Friday April 17, 2020
By Paul Barach
You can imagine the commercial now for odorless weed: “Has this ever happened to you?” asks the narrator in their knowing tone. In black and white you see the countless methods that innovative stoners have come up with over the years for concealing that distinctive smell of pot. One lights a stick of incense but that classic technique just makes them cough and wave their hand across their face. Another takes a hit off their pipe and blows it out an open window where a box fan is running, only to have their neighbors walking by outside glare at them. A third fumbles wildly as they try to rubber band a dryer sheet to a cardboard toilet paper tube for a sploof while their partner rolls their eyes impatiently. A fourth drops their glass jar of weed trying to get it open and it shatters at their feet, the buds now covered in shards.
Each one turns to the camera with a resigned shrug, fed up with their struggle to conceal that dank, unmistakable smell of cannabis. There has to be a better way! “Well, now there is!” the announcer would crow triumphantly, “with new, odorless marijuana!”
Is Odorless Marijuana the Next Trend?
While recreational cannabis has a long way to go before we see the first commercials for cannabis in any form, odorless weed is indeed coming soon. At least, according to the Canadian startup CannabCo Pharmaceutical Corporation it is. The Ontario-based company has partnered with an as-yet-unnamed tech company to create Purecann, a new strain of marijuana that supposedly doesn’t raise a dank, skunky stank whether it’s a fresh leafy bud or a dense cloud of smoke.
The CEO of CannabCo, Mark Pellicane, believes the new technology will transform a consumer’s experience with weed. According to a press release.
“Imagine someone going outside for a break during the day, having their afternoon cannabis and coming back without any odor attached to their clothing or coat...A woman can carry cannabis in her purse without having the odor concentrated or leaking out in her handbag...A number of users, and people that are around cannabis smokers, complain about the smell especially in enclosed areas, condos, and apartments, and this technology addresses those concerns."
Stated Benefits of Odorless Weed:
- Virtually undetectable odor of dry product during storage
- Greatly reduced cannabis odor (virtually undetectable) during combustion
- Reduces harshness resulting in a very smooth smoke on combustion
- May be used to produce a "connoisseur" product for a unique market segment
- Less residual heavy feeling "day after effect" associated with smoking cannabis
According to the same press release, the benefits of odorless marijuana don’t stop with non-dankened purses and happier partners/landlords in your living arrangement (see above). But how does this all work? Let’s take a closer look into what the process of creating odorless bud might entail.
How Does Odorless Marijuana Work?
While the technology is still proprietary and thus a closely held secret, we can assume that the basics involve removing or otherwise altering the terpenes in the flower. This may indeed lower the intensity of the perfumes wafting off the buds or lingering in the smoke. However, as many in the cannabis industry and culture are asking, how does that affect the overall experience?
As many marijuana consumers well know, terpenes play an irreplaceable and necessary part in how cannabinoids interact with the brain. Specific terpenes such as linalool, humulene, and pinene are known to cause specific effects in their consumer. Combinations of these terpenes with the cannabinoids – known as the entourage effect – are what gives weed its unique effects both recreationally and as medicine. Removing or otherwise altering the terpene profile may make the weed smell less noticeable in a room or on your clothes, but it will also make it less effective in your body, which is the main point of consuming cannabis for most people.
Also, while odorless weed may have little to no smell as a fresh bud, it’s hard to imagine that one can erase entirely the smell of anything that’s burning. Smoke has a way of being noticed and it’s not just terpenes contained in that cloud of burnt carbon. However Purecann’s CEO imagines it, once you step inside after a quick toke break, you’ll still need to cover or explain away the smell of burnt plant matter. Right?
What’s Next for Marijuana Products
While the future of weed remains ever changing, one can’t help but wonder just how big an impact odorless weed will make. A less harsh lungful of smoke is definitely a selling point for beginners, but it’s not as though that issue lasts for long with most pot smokers. Similarly, a dank aroma on your clothes, in your pockets, or on the street may retain some social stigma, but it really all depends on where you are or where you’re working.
If you’re using it medicinally in a workplace that is harsher on cannabis use, Purecann could be one option. However, if you’re using marijuana as medicine, you’re most likely going to require its full terpene profile for full effect. Similarly, if you’re a recreational user stealth smoking at your place of business or a social function while you’re not supposed to be, Purecann could be part of your arsenal. However, you’ve also probably figured out plenty of ways to cover that smell by now without sacrificing the full flavor or effects. Edibles are always an option and a dry herb vape will allow you to experience the full cannabinoid and terpene profile of your flower without the odor as well.
With any new type of product on the market, there will be companies trying to innovate and carve out a niche for themselves. If Purecann is indeed able to produce an odorless bud that is less harsh on the throat and free of the “weed hangover” that some consumers experience the next day – and all without any loss of quality, taste, or effect – then they will most likely find a wide opening in the cannabis market to grow into. However, if Purecann can’t find a way to match the taste and effects of dank weed, consumers will probably stay away. All the good stuff is in that odor.
What are your thoughts on an odorless cannabis product coming to market? Does it appeal to you? Why or why not? Share your comments and discuss with others in the comment below.