Do Weed Carts Smell?

When it comes to using cannabis, many people turn to weed carts, or vape cartridges, as an alternative to traditional smoking methods. One of the biggest questions new users have is, "Do weed carts smell?" While vaping is often considered less pungent than smoking flower, it’s important to understand the nuances of its aroma.

by: Joe C. | 01/31/24 2:30PM


Many associate cannabis with a strong, unmistakable odor. This signature scent comes from terpenes, aromatic compounds found in the plant. When cannabis is smoked, high temperatures burn these terpenes, releasing a potent skunky smell.

This article explores how vaping offers a more discreet alternative. We'll delve into the science behind reduced odor, explore different vaping methods and their scent profiles, and provide tips to minimize any remaining odors.


Do Weed Cartridges Smell Breakdown

The smell of cannabis, particularly when smoked, is unmistakably strong and often hard to miss. This signature scent primarily arises from volatile organic compounds (VOCs) known as terpenes. Cannabis contains over 100 different terpenes, each contributing to the unique aroma and flavor profile of various strains. When cannabis is smoked, the high temperatures involved in combustion (over 400°F) cause these terpenes and other substances to burn, releasing a potent, skunky smell.

Vaping and Smell Reduction

Vaping cannabis significantly reduces the smell compared to smoking. This is primarily due to the lower temperatures used in vaping, typically below 400°F. Vaping heats cannabis extracts or dry herbs using conduction or convection methods, producing a vapor rich in cannabinoids without burning the plant material and terpenes. This process results in a much milder odor.


Weed Carts and Dab Pens: Minimal Scent

Weed carts and dab pens, which vaporize cannabis oil concentrates, emit very little noticeable weed smell. The oils used in these devices are often purified through extraction processes that remove terpenes and other aromatic compounds. Without these terpenes, the vapor produced has low VOC levels, making it less odorous and more discreet.

  • Residual Terpenes: Some concentrates may still retain small amounts of terpenes, especially if heated to higher temperatures, which can produce a stronger smell.
  • Hardware Odors: The materials used in cartridges and cart batteries can sometimes impart metallic or plastic smells.
  • Storage Impact: Proper storage of oil carts is crucial. Poor storage conditions can cause the cartridges to develop a stale, weedy scent over time.
  • Dry Herb Vaporizers: Dry herb vaporizers, which heat ground cannabis flowers rather than extracts, maintain more terpenes and aromatic compounds intact. Although these vaporizers still produce a smell, it is generally cleaner and less intense than smoke due to the lack of combustion. Convection heating models, which avoid direct contact with the herb, tend to produce a lighter, cooler vapor with less lingering scent compared to conduction models. Nevertheless, dry herb vaporizers will never be as low-odor as oil cartridges. For instance, a strain like Sour Diesel will still emit its distinctive sour and citrusy smell when vaped, although less sharply than when smoked.

Dab Pens: Low Odor with Proper Maintenance

Dab pens are designed for cannabis concentrates like oils, waxes, or distillates. These devices heat the concentrates to create vapor with minimal smell, as the extraction process removes most terpenes and aroma molecules. However, residues left behind can produce faint odors. Regular cleaning of the atomizers is essential to maintain the low-odor advantage of dab pens.

Tips to Minimize Vaping Odors

Despite the inherently lower odor of vaping compared to smoking, there are additional steps you can take to be even more discreet:

  • Choose Low-Odor Methods: Opt for oil pens or distillates over more pungent dry herb strains.
  • Lower Temperature Settings: Vape at lower temperatures to limit terpene evaporation.
  • Neutralize Vapor: Use consolidants like smoke sprays or dryer sheets to neutralize any lingering vapor.
  • Proper Storage: Store your vaping gear in sealed bags or airtight cases to prevent residual odors.
  • Regular Cleaning: Clean your devices regularly and replace cart atomizers when vapor production decreases.

By following these tips, you can further reduce the smell associated with vaping cannabis, making it an even more discreet method of consumption.

Can Vaping Smell like Skunk

Yes, marijuana vapes can sometimes produce a skunk-like smell. Cannabis contains terpenes, which are aromatic compounds responsible for the plant's distinctive smells. Some strains of cannabis have a skunky aroma, and if these terpenes are present in the cannabis oil or flower being vaped, they can produce a similar smell.

Although vaping is less odorous than smoking, the vapor can still carry the scent of the cannabis strain being used. If the strain has a skunky terpene profile, this can be noticeable.

Cannabis concentrates used in vapes can retain some of the original terpenes. When these are heated, they can release a skunky smell, especially at higher temperatures.

Does Vaping Leave a Smell in a Room

Vaping can leave a smell in a room, though it is generally less intense and dissipates more quickly than the smell from smoking.

Over time, vaping can lead to the accumulation of residue on surfaces, much like smoking, incense, or candles. This residue can permeate walls, carpets, curtains, upholstery, and other absorbent materials. Although vapor is less dense than smoke, it still carries particles that can settle on surfaces.

Deposits from vaping can lead to off-gassing, where the residue releases volatile compounds back into the air over time. This can cause a lingering, stale smell in the room.

Factors Influencing Vaping Odors

Type of Vape Product

The type of product being vaped (nicotine, cannabis, flavored e-liquids) significantly affects the smell. Flavored e-liquids can leave sweet or fruity scents, while cannabis vapes can produce skunk-like or earthy odors depending on the terpenes.

Frequency and Duration

The more frequently and longer a person vapes in a room, the more likely it is that the smell will build up over time.


Poorly ventilated rooms are more prone to odor accumulation. Good airflow helps disperse vapor particles more quickly, reducing the likelihood of a lingering smell.

Final Words

Vaping cannabis offers a significantly more discreet experience compared to smoking. Oil carts and dab pens, which vaporize concentrates, produce minimal odor due to the removal of terpenes during extraction. Dry herb vaporizers still emit some scent, but it's milder and less lingering than smoke.

By following the tips provided, such as choosing low-odor strains and maintaining your equipment, you can further minimize vaping odors. This makes vaping a more practical option for situations where discretion is key.