Can Dogs Smell Cannabis Seeds

Find out whether drug dogs can smell edibles or not, everything you need to know about how weed edibles are detectable and how dogs can detect them. Parents turn to specially trained drug-sniffing dogs for a discreet way to drug test their children.

Can Drug Dogs Smell Edibles?

We all are aware that dogs can detect certain objects using the powerful sense of smell they have. Thus, we see them at the airports and check posts to ensure travelers are not carrying anything illegal. Police train the drug dogs to sniff out some distinct smells associated with substances, like that of marijuana.

Over the years, marijuana has found its way into things we normally eat. Now you can find the drug in candies, cakes, brownies, and cookies. Thus the question has arisen, whether the drug dogs can detect edibles or not.

Continue reading further as discover the answer you’re looking for.

Do edibles have a specific smell?

First of all, we need to understand whether edibles have a smell that could give away their true identity. The truth is that edibles do smell different than the plant itself. This is due to an altered chemical composition that is in the edibles.

Marijuana gets its aroma from terpenes. However, edibles do not have this fragrant compound. Furthermore, most edibles consist of a standardized amount of THC, thus leaving out the terpenes.

Is the smell detectable?

The truth is that dogs have a sense of smell that is 100,000 times stronger than us. Therefore, dogs tend to detect all sorts of smells, especially cannabis, regardless of the form. However, the ability to detect edibles is dependent on how well trained the dog is.

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These drug dogs go through specific training sessions to master the sense of detecting cannabis in several forms. According to Dan Hayter, a former military drug dog trainer and founder of K9 Global Training Academy, you can train dogs to recognize illicit compounds mixed into edibles like flour.

How can the dogs detect smell?

A common method used by trainers at facilities to teach dogs to recognize the smell of a certain drug is a game played between the dog and trainer. What basically happens during this training is that the trainer and dog play a game of tug of war using a white towel.

This towel has no smell of its own at the beginning of the war. The trainers then roll up a bag of the drug inside the towel. The dog takes some time to get familiar with the smell recognizing it as his favorite toy. The trainer hides the towel with cannabis or edibles in different places for the dog to recognize the smell.

So, dogs can sniff or detect any smell/edible that has a positive stimulus attach to it, such as in the case of the drug-towel game. The dog considers it a toy. However, certain breeds do lack the capability of detecting certain smells.


We all are aware of the advancements in the world of cannabis as they are producing edibles that contain a certain amount of the drug. Now that the consumption methods are changing, are the authorities taking extra measures to detect edibles?

Yes, they are working on sophisticated detection methods, including training drug dogs. Many dogs can easily detect the smell of edibles as they would with cannabis. However, this does require some in-depth training as the smell of edibles and cannabis does vary.

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Dogs Sniff Scent of Drugs on Teens

Parents turn to dogs for discreet way to detect their kids’ drug use.

Oct. 22, 2008 — — Ali is a highly trained German shepherd that spent eight years on narcotics patrol with the New Jersey police force, hunting down drug smugglers at airports and drug dealers on inner-city streets. Post-retirement, he’s working in the private sector, sniffing teenagers’ bedrooms.

Ali and his handler are now working for a new company in New Jersey called Sniff Dogs.

The company, which also conducts business in Ohio, rents drug-sniffing canines to parents for $200 an hour. It was started this year by Debra Stone, who says her five trained dogs can detect heroin, cocaine, crystal meth and ecstasy.

The dogs’ noses are so sensitive that they can smell a marijuana seed from up to 15 feet away and marijuana residue on clothing from drugs smoked two nights before.

One of the selling points of this service? Avoiding the kind of confrontation that comes with a drug test.

Watch “World News With Charles Gibson” tonight at 6:30 ET for the full report.

Pat Winterstein of Washington, N.J., was curious about the unusual specialty and turned to the dogs to search her teenagers’ bedrooms.

“Most kids will deny it and then where do you turn?” said Winterstein, who has three children, the youngest of whom is 14. “Not knowing is worrisome. It’s nice to know you can have something you can turn to.”

The dogs did not find any drugs this time, but Winterstein says she’ll keep doing the tests periodically, if necessary, to ensure that her children stay free of drugs.

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Though critics say this approach runs the risk of breaking down the trust between parents and children, Winterstein says it offers her solace.

“As a parent you worry,” she said. “My kids are great. I trust my kids, but you only can trust them so far.”

Drug-sniffing dogs aren’t the only measures parents are using to keep tabs on their children. There are now Global Positioning System devices that can be sewn into children’s clothing to monitor how fast they’re driving, and software that allows a parent to read text messages.

But some psychologists say these surveillance techniques can backfire.

“There are major repercussions for this type of intervention,” said Dr. Neil Bernstein, a Washington, D.C.-based clinical psychologist and author of the book “How to Keep Your Teen Out of Trouble.”

“When parents do this it erodes trust and goodwill.”

Drug Dogs May Spot Warning Signs

Melinda Bennington of Chatham, N.J., wishes that she had dogs to help her see the warnings signs before it was too late. Her son Tom died of a heroin overdose two years ago.

“Had I known that in eighth grade he had actually already started snorting heroin, I probably would have done some things differently,” she said in retrospect.

As parents, Bennington and Winterstein agree that checking up on children is not only a parent’s right, but a responsibility.

“They’re kids, young adults — they’re going to make [a] mistake,” Winterstein said. “And I just want them to know that I’m here for them and that I’m doing my job to love and protect them. This is my way of protecting them.”