Does THC-O Smell Like Weed?

by Kat Austin August 16, 2022 4 min read

Does THC-O Smell Like Weed? - Vida Optima™

Hemp-derived THC products like THC-O are legal, but many consumers still prefer to keep things discreet. The question is–does THC-O smell like weed? Not really, but certain product formulas may smell more like cannabis than others.

Here's how to choose the products that are most discreet:

Table of Contents
What Does THC-O Smell Like?
Which THC-O Products are Discreet?
The Benefits of Vapes and Terpene Profiling?
Where to Buy THC-O

Key Takeaways

  • Pure THC-O extract has little to no smell.
  • Some products have added terpenes that may produce a strong, weed-like aroma.
  • Terpenes have a therapeutic purpose, so you may not want to forgo them entirely.
  • THC-O edibles, tinctures, and vapes can all be used discreetly.

What Does THC-O Smell Like?

THC-O, in it's purest form, doesn't have much smell at all. This is because of the way it's manufactured.

First, hemp material is processed and carefully refined to create CBD extract. Then, an isomerization process is used to turn CBD into Delta-8. This process involves exposing CBD to an acid to force the CBD molecule to shift its shape.

A model of the THC-O molecule, which is an isomer of Delta-8

Finally, the Delta-8 material is subject to the same isomerization process, which transforms Delta-8 into THC-O. In the end, the resulting extract needs to be carefully refined to remove unwanted compounds, like leftover acids, that could be unsafe.

Because of this involved process, THC-O extract contains almost no plant materials, and therefore carries almost no smell. After all, the smell of weed comes mostly from chlorophyll, which produces a grassy smell, and terpenes, the fragrant compounds found on the cannabis flower.

What are Terpenes?

Terpenes are natural compounds that help give plants their unique aromas.

In the wild, terpenes play the important role of attracting pollinators and repelling pests from plants. For our purposes, however, terpenes are harvested both for their fragrance and potential therapeutic benefits. For example, the terpenes β-caryophyllene and linalool are found in lavender, and are often extracted and used to create lavender essential oil that smells delicious and can promote relaxation.

Some THC-O Products Do Smell Like Weed

Although THC-O extract itself has very little smell, the addition of terpenes and other plant-based compounds can absolutely make THC-O products smell like weed. Generally, chlorophyll won't be added to any THC-O product, so they may all lack the token “grassy” smell of cannabis flower, but terpenes are enough on their own to make any THC product smell like your favorite cannabis strains.

Generally, terpenes are added to THC-O vapes during a process called strain profiling, but you may also find terpenes added to various other products, like tinctures and topicals. Sometimes, the terpene profile maybe overwhelmingly floral, citrusy, or evergreen, meaning your products may smell very fragrant, but not exactly like weed.

Still, the addition of cannabis or hemp-derived terpenes to certain products, especially inhalation products like vapes, will certainly make them much less discreet. That's not to say, though, that you can't find plenty of THC-O dosing options that can be used with discretion. Which brings us to the main point:

Which THC-O Products are Discreet?

Some of the most popular THC-O products to use when discretion is necessary include:


THC-O edibles are the most discreet dosing style on the market because they usually have no weed-like smell and look no different than your favorite candies or snacks. That means you can pop a dose without turning any heads or leaving a scent trail behind.

Note that although edibles seem to be the best choice for users who value discretion, the effects of THC-O edibles may be stronger than other dosing methods. Edibles may also take much longer to take effect and may last longer than other dosing methods by several hours. These are simply additional benefits for some, but may not be ideal for anyone looking for a light, quick, or fast-acting high.


Tinctures are a great middle ground for most consumers because they keep a low smell profile, take effect quickly, and offer a moderate duration of effects. Some tinctures do include terpenes, but the smell won't permeate the air similarly to inhalation methods, so they still won't leave any obvious scent trail.

Vida Optima Elev8 THC-O Vape


We mentioned that many THC-O vapes sometimes contain hemp or cannabis-derived terpenes, so they do smell a bit like weed. However, this is still a much more discreet dosing option compared to fragrant cannabis flower. The vapor from a THC-O vape dissipates much more quickly and typically doesn't leave a lingering smell, meaning you can take a few vape hits and all traces of the smell will generally be gone in an hour.

Vapes are a popular dosing option because they take effect quickly and can be slowly "sipped" to reach the effects you desire. They're also portable and can be used discreetly with a little caution.

The Benefits of Vapes and Terpene Profiling

It's true that vapes are probably a no go if you need a THC-O product that has no smell at all, but for those who can tolerate a light, dissipating scent, vapes have serious benefits compared to other dosing styles. The added benefits of THC-O vapes is all thanks to strain profiling.

By adding terpenes to a vape formula, we can create THC-O vapes that offer a similar therapeutic diversity to traditional cannabis flower. Terpenes allow us to create vape products with specific hybrid, indica, or sativa-leaning effects. That means you can grab one of our Delta-8 + THC-O Vapes to meet your needs, whether you're looking for an uplifting, energetic lift or a relaxing, soothing experience.

Where to Buy THC-O Online?

Although THC-O is legal and available in many stores across the country, hemp industry regulations are inconsistent. In other words, it’s important to pay close attention to the quality of THC-O products before you buy. We recommend buying only from brands who use quality-tested, U.S. grown hemp material, safe extraction methods (like solventless CO2 extraction), and third-party lab testing techniques.

To skip all the footwork and find high-quality hemp-derived THC edibles, vapes, and more that you can buy online, just check out our Elev8 Collection. At Vida Optima, all of our Delta-8-THC products are third-party tested and 100% Farm Bill compliant, meaning they are federally legal in the U.S.

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