Ask Your CBD Question:

Does CBD Smell Like Weed?

Let’s get into a popular question that has come up a lot lately: does CBD smell like weed?

Did you know that many people are turned away from marijuana, not because of the psychoactive effects but because of the smell?


Yes, CBD can smell like weed. This is because it comes from the same plant species, and has many of the same terpenes which affect the smell of the plant.

While many people enjoy the smell of weed, even more do not like that distinct smell. All of the different spectrums, like broad spectrum, full spectrum, or even CBD isolates, also make the potential smells even more confusing to think about. CBD Isolate? What does CBD isolate smell like?

New Phase Blends Cbd

For this reason, I want to take time to address the smell of hemp-based CBD, and compare it to the smell of marijuana.

Does CBD Smell Like Weed?

First things first: it is going to be a challenge to write an engaging blog article about certain types of smells. I’ll try my best to describe the smells of some CBD products, so hang with me 🙂

So, does CBD smell like weed or what? Yes, it definitely can. This is due to the fact that both compounds come from the same plant species, and therefore have similar terpenes.

You see, CBD is a cannabinoid located within the cannabis plant family. Hemp and marijuana are almost an identical plant, with the exception of the THC content.

Does Cbd Smell Like Weed

By federal law, hemp must contain less than 0.3% of THC while marijuana can have in excess of 30% or even more. There is no limit for marijuana.

In fact, hemp was illegal for a LONG TIME in the United States. The Farm Bill of 2018 actually decriminalized hemp and hemp-based products, as long as they contained less than 0.3% of THC.

Related article: Undeniable Facts About CBD

You’re probably thinking, “Ok Dale, that’s great, but what does this have to do with the smell?”

Well, since both hemp and marijuana are both essentially the same plant, that means it’s likely their products are going to smell the same. In addition to smelling the same, they will probably even look the same.

Grows of industrial hemp for products looks almost identical to marijuana. Industrial hemp grown for textiles, on the other hand, has extremely long stalks that are very strong.

Does Cbd Smell Like Weed 1

It is extremely common for topical products like creams, lotions, and balms to have an earthy smell to it which may smell like weed. What you are smelling is the residual odor from the cannabis plants.

Extracting CBD From Hemp

In order to make products, you have to pull out the CBD from hemp. This process is known as extraction (read more about CBD extraction here).

There are many different types of extraction of the cannabis plant, but the end result always results in a hemp extract that is rich of phytocannabinoids.

Related article: Marijuana vs Hemp

You are left with either full spectrum (all cannabinoids), broad spectrum (all cannabinoids except THC), or an isolate (only one specific cannabinoid) after extracting from cannabis plants.

This hemp oil looks very dark, and smells like marijuana extract. Remember, they are basically the same plant. The smell you are noticing is a bunch of different ‘terpenes‘.

Terpenes are scents that plants and insects disperse in an effort to protect themselves from predators or herbivores. The hemp flower, among other parts of cannabis plants, have terpenes in them, too. This is partly why you might notice your CBD smell like weed.

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This oil is a base oil. You then mix this with a carrier oil, like coconut oil, and you then have a real, hemp based product. There is much more to the process than this, but this is the basic method.

This raw hemp oil is then refined a little bit more and turned into what’s called a ‘distillate’.

A distillate is simply a processed and refined version of the distillate oil. Many things are removed, and you’re left with a cannabinoid-rich hemp extract. This extract goes into the products you enjoy.

Depending on the extraction type, and skill level/machines used, the smell of the hemp extract can be controlled. One of many different ways to tell if a topical CBD product is high-quality, is the smell test.

Related article: All About CBD Extraction

Open a container of CBD balm. If the smell is overwhelmingly like marijuana, it’s likely a lesser quality product. Most premium topical CBD products have a mild hemp/weed smell to it, but this smell is normally masked with the use of scents like lavender, for example.

Lavender Scented Cbd Balm

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Premium CBD products, typically, do not have an overwhelming hemp/weed smell to them.

What Does CBD Isolate Smell Like?

CBD isolate is a form of hemp oil extract that is literally pure CBD oil. It typically comes in a white powdery substance.

CBD isolate has no terpenes to give off that familiar smell, so it likely won’t smell anything like weed or hemp. Remember, it’s strictly a CBD isolate, there is nothing else from the cannabis plant in it.

So, what does CBD isolate smell like? The answer is nothing, really. MAYBE a hint of grass, but that’s about it.

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Remember the smell test we spoke about to determine premium products from low quality CBD products? That really plays a huge part in CBD isolate because it shouldn’t smell much like anything at all.

Most people prefer a broad or full spectrum CBD product, but there are people who really love CBD isolate. Epidiolex, the only CBD approved prescription medication, actually uses a CBD isolate as their active ingredient.

Premium CBD Products Won’t Smell Like Weed/Marijuana

The better quality of the CBD oil product, the less it will smell like weed. This usually holds true. Why?

Premium CBD organizations put a LOT of time and effort into making their hemp oil the best. If these companies can sell excellent CBD oils, they will likely attract more and more customers.

When you skimp on production quality, you end up getting what you pay for. Whether it’s bitter tasting CBD gummies, or CBD creams that smell like potent marijuana, there is a symptom for poorly manufactured CBD products.

A lot of companies are trying to hop on the band wagon and sell CBD that isn’t necessarily of good quality. How can you tell the good stuff from the bad stuff? Look for the following:

  • QR codes that link to a third-party certificate of analysis on each product
  • REAL customer reviews (remember, not all reviews will be perfect and that’s OKAY!)
  • Customer service phone numbers
  • Money-back guarantees
Cbd Gummies Qr Code Examples

If you are able to identify all of these on your CBD products, you’re probably in good hands. One more thing: CALL the customer service phone number. Make sure people actually answer and are helpful. Some companies list phone numbers, but never answer them.

Does CBD Oil Smell Bad?

Does CBD oil smell bad? Not really. Although, I suppose it depends on what you think smells bad and what doesn’t.

CBD oil, normally, smells like the flavor of oil that it is. If its a natural flavor, or has no additional flavorings, it might smell a bit like grass.

Related article: Can Truck Drivers Use CBD Oil?

Since this type of hemp oil is within a carrier oil (usually MCT oil), its’ natural smell is covered up a lot.

New Phase Blends sells CBD tinctures in either Natural Mint or Citrus flavors. If you open up one of these CBD tinctures, that is what it smells like.

Cbd Smell Like Weed

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Our flavorings used in the CBD oils are 100% organic, so nothing will be overwhelming. We add just a hint of flavor to make our products nice and tasty 🙂

Conclusion | What Does CBD Oil Smell Like?

I trust you enjoyed this article. Trying to describe smells via writing is harder than I imagined 🙂

CBD topicals might have an earthy, grassy smell to them similar to weed, or marijuana.

Remember, the stronger the weed smell, the poorer the CBD oil product quality.

While the cannabis plant can have a strong smell, we have the technology now days to reduce this smell. If companies are skipping out on the process to remove this smell, they are taking short cuts and that’s not good.

Premium CBD oil companies will spend the time and money to come out with products that smell as little like weed as possible.

What Does Cbd Isolate Smell Like

Tinctures, or CBD drops, are only going to smell like the flavoring they have. The natural flavored oils, or oils that use no flavoring, might have an earthy, grassy smell and taste to them.

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About the Author

Dale Hewett Author

Dale Hewett

Dale is the owner and founder of New Phase Blends. He discovered his passion for CBD use after suffering from injuries sustained while on Active Duty in the US Army. His number one priority is introducing the same CBD products that he himself uses for relief to others who can benefit from them.

Dale holds a Master Degree of Science, and is the inventor of the popular, patent-pending CBD-based sleep aid known as ‘Sleep.’

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