Grow tent users value privacy at all stages of the growing process including the flowering stage, and even receiving their grow tent package. It is during the former, however, when privacy becomes the hardest to maintain. New growers may believe that grow tents alone are sufficient in keeping odors from spreading when growing cannabis. It is an enclosure after all. At the same time, the enclosure is made up of fabric and zippers which begs the question, are grow tents smell proof?
Simply put: no, grow tents are not enough to block odors. The materials and pieces that make up a grow tent system (reflective mylar, tent canvas, inline duct fan, ducting tubes, etc.) do not qualify as smell proof. While a grow tent is capable of insulation, odors may still seep through tiny slivers of openings like the zipper and duct ports. Well routed ductwork will exhaust odors away from the growing system, but simply moves the foul smell towards the exterior. So how do you deal with it?
Why Your Grow Tent Smells
Cannabis plants smell the foulest during the flowering stage when buds begin to grow, but begin emitting odors as soon as three weeks in. During the vegetative stage, the smell is no different from other greenery so there is generally no cause for concern at this point. Cannabis contains high concentrations of terpenes, which are aromatic compounds that give them its characteristic scent. Some strains give off more potent smells than others but are all unique. Terpenes not only help repel insects but also give strains the unique high and therapeutic properties they provide. So while terpenes are responsible for the foul emissions, they are also what makes the cannabis plant what it is.
How to Deal with Cannabis Odor
The best way to block or eliminate the potent scent of cannabis is to use a carbon filter. This duct accessory acts as a gateway that allows stale air through but traps odors within. Using activated charcoal, carbon filters block foul smells by adsorbing odor particles using the tiny micron crevices on the charcoal surface. The bigger these holes, the more efficient and longer-lasting the carbon filter will be. Adsorbing is different from absorbing in that the particles lay on top of the trapping agent, instead of being taken in by them. This means the carbon filter will not get weighed down as its efficacy diminishes. Carbon filters can be installed anywhere within the grow tent’s ducting system but are typically situated inside and before the inline duct fan.
Using a carbon filter will yield a noticeable decline in odor spreading. A combination of this and strategic placement of the grow tent will help maintain a level of privacy that will not prompt questions from housemates, family members, or neighbors.