Vaporizers & Vaping

Does Vape Smell?

Gabi Antunes

Jul 30, 2019

Smell is a tell-tale sign of cannabis use. One of the primary appeals of vaporizers is their discretion, so it makes sense that many consumers want to know if vaping produces the same unmistakable scent. PAX vaporizers, for example, may be designed for use with both dry herb and cannabis concentrate material, but does vaping minimize the smell? To better understand the answer, we need to dive into the causes of those aromas in the first place.

Does it smell?

Before vaporizing your material, it might already have a distinct odor. Mostly, this depends on what type of material you are using. Dry herb will have a different scent than concentrates, like oil and wax. No matter which type of cannabis you are vaporizing, it is likely to have a detectable aroma. The odor of un-vaporized material will be highly localized, varying in intensity based on the specific material but never traveling very far beyond the material itself.

But what about during and after vaporization? If you vape in an enclosed space, where vaping is permitted, are you going to be doomed to sit in the stench for hours to come? The answer is no. Although vaping your material will likely result in a subtle scent, it will quickly dissipate after your session.

Why does vaporizing produce little smell?

Vaping doesn’t produce the same kinds of smells as other forms of consumption, nor do the aromas linger after use. However, you should expect some light smells while your vape is initially warming your material. Moreover, the aromas produced by vaping will be lighter and true to the nature of your cannabis material, rather than a harsh, intense smell like that produced by smoke.

Vaping does produce an aroma, but it does not linger like the smell of smoke. Where there is smoke, there is incomplete combustion, meaning there is not enough oxygen to burn the material. Smoke is made up of leftover particles known as volatile organic compounds. These compounds are evaporating hydrocarbons broken down into water and carbon dioxide; these are not necessarily compounds found in the original material. Smoke is dense and sticky, causing a “coating effect” that clings to many materials and leaves a persistent smell that is hard to get out. For example, if you were to light a campfire indoors, it would be extremely difficult to get the smell out of clothes, furniture, and carpets.

Vapor, on the other hand, is simply the same material you loaded into your device, just turned into its gaseous form. Unlike smoke, the compounds in vaporized material are precisely the same as those found in the material prior to vaporization. Vapor is also much lighter and dissipates quickly, without the coating effect of smoke. Consider a pot of boiling water in contrast to the campfire; there might be a light aroma as the water boils, but once the heat source is cut off the vapor will dissipate, and no distinct smell remains.

How to minimize a vaporizer’s cannabis smell

While vaporizing cannabis materials reduces smell compared with combustion, you may still want to reduce the subtle aromas produced by your dry herb or concentrate materials. PAX portable vaporizers offer features that can influence smell during your sessions. For example, both the PAX 3 and PAX Era include five dynamic modes, accessible through the use of the PAX Mobile smartphone application. One dynamic mode, the “stealth mode,” is useful for rapid cooldown after usage, reducing vapor production and the associated odor. Another mode, the “efficiency mode,” offers fine-tuned settings designed to preserve material, similarly controlling smell.

Vapor smell can also be minimized by air fresheners and candles, unlike the smells left behind by partially combusted material. Another approach could be to spray air freshener or light a wick to minimize odor further.

If you’re looking for a portable vaporizer that emphasizes discretion and efficiency, a portable vaporizer from PAX is the right fit for you. Here’s a look at some of the most popular PAX vapes on the market today, which include all the features you need for a rewarding session that doesn’t cause a big stink.