HomeChemistryWhy Cannabis smells skunky

Why Cannabis smells skunky

Cannabis have become a more popular medicinal and recreational drug as it has been legalised in more areas recently. Cannabis has a pungent and skunk-like odour that does not please everyone. New research has been published in ACS Omega talks about volatile sulfur compounds, that give Cannabis its skunky aroma. Researchers are hopeful that this new finding will help to explore more about the molecules for new medicinal benefits.

Cannabis produces more than 200 aroma compounds. Previously, researchers have only focused on terpenoids which is a kind of molecule that smells like woody, citrusy or floral. Cannabis has different variants and all of them have diverse aroma compounds. But, terpenoids are the most common aroma compound in cannabis. Researchers are sure of this fact that terpenoids are not responsible for skunk-like smell of Cannabis.

Researchers suspected that their would-be other molecules in cannabis that is responsible for this smell. Scientists used sensitive analytical techniques to know about the other molecules.

Researchers analysed cannabis form various cultivars and used a 2D gas chromatography system which has three different detectors to examine it. Then a team of scientists ranked the pungency od all the cannabis on a scale from 0 to 10. Bacio Gelato was the most pungent one among all the other variants.

Scientists identified total seven molecules. Among these molecules, five of them has prenyl functional group which has skunk-like aroma. Scientists also reported, 3-methyl-2-butene-1-thiol is the most abundant molecule among all other new found molecules. This compound was previously found in “skunked beer”.


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