Wednesday, March 24, 2021

What's responsible for the skunky smell of cannabis?

Skunky beer and cannabis culprit?
Via a Google search, this news from a press release: 

A research team comprised of Byers Scientific, Iowa State University and Texas-based odor experts report isolation and identification of the volatile chemical which appears to be primarily responsible for the downwind skunky-like environmental odor complaints which have been commonly reported for commercial cannabis and industrial hemp growing operations.

By employing a triangulation approach of analytical chemistry (i.e., SPME fiber, Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry and GC-Olfactometry analysis), leaf enclosure study and field observation, the team of researchers were able to isolate, identify, measure and ultimately conclude that the compound 3-methyl-2-butene-1-thiol (i.e., 321 MBT), is the primary source of the traditionally objectionable odor of cannabis.

The compound is also the same odorous volatile chemical which has previously been reported to carry responsibility for the skunky-like aroma and flavor defect in light-struck beer...

 Will be interesting to see if cannabis breeders will select to remove the skunky aspect of pot? 


  1. That is one reason I have never done pot. Smells too much like skunk and/or DTT which I smelled way too often in grad school.

  2. Obviously a more nefarious use of this info would be the purposeful adulteration to produce ersatz "dank"


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