Depending on your grow setup, there may be several reasons you want to minimise the aroma of your plants. The luscious dank scent of those beautiful terpenes may be heaven-scent to you, but if you have neighbours, it could be a real issue. So, you’ll need to employ a few “smell proof” methods.
Unfortunately, there’s no sure-fire way to entirely mask the tangy fragrance of cannabis plants, but with a bit of know-how, you can certainly reduce it.
Why You Need to Control the Smell of Cannabis
In some countries, being busted for growing plants could mean a warning or a fine – but in other regions, you could be looking at serving hard time in jail. If you’re growing your own plants, hopefully, you’re well aware of the laws and penalties in your area, and remember you’re doing this at your own risk.
The risk of cannabis theft is another reason to control the odour, to limit the attention you draw to your grow. Or you might want to be smell proof simply because your neighbours don’t appreciate the smell. Cannabis is fantastically pungent, and there are a variety of reasons for trying to mitigate that aroma.
What You Can Do to Contain the Smell of Cannabis Plants
The steps you take will depend entirely on your setup and surroundings. If your grow area is out in the middle of nowhere and you have no neighbours or passers-by to worry about, congratulations – you can probably rest easy.
If you don’t have the luxury of that kind, you should implement some sort of aroma control to make those powerful smells as unobtrusive as possible. There are a few ways to tackle this problem, and they vary in affordability, ease of use, and effectiveness.
Using Carbon Filters
Carbon filters can be purchased cheaply or even made at home. They work by processing the air as it leaves your growing area via the air vent or exhaust, capturing those tell-tale contaminants and catching the spores. Layers of activated carbon inside the filter contain holes or pores, which capture airborne pollutants and help prevent some of that skunky scent that goes through the filter – and this is important to understand.
A carbon filter will only benefit exhausted air. Placing a carbon filter into your grow area is not a magic wand that will render your grow odourless. But if it is used correctly, it can certainly help reduce the intensity of the cannabis smell.
Where to Place Carbon Filters in Your Grow Room
Generally, carbon filters are positioned close to the ceiling. Connecting a carbon filter to your exhaust fan will suck the odour through the filter, scrubbing the scents as they pass through. A carbon filter will help mask noise and smells – but ensure your exhaust system is airtight, so it creates a vacuum suitable to suck the air directly through the filter, and air doesn’t escape out through the sides of the tent.
Be sure to position the ducting outlet near an open window or a ventilation shaft.
Using an Ozone Generator to Contain Cannabis Smells
Ozone generators tend to be more expensive but can effectively eliminate cannabis smells by trapping evaporated molecules and effectively neutralising them. Ozone generators are available in designs that attach to the exhaust pipes of your ventilation system, reducing your exposure to ozone and making it safer.
Safety is Key When Using an Ozone Generator
If using an ozone generator, know how to use it safely. When buying, seek advice on the right generator size for the room, and make sure you control the level of output needed for the space. Set it up in the room, outside your tent – repeat – outside your tent (or whatever you’re using to house your plants), or on the extractor fan outlet (but definitely not on the intake) with adequate ducting in front of it for it to work correctly. Use a non-return valve between the extractor fan and the ozone generator to avoid issues with ozone leaks.
Companion Plants to Mask Cannabis Smells
Although more prevalent in outdoor grows, companion planting can be employed indoors as another effective weapon in your battle against reefer reek. It involves including other types of fragrant plants in your grow space to help mask the smell of your cannabis. Examples of helpful companion plants include peppermint, lavender, and chamomile, each of which is relatively pungent in its own right and can undoubtedly bolster your defence against cannabis odours.
Low Odour Cannabis Strains
If cannabis smells are likely to be a problem in your growing space, you may want to consider growing plants that are lower on the odour scale, reducing the risk of compromising your project from the get-go. There are numerous strains available that are classified as low odour. If you’re growing in an area where you have neighbours, it’s worthwhile considering low odour strains for your project – but bear in mind all strains will smell to a greater or lesser extent.
Smell Proof Your Cannabis Grow – Conclusion
While there are a few options available for containing the smell of cannabis, it’s a good idea to combine methods for a two or three-pronged attack.
Most importantly, start off by having your room adequately sealed, then layer on methods as necessary. If you build a room – or have a tent – inside a room, with space between the two, this will undoubtedly make a big difference in containing smells as an enclosed structure will do an excellent job of keeping the smells to a minimum. Adding carbon filters, and if you can, an ozone generator will make a sturdy defence in your battle to stop those pungent terpenes from wafting their way to unwanted nostrils.
Other products such as odour neutralisers and absorbent gels are available. They can be purchased cheaply, but these products are unlikely to make the kind of difference you’re looking for in terms of smell proof tactics.
Finally, remember the more plants you have, the greater the smell will be. A smaller grow may make your life easier.