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How to Get Rid of Cannabis Smell and Smoke Odor in Your Car

Thursday March 5, 2020

However tempted you may be to consume cannabis in your car, it’s important to remember that doing so in your vehicle is illegal. But, let’s assume that you’ve simply gone out to the car take a couple of puffs out of your little niece or nephew’s sight (and won’t be driving any time soon), or you’ve left some unused stash in your car, giving it that oh-so-familiar dank smell.

There are a few ways you can get the smell of cannabis and smoke odor out of your car, and most of them don’t require any special materials or a lot of money. It goes without saying that the easiest way to keep your car from smelling like cannabis is to store it in air-tight containers for transportation and consume it elsewhere, or, weather allowing, consume with the windows down, and leave them open for a while afterward to get the fresh air circulating.

Here are a few other things to try to get cannabis smell and smoke odor out of your car.

Masking Fragrances

There are a lot of options in this category, some more effective than others when it comes to getting rid of marijuana smell. Masking fragrances are strong scents that temporarily cover other odors. Febreze is a masking agent, as are colognes, incense, and body sprays. You can even make your own masking fragrance utilizing essential oils, water, and a spray bottle.

Most masking fragrances only last about 4-6 hours and will need to be regularly reapplied in order to cover the smell. So, if your mom wants a ride or if you have an encounter with law enforcement, you will want to try something more long-lasting, or something to help get rid of the smell rather than just cover it.

Odor Absorbers

Activated charcoal is a very effective odor absorber and works well to eliminate pet odors, cooking odors, garbage, and yes, the smell of cannabis. The carbon in charcoal (carbon filters are frequently used at dispensaries to keep odor to a minimum) has a negative charge, which attracts dissolved gases and toxins to its surface.

The charcoal itself has no smell and is non-toxic. In addition to keeping your car free from odors, it prevents mold and bacteria build-up, and removes allergens plus harmful pollutants, a bonus if you’re lighting up in your car. Odor absorbers like activated charcoal are also very eco-friendly and cost-effective, another bonus.

Speaking of eco-friendly and cost-effective, you may already have the next odor absorber in your refrigerator. Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, has a long-held reputation as an excellent odor absorber. To use it in your car, sprinkle a fair amount on the seats and carpet – wait for 10-15 minutes – and then vacuum up. Another option would be to place a bowl of baking soda in your car overnight.

Other odor absorbers that have stood the test of time are white vinegar and vodka. To get the smell of weed from your car using these ingredients, there are a couple of options: you could pour a cup of one or the other into a container and leave in your car overnight. Or you could mix one cup of each with one cup of water, add to a spray bottle, and spray down porous surfaces.

Odor Eliminators

If you have some time to treat your car for cannabis odor and then wait a day, the industrial strength Ozium Air Sanitizer could be for you. By utilizing potent chemicals like triethylene glycol and propylene glycol, Ozium attaches to airborne bacteria, thereby reducing odors and pollution, and purifying the air. However, it is a very potent chemical concoction, so it is recommended to wait several hours after application before returning to the treated space.

Stash boxes are another great way to eliminate any smell left behind by leaving unconsumed cannabis in your car. By storing it in an odor-proof container like a Stashlogix, specifically designed to carry cannabis products, you can not only keep cannabis stashed away, but under lock and key to ensure the safety of any young passengers. Storing cannabis in mason jars and placing them in the trunk is another simple hack to help keep your car cannabis-odor free.

Do you have any tips for keeping your car smell fresh and clean from cannabis smell or smoke odor? Share your tips, tricks and experiences in the comments below.

Erin Hiatt is a New York City-based writer who has been covering the cannabis industry for more than six years. Her work – which has appeared in Hemp Connoisseur Magazine, PotGuide, Civilized, Vice, Freedom Leaf, MERRY JANE, Alternet, and CannaInvestor – covers a broad range of topics, including cannabis policy and law, CBD, hemp law and applications, science and technology, beauty, and psychedelics.

Smoking cannabis in your car is illegal, however, transporting marijuana in your car is legal (in states with medical or recreational marijuana) if done correctly. Learn how to get rid of cannabis smell and smoke odor from your car with our helpful guide.

What are the best ways to get rid of the smell of cannabis?

Cannabis, as we’re well aware, is a flower. One of the primary functions of flowers is to create terpenes, odoriferous chemicals designed by nature to attract pollinators and ward off predators. These pungent compounds can be one of the best and worst parts of enjoying cannabis. The rich smell of fresh, sticky weed can be as intoxicating as the perfume of a long-lost lover.

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How to get rid of weed smell in your house after smoking

Unfortunately, weed smell can also be a dead giveaway that alerts others to your preferably private ritual. And while cannabis may be consumed for medicinal and adult-use purposes throughout the country, federal prohibition continues to govern public perception, which can still trend negative. If you want to be mindful of your neighbors or simply want your cannabis habits to stay under the radar, respect and privacy can be preserved with a few handy tricks to mask the smell of cannabis on your person or inside your home.

The classic approach: Sai baba, satya, nag champa, agarbatti incense

Nag Champa is an incense commonly burnt in ashrams. The scent is neither masculine or feminine and usually contains a mixture of the following ingredients:

  • Champa flower
  • Benzoin resinoid (Styrax tonkinensis)
  • Henna (Lawsonia inermis)
  • Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)
  • Indian sandalwood (Santalum album)
  • Vanilla
  • Honey

The classic aroma was transplanted in the west at the end of the hippie trail and has remained a welcome scent for practitioners of yoga, meditation, and cannabis consumption. This is more than a great way to get rid the smell of weed; the incense smoke can also pull double duty to visually mask the cannabis smoke if it’s still lingering.

The hippie approach: Patchouli oil

This aromatic oil is a hippie hallmark and doubles as a great way to mask weed smell. Made from the small pink and white flowers of the patchouli plant, this oil is known for its pleasant, lasting scent and supposed antidepressant and aphrodisiac qualities. Certainly makes sense to me: enjoy a doobie, dab some patchouli behind the ears, smell nice, and make love, not war.

The homemaker approach: Febreeze

A household staple for many Americans living with gassy pets and gassier spouses or roommates, Febreeze is a trigger-action odor eliminator. This is not the end-all, be-all of cannabis smell reduction, but for a fresh scent in a pinch, it’s a solid option.

The toilet bowl approach: Matches with the bathroom fan on

One of the sneakier moves to avoid weed smell on the list, the toilet bowl is an act of desperation at its core. You can’t go outside but you can’t consume inside; it’s a risky move no matter how you slice it. But if you must, bring along stick matches (preferably) and flip the switch on the fan. The combusting sulfur and wood smoke of the stick matches should cover a hit or two and the fan should take care of the rest.

The smoke eliminator approach: Ozium

Ozium is a classic smoke eliminator that every cannabis enthusiast can use. It’s an air freshener with a vanilla and lemon-type scent that literally grabs smoke out of the air and punches it into another realm. While it won’t completely mask the scent, it’s a great base for all of the scents you’re about to throw into the atmosphere.

The air freshener approach: Black Ice Little Trees Car Freshener

Black Ice is one of the most overwhelming scents known to man (and woman). Like, if someone would’ve had Black Ice on their person in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, they’d have had absolutely no chance of getting close enough to catch Blue—because you can seriously smell it from like, eight miles away.

Grab a pack and place them strategically around the area you need to render nug-smells, and with the help of all your aforementioned other scents, it’s guaranteed to be the knockout punch for any remaining cannabis odors.

The last resort: Burnt popcorn

The smell of burning popcorn could make a house fire just smell like another movie night gone wrong. In my experience, few smells mask other odors better and linger in the air longer than an accidentally burnt bag of microwavable popcorn.

But beware! Respect the very delicate balance between burnt for effect and just burning the hell out of it. While the room may no longer smell of cannabis, the fire alarm is literally the loudest signal of domestic failure known to man, and that’s not the perception cannabis needs, either.

Preventing weed smell before and during smoking

Smoking in the shower

Another bathroom consumption method is to smoke your cannabis while the shower is running. Turn the shower to maximum hotness; creating steam is the primary goal here because the smoke smell will dissipate along with the steam being sucked into your bathroom fan. This is traditionally called a “Hawaiian Hotbox.” For some added cannabis odor-masking, place a towel at the bottom of the door or even use a small spritz of your smell-good shower toiletries to replace the smell.

Airtight containers are not hard to come by

A good Tupperware, mason jar, or, if you’re in a pinch, a Ziploc bag inside another Ziploc bag, can really go the distance. There are also other vacuum-sealed containers on the market, like OXO food storage containers, that will work extremely well for storing your pungent cannabis. If you can, get a UV protective airtight container and keep all cannabis plant matter out of both direct and indirect sunlight to preserve its quality over time.

Paper towel or toilet paper roll + rubber band + dryer sheet

It’s that simple—get a toilet paper or paper towel roll, place a fabric softener sheet at the end, and strap it to the roll with a rubber band. The idea is to fill the volume of the roll, so exhale slowly as not to shoot the smoke directly out the other end. Know that cannabis smoke will escape either way, but if done correctly, much of the odor will be diffused.

Buy a smoke filter

Manufactured smoke filters are starting to hit the market. You can try Sploofy—this portable carbon filter is an excellent choice for travelers and cannabis consumers that need to conceal their presence. The Sploofy’s replaceable filter system and nearly magical ability to swallow up enormous clouds of smoke make for potent camouflage on the go or in the home.

Use a vape pen

A vape pen might not completely eliminate the smell of weed, but smoking with a vaporizer will significantly diminish any odors associated with smoking. A decent vape pen is a slightly more substantial investment than an air freshener or popcorn, but it is a more permanent solution to the challenge of minimizing the smell of weed wherever you happen to smoke.

  • There are plenty of vape pens and vaporizer products available online with options available at multiple price points appropriate for a variety of budgets.
  • Vape pens allow you to smoke wherever you want without having to fill the room with air fresheners, turn on all the fans in your house, or burn a perfectly good bag of microwave popcorn that, frankly, never did anything to deserve it.
  • Vape pens aren’t exactly as simple as smoking a joint. Learning to use a vape pen properly means making note of things like your preferred temperature setting and ensuring the battery stays charged and ready for use. Cannabis oil cartridges for vape pens also tend to be more expensive than flower.

How to get rid of weed smell in your hair and on your body

If you don’t want your house or apartment to smell like weed, odds are that you don’t want your breath, hair, or body to smell like cannabis either. Fortunately, there are plenty of products available at just about every grocery store to help mask the smell. When it comes to breath, your best options are a pungent chewing gum, possibly something mint-flavored. Alternatively, you can freshen up that breath by brushing your teeth or gargling some mouthwash. Perfume, cologne, and body spray are excellent options, but it’s important to remember that when it comes to both options, a little goes a long way.

This article was initially published on March 14, 2017. It was most recently updated on March 17, 2020.

What are your go-to weed smell camo techniques? We’ll try out the best suggestions and highlight them in a follow-up!

If you want to be mindful of your neighbors or keep your cannabis habits under the radar, try these tricks to mask the smell inside your home.