Cannabis is a remarkably understudied plant containing hundreds of novel molecules, many of which are yet to be scientifically cataloged. This new study set out to investigate what chemicals are responsible for the plant’s characteristic skunk-like smell. The researchers subsequently discovered several entirely new volatile sulfur compounds with chemical similarities to aroma compounds found in garlic.
A new study is offering one of the most comprehensive investigations ever conducted into the chemical origins of cannabis’ unique “skunk-like” smell. The study reveals an entirely new family of sulfur compounds accounts for the novel odor and these molecules are chemically similar to aroma compounds found in garlic.
Importantly, levels of VSCs quickly started to drop as the cured plant was stored. Ten days after curing, levels of these VSCs had significantly dropped. Kevin Koby, another researcher on the project, says these findings offer producers valuable insights if they are looking to maximize VSC content in future cannabis products.
“These results prove that cannabis producers are racing against time when it comes to getting quality products into customers’ hands,” says Koby. “Hopefully our results will establish a new standard for cultivators and distributors to help preserve and protect these key compounds – regardless of the rigors of processing, packaging, and time on shelf.”
The study cumulatively offers strong evidence of the chemical origins behind cannabis’ uniquely pungent odor. It also points to compelling new research pathways into the possible medicinal benefits of these newly discovered compounds.