Just as how a raging fire cannot be hidden because of the smoke it produces, growing weed in your home can also be hard to hide because of the smell of the plant! While growing weed has grown legal of late, it is still quite a difficult task for some people because of the public taboo that it is. People continue to look down upon people who grow or smoke weed – while the perception is changing, a large number of people will still scorn at stoners. Nonetheless, with weed getting legalized across most of the US, an increasing number of people are growing it on their own – and one challenge that all of them face is that of containing the smell. This is where we come in! A list of the 15 best carbon filters for your grow room, which will help you hide this smell completely!
However, before we jump into our list and the reviews, we need to talk about the smell of weed. Over the course of this article, we shall explain to you in detail why weed smells so strong and what is inside that plant that gives weed the strong smell it has! Besides that, we also take a look at why the smell is a problem – and then move to the solution. The solution to containing the smell of weed comes in the form of carbon filters, and we shall take a look at the 15 best carbon filters for your grow room here. This is the most detailed carbon filter review list that you will find on the internet as we deep-dive into all these products to provide you with accurate information about them.
Besides that, we shall also take a look at a buyer’s guide for carbon filters, where we shall examine what are the things that one needs to consider before they buy a carbon filter. This can act as a checklist for you, which you can use while buying one such device! Once we’re done with that, we shall also examine some ways in which you can control the smell without a carbon filter! However, let us start off with the basics at the moment:
Why Does Weed Smell?
As plants evolve over thousands of years, they develop traits that are better for their survival. There are many plants in the Amazon and Congo forests which have become more attractive over the years so that flies can be attracted and then be trapped! There are some which have developed other tastes such as a sweet smell so that they can be pollinated with ease. Similarly, the marijuana plant has developed a strong stench which is beneficial for them to be identified by humans but drives off any animals, pests or insects which might damage the plants. This smell in the plant is attributed to terpenes.
There are many different compounds present inside the body of the marijuana plant and the most important of them which is responsible for the smell is the terpene called ‘myrcene’. Marijuana isn’t the only plant that carries myrcene, as it can be seen in a number of other plants, most famously mango and thyme. However, in other plants, due to a different chemical composition and how other compounds react with it, myrcene may not necessarily give out a skunk like smell. This is the most general smell of weed.
However, myrcene isn’t the only terpene present in weed and in some other strains it might not be as dominant. Hence, different strains have different smells based on their dominant terpene profile. Growers can actually increase or decrease the smell of their weed while they are growing the plant by using different methods, particularly during the drying phase. If you remove the sugar leaves of a plant in the early phase of drying, the smell tends to be less intense. If you keep them on for longer, it tends to be more intense. There are many such hacks and tricks that we shall discuss later.
What is the problem with the smell of weed?
While most stoners really love and appreciate the smell of weed, and some people actually go by the mindset of ‘the stronger my weed smells, the better is the high that I get’. This isn’t necessarily true but the smell does play a role in your overall experience and can trick you into getting more ‘high’. However, the problem is, apart from stoners, pretty much everyone else hates the smell of weed!
Marijuana continues to be illegal in a majority of countries around the world. While major names such as US, Canada and Australia are relaxing their marijuana policies for years now, there are still a large number of people who consider weed to be a taboo and look down upon people who grow it and they face a lot of pressure from their society. Hence, stoners prefer to keep growing weed a secret and when growing at a personal scale, prefer to do it indoors so that no one notices it.
However, while the plant can be hidden, hiding the smell is much harder because weed has a very strong smell, which starts getting stronger during the flowering phase and peaks during the drying phase. At that time it can be quite a struggle for a grower to hide the smell even with the strongest of room fresheners or scented candles/gels. Hence, a stronger option is utilized – using a carbon filter.
What is a Carbon Filter?
Carbon filters are an important part of your exhaust or ventilation setup which help filter out the air by trapping all the odor of the marijuana plant. Carbon filters are also sometimes known as carbon scrubbers because they catch all the bad smell and scrub it off using activated charcoal. Activated charcoal has this ability to absorb a lot of bad smells and is used in multiple devices which are meant to freshen up your room as well. The filter is usually a cylindrical or pipe/tube-like shape, in which carbon is filled which is replaced from time to time.
How it functions is that all the smell inside your grow room or your grow tent first passes through the carbon filter and then enters the ducting, and then exits via the exhaust. The carbon filter is somewhat of an entry point for your air which is about to exit the tent. It is at this early stage that the air is filtered and all the strong odor of weed is trapped in it.
People who are growing 2-3 plants can get away with the smell without much of a problem. However, for anyone who is planning on growing more than these number of plants, there’s a strong need for a carbon filter, otherwise the people living in your home or your neighbourhood will become suspicious of what you are doing inside the room and the smell might even alarm them and they might report you to authorities. Even in places where growing weed is legal and even if you are growing the right amount of weed, causing a nuisance to your neighbors is generally looked down upon!
15 Best Carbon Filters for Your Grow Room in 2021
Here’s a closer look at the 15 best carbon filters for your grow room, which you can easily make use of to ensure that the smell of your weed does not escape your room! All these carbon filters come with a detailed review which you can read to get a better understanding about them. Most of them are standalone carbon filters, but some of them come with an entire filtration kit, which is easier for growers who are just starting out –
Vivosun is the most common name that you are going to find when it comes to this list of the best carbon filters. The company has, over the years, proven to be among the best manufacturers of carbon filters in the cannabis industry and is preferred by millions of growers all over the world. This is a four-inch carbon filter from Vivosun which is great for your grow rooms, but also sits well in a bathroom or a kitchen or in any other place where you might want to trap the smells.
This carbon filter makes use of 1050+ Virgin Australian activated charcoal, which is best suited for trapping the odor of cannabis. This is a 4×14” carbon filter, which is about 2 inches larger than what most growers use (4×12). Besides that, it has a two-way functionality – it can be used as an intake filter as well as an exhaust filter. There’s a four-layer filtration process here which is great for your grow rooms! The air goes through a prefilter, the outer mesh, a charcoal bed, and lastly the inner mesh.
What we saw above from Vivosun was a 4 inch filter, but this product from AC infinity bumps that up by two inches – giving you a six inch filter. This filter has a larger opening, allowing you to fit in a wider pipe in its mouth and to filter out air in a larger grow room. When you use this carbon filter from AC Infinity, you get an air flow capacity of 410 cubic feet per minute, which is good for an average-sized grow room. This feature is particularly designed for controlling the odor for hydroponic grow rooms, but regular grow room growers can also use it.
The Virgin Australian charcoal used here (Australian RC412 at 1200+ IAV ) is pretty effective for growers, as it is one of the most efficient options to trap the strong stench of weed. The filter is also quite durable, thanks to the aluminum flanges that it comes with. Besides this, there are stainless-steel meshes, which can also last for a long while. Similar to the vivosun filter, this one can also be used for intake as well as exhaust, meaning you can use it outside the grow tent to provide it with a filtered air while you can use it on the inner side to ensure that the smell does not leak out. The exact measurement of this carbon filter is 6”x16”, and it is 38mm wide.
3. Vanleno 4inch Carbon Filter Odor Control for Inline Duct Fan, Grow Tent, Hydroponics, Odor Scrubber
While six inch and eight-inch carbon filters are quite useful for mid to large-sized growers, most growers generally prefer using 4 inch carbon filters such as this one from Vanleno, because this suffices the need of a personal-scale grower. This is one of the most basic and cost-effective options that you have if you are looking forward to buying a good carbon filter. It measures 4” x 12” and comes with a 1200+ IAV virgin australian charcoal bed, which (as we have pointed out multiple times above) is pretty efficient in getting the smell of weed to stay within your room.
It comes with two pre-filters made out of a very good quality material. The use of a pre-filter is basically to trap the larger particles so that the actual carbon filter does not get clogged. This Vanleno carbon filter supports a maximum air flow of about 210 CFM, which gets the job done for a small grow room or a grow tent pretty well. Since the mesh is better ventilated with a large number of holes, it supports about 53% more airflow than most of its competitors. All said and done, perhaps the best carbon filter at this price point and a total no-nonsense device that will last you for a while!
G Hydro is also a name that will appear again on our list, as the company makes some really good carbon filters for growers who grow cannabis indoors. This is a smaller variant of their carbon filter, which measures 4” x 14”, and offers the growers with a very unique color. The matte black finish on this carbon filter is one of its USPs and really attracts the growers who are bored of looking at the old fashioned grey filters. This filter makes use of the 1050+ RC 48 virgin activated charcoal – ensuring all your odors are trapped very well within the walls of the filter.
With a maximum airflow of 210 CFM, you know that you’re in with the right product for a small scale setup. If you are a personal scale grower who is looking for a good carbon filter, but with a unique color to it – this is just the right option for you. Besides that, at a price of under $30, this one is just the perfect product.
5. VIVOSUN 4 Inch Air Carbon Filter Odor Control with Australia Virgin Charcoal for Inline Fan, Grow Tent Odor Scrubber
Another Vivosun product on our list and this is far from the last time you’ll see this brand making an appearance here! Making use of the 1050+ RC 48 activated charcoal, this carbon filter from Vivosun offers you the perfect protection against the risk of any odor leaking out. It measures 4” x 14”, which is a little longer than the standard 12”, and is a multi-purpose carbon filter as growers can use it not only in their grow rooms, but also in kitchens, bathrooms, or in any places where chemicals are used. All the strong odor will be trapped inside the carbon bed.
Another great thing about this carbon filter is that it supports a two-way system of air intake as well as air exhaust. There are two ways in which air is used in a grow tent – either outside air is provided to the tent or the inside air is thrown out. Both of it happen at the same time. This filter can be used to pump in clean air or to pump out odor-free air, whichever way you want to use it. You also get an eight feet long heavy duty rope-ratchet with it which helps you set up the carbon filter inside your tent or your grow room. All in all, a very trusted brand and one of the best carbon filters that you can buy off Amazon!
6. VIVOSUN 6 Inch 390 CFM Inline Fan with Speed Controller, 6 Inch Carbon Filter and 8 Feet of Ducting, Temperature Humidity Monitor for Grow Tent Ventilation
Here’s our first complete filtration kit which will allow first-time growers or people who are starting off with a new grow tent or a grow room to get hold of the entire setup at one go. This is usually considered a better practice than buying separate ductings, fans and filters because you get everything from one brand and of one homogenous quality so you know it all fits well. This is a combo pack of four things – an inline fan, inline ducting, a carbon filter, as well as a thermometer which also doubles up as a hygrometer.
The ducting is quite sturdy and comes along with two clamps made out of stainless steel. The thermometer can measure between a range of -10C to 50C, which is sufficient for a grow tent. Coming to the main object here – it carries one of the best carbon filters that you can find out there. The filter measures 6” x 18” and is a very good tool for controlling the smell of your weed in a medium sized grow tent or a small sized room. The filter makes use of a 1050+ RC 48 Australian Virgin charcoal bed which is very effective in scrubbing off all the bad odor.
7. iPower GLFANXSETINLLITE4D8RHCTR 4 Inch 195 CFM Inline Fan Carbon Filter – Complete Filtration Kit
Another great example of an air filtration kit for anyone who is looking forward to buying a complete kit instead of just a fan. This one comes from iPower, which is another popular name among the growers. The kit features an inline fan of 4 inches, which functions at 195 CFM, a 4-inch carbon filter which functions at a maximum capacity of 200 CFM. There’s a 4-inch 8-feet ducting too, which fits in perfect harmony with the fan and the filter. Besides that you get a temperature and humidity monitor, a pair of rope hangers, and even a speed controller for your fan.
Coming to the carbon filter, which is what we will be focusing here on, it measures 4” x 12”, which is as good as any carbon filter of this size can get. Another great thing about this carbon filter is that it makes use of 1050 + IAV Australian RC412 activated carbon which is great for scrubbing the strong odor of weed off the air. The carbon filter functions at 200CFM, which is well suited for a small-sized setup.
8. VIVOSUN 6 Inch 390 CFM Inline Duct Fan with 6 Inch Carbon Filter Odor Control with Australia Virgin Charcoal
Vivosun returns, this time with a two-in-one kit featuring a carbon filter and an inline fan. A six-inch fan along with a six-inch filter, a great combination for anyone looking to buy one for a medium to large-sized grow tent or a small-sized grow room. One of the key things that is the highlight of this set is that the carbon filter as well as the fan are both quite powerful. The fan functions at 2770RPM and offers an airflow of 390 CFM. This is a powerful fan and filter combination which suits the needs of most small to mid-sized growers.
Like most other Vivosun products here, this carbon filter too makes use of a 1050+ RC 48 Australian Virgin Charcoal Bed. This makes the product better prepared to scrub off the smell of weed in comparison to what many other contemporaries in the market. Furthermore, this carbon filter also packs in a free pre-filter, which can be put around the exterior and helps block larger particles from entering the body of the main filter, giving it a longer lifespan. It can be used not only while growing cannabis plants, but also in kitchens, bathrooms and in general in any place where foul odors are present.
9. G-Hydro 4 Inch Carbon Filter-Tent Grow Plants Filter, Odor Control Growing Tent Indoor Plants Inline Fan
If you are looking for a cost-effective and long-term solution to controlling the smell of weed from your grow tents, look no further than this G-Hydro carbon filter. One of the best carbon filters you can find at this price point of under $35, people who have used the product tell us that it can last for a really long time to, thanks mostly to the reversible flanges and the tapered base! A total value-for-money product which is useful not only in the grow room, but in kitchens and bathrooms, and is also very effective in trapping the smell of cigarette smoke among other things.
This is a 4” x 14” carbon filter, which comes with a stainless steel high-gloss flange and base. It makes use of the same virgin Australian activated charcoal that we have seen in most of our carbon filters here. It is made out of an ultra-light ABS material which makes it the perfect filter to hang in a grow tent without putting too much weight on it. There’s a six-level filtration that happens in this carbon filter, ensuring that all smells are trapped in. This filter also functions as a two-way filter – can be used to ensure clean air entering the tent or to trap the smell of the air going out of the tent.
10. VIVOSUN Air Filtration Kit: 4 Inch 203 CFM Inline Fan with Speed Controller, 4” Carbon Filter and 8 Feet of Ducting Combo
Another Vivosun product shows up on this list. The company makes so of the best carbon filters for grow rooms that we can actually make a whole top-10 list out of them! However, for now, let us just focus on some of the best ones here. This is a filter-fan-ducting kit from Vivosun, where you get a 4” carbon filter along with a 4” fan and an 8ft, 3-layer, ducting which is great for airflow.
The carbon filter that you get here comes with switchable filter flanges, which gives it a longer performance life than most other similar products. Then you also have meshes which have more holes than usual to allow a higher air-flow in and out of the filter. You also get a pre-filter here along with the carbon filter to protect the core from clogging due to larger particles. At 4” x 14”, this is about 2” larger than many other pre-filters in the markets. 1050+ RC 48 Activated Carbon is used inside this carbon filter for scrubbing the air in the tent and to remove all the foul odor off of it.
11. Terrabloom Activated Charcoal Carbon Filter (400 CFM), Premium Odor Scrubber, with Activated Australian Virgin Charcoal For Hydroponics
If you don’t mind spending a little more than the average carbon filter, this one can offer you one of the best quality and performances. Priced in at about $75, this carbon filter from Terrabloom stands out in many ways. First off, the unique black design, which makes it stand out. There are very few filters out there which are of any color other than the classic steel-grey and this is an instant unique feature that makes it stand out from the rest. Coming to the details, this is a 6” x 16” carbon filter which is great for most growers operating out of a medium-sized grow tent or a small grow room.
Another key highlight of using this carbon filter is that you get an extra-thick carbon bed, measuring 46mm. This is about 15% higher in comparison to regular carbon filters which usually feature about 38mm of carbon beds. The filter can filter upto 400 CFM and the carbon bed in it can last you for up to 24 years, which is a really long life for a carbon filter! Besides that, what also makes it one of the best carbon filters for grow rooms is that it also has a 90-day warranty on it, which is a rare feature on these products!
12. VIVOSUN 8 Inch 740 CFM Inline Duct Fan with 8″ x 22″ Carbon Filter Odor Control with Australia Virgin Charcoal
Vivosun appears for one last time on our list, and this time, we have a combo of a fan and a filter – which medium to large-scale growers might make use of. This is an 8” x 22” carbon filter, which is fairly large (in fact one of the largest on our list of the best carbon filters). This carbon filter makes use of the 1050+ RC 48 Australian Virgin Charcoal Bed, which is best suited for absorbing the odor that comes from the cannabis plants. It also comes with a free pre-filter included in the package, which has to be replaced every six months. Using this pre-filter will make sure that your actual filter is protected from larger particles and does not clog up easily.
This Vivosun carbon filter also comes with an 8 inch fan, which operates at about 2450RPM and emits a noise upto 53dB – not something that someone looking for a quiet growing experience would want. All said and done this is a pretty solid combination of a fan and a filter that will be perfect for most growers in a mid to large-sized environment.
13. G HYDRO 6 Inch Air Carbon Filter Upgraded Hexagonal Hole with 1200+ RC48 Activated Charcoal Prefilter Included
G Hydro makes another appearance on this list. This time, with a rather unique product. This carbon filter has a hexagonal hole instead of the older-styled round hole. This helps improve the overall ventilation rate from 53% to 62%, the most in any carbon filter on this list! It comes with a high-gloss flange made out of stainless steel, features a high-quality pre-filter made out of a 150GSM fabric. The filter features a 1200+RC48 activated Australian Virgin charcoal bed, which can scrub out the strongest and the most pungent of smells!
Measuring in at 6” x 16”, this carbon filter is pretty effective for growers who wish to remove the smells and bad odors from the grow tent of medium to large sizes and for rooms of a small size. Thanks to the tapered base, you get a long service life here. The filter supports air flow upto 445CFM and thanks to the pre-included pre-filter, you can ensure that your device lasts even longer as it will help prevent the carbon inside from clogging. All said and done, a strong candidate for the best carbon filter for your grow room!
Priced in at a little under $200, this is far from the cheapest options you can get when looking for a large filter, but at 8” x 24” and with an amazing durability, this carbon filter is bound to last you for a really long time. It makes use of a 46mm carbon bed, which is very thick and helps ensure that no smell escapes the filter. The flange here is attached to the filter and cannot be removed. This is a heavy-duty product that is bound to last you for a long time. This carbon filter from Phresh can function for a long time – as it supports air flow of upto 750CFM. This is a heavy-duty, long-lasting product for growers who have industrial-grade needs. It is available in 4inch and 6inch variants as well.
15. TerraBloom Air Carbon Filter, 6″ x 24″, Activated Charcoal Scrubber For Inline Duct Fans Up To 550 CFM
Last on our list of the best carbon filters for your grow room in 2021, but certainly not the least of them! This carbon filter from TerraBloom (making its second and final appearance here) features a large 6” x 24” carbon filter, which is pretty wide for a six-inch filter. It offers a unique black design much like the previous TerraBloom filter that we discussed. The filter can function with fans up to speeds of 550CFM, which suits most mid-sized tents.
A key highlight of this carbon filter is that it makes use of a thick, 1.8″ charcoal bed, using the RC-48 charcoal carbon which is imported from Western Australia! Making use of this would ensure that the growers manage to wipe away all the strong smells of weed from the grow tent! The filter can be used for exhaust purposes as well as for intake purposes and comes with a 90-day warranty period as well, which is just the perfect icing on the cake!
Buyer’s Guide to Carbon Filters: What to Consider Before You Buy One?
Now that you know which are the fifteen best options out there while buying a carbon filter, you also need to know the details of what to look out for before you buy one. Here’s a list of things that you need to consider:
The bigger your grow room is, the higher amount of air flow you would require. This is usually measured in CFM (cubic feet per minute). The higher the amount of air that can be sucked in, the better it is for the growers of a larger room. For a small grow room or a grow tent, something like 150CFM would also work, but as the size of your room increases you’ll need a carbon filter which can accommodate a higher air flow too.
The size of your carbon filter is also important. It is depending upon the size of your ducting and the opening in your tent that you determine how big a carbon filter you should be buying for your grow tent or your grow room. Carbon filters generally come in four inch, six-inch and eight-inch variants.
Carbon Quality and Thickness
Generally speaking, the better the quality of the carbon, the more odor it can trap. Most growers prefer using a carbon filter that carries the Australian virgin charcoal, which is best suited for trapping the odors of weed. Besides the quality of the carbon that is being used, another factor which comes to play here is the thickness of the carbon bed. The thicker the carbon bed, the better it is at trapping the odors.
Since you’re investing anywhere between $50 to $150 in buying a good carbon filter/kit, you better look forward to buying one which is durable and can last you for a long time. Besides that, most people are also looking forward to getting a carbon filter which is portable in size and doesn’t weigh too much either.
Is it a Complete Kit?
Growers, particularly those who are new to growing weed and are just starting out, would rather buy a complete air filtration kit rather than go for a separate filter and separate ducting. Besides, getting a complete filtration kit would ensure that you are getting stuff which fits into each other well and is designed to function together – giving you a better efficiency in terms of overall performance too.
Lifespan, Cost, and Warranty
These three are pretty simple. The longer the lifespan and the warranty, the better it is for you. Many carbon filters also come with extra pre-filters which can be replaced when the current ones get clogged. Warranty is usually quite small on these carbon filters (if any) – but the longer it is, the better it will be for you. Lastly, while these are not very expensive devices, you’ll find most carbon filters priced at about $40-$70, while some premium ones are going north of $100! The basic idea here is – the bigger the size and the higher the air flow, the pricier they are going to be.
How to Mask the Smell of Weed Without Using a Carbon Filter?
While carbon filters are perhaps one of the best and the most effective ways in which you can mask the smell of weed, there are some situations where you might not need one (especially if you are growing a lesser number of plants – like 2-3 cannabis plants). In these cases, you can use some other home-made solutions to mask this smell!
Another very simple method of getting rid of the smell of your weed is to open up the windows and to turn on the fans, which will result in all the air going outside, ensuring that your room doesn’t smell of weed. One problem with that, however, is that the smell would then go out and your neighbors might get uncomfortable. Hence, we need to look at some better options.
The most basic method that most personal-scale growers employ is to make use of an odor neutralizer. Growers would make use of something like a bathroom spray or a room freshener which would have a stronger smell than the smell of weed – thereby making it the dominant smell in the room. These don’t ‘absorb’ the smell of weed in a way that carbon filters do, but they tend to be quite effective in small scale setups where they are the strongest smell. Similarly, people also prefer to use other means of neutralizing the odor by using oils and gels.
Then there’s another option of using an air purifier which is usually great at neutralizing all the bad smells. However, air purifiers also make use of carbon filters in them for capturing the odor so that’s kind of the same thing. However, air purifiers can perform a much larger function than just trapping the odor – on the other hand, they tend to be way costlier in comparison. Let us now answer some FAQs about carbon filters and the smell of marijuana:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Carbon Filters
There are many questions that people tend to ask us time and again about controlling the smell of weed and using carbon filters. Here are the answers to some of these questions, collated in one place so that you can find it easier to get a 360-degree view of the problem:
1. Can I grow weed without a carbon filter?
Yes, you can grow weed without using a carbon filter. A carbon filter is only important if you are growing more than 2-3 plants and you don’t want the smell to leak out. While it is completely possible to grow weed without a filter, most people tend to use it so that they are not faced with any social embarrassment caused to them by the strong stench of weed.
2. Where can I buy a carbon filter from?
A carbon filter can be bought from pretty much any store that sells gardening supplies. This can be your neighborhood hypermart or it can be Amazon – which is perhaps the best place to buy it from during these pandemic times as it offers a large number of options, discounts as well as has a good return policy in case the product doesn’t live up to what you are expecting it to be.
3. Is it better to buy a separate carbon filter or to buy it in a kit?
It depends – if you are a grower who is growing weed for the first time, we’d suggest you go with an entire kit. However, if you are an older grower who is looking only to replace their older carbon filter – its best to go with just a filter.
4. How much does an average carbon filter cost?
An average carbon filter can cost you anywhere between $35 to $120 depending upon what kind of carbon goes in, how much carbon goes in, what the air flow is, and what the size of your carbon filter is.
5. Can a carbon filter guarantee 100% that the smell won’t leak out?
No, a carbon filter cannot guarantee 100% that the smell won’t leak out. However, it is still very effective in controlling the smell of weed to such an extent that even if you are growing weed in your room, the people in the next room won’t know of that. But again, it depends from filter to filter and the kind of carbon that they are using inside it.
We hope that by this point in the article you are familiarized with everything that needs to be understood about carbon filters before you start growing weed. Even if you are a pro-grower who is here for some suggestions about a new carbon filter, we hope that our list of the 15 best carbon filters for your grow room has helped you choose just the right option! Besides this, if there are still any confusions that you have or queries that you want answered, please feel free to send us an email or let us know in the comments section and we shall answer those questions as well! Till then…
…Happy Growing! 🙂