Bad smell of cannabis explained
Scientists have discovered the origin of the characteristic bad smell of cannabis. These are compounds that are also found in garlic with the same potential health benefits.
Scientists have finally discovered the origin of the characteristic bad smell of cannabis known as Skunk. Even those who claim to have never used cannabis know and recognize the characteristic smell of cannabis, it is something that is simply unique compared to other substances. Now scientists in the United States have discovered the explanation behind the bad smell.
The same ‘smelly’ compounds in garlic and cannabis
Researchers analyzed 13 different cannabis strains, believing that the unique scent comes from a family of volatile sulfur compounds (VCS) that have not been unified in nature before. However, these compounds closely match those found in garlic. The authors wrote: Our results revealed that the main compounds that contribute to this odor are a new family of volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs), with 3-methyl-2-butene-1-thiol being the most strongly correlated with aroma of 13 species of cannabis.
We then analyzed three concentrated cannabis extract products to determine if VSCs are retained during the extraction process. This is because we observe high concentrations of both 3-methyl-2-butene-1-thiol and 3-methyl-2-butenyl acetothioate, indicating that cannabis extract products may also have an smell of “skunk”.
Compounds with beneficial potential for health
Researchers eventually discovered many new VSCs associated with the iconic scent of cannabis. The compounds, known as VSC3 through VSC7, all exhibit a structural organization similar to that of garlic VSCs. This is a really important discovery, according to the authors. These compounds may have potential health benefits, including improved cardiovascular health.
The discovery sparked speculation that cannabis could have similar health benefits. The authors wrote: “These compounds contribute to the aroma, flavor and possible health benefits of garlic.” For example, the allylic analogue of VSC3, allyl thiol, is a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor, which may give it anti-cancer properties.
Diallyl disulfide, which is structurally analogous to VSC7, may help protect against colorectal cancer and beneficially contribute to cardiovascular health. The structural similarities between VSCs in cannabis and garlic therefore warrant further investigation to determine whether the former have similar health benefits to the latter.