Are Grow Tents Smell Proof?

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Brad Smith
Written By Brad Smith

When trying to grow marijuana indoors, it is important to make sure the area you are growing your plants in is odorless. If the smell of the plant is detected outside of the room, there is a risk of revealing your grow location to law enforcement or nosey neighbors.

There are many grow tents on the market today, and while some claim to be “smell proof”, they can’t really be blamed for smelling up your home. In truth, a grow tent will not keep your home from smelling like weed, but it will keep the smell from being as noticeable.

Why grow tents smell?

There are many reasons that a grow tent may not be able to control smells in a house.

  1. The chemical composition of tent material creates a volatile gas that is released into the air when the tent is first opened, which can lead to smelling. There are many ways to combat this that do not require you to purchase expensive odor-eliminating sprays or incense. One way is to rotate your tarp on its side after each use, rather than rolling it up. This will keep the fabric from coming in contact with its own juices and letting off potent odors.
  2. Growing tents can develop a strong odour due to bacteria and fungi growth. The conditions inside the tent lead to an increased risk of mould and bacteria growth, which then produce foul-smelling chemicals that can create a potent smell.
  3. The common grow tent smells like this because of the humidity, which traps odors. The lack of ventilation in the tent leads to an accumulation of moisture and odor. Grow tents tend to smell like moldy cheese due to the combination of moist air and a lack of circulation, which leads to the growth of bacteria and fungi.
  4. The cannabis grow tent smells because the plants are constantly producing their own form of terpenes, which are similar to the same chemicals that come from other flowering plants. These terpenes are found in the aromatic oils of various types of flowers, fruits, vegetables, and spices. This is why some people may have a sensitivity to the smell of certain vegetables, fruits, or spices.
  5. Grow tents smell due to the combination of factors that lead to poor air quality. These factors include carbon dioxide, humidity, and volatile organic compounds (VOC). Carbon dioxide is emitted by the plant life inside the grow tent which leads to increased oxygen concentration, thus creating an environment that can be toxic. VOC’s are emitted by the plants themselves due to their natural growth processes which leads to an increase in humidity levels in the air.

What increases the smell of a grow room?

marijuana odor

Every grower knows the smell of a cannabis garden. It is a mix of flowers, dry grass, chlorophyll, and plant life. There are many factors that affect the scent of your plants. Some of these include cleanliness, humidity levels, type of plants, size of grow area, and ventilation.

The smell of a grow room can be irritating because it smells like a mixture of mold, chemicals, and weed. The smell is often caused by breaking down the chlorophyll in plants, which releases a chemical called trans-2-nonenal. However, there are many things that can produce this same smell. Some common examples include vinegar (acetic acid), wine (ethanol), nail polish remover (acetone), or paint thinner (xylene).

How to deal with odor in grow tents?

The following are some strategies to help reduce the level of odor in grow tents.

Exhaust system and humidifiers

exhaust fan

Odor control is an important aspect of grow tent management. There are a variety of options available for odor control, including exhaust systems and humidifiers. A humidifier can be used to increase the moisture output in the air, which reduces the potential for mold growth. Humidity levels should always be higher than 50%. Similarly, an exhaust system can be used to remove excess heat and harmful odors from the grow environment.

Carbon filters

Carbon filters are devices that are designed to remove odors from the air. Carbon filters are often used in grow tents, greenhouses, and other confined spaces that produce stinky smells. Carbon filters work by attracting any gases that have an odor and then absorbing them into a solid material (usually activated charcoal). The activated charcoal then traps the odor molecules and prevents them from becoming part of the air. They also can capture gases like formaldehyde, ammonia, and nitrogen oxide.

good carbon filter for fresh air in grow space

Carbon filter with inline fans

In-line fans are an economical option for odor control in grow tents. They are typically installed to the ceiling of the tent, then attached to a duct that draws air along the length of the tent before being released outside. These fans have two main components, a fan that pushes air through an intake filter and up into the duct, and an exhaust filter that cleans the air before it is released. The cost of installing these fans is minimal compared to other options for odor control.

Odor absorbing gels

Odor absorbing gels are a new innovation in the cannabis cultivation industry. Odor is often an issue in grow tents and is often caused by bacteria, mold, and fungi. Odor absorbing gels can be used to combat odor issues by creating an oxygen-free environment. The gel is applied to the walls of the grow tent and then makes contact with the surface of the growing medium and roots of plants to promote healthier growth and reduce odor.

Air fresheners

Air fresheners are typically used in grow tents to eliminate the unpleasant smell that emanates from the potting mixture. They work by breaking down volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in order to eliminate them. VOCs are often the cause of the bad odor, and they are also linked to cancer. Air fresheners reduce mortality rates for people who work in grow tents because they reduce exposure to these carcinogens.

Smell proof grow tents

Smell proof grow tents are typically made of plastic, which is odorless, and have an aluminum screen for ventilation with a seal on the bottom to keep odors from escaping.

The benefits of using a smell-proof grow tent are that it provides an environment where odors are not able to escape into the home or nose of passerby. It also keeps light out so that the plant does not become stressed.

While managing odors within your grow tent, it’s also crucial to consider the type of lighting you use. Efficient lighting not only ensures your plants thrive but can also play a significant role in heat and odor management within the tent. LED lights, known for their low heat emission and energy efficiency, can be particularly beneficial in this regard. To help you navigate the vast options of LED grow lights, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to the best 5×5 LED grow lights, tailored specifically for maximum plant growth and efficiency in controlled environments. Explore our top picks and learn how the right lighting can make a difference in your indoor gardening setup. Read our detailed guide on 5×5 LED grow lights.

Smoke absorbing gels

The use of smoke-absorbing gels for odor in grow tents is a creative and innovative way of mitigating the issue of smelling like weed. Growers need to give their plants some love so it makes sense that they would want to provide them with the perfect atmosphere.

Smoke-absorbing gels, such as those made by Pot-O-Gel or Pots & Plants, are designed to work in grow tents. The gel absorbs the smell from your plants and masks it with a fresh scent.

Air purifiers

Air purifiers are devices that are used to clean the air. They are usually used in places that have a lot of smoke or foul odors, such as grow tents. An air purifier can be used to absorb toxins and chemicals. It can also filter out smells so they don’t linger in the air.

Ozone generators

Ozone generators are machines that release ozone, which is a form of oxygen. Ozone generators are typically used to eliminate odors in grow tents. The concentration of ozone produced by the generator is adjusted according to the desired target odor elimination level. Ozone generators work best for eliminating odors caused by bacteria or mold, but may not be effective against some more robust organic odors such as marijuana smoke.

How to deal with cannabis odor in grow tents?

cannabis plants

The following are some strategies to help reduce the level of odor in grow tents with cannabis cultivation.

Cannabis dabs

A good way to deal with cannabis odor in grow tents is by using cannabis odor-absorbing products. They are often referred to as dabs or cannabis dabs, which are concentrated cannabis oils that can be eaten, applied to surfaces, or consumed with a vaporizer. The major advantage of these products is that they do not emit strong odors like other methods for combating the problem.

Cannabolish anti-odor spray or candles

Cannabolish Anti-Odor Spray is a proprietary blend of essential oils that removes unpleasant odors from growing spaces. This product is perfect for use in grow tents to eliminate the potent smell of cannabis. Cannabolish Anti-Odor Spray is also a powerful tool for removing odors from closets, basements, and garages so you can enjoy a clean and fresh smelling home.

Odor neutralizers

Odor neutralizers are substances often used in grow tents to protect against odors. Odor neutralizers work by chemically bonding with the molecules that create odor and breaking them up, or scrubbing them off of surfaces. Some common odor neutralizing agents include activated carbon (carbon that has been heated enough to allow the carbon atoms to open their outer electron shell), zeolites (mineral structures found in volcanic rock), and antimicrobial agents.

Smell proof bag

A smell-proof bag for odor in grow tents is a permeable bag that you can put your plants into to avoid the smell escaping the tent into other areas. The gas exchange is still able to happen because of the permeable nature of the fabric, but it reduces the risk of any odors leaking out. There are many different types of smell-proof bags on the market, and they all work in similar ways.

proper air circulation


In conclusion, grow tents are actually not smell proof. They do an excellent job at keeping out mold and pests that would cause the cannabis to rot. The grow tent does not keep smells in or out, but it is a necessity to have if you plan on growing cannabis indoors.

Potential customers should be aware that grow tents are not actually “smell proof.” When someone grows cannabis indoors, they must invest in a grow tent to contain the plants and prevent them from being infested by pests.


Are grow tents smell proof?

are grow tents smell proof

Grow tents are not odor proof. Grow tents can still smell of marijuana even though they are made to seal the odor in and not leak outside. The grow tent provides a contained area for people to grow plants indoors, while still protecting the plants from bugs and animals.

Do grow tents hide smell?

Research indicates that grow tents do not successfully hide the smell of marijuana.
Some studies have found that odors can still escape through venting holes in grow tents, while other research has found that the smell of plants being grown may leak out through slits in the fabric.

Do grow tents keep the smell in?

The quality of grow tents is one of the most important aspects to consider when purchasing a product.
The main purpose of grow tents is to give plants a more natural environment, but they do not have any additional airflow which can cause different problems.
Grow tents work by sealing in odors and will only allow the smell to escape when there is a hole in the fabric or a broken zipper. Additionally, because carbon filters cannot fit inside these small structures, fans are necessary for ventilation purposes.

Further Reading

  • For those dedicated to maximizing the potential of their indoor gardens, our latest guide on the best 5×5 LED grow lights provides an in-depth look at top picks for ensuring your plants thrive with optimal lighting. Discover how to complement your smell-proof grow tent with the perfect lighting setup by visiting Best 5×5 LED Grow Light: My Top Picks for Maximum Yield.
  • For enthusiasts looking to optimize their grow tent environment further, understanding the crucial role of humidity is key. Get into our comprehensive guide on selecting the best humidifier for your grow tent, ensuring your plants thrive in the ideal conditions they deserve. Read more about it on our Reddit community guide.
  • For enthusiasts looking to optimize their grow tent setup, discovering the best LED lights for 4×4 grow tents can significantly enhance your plants’ growth while ensuring efficiency. Explore our comprehensive guide to find the top recommendations and tips on selecting the right lighting for your indoor garden.
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Written by Brad Smith

CEO & Lead Interior Designer

Brad Smith is an experienced interior designer and the founder of With a Master's degree in Interior Design from Pratt Institute and a passion for creating safe and healthy living spaces, Brad shares his expert insights and innovative design ideas with our readers. His work is driven by the belief that home is where every story begins.