There can be plenty of reasons the odor in your car is all danked up. Danked up as in a persistent aroma of cannabis. Plenty of reasons. None of them should be that you were driving while stoned.

Whatever the reason, now you gotta make it go away. First and foremost, to protect yourself from trouble. Even people who aren’t driving stoned run a red light occasionally or forget to turn on their blinker now and then.

It’s not too expensive and doesn’t require much in the way of special supplies to clear the air. This article will teach you a variety of ways to say “bye bye weed smell” and make motoring fresh again. 

Why Does The Smell Hang Around?

Good question. Unless you have a weed-scented air freshener hanging from your rearview mirror, it shouldn’t last forever.

Weed smell hangs around because when you smoke cannabis, you are consuming the plant’s flowers. They are loaded with terpenes – the unique molecules that give different strains their particular flavors and taste. The molecules get stuck in the air and surfaces when they are released in a confined space. 

Thus, whether smoked or simply transported, even with the windows down, those molecules will seep into the cracks and crevices. It won’t just float away on clouds of smoke. These days cannabis science is so precise that even airtight containers can’t stifle your nugs dankiness. 

Easy Fixes

The car already has some parts that will help lessen the impact of your stealthy session. They can come in handy. 

Turning on the fan is a step in the right direction. This way the smoke isn’t drifting into the heating and air conditioning system. Turning on the fan disperses the clouds, circulates the air and helps keep the air units clear so the molecules don’t just get attached and recycled when you turn on the climatization units. 

You can also try swapping out the air filter, which you will usually find located underneath the glove box. Maintaining fresh air filters helps get rid of persistent odors.

Finally, there is one thing you won’t find included with your car but is easy to install. It’s the old-fashioned remedy known to all as – dah-da-da – baking soda, AKA sodium bicarbonate. It neutralizes strong, acidic odors because it is an alkaline substance. Baking soda is a homemade remedy that never goes out of style but does require attention to maintenance. 

Fragrant Solutions

The severity of your situation will of course dictate the intensity of your solution. Unless you were sparking a Snoop size blunt or transporting the entire state of Oregon’s overstock, you will probably just need a masking fragrance, which like it’s name, just masks the smell.

The downside of this is that a decent majority of people will guess what you have been up to if they step into a vehicle that stinks of lavender, for example. 

If you do decide to take this route, you can go to your local store – walk, don’t drive – and probably find a bottle of Febreze – it doesn’t have to be lavender – pretty easy. Or try one of the plug-in air fresheners. 

Other fragrant solutions include colognes – not just for hot dates anymore! The ancient hippie teenage bedroom staple – incense. And best not leave out body sprays. 

Plus – got the munchies? Get yourself some takeout food and cover it up with the smells of deliciousness. Feed two birds with one stoned. 

One more option is to mix up your own fragrance to your delight. This can be done with a few drops of essential oils mixed into some water. Transfer your mixture to a spray bottle and as French cannabis consumers like to say – “ouila”! Or weed-la, if you want. 

Absorbing Antidotes

Maybe you don’t want a short term solution. Maybe you are a delivery driver for a dispensary and it’s a regular occupational hazard. A longer term solution is odor absorbers

The most reliable and effective odor absorber, by general consensus, is activated charcoal. This leads us to a fun fact – most of the odor is absorbed in the seats. So you need to absorb it back, using the carbon found in activated charcoal. Many dispensaries use carbon filters, in fact, to mediate the competing dank-a-thons sitting on their shelves and in the backroom.

The carbon has a negative charge so it attracts toxins and dissolved gases. Simply sprinkle some on your car seats and give it a snap of time – it works relatively fast. A swift vacuum after and you’re done! 

The charcoal is non-toxin and actually also prevents mold and bacteria from building up, plus it removes allergens and harmful pollutants. Activated charcoal is actually quite an eco-conscious and cost effective choice for odor absorption. Charcoal air purifier bags are also available. 

If you find yourself in a pinch, there is another tried and true remedy that has been around for centuries. White vinegar or isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol can be used to absorb smells, or even vodka if it’s all you got. You can leave a cup of either of these two things overnight, or mix them with water and grab that spray bottle, lightly squirting the surfaces in your vehicle. 

You can also try sprinkling some coffee grounds around the surfaces like your upholstery fabric and dashboard, then dustbusting it after about a half an hour.

By Process of Elimination

Your strongest option for a cannabis odor that just won’t quit is odor eliminators. Of course, you will have to give these remedies a day or so to work their magic. It’s longer term but takes a longer time.

And proceed with caution. A ton of products exist on the market that claim to fully eliminate cannabis odors, but most of them are a sham scam. One remedy that experienced stoners have sworn by for decades is called Ozium. 

Ozium attaches itself to airborne bacteria using trimethylene glycol and propylene glycol, effective chemicals which purify the air and remove odors and pollution.

The downside to Ozium is that you will have to pack on the protective gear. It is not very safe or healthy for you or the environment.

Go straight to the source and use an ozone generator. However, keep in mind ozone at ground level is actually considered an air pollutant by the FDA. Make sure you stay out of the car while it is running and give the car ample lead time to air out. 

Another new product to try is Veil. Veil works in a similar manner to Ozium, bonding to the stinky molecules and changing their structure, making the odor undetectable by the human nostril. Veil uses non-toxic ingredients and is available in various scents derived from essential oils. 

Small air purifiers for your car are also a handy dandy option that won’t cost you much and are not difficult to find.You can connect them to your power supply using a USB cable and they work fast plus offer some preventive help. Which brings us to our next chapter. 

An Ounce Of Prevention Is Worth A Pound Of Weed

Deep Clean! This will leave your car in spiffy condition should you want to resell it. Heavy odors can decrease the value of a car. Since cannabis is full of stinky molecules that can get stranded in all types of tiny spots, sometimes a deep clean is the only option.

A good deep clean consists of using a wet vac and cleaning all the surfaces with the right products, like Windex for the windshield and Armorall for the dashboard. You can also try shampooing the fabrics, after vacuuming. Not just the built in carpets, but removable mats, too. Odors are made of gases, so they can get into all kinds of materials and crevices. Even the upper lining. 

Once you have your car smelling as good as that new car smell – that’s an air freshener they really should sell – then it’s time to take some preventive measures. Shame on you if you let another build up happen. 

Moving Forward

Consider transporting your weed in a stash box or a mason jar. These odor proof containers can hold your stash and be stashed away safely, minimizing the escape of terpenes into your atmosphere. Some even come with a lock and key, so your stash will stay out of greedy or unauthorized fingers.

Whatever you do, avoid smoking cannabis and driving. Full stop. If you absolutely have to, make sure you are not moving and you have a place to rest. THC and driving do not go together.