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Just like any other form of vegetation, weed can quickly turn bad, and this is usually characterized by a bad smell that has been charmingly compared to cat pee.
But why exactly is this, and what can be done to avoid weed turning bad?
What Should Weed Smell Like?
This is probably the first thing that is worth establishing, especially for those who have limited experience with weed.
Generally speaking, weed should smell almost ‘skunky’ in aroma, although this can vary depending on the specific strain – with other notable odors consisting of more earthy, woody, musky, and pine-like aromas.
What Makes Weed Smell Like Cat Pee?
So with this in mind, let us now examine what exactly can make weed smell bad – or as people specifically describe, like cat pee.
There are a few reasons for this, and with proper care each one is avoidable to some extent.
Poor Curing & Drying
This is one of the main reasons why certain batches of weed can wind up smelling like cat pee, and it is the sign of an irresponsible and clumsy series of steps during the development process.
The whole purpose of the cannabis curing and drying process is to allow the weed to lose moisture in a controlled environment.
The buds of the marijuana plant need to retain a little bit of moisture to keep their pleasant smell and flavor, but if you hasten the process, not only can the weed lose too much moisture, but it can also accentuate any weird smells that might already be subtly present within the strain.
Sometimes, the curing process might also have been undertaken too early, which can be another reason for the weed smelling like cat pee.
When you are dealing with the wetness of weed, it is important to act fast, and failure to do so can result in unpleasant flavors, poor product, or any number of other bad side effects.
The weed could have also been stored improperly during the various stages of the production.
It could have been left too moist, could have been exposed to different chemicals – such as pesticides etc – or differing weather conditions that had an adverse effect on the finished product.
This is true of sunlight, and if the weed was left in direct sunlight for extended periods of time, then it could taint the smell and taste of the end product.
The same can be said for the conditions under which the weed was grown in the first place. If the equipment and ingredients were not up to task, then the overall quality of the weed would be lower when it comes to smoking or consuming the cannabis.
Mold & The Presence Of Ammonia
One of the main causes of bad smelling weed is the buildup of ammonia caused by mold. This tends to occur when the weed has been improperly stored during the production process, and moisture has been allowed to get into the packaging.
Alternatively, the moisture could be due to improper drying and curing, meaning that the weed remained too wet, and allowed mold and ammonia to progress.
Either way, one of the most probable causes of the cat pee smell is ammonia – an active ingredient in urine of all creatures, and the source of the sharp, harsh smell we associate with it.
The Peculiar Power Of Terpenes
It could also be down to the particular terpenes within the weed. These are particular compounds found in all strains and varieties of weed, and they are responsible for the specific smells that each strain has.
However, sometimes these smells can blend unpleasantly – usually if the person growing the plants in the first place is not as versed in what terpenes are present.
This can result in some unpleasant odors once the final product is processed and packaged.
This is something known as the ‘entourage effect’, wherein terpenes meld together, combining their smells into something new entirely.
As you can imagine, this is something of a lottery, and the outcome is not always something desirable.
The Particular Strain Of Weed
It could also just be the smell and flavor of the particular strain of exotic weed.
There are many different kinds of weed, all of them different flavors, strengths, and varieties – and just like with tobacco and other products, the taste and smell is not always going to be to your liking, nor will it always taste what you consider to be a conventional smell for said product.
However, if you have had the strain in question on a regular basis, and the smell has noticeably changed, then it could be one of the other reasons on this list.
Is It Possible To Salvage Bad Smelling Weed?
Generally speaking, once your weed has reached the point of smelling like ammonia, the damage has already been done. However, this does technically depend on the exact reason for the smell.
If the smell in question is caused by improper curing or drying, then there is not a lot you can do to solve this.
Usually by this point the problem is unsolvable, and you will either have to deal with bad smelling weed that is a little harsher than you’re used to, or cut your losses and dispose of it.
If the smell of the weed is purely down to the particular strain of the weed, or indeed the combination of the terpenes, then maybe chalk it up to a lesson, and be sure to buy something different in the future.
However, if the weed is tainted with mold, then you should not ingest the weed in any way, shape, or form.
Ingesting weed that has mold in it can lead to numerous health problems, and you never really know what bacteria might be lurking in the mold itself.
This could lead to respiratory problems, infections, and other unpleasant situations that you do not want to experience.
What Are The Best Ways To Ensure Good Weed?
Luckily, there are some steps you can take to ensure you are getting the best quality weed possible.
While these are never a guarantee, they do stand you in good stead against being ripped off with some bad weed, and against making foolish decisions when it comes to the purchasing and storage of the product.
Buy From Registered Sellers
Firstly, you should only ever buy your weed from registered sellers. In most states in the US, weed is becoming more and more commonplace, with state after state legalizing the drug in one way or another.
With this has come a plethora of reputable businesses and weed shops that can sell you top class weed from registered, legal growers.
The same goes with anything: buy from the proper source, and you will receive the proper product you are looking for.
Be Sure To Store Properly
When you get the weed, you also need to make sure that you store the weed properly in your home.
This means that it should be kept in a sealed container or bag – preferably airtight – and away from direct sunlight. Ideally, you should keep it in a cool, dry drawer or cupboard, where no heat or light are going to be a risk.
Additionally, you also want to keep the weed pure from other chemicals that might be in the home, such as deodorants, colognes, hair products, and any other common household chemicals.
If the particular strain you purchased smells like cat pee – and this is a natural attribute of the strain – then you need to take this on board, do your research, and invest your money more wisely in the future.
There is plenty of choice in legalized weed stores, and while this can be confusing, the best way to know the truth is to ask advice from the sellers, and see what they would recommend.
Consume Marijuana Differently
Alternatively, you could not smoke weed at all. This could either mean abstinence, or it could mean switching to other products like edibles, gummies, and vapes.
These are free of the smell associated with smoking weed, and you completely avoid the risk of it going bad and smelling like cat pee in the future.
What’s more, there is a wealth of products to choose from and enjoy!
And there we have it, everything you need to know about weed, and why it might smell like cat pee.
There are numerous reasons for bad smelling weed, ranging from storage conditions, bad growing conditions, or even the environment you live in.
However, forewarned is forearmed, and with this knowledge you too can avoid bad smelling weed, and keep your stash smelling fresh and appetizing.
So, if you are looking to protect your weed, and stop it from smelling like cat pee, then why not give some of these techniques a try?
I’m an avid gardener and cannabis enthusiast. You can usually find me in my garden caring for my plants or at my computer crafting helpful blogs for my readers.