Nico’s Nuggets: Odor Control for Home Growers

Hi Nico man, Thanks for the great articles you post. I’ll make this short… I am growing one plant in my closet and wanted to know if the odor could be controlled just by using an Ona block or gel container and maybe some incense? Or, do you think that without a carbon filter there is no chance of eliminating the smell? – Many thanks sir, Nico H. via

Greetings, Nico. I dig your name! Thanks for writing in…

Odor control is indeed an important aspect of cannabis cultivation. Hopefully one day soon we can all come out of the closet (literally) and grow more openly. Here’s to hoping for a federal re-classification of cannabis and, soon thereafter, national legalization. But until then, we must remain security conscious. This encompasses light leaks, odor permeations, heat and electricity considerations as well as fire prevention and safety protocol.

In terms of controlling odor for a single plant, you do have the luxury of trying several different options before giving in and buying a charcoal filter. However, you are right in concluding that an activated charcoal (carbon) filter would do the job, no question. The good news is that for a small closet or tent grow, the smaller filters and fans are relatively inexpensive these days ($120 for both).

Pruning leaves from the interior helps prevent mold and mildew.

But before you bite that bullet, I would do as you suggest and attempt an alternative solution. The Ona block or gel pail are good options. You will likely need one or two of each, however, to keep the odor at bay. Start by placing one inside the closet and another somewhere in the room the closet is in. Because these are items are cheap ($8 block, $25 pail), you may want to put another one wherever foot traffic is heaviest in your home, or near open windows.

To more accurately answer your question, there is no telling if Ona buckets, air purifiers, incense (I’d recommend Nag Champa) will be enough to absorb or mask the odor from one flowering plant. The answer here will depend a lot upon what type of strain you are growing and how pungent of a terpene profile it has. The size and yield of your plant will also be a big factor. A bigger plant with more flowers will likely create more odor.

A small carbon filter and fan fit perfectly in any grow space.

Another important consideration will be the odors during harvest. Cut and hanging branches of fresh cannabis can be more pungent than live cannabis flowers still on the plant. The drying and curing process is intended to evaporate moisture from the buds, but a byproduct of this process is the evaporating of essential oils and terpenes that provide the flowers with their aroma and bouquet. During trimming, drying and curing, odors usually increase five to ten times and at that point, I’m not so sure odor eaters and masking agents will do the job.

Thanks for reading everyone and remember: Grow… And help the world grow, too!

Got questions? Email ‘em over to Nico at and be sure to put “Nico’s Nuggets” in the subject line!

Follow Nico on Social Media: @Nico_Escondido (Twitter) & @Nico_High_Times (InstaGram)

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