Marijuana has a distinct odor because of the presence of aromatic compounds called terpenes. Terpenes are organic compounds that are found in many plants, including cannabis, and are responsible for the characteristic aroma and flavor of the plant.

Cannabis plants contain a wide variety of terpenes, each with their own unique scent and potential health benefits. Some common terpenes found in cannabis include myrcene, limonene, pinene, and linalool. The combination and concentration of terpenes present in a particular strain of cannabis can contribute to its distinct smell.

In addition to terpenes, marijuana also contains a group of compounds called cannabinoids, including THC and CBD, which can also contribute to the plant's aroma. When cannabis is smoked or vaporized, the heat can activate and release these aromatic compounds, producing a strong and distinctive odor.

It is important to note that the strong smell of marijuana can be a concern for some individuals, particularly those who live in areas where it is not legal or who may have sensitivities or allergies to the plant. It is always important to be mindful of others when consuming cannabis and to follow local laws and regulations.

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