Can You Get High from Smelling Weed?

by Sean Cooley
can you get high from smelling weed

Adult use of cannabis has significantly increased in the United States after its legalization across many States. It has effectively opened up a new market where growers, retailers, and even dispensaries are coming up to cater to the needs of cannabis users. Unfortunately, some retailers are expensive in the pricing of cannabis products. Some recreational users spend up to $2500 despite the average affordable outlets being less than $700 yearly. It has moved some to look into innovative ways to save a few bucks, leading to the common question of whether one can get high from smelling weed from another person.

Cannabis in Its Natural State

Grown cannabis in its natural state has a strong smell, which leads many to wonder if they can get high just from smelling the plant. However, cannabis plants alone cannot make people high. The THC needed to produce a high must be heat-activated before feeling the effects. If any, the effects that arise from the cannabis plant in its natural state are due to the medicinal Terpene properties that can have a calming and relaxing (though not intoxicating) effect. Myrcene, the most famous terpene, gives cannabis its strong herbal odor but is also an effective muscle relaxant and sedative.

Cannabis Smoke

So can cannabis get a person high from smelling it? In its natural state, the short answer is no. It is possible, however, to get high from secondhand smoking when someone next to you smokes weed, and you partially experience the passive effects.

Extent of effect from secondhand smoke will vary from person to person, and results are subjective. Contact high for many can be perceptual, even to the extent of mirroring moods and behavior of the primary smoker. For those with a history of smoking cannabis, secondhand smoke may trigger sensory memories of past experiences with the plant.

Poorly ventilated rooms without purifiers and fans can also make the effects of smoked weed higher. It’s relatively common in cars since smoking cannabis in public is illegal, and many who smoke in cars close the windows, making for minimal airflow. However, it’s unlikely to get high in apartments where cannabis smoking is hours prior, even with the lingering musty smell.

Drug Tests

Numerous studies have concluded that secondhand smoke exposure, even without direct inhalation of cannabis, can result in a positive drug test. The results heavily depend on the duration of exposure and the amount of cannabis exposed to airflow. The great news is that if weed smoked has no THC when taking the oral fluid test, which primarily tests THC traces in the system, the results will likely be negative. A test that detects other cannabinoids such as CBD and others will test positive. Most urine tests only detect THC after it has been metabolized in the body. So if you’re consuming a non-THC cannabis product, the test will be negative.


Now that we know you can’t get high from smelling the cannabis plant on its own, noting the effects of secondhand smoke is vital. When seeking to reap the benefits of smoking weed, avoid smelling weed from others and consider affordable cannabis from a reputable dealer. 

There are numerous weed flavors in the market manufactured to satisfy personal tastes. Start by tasting small amounts to help narrow the most likable. In addition, users should prioritize using the most enjoyable method of consuming weed instead of getting a secondhand weed smell that does not encompass all benefits.

High-quality cannabis is just a click away! Head over to the Grassdoor menu to find the verified product that’s right for you.

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