Cannabis

The Secrets to Smoking Cannabis at Home Without Annoying Your Neighbors

The tools and tricks you need to maintain your flower smoking routine without affecting your rental agreement or catching side-eye from neighbors.

Emily Carpenter/Thrillist
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I don’t know about you, but smoking indoors for three months straight has put me in a little hot water with my property manager. 

Although I’d smoked without any complaints on my patio the past year, once my upstairs neighbor started working from home, I quickly learned just how uncomfortable she was with the smell of weed smoke. Ok, I’m respectful; I can adapt. So I started exhaling into the kitchen fan installed over my stovetop. Almost immediately I got an email regarding neighbors smelling weed smoke coming out of their stove.

Many -- but not too many -- rounds of trial and error later, I’m successfully back to my usual wellness routines. While I can’t tell you why they don’t see that we’re just trying to be good, obedient citizens and stay indoors in the middle of a global pandemic, I can share with you some tips and tricks to help you maintain your routine without affecting your rental agreement or catching side-eye from neighbors.

Smoke Smarter 

Edibles are the only surefire way to get high at home without any issues. In Portland, OR, I’ve even had a property manager suggest it at move-in. But if you’re anything like me, you can’t go without flower for too long. A joint is a no-no, there’s just too much aroma going on in general. The grinding, rolling, burning, exhaling… not to mention the plume of weed smoke coming off the end of the joint in between puffs. A vaporizer is ideal, but if you don’t have a flower-friendly vape, stick to a small pipe or bong with which you can smoke small personal bowls at a time. 

Philter Labs' Pocket Filter (L), The Smoke Buddy (R) | Emily Carpenter/Thrillist

Exhale With Care

Technically, in a city where it’s legal, you’re allowed to have weed in your apartment. It’s not illegal to have stinky flower, even if your neighbors are bothered by it. The problem is the smoking part. So, don’t blow that smoke just anywhere. The Smoke Buddy was recommended to me and it proved to be a gamechanger. It’s like a 2020 “sploof” -- you know, the classic dryer sheets-shoved-in-a-toilet-paper-roll device. About the size of a lemon, you exhale into one end and virtually odorless-air emerges from the other. Some kind of patented filter system within catches a truly impressive amount of smoke and odor, and they’ll last a few months of very serious daily use. 

Philter Labs makes a sleeker version of the same concept, and while one filter lasts half the exhales of a Smoke Buddy, they have better construction in the long-term and allow you to replace filters as they gunk up. I’ve heard of DIY ways to clean out your Smoke Buddy, but they sound slightly dangerous and the company themselves admit you just have to throw it away at a certain point.

Veil room spray (L), Cannabolish candle & spray (R) | Emily Carpenter/Thrillist

Think Distraction, Not Disguise

In the moment, when you realize how strong your apartment smells like weed smoke, the knee jerk reflex is to start spraying Febreze like you need it to breathe. Because of that, I think a heavy whiff of Febreze is code for stoner activity to the average landlord. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t recommend adding some kind of home fragrance to your indoor smoking routine. I say, shop for room spray like it’s a Mother’s Day gift. Think sophisticated, clean scents, not just because they’re more pleasant, but because it’ll be less suspicious than the heavy artificial perfumes of conventional air fresheners.

Veil makes a woody, peppery room spray designed specifically to balance and eliminate weed smell, and Cannabolish has a more forestry-wintergreen lean to their room sprays and candles. If you’re smoking strong-smelling flower, I recommend having a fragrant candle lit the whole time, as well as spraying a few spritzes of a room spray when you’re done.

Emily Carpenter/Thrillist

Have a Back-Up Plan (a.k.a. Dryer Sheets)

Just keep a pack of dryer sheets around. You never know when your Smoke Buddy will call it quits and you need to make a sploof in a pinch. My biggest challenge remained dealing with the smoke that came off my cherried bowl while I exhaled into a filter. In my highest fantasies, I’d sew a sort of wedding veil-cape thing made out of dryer sheets in order to capture any escaping fumes. A girl can dream. For now, I wave a hand fan around periodically for about a half hour after smoking for good measure.

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Lauren Yoshiko is a Portland-based writer and co-host of Broccoli Magazine's podcast, Broccoli Talk. She was among the first journalists to cover the commerce and culture of cannabis starting in 2014 and her work has since appeared in Willamette Week, Forbes, Rolling Stone, and Broccoli Magazine, among others. Follow her on Instagram at @laurenyoshiko for Portland breakfast sandwich recs, stoned nail art, and moderate cat content.