Vaporizers & Vaping

Does Vaping Smell?: The True Answer

Gabi Antunes

Jul 24, 2019

Smelling cannabis is a common concern for many consumers. Whether they don’t want to be a nuisance, or simply want to keep their consumption private, avoiding the telltale smell is a valid concern for many consumers. Considering how no spray in the world can fully cover that unmistakable scent, searching for ways to avoid the odor is certainly a common question. Could vaporizing cannabis be the answer?

Why are folks so worried about the smell of cannabis?

The smell of cannabis is unmistakable and pungent. Where cannabis is legal, many consumers still seek to minimize the odor or avoid it altogether. While everyone has their own reasons, some of the most common rationale include:

  • Discretion- The distinct smell of cannabis really can’t be masked or explained away. Minimizing this smell is an important factor for those who want to consume in private.
  • Respect for others- Smells don’t just impact the consumer – they impact everyone else around when consuming in permitted areas. You may live with other adults that are irritated by or sensitive to strong odors, leaving you looking for options that can reduce the intensity of the aroma produced by consuming cannabis.
  • Preference- Many people simply don’t enjoy the smell of cannabis, even if they want the experience of consuming it. For those consumers, consumption has historically presented an issue: how can they possibly avoid that unwanted odor?

Smells from cannabis consumption can be minimized. Vaporizers offer a way to consume while producing less odor. Why does vaping cannabis result in a less intense smell? It’s all about the difference between smoke and vapor.

What’s the difference between smoke and vapor?

The major distinction between smoking and vaping cannabis lies with a single word: combustion.

Combustion is the scientific term for burning a material. When burning cannabis material by setting it aflame, byproducts are created that go up into the air as smoke. It’s these byproducts that create smoke and intensify a lingering and unpleasant odor, in addition to the unique smell of cannabis.

Vaporizing skips combustion altogether. Dry herb vaporizers use convection heating or conduction heating, depending on the model, to gently heat the cannabis materials inside. Vape pens work in a similar way, with the battery instantly activating the heating element inside the screw-in cartridge.

It’s also important to note that smoke and vapor don’t linger around in the same way, a key factor for those sensitive to smells or who are concerned about discretion. Smoke results in something called the coating effect, caused by the volatile organic compounds that hang around long after your session has finished. These materials build up in the immediate environment, which makes it harder to get rid of the smell. That means smoke won’t clear out in a hurry. On the other hand, as the name implies, vaporizers create a vapor that doesn’t have the same coating effect. Vapor dissipates quickly after it’s exhaled.

Can vaporizers minimize the smell of cannabis?

At its core, vaping doesn’t produce the same smells as other consumption forms because the process skips combustion. Vape pens and other vaporizers are designed with a battery or power source, which powers a heating element used to heat the materials in the chamber or in the attachable cartridge. As long as your vape pen is tuned to the appropriate temperature, the material won’t combust and therefore won’t create an intense smell.

For all their advantages, vaporizers are not 100 percent smell-proof. It’s quite common to experience some gentle smells as the cannabis materials are being warmed up. However, it won’t cause the same strong smell or lingering odor as materials set aflame. The aroma will be subtle, a lot more pleasant than a harsh whiff of combusted material.

How portable vaporizers and vape pens minimize smell

PAX offers a line of portable vaporizers that can help reduce the smell produced by cannabis consumption. Whether you want to vaporize dry herb material or concentrates, like oils and waxes, PAX vapes are designed for efficiency and ease of use.

The PAX 3 dry herb vaporizer and PAX Era pod system vape pen support dynamic modes through the PAX Mobile app, designed to even further refine the cannabis vaporization experience. One such mode dubbed “stealth mode” is designed to reach the selected temperature and cool down rapidly, reducing odor and the size of the vapor cloud. “Efficiency mode” has a similar effect, with fine-tuned settings designed to preserve the material. While consumers should expect to smell something as the device heats, the smell should not be prominent or overwhelming.

Discretion is a major priority for many consumers and PAX vaporizers deliver, not only in terms of design and vapor production, but also in regard to minimizing odor. Here’s a look at some popular PAX vapes and the features they include that can help you consume without generating unwanted attention and that persistent cannabis smell.