“Is that skunk or weed”?
You’ve probably heard someone ask this when an oddly familiar scent lingers up the nose. More often than not, frequent cannabis users are the ones to clarify if that smell is from a skunk or a potent weed strain.
But have you ever wondered where that smell is coming from and how far away it is? Not like you would track down the source and ask for a hit, but maybe you’re wondering for your own personal reasons.
Although cannabis legalization and decriminalization are quickly taking off worldwide, some people still aren’t too fond of that pungent weed smell.
If you’re looking to stay discreet and keep your consumption habits away from those who disapprove, measuring the distance of how far weed smoke can travel may help you out.
Before we answer this, let’s understand why weed has such distinct aromas.
Trichomes on buds contain aromatic compounds called terpenes. Terpenes are present in natural plants, fruits, and vegetables.
There are over 200 different terpenes within the cannabis plant alone. These are responsible for giving each strain its unique smell and flavor.
The most popular terpenes in cannabis are;
Because strains are so different from each other, the terpene makeup varies. This means that some strains are more aromatic and pungent than others.
Similarly, older weed will be less aromatic than fresh weed. So when it comes to travel distance, fresh terpene-rich cannabis smoke will travel the furthest. On the other hand, older weed with a lower terpene content won’t travel as far.
Photo By afiq fatah
There is no set radius that weed smoke can travel.
This depends on the current weather conditions and the strain you’re smoking. On a cloudy, foggy, stormy, or hazy day, there’s tons of pressure in the air.
This usually keeps things low to the ground, meaning your weed smoke may travel further than on a clear and sunny day. (This is also why cloudy evenings are warmer than clear evenings; clouds keep everything contained).
On cloudy days, weed smoke can travel anywhere from 10 to 25 meters away. By weed smoke, we mean the pungent aroma. The smoke itself dissolves within a matter of seconds and meters, but the aromatic molecules can travel up to 82ft.
Both clear and windy days make it difficult for aromatic molecules to travel. On clear days, the aromas will linger upward to around 10 meters (32ft). When it’s windy, this becomes difficult to measure as wind is unpredictable and travels in different directions.
So, understanding how far the aromatic compounds in cannabis can travel depends on;
Needless to say, if you can see the smoke and it’s all you can smell, it’s probably your neighbor.