Why Do My Armpits Smell Like Weed?

Have you ever been there? You’re getting changed, or you’ve gone for a run, or you’ve done a heavy workout and then you get that overwhelming whiff. But it’s more than just a bit of BO, no, it actually has a pretty potent marijuana smell. 

This can be a little embarrassing or at the very least a bit disconcerting. Try not to worry, though, if this happens. It’s actually a lot more common than you might initially think.

Why Do My Armpits Smell Like Weed?

Just like cannabis can affect the smell of your number 2’s in the toilet, it can also have an impact on the scent of your sweat. 

Sweat can actually be influenced by a whole lot of things. Stress can change the scent of BO, as can illness, medications, and even food. And weed too, apparently. If you’d like to learn a little more about how or why this happens – keep reading. 

Weed & Sweat

Now, it’s worth noting that there isn’t all that much research on the links between sweat and weed so a lot of information is based on speculation or small research groups.

However, we know there must be some connection since it is a very commonly shared experience between those who consume cannabis. It only takes a trip to forums such as Reddit to see that many people are dealing with similar issues or asking equivalent questions. 

A doctor names Matan Shelomi did some research and found that there are 11 common elements and compounds within sweat and cannabis. It was also found that there were strong associations between the smell of weed and gym socks.

The deduction from this research was that sweat might smell like weed because of the similarly shared compounds between them. 

The other thing worth noting is that we have two types of sweat. Apocrine sweat and eccrine sweat. Eccrine sweat produces the majority of our sweat, isn’t connected to hair follicles, and its main purpose is to cool the body.

On the other hand, apocrine sweat tends to take place when we are nervous, stressed, or having sex. This sweat is connected to our hair follicles and tends to have a more obvious odor. 

Interestingly, people tend to notice the smell of weed during the parameters of apocrine sweat. Therefore it could be argued that the apocrine glands are responsible for the odor. 

Terpenes & Their ‘Smelly’ Effect

Another hypothesis is that terpenes are responsible for that weed sweat smell. Dr. Justin Fischedick proposed that terpenoids and terpenes are present in our sweat.

Terpenes are aromatic organic compounds that can be found in cannabis. And as these compounds are fat-soluble it has been speculated that these terpenes are stored in our fat cells much like THC. 

This definitely makes sense, it would definitely explain to us why there is a smell of weed that is present when you are burning fat through exercise. This would also identify why some people may still smell of weed after quitting smoking. 

Essentially, Fischedick hypothesizes that cannabis can alter your own personal scent. 

It is also worth noting, though, that others have stated that it may not be solely cannabis that causes this smell. In fact, there are many other plants that we may consume that have similar terpenes to the ones found in marijuana. 

Why Do My Armpits Smell Like Weed?

Smoking Weed Without Smelly Armpits

Some smokers may wonder, then, why they don’t find the odor of cannabis in their sweat. Well, body odor isn’t only down to terpenes. There are so many different factors that can influence your odor from medication to food. 

Bacteria can also interact with sweat to create an odor and apocrine sweat contains many different minerals, urea, and pheromones. 

Because of these individual factors, you may find that you personally don’t really ever smell of cannabis while someone who has never smoked a day in their life might. 

Essentially, there’s just not enough definite research or studies for us to know for certain just yet. 

How To Avoid Smelling Like Weed

While we can’t say for 100% certain why you do or do not smell the way you do, there are tips for helping you to battle with the problem at hand. If smelling like weed is bothering you, you’ll want to try some of the following tips. 

  • Regular Showers – Smelling like weed in no way means that you’re a dirty person but there’s no better way to wash away an unpleasant scent than a good shower. Scrub away any sweat and lingering odor with it using your favorite shower smellies. 
  • Identify The Cause – Remember that you don’t have to smoke weed to smell like it.  Trying to identify the cause will allow you to control your odor better.
  • Antiperspirant – Just like with any sweaty smell, it’s coming from your sweat glands, particularly around your armpits. Antiperspirants help to block the sweat pores and cut down the odor. 
  • Deodorant – Many of these will also be antiperspirants but you can get just deodorants. A deodorant will make your armpits an inhabitable place for bacteria. It won’t make you sweat less, but it will massively improve the odor of your sweat. 
  • Breathable Fabric – Dress in breathable clothes that are less likely to make you sweat or allow the sweat to evaporate more easily. Stick to cotton over materials such as nylon or polyester. 

Final Thoughts

You may not be feeling the happiest if you notice that your sweat constantly smells like cannabis, but don’t despair because you aren’t alone.

In fact, it’s more common than you think and even people who don’t smoke marijuana might find themselves smelling of it from time to time. 

As you’ve learned from this article, there are a few reasons why this might happen, but nobody is certain of the direct cause.

If this is a problem that is bothering you try to shower more regularly, use deodorant or antiperspirant, and try to wear more breathable clothes!