Skip to content
Isn't there a plant in some people's gardens that smells like marijuana but isn't? Or is it that several of my neighbors really are smoking weed all the time?
New responses are no longer being accepted.
Catnip (seriously) but the cats eat and roll in it
I'm going to hazard a guess that it IS weed - which smells very strong when the buds are ripening. You don't have to be smoking it to smell it!
Now that using cannabis is legal for adults, I'd say that yes, what you are smelling is weed. It's unfortunate that your neighbors are still actually smoking it; there are many other, less noxious ways to administer it. As someone who uses it for a legit medical reason, may I ask that you inquire of your neighbors before concluding that they are simply stoners? Without cannabis I'd be unable to walk. Thanks
You live in Oakland, right? For sure it's weed. Your neighbors are growing and/or smoking weed.
Plectranthus neochilus (succulent-ish plant with purple flowers) smells pretty skunky - but I think you're probably actually just smelling weed. I notice it everywhere since it was legalized. I don't particularly care if people get high or not, but I can't stand the smell!
Some Euphorbia varieties have a skunk-like smell that could smell like weed. Euphorbia Characias wulfenii is one that I know can be stinky but I imagine there are others. Or maybe your neighbors are smoking weed all the time... I have one that does!
Lantania can but I am not sure if it would be strong enough.
Are you sure it isn't a skunk? (They don't call it "skunk weed" for nothing - the two smells are very similar and they are both very strong.) Skunks are nocturnal, so if you are mainly smelling this smell at night, especially in the middle of the night, there's a good chance it's your little skunk neighbor, not your pot-smoking neighbor. We have skunks walking through our Berkeley backyard all the time, and if they feel threatened, such as by a barking dog, they will let loose their smell. One of our neighbors found that a skunk was living under their house. They used Critter Control which trapped the skunk and then they sealed up their crawl space so it never came back.
OP here, and the winner is Plectranthus neochilus! It's noted on Annie's Annuals website to have a "ganja" scent and sure enough there's a large patch of it in my neighbor's yard. When I pulled a leaf off, there was an instant strong skunky smell. Thanks for all of the interesting suggestions!