Unless you are lucky enough to live in a tolerant country or state, cannabis cultivation will probably be illegal where you live. To keep your plants safe and your hobby private, you need to control smelly terpenes. Use the strategies below to help contain the smell.
Keeping the smell under control can be difficult, but it can be done and we’ll show you how. Find out how to keep your cannabis plants undetected with the following tips.
Why is odour control so important?
Unfortunately, cannabis remains illegal in many parts of the world. Growing weed at home brings many rewards, including the satisfaction of smoking your own weed and saving tons of money during the growing process. However, it can also be very risky depending on where you live. Some growers live in areas where they receive a warning and a light sentence if they are caught. Others face more serious consequences, such as eviction by their landlord or a prison sentence.
This is why growers take creative measures to keep their botanical passion secret. Some cover their windows to prevent the LED lights from emitting revealing pink and blue glows. Others go to great lengths to turn cabinets and computer cases into mini-crops to keep their plants hidden and safe.
These techniques are effective in hiding a plantation, but the smell of flowering cannabis remains the most telling sign. Cannabisterpenes are strong enough to stink up an entire house if left unchecked. Growers must do everything in their power to prevent terpenes from betraying their crop if they are to go undetected.
When do cannabis plants start to smell?
Fortunately, cannabis plants do not smell bad during the entire cultivation cycle. Strictly speaking, they remain completely odourless in the sowing and growing phase. During these growth phases, the plants use all their energy to become as big as possible to accommodate future flowers.
But at some point, the vegetative phase must come to an end. Depending on the type of plant, a change in daylight hours or an internal genetic mechanism will trigger the flowering phase. Over the next few weeks you will notice that your plants are stretching and showing the first signs of flowering: small hair-like pistils on the nodes. As these become flowers that grow into large nuggets, they will start to smell stronger and stronger.
What covers the smell of cannabis?
Growing cannabis without some form of odour control is bound to cause a stir. If you live in the deepest province, you might be okay. But if you live in the suburbs, you’ll be playing a risky game – especially if you live in an apartment complex.
Fortunately, cannabis growers are inventive. After decades of suffering draconian penalties, cannabis enthusiasts have found proven methods to mask weed’s characteristic smell.
Activated carbon filter and exhaust system cannabis plants need to breathe. Therefore, you need to make sure that your grow space has a constant flow of fresh air. However, the air that leaves your grow space will carry a lot of terpenes with it, unless you treat it.
The combination of an activated carbon filter and an exhaust air system disperses and cleans the exhaust air of odorous terpenes. Whether you are growing in an open space or in an enclosed grow tent, you should place an exhaust system directly next to your grow room’s ventilation opening. This will draw in air and create a flow that will prevent strange smelling air from escaping through doors or windows.
Air cleaners draw air through a series of fine filters. When a fan draws in air, small particles and debris are trapped by the filters and clean air comes out the other side. The air filters create a constant flow of air and provide a clean, fresh environment for your plants.
As far as odour is concerned, air cleaners make a small difference. However, they are certainly not magic bullets. We recommend using it as part of an odour prevention strategy rather than as the sole solution.
Low-odour cannabis strains
Some strains just don’t smell as bad as others. Just as cannabis breeders have developed some cultivars with very high terpene values, botanical geniuses have also created strains with subtle odours for stealth growing.
Ozone generators could help reduce odours by reacting with odorous chemicals, especially terpenes. These devices create ozone by breaking down oxygen molecules through UV radiation or discharge, allowing individual atoms to bond with other oxygen molecules. However, the lack of evidence has led to scepticism in a growing community. The possibility that these devices may generate harmful by-products naturally discourages growers from using them.
Growing rooms and enclosed tents
Growing your plants in an enclosed space or tent will prevent air from escaping through cracks and gaps in the hallway or outside. All of the above remedies work to some extent, but leaks can make them ineffective. Make sure you have a safe and guaranteed growing area before your plants enter the flowering phase.
Cannabis odour control – final thoughts
Odorous terpenes are one of the most common reasons why growers get caught. You should develop an odour strategy before germinating seeds, so that you have enough time to purchase and install the necessary equipment. Although it may seem difficult to catch all the odours at first, it will give you peace of mind and security throughout the growing process.