Strong Smelling Pot? This is Why Your Pot May Smell Stronger Than Others

Why Does Pot Smell So Strong?

Depending on your living situation, smoking cannabis that has a strong smell could be an issue.

A good strain of some loud nuggets can stink up an entire apartment building. But what makes that sweet, sweet cheeba have such an acrid smell?

A Must-Read: Bongs: Glass Vs Acrylic

The terpenes in cannabis give it the skunky smell that most associate with marijuana smoking. Terpenes have different flavors and are present in several different plants, not just cannabis.

While society might think the sweetly soured world of marijuana smokers is all rambling and mass consumption, they would be wrong.

The science behind cannabinoids, CBD, and THC fascinating. Read on to find out why your pot smells so strong.

What Makes Pot Smell so Bad?

Cannabis terpenes are similar to the terpenes that are found in fruits and plants. Terpenes are a secretion that produces an oil-like substance on the leaves. These terpenes evolved to defend the plant against predators.

The lower leaves emit a chemical that wards off larger plant-eating animals. 

There are over 20,000 different types of terpenes, and they occur in everything from pine trees to oranges. The most common terpenes are:

  • Myrcene
  • Limonene
  • Pinene
  • Linalool
  • Caryophyllene
  • Humulene


The most common terpene in cannabis is myrcene. It is found in mangoes and about 65% of cannabis plants.

The label of Indica or Sativa is mainly determined by how much myrcene the plant has.

The myrcene smell is commonly used in cleaning products as it produces a lemony clean scent.

Myrcene is one of the most active components and is suitable for usage as an anti-inflammatory and is found in the strains White Widow and Skunk XL.

Myrcene is also the reason that marijuana has such a pungent flavor.


The terpene limonene is the second most commonly found terpene and has a citrus flavor.

The oil produced from limonene is found in lime peels and protects the flower from tiny insects. These strains have a lemony scent when burned and create a euphoric feeling.

The most common strains with limonene are Sour Diesel and OG Kush. Limonene is connected with lowered stress and enhanced mood.


Pinene comes in two different types: alpha and beta. Alpha pinene is one of the most common scents in the United States – pine.

The little green air filters that have hung from rearview mirrors for generations are flavored with pinene.

It gives your weed a piney smell like Pine-Sol meets open flame.

The number one attribute of pinene is that it is a great anxiety reducer and anti-inflammatory.

A bonus is that it is a bronchodilator that opens the lungs and airways.

Blue Dream and Strawberry Cough are the most common strains associated with pinene.


Linalool is a terpene that is known for lowering stress and anxiety. The most common type of flower with linalool is mint or lavender.

Essential oils made of lavender are filled with linalool.

In cannabis, linalool is not as common as the other plants; it only appears in 200 known strains.

The combination of linalool and THC produces a calming effect prominent in some of the best strains on the market, like Amnesia Haze and OG Shark.


Caryophyllene is most commonly found in aromatic oils like clove and rosemary oil.

Most people taste a hint of cinnamon when they smoke it, as well as a bite of black pepper. It has a warm scent that can be overpowering when lit.

The anti-inflammatory effects of the caryophyllene heavy strains are its biggest asset.

The spicy flavored herbs most associated with the caryophyllene are Original Glue and Purple Punch.


Humulene is a terpene that is most associated with hops and cloves. It is one of the only terpenes that is known to decrease hunger.

Most patients use cannabis as a means to combat eating disorders associated with cancer treatment.

Humulene can ease hunger and works just as well as an anti-bacterial.

Original Glue and Death Star are some of the most well-known strains with high levels of terpenes.

The scarcity of humulene means that it is often overpowered by myrcene or limonene in the plant.

Strongest Smelling Cannabis Strains

Finding which strains have the most significant smells leans heavily on personal preference, not facts.

The terpenes in marijuana are what give it the scent and flavor of fruits and flowers.

THC content is the number that most people associate with strong-smelling pot, but that isn’t always the case. 

Some of the strongest smelling strains are:

  • White Widow
  • Sour Diesel
  • Strawberry Cough
  • AK-47
  • Death Star

White Widow

White Widow is one of the most well-known and powerful strains on the planet and is also one of the stinkiest.

It became popular in Dutch coffee shops, and traveling Americans discovered this smoky treat and started a fire in the states that is still burning today.

WW has a happy and euphoric high that doesn’t bring paranoia or anxiousness.

The high myrcene content of White Widow is what gives it such a potent smell.

The lemony scent associated with the plant has a sour undertone that will gas out any small rooms or apartments. 

Sour Diesel

Sour Diesel got its name from the strong smell that is produced when it is burned.

The peppery flavor of the plant paired with the citrus undertones gives it a distinct smell. It is a Sativa that has relaxing qualities and is excellent for stress. 

Caryophyllene gives Sour D its strong gassy smell that gave it the diesel moniker.

These peppery flavored terpenes are paired nicely with the limonene and myrcene to create a smoke that is foggy and rank with delicious smells.

Strawberry Cough

One of the most potent smelling plants is Strawberry Cough. It has a strong scent of strawberries and fruit, attributed to its high levels of myrcene.

It produces an energizing effect and is in the normal range for THC potency. 

SC is a real proponent of medical marijuana strains because there is more upside to the terpenes than the actual THC content.

Using the terpenes to diagnose ailments is rooted more in medication than just sending out for the most potent strain they have. 


Another biggie in the medical cannabis field is the AK-47. It has an intense myrcene concentration while having a less average than standard THC content.

AK should be used to treat stress and is exceptional for creativity. 

Myrcene plants will always have a harsher smell than others because there is a more significant concentration in the plant.

AK-47 causes some pretty severe cottonmouth and should be used as prescribed for the best results. 

Death Star

A hybrid of Sour Diesel and Sensi Star, Death Star is a potent plant with more THC than the average strain.

It produces a calming effect, with only a small amount of plant material burned. So, you can save more by smoking less!

Sour Diesel and its offspring Death Star have potent caryophyllene terpenes that produce a peppery or spicy taste.

The myrcene levels are just high enough to get a citrus taste from the plant before its heavy genetics fogs it out. 


The main reason that your sack of ganja has such a potent smell is because of terpenes.

Terpenes evolved to protect the plant from predators and are found in most fruits and flowers worldwide.

These terpenes give cannabis flavor as well, like lemon, orange, and pepper.

Medical cannabis is used for treating ailments, whereas recreation dictates that the strongest is the best.

If you are using pot to reduce symptoms of any kind, take the dosages and doctor recommendations seriously. 

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