The smell of cannabis can be a blessing or a curse depending on who you ask. For some people, it is a pleasant and relaxing aroma that signals the presence of a beneficial plant. For others, it’s an unpleasant odor that invades their space and affects their quality of life. 

A 2019 survey revealed that more than half of Americans don’t like the smell of cannabis or marijuana. This can create problems for cannabis growers and processors who need to comply with local regulations and avoid cannabis odor complaints from nearby residents. In some states where growing cannabis plants is legal, homeowners have actually sued cannabis cultivation facilities over the odor issue. To say, as a grower, you need an effective odor mitigation system to protect your business and your reputation, would be an understatement.

👉Also read: Using High-Pressure Water Fog in a Controlled Environment for Plant Cultivation

Understanding Cannabis Odors

Cannabis plants have a distinctive, pungent smell which is mainly produced by a group of chemicals called volatile organic compounds (VOCs) – these are substances that can easily evaporate into the air. VOCs are naturally emitted by many plants and animals, as well as by human activities such as cooking, painting, or driving. Some VOCs can have pleasant aromas, such as those found in flowers, fruits, or spices. Others can have unpleasant or harmful effects, such as those found in gasoline, paint thinner, or cigarette smoke.

One type of VOCs that is particularly abundant in cannabis plants is terpenes, which are organic molecules that give plants their characteristic scents and flavors. Terpenes are responsible for the citrusy, piney, or spicy notes present in different cannabis strains.

Researchers have recently discovered another type of VOCs associated with that distinct cannabis odor: volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs). These are organic molecules that contain sulfur atoms. VSCs are often responsible for the skunky, garlic-like, or rotten egg-like smells that some cannabis strains can have.

Both terpenes and VSCs are biogenic VOCs (BVOCs), which means they are naturally produced by living organisms. Depending on their concentration, composition, and interaction with other substances in the air, some BVOCs can act as antioxidants or anti-inflammatory agents, while others can cause irritation, inflammation, or allergic reactions.

The Need for Cannabis Odor Control Systems

odor control system

When some of these BVOCs in cannabis aroma come into contact with dust, smoke, or pollution, they can create particulate matter (PM) or smog. PM is a mixture of liquid and solid particles that can enter the lungs and result in coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest pain, or headaches. Smog is a brownish haze that reduces visibility and can cause eye irritation, throat irritation, or asthma attacks.

Prolonged exposure to either PM or smog can result in severe health issues related to the respiratory system, the cardiovascular system, or the nervous system.

Researchers have also found that BVOCs inside greenhouses can react with sunlight as well as other pollutants to create ground-level ozone (which is extremely harmful to breathe) when released into the environment.

So, if you’re a cannabis facility owner, there are several reasons why you need to invest in a proven odor-regulating technology:

It will help you avoid legal penalties and fines.

Every year, more and more cities are legalizing the use of marijuana, but their odor is still regulated by most government bodies which is amazing since many cities smell like urine but this is another topic. If you don’t have an effective way to keep the “fragrance” of your cannabis operations under control, you may be violating the law and risking your license and your livelihood.

It will help you maintain good relations with your community.

Cannabis odor can be a source of discomfort or even health problems for the people who live near your facility. By being more mindful about their comfort and utilizing an odor suppression technology, you can reduce your odor impact and let your neighbors know that you care about their well-being.

It will protect your product quality and profitability.

That pungent odor is not only a nuisance, but also a sign of valuable compounds that are being lost to the air. These compounds, such as terpenes and cannabinoids, are responsible for the flavor, aroma, and potency of your cannabis products. Without an aroma control system in place to preserve these compounds, you are compromising the quality of your produce.

It will enhance your workers’ health and safety.

As we discussed earlier, the harmful chemicals in cannabis odor can wreak havoc on one’s health in a variety of ways. Prolonged exposure to any kind of strong smell is bad, but when it comes to cannabis odors, it can result in headaches, dizziness, and respiratory irritation. By using a cannabis odor suppression system, you can improve the indoor air quality in your building, and create a more comfortable and healthier environment for your employees.

👉Also read: The Benefits of Having a Commercial Humidification System

How A High-Pressure Fog System Can Help You Control Cannabis Odor

At MicroCool, we have the perfect solution for you: our high-pressure water fogging system.

It consists of three main components: a pump module, a distribution line, and a series of nozzles. The pump module pressurizes the water to 1000 psi and sends it to the distribution line, which runs along the perimeter of the facility or the exhaust ducts. The nozzles atomize the water into fine droplets, about 10 microns in diameter, which create a uniform and consistent mist that covers the specified area.

The water droplets attach to odor molecules in the air, which weighs them down, and prevents odors from escaping into the surrounding environment. The MicroCool system is automatically controlled, using sensors or timers. You can also integrate it with other odor mitigation methods in your greenhouse, such as air filtration systems, to achieve optimal results.

In addition to cannabis odor control, MicroCool’s high-pressure fogging system also offers the following benefits:

  • Cooling: Lower the temperature of your greenhouse and make it more comfortable for your workers
  • Humidification: Prevent dryness and dehydration
  • Dust suppression: Reduce the amount of dust and dirt in the air, improving the indoor hygiene
  • Pest control: Deter pests and insects from invading your facility and reduce the need for chemical-laden pesticides

The best part is, you can customize the size and design of your MicroCool system to fit your facility’s layout and needs. Depending on the odor type and level emanating from your cannabis crops, you can adjust the amount, frequency, and timing of the mist for maximum control.

To learn more about MicroCool’s offerings to control cannabis odors, please call us at 760-322-1111 or 800-322-4364. You can also contact us online or drop us an email at fog@microcool.com.