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5 cannabis strains with unusual (and arguably terrible) aromas

Published on July 30, 2017 · Last updated July 28, 2020

One of the things that makes every cannabis strain unique is its aroma. From sweet berry and fruit to earthy, herbal, and floral, an attractive fragrance is native to most strains.

And then there are those that, whether by accident or breeder’s intention, inherited flavors that truly challenge the palate. With names like “Cat Piss” and “Dog Shit,” it’s clear that no one is in denial of this odiferous reality.

Oddly enough, either by novelty or quality of effects, many of these remain staples in the cannabis community despite their strange, borderline terrible aromas.

Sour Cheese

Sour Cheese, UK Cheese, Exodus Cheese…all of these strains refer to a lineage characterized by a sour, savory aroma. Offering mellow euphoria that lifts energy and mood, Sour Cheese is a delightful hybrid strain with a funky flavor that most consumers can look past. But with a fragrance this stinky, we see polarized opinions.

Some love it so much, it inspires poetry. Just magical:

“When you open the jar and take a whiff you are greeted with a splash of pungent sour that quickly turns into a smooth cheese. The buds release a satisfying snap that throws trichomes into the air when broken from the stems.” – Neemix

But then:

“[S]mells like puke.” – soop21

Cat Piss

This sativa has a pungent aroma that is reminiscent of ammonia–and thus, cat urine. But there’s a reason Cat Piss keeps getting planted, and it has something to do with the buzzy, stimulating effects considered to be worth the funk, according to many Leafly reviewers.

“Besides the [wretched] taste that leaves you wanting water and a mint, soon you will be too uplifted to care! Effects are amazing and are long lasting.” –misterbest

However, if you’re susceptible to paranoia and anxiety like this poor reviewer, maybe avoid this novelty strain altogether:

“Yuck. It really does smell like cat piss. Strong, racy sativa. Made me paranoid.” –aarvind

Dog Shit

Speaking of animal waste you’d never expect to find yourself smoking, Dog Shit is yet another strain named for its foul-smelling aroma. A hybrid strain most easily acquired in Oregon, its odor doesn’t always come out smelling like sour, funky “doody pies.” But even when it does, Dog Shit retains an unexpected fan base:

“My first impressions of the bud were that they were very stinky and definitely lived up to their name however once I smoked it the smell evolved into something more sweet and pleasant.” – DogeKing

But, to the shock of absolutely no one, this poopy scented strain ain’t for everyone:

“I got very anxious and paranoid when taking this and it smells kinda bad.” – BONECRUSHER27

Why does weed make some people paranoid?

Grandpa’s Breath

There’s a slightly musty hint to this strain, but it’s really not as bad as it sounds. Grandpa’s Breath is more aptly named for the Granddaddy Purple genetics used to breed it, but still, expectations set by the name can shape the experience.

“Real nice body high, heavy relaxed head feeling, taste isn’t amazing but isn’t unpleasant either.” – hazefordayz

But this reviewer not only loves Grandpa’s Breath – he/she “loooooves” it:

“This is one of the best tasting and medicating, fragrant strains I’ve ever had. I looooove Grandpa’s Breath!” – Strandz

It’s clear that there’s a layer of subjectivity when it comes to cannabis flavors–even flavors as unusual and questionable as those explored in this roundup. Although you may never want to try any of these, they do demonstrate the vast aromatic spectrum cannabis has to offer. And that, at the very least, is kind of impressive.

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Bailey Rahn
Bailey Rahn
Bailey is a senior content manager at Leafly, specializing in strains and health. She's spent 7+ years researching cannabis products, spreading patients’ stories, and exploring healthy ways of integrating cannabis into daily life.
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