Why does CBD Flower Smell Like Weed?

If you've ever come across CBD flower or hemp flower, you may have noticed that it smells remarkably like weed. This is because the same terpenes found in marijuana plants are present within their hemp counterparts as well. The combination of these aromatic compounds results in a similar smell profile between the two types of cannabis.

So there you have it! Although some CBD products might share an olfactory resemblance with weed, it is largely due to the presence and interaction of their respective terpenes—complex organic compounds with effects on both scent and overall experience. Appreciate the aroma of your hemp-derived CBD for its centuries-old origins and let the power of nature work its course.