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best air filter for weed smoke

What’s the Best Air Purifier Technology for Weed Smoke?

People have been smoking marijuana under the radar for decades, but the legalization of weed for both medical use (in 33 states) and recreational use (in Canada and 10 U.S. states) means it is much more common and mainstream than it was even as recently as five years ago.

However, smoking pot has some unfortunate drawbacks. Much like tobacco smoke, weed smoke contains several different types of pollutants that can affect your indoor air quality. These toxins and particulates can have a negative effect on both the smoker and anyone who inhales second-hand smoke. Moreover, even if you do not mind the smell of weed smoke, you probably would not want that smell to linger in your house.

Clearing the air in your home of smoke, smell and toxins can be a challenge, especially for heavy users. Fortunately, you can remove such pollutants with an air purifier, and there are a number of technologies that claim to help, with varying degrees of success. But which one will most effectively remove weed smoke from your home? To determine this, it is useful to understand both the composition of marijuana smoke and how different air purification technologies work to remove it.

Is weed smoke bad for you?

Firstly, it is important to note that we are talking about the smoke from a burning marijuana joint and its potential pollutants. We will not discuss the health benefits or drawbacks of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the substance in marijuana that gives you the “high.” That would be beyond the scope of this article. We also presume you’re an adult who has made the informed decision to smoke weed in your home and would like to minimize the effects of the smoke itself.

There is some evidence that marijuana smoke is associated with greater cancer risk, according to the California Environmental Protection Agency. Although weed smoke has not been definitively linked to cancer, the bad news is that it is still likely to be harmful to your health and anyone else in your home who inhales it secondhand. A study in the European Respiratory Journal found that lung cancer risk increases eight percent for every year in which a person smokes a joint on a daily basis (even if a year’s worth of smoking is spread out across multiple years) (Aldington et al, 2008). Though weed smoke does not contain nicotine, it does contain similar carcinogens to tobacco smoke. The researchers noted that, “Cannabis smoke is qualitatively similar to tobacco smoke, although it contains up to twice the concentration of the carcinogenic polyaromatic hydrocarbons.”

The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that, “Marijuana smoking is associated with large airway inflammation, increased airway resistance, and lung hyperinflation, and those who smoke marijuana regularly report more symptoms of chronic bronchitis than those who do not smoke.” Furthermore, a study by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment found that marijuana smoke contains “at least 33 individual carcinogens present in both marijuana smoke and tobacco smoke,” such as benzopyrene and benzanthracene.

Another key point is that you inhale these toxins directly when you smoke weed. The researchers in the above studies found that marijuana joints are more loosely packed than tobacco cigarettes, resulting in more smoke and tar being inhaled by the user. They also found that marijuana users tend to inhale more deeply and keep the smoke in their lungs longer, thus amplifying the negative effects of toxic substances in the smoke. Finally, they noted that joints are typically unfiltered, and it is unclear if filters made for joints, or using tobacco cigarette filters in joints, actually remove any of the harmful substances from the smoke.

What pollutants are found in weed smoke?

The pollutants in weed smoke take two forms: particulates and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The particulate matter in smoke can be both solid and liquid, and some of the particles are microscopic. Because marijuana tends to have a higher water content than tobacco, liquid particles tend to be in weed smoke. These tiny particles can be inhaled and lodge deep within your lungs, and if they build up over time they may impair lung function according to the American Lung Association.

Since smoke is a product of combustion, the VOCs in weed smoke are similar to those found in other types of smoke. Carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, benzene and formaldehyde are among the toxins in marijuana smoke, along with hundreds of other compounds. These gaseous pollutants are different from particulate pollutants.

Which air purifier technology is best for weed smoke?

Only some air purifiers are capable of handling both particulate and gaseous pollutants, and while some might remove pollutants, they can still generate harmful substances themselves. Here are some current air purification technologies, ranked from worst to best, for removing weed smoke from the air.

Ozone generators – These air purifiers intentionally produce harmful ozone, which is a lung irritant. Through a chemical reaction, the ozone removes gases, but with limited effectiveness. Toxic byproducts are also created during this process, adding to the airborne chemicals already in the air because of the weed smoke. Moreover, ozone generators do not even eliminate the particles that make up a large part of marijuana smoke – the odors may be masked by the ozone smell, but the airborne chemicals remain. The bottom line is that the EPA does not recommend ozone generators for use in enclosed spaces.

Ionizers – Ionizers apply an electric charge to particles that pass through it, causing them to settle out of the air. But this process produces ozone, which means they have the same drawbacks as ozone generators. Ionizers are also ineffective against VOCs, so they will not remove gaseous pollutants from weed smoke, plus they produce limited airflow resulting in low filtration effectiveness.

Carbon filters – These filters use activated charcoal to remove VOCs from the air. The many crevices inside the carbon contain spaces where VOC molecules can become attached, like a lock fitting into a keyhole. This process is known as “adsorption” and can effectively remove VOCs and odors from the air. But the problem with carbon air purifiers is that they eventually become less efficient as the carbon “fills up” with VOC molecules. Eventually, the filter will not only stop working, but also begin emitting those same toxic compounds back into the air. Therefore, they need to be replaced frequently. Carbon filters cannot filter certain compounds, like carbon monoxide and other types of gases. Finally, carbon filters do not capture any particulate pollutants whatsoever.

HEPA – HEPA filters are designed to remove 99.97 percent of all particles of 0.3 microns in size, therefore they are acceptable for removing particulate matter from the air, though no filter can remove all of it. However, they do not remove VOCs or odors, which is composes a large part of weed smoke. If the filter is not changed often enough, it can even become a source of odors.

PECO air purifier OR a hybrid (containing carbon + HEPA) – The Molekule PECO air purifier is the best solution for weed smoke because it removes both particles and VOCs from the air. VOCs processed by the PECO-Filter are permanently destroyed, so that they are not released back into the air. Alternately, if your personal situation or budget dictates, you might consider a hybrid unit with an adequate amount of carbon AND a HEPA filter because it can address both particles and odors/VOCs in marijuana smoke.

Other ways to reduce weed smoke

When smoking marijuana, you ideally want to inhale the THC while minimizing your exposure to the other compounds present in smoke. There are a few steps you can take. First, don’t smoke in an enclosed area. It’s best to be somewhere with an open window or vent fan. You should also make sure that the intake of the unit is placed directly near the source of the smoke, and try to reduce the amount of paper in your joints if you roll them yourself. Excess paper is just excess smoke that does not contain any THC. Finally, if you have a specific room where you smoke, wash any bedding, and clean the carpets and upholstery frequently. This will help get rid of the odors.

If you choose to smoke marijuana, taking these preventative steps and using the right kind of filter technology will help ensure that the air in your home remains as clean and healthy as possible.

Find information on different air purifier technologies, how they handle weed smoke, and which is the best for your home.

Our Buyer’s Guide To The Best Air Purifier For Weed Smoke Including Cigarettes & Cigars Too!

Table of Contents

Please note: Information and technical specifications used for the reviews in this guide was obtained from the publications below on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Radiation and Indoor Air, Indoor Environments Division’s website.

If you smoke or live with a smoker, you’ll almost certainly face the dilemma of smoke and odors inside the home.

Even smokers who make a habit of going outside might be driven in by inclement weather.

It can lead to a tough choice between a happy smoker and an odor-free home.

But what if you didn’t have to make that choice?

Did you know that air purification technology has been proven effective at reducing particularite matter in homes with a smoker? (source)

Today, we’ll guide you through a selection of the latest & best air purifiers for smoke so you can determine whether you can cut through the smoke and smell in your house.

There are literally 100’s of air purifiers you can buy online and the seemingly endless options can confuse even the most savviest of shoppers.

So we did the homework for you and reviewed 9 of the BEST air purifiers you can find online to tackle the job of ridding your home of smoke and you can finally have house that smells good!

We broke them down into the top 3 based on the size of the room (large/open floor plan, medium and small) you want to remove cigarette, cigar or even marijuana smell from.

These air purifying devices are the perfect investment for your home while you are living there and will make it a lot easier for you to sell your house down the road.

Because having a fresh and clean smelling home is a critical step when preparing your home for sale.

Running an air purifier means you will not have to go through the large effort of manually removing smoke smell out of your home.

Best Air Purifier For Smoke Reviews

We’ll launch into the main event now with a actionable review of nine of the best air purifiers on the market split across three categories.

But keep in mind, these are the top 3, the best of the best and the difference between #1 and #3 is minimal.

You can’t go wrong with any of these picks, just decide which one has the features your are looking for in your home!

With each of these units, we’ll start by presenting the basic stats so you can determine type, square footage, and CADR rating at a glance.

Large Room and Open Floor Plan Coverage Area

#1 Recommendation: Coway AirMega 400 Air Purifier

Filter Type Square Foot Coverage CADR Rating
HEPA + Carbon 1560 square feet 350

The first air purifier on our list is a powerhouse and it undeniably works extremely well and is efficient, if you have a large smoky space that needs serious attention.

This air purifier will automatically turns itself on when it detects even the slightest impurities, and will QUICKLY and QUIETLY eliminate smoke odors and other bad air.

Many cheaper purifiers work just fine up to a point, but they won’t be able to effectively work large spaces and they lack the level of engineering and technology available from the Coway AirMega 400.

So if you choose to invest in this high quality purifier, you should get many, many years of air purifying performance out of this unit.

This tech-driven model, alerts you to the air quality in your room with an LED ring that lights up to show you how good or bad the air is in real time.

This model will take care of purifying the smoke in the air with it’s four high quality filters.

You’ll get a pair of washable pre-filters, an activated carbon filter ideal for eliminating the smell of smoke, and a true green HEPA-rated filter to catch even the tiniest pathogens.

With the HEPA filter working to suck away 99.97% of those miniature airborne pollutants and the charcoal filter getting rid of 99% of the noxious VOCs in cigarette smoke.

There is no doubt that this air purifier will leave your home without any smoke smells.

For the tech savvy buyer, you can purchase the “S” model, which includes WiFi connectivity with an intuitive iOS and Android app that renders your smart phone into a remote control.

You can toggle between Auto, Eco, and Sleep modes from a distance while monitoring the air quality and the status of the filters.

The app also has the capability to easily set a schedule for your air purifier to run according to what you think is best.

Also the “S” model is Alexa enabled to allow you to control the air purifier with your voice, pretty cool!

If you’re looking for an air purifier for a smoke-riddled house with some really cool technology included, this quiet and efficient AirMega is our stand-out recommendation.

#2 Recommendation: Rabbit Air MinusA2 HEPA Air Purifier

Filter Type Square Foot Coverage CADR Rating
HEPA + Carbon 815 square feet 193

Coming in second for a large space that needs purifying, the Rabbit Air MinusA2 is another incredibly capable unit.

From cigarette and cigar smoke to the pungent whiff of medical marijuana or the unwelcome smells from your pets, this combined HEPA and carbon purifier makes light work of any odor in its path.

A six-stage filtration system is set up to foil all the smells and irritating pathogens that shower off the end of your cigarette.

There’s a washable permanent pre-filter, a medium filter, true HEPA filter, carbon filter and negative ion generator, giving you the best of all categories in one fantastic package.

The added touch is being able to customize the fourth stage of filtration.

You can choose from a germ defense filter, pet allergy filter, toxic absorber filter and odor remover filter so you can fine-tune things accordingly.

Obviously, for smoke removal you will want the odor remover filter.

This combination of filters all come together to practically guarantee a smoke-free home without anyone needing to scurry outside in the rain to smoke.

This purifier has five speeds and even at the high end, it still runs with very little noise, so it won’t be distracting when it runs or perfect for any light sleepers.

Perhaps the most unique feature, is that you can even mount this purifier on the wall but you don’t have to, you can leave it freestanding too.

Either freestanding or mounted, the lights on this air purifier make for a sleek and cool display.

It is equipped with LED mood lights on the front panel, which can be turned on to produce a soothing spectrum of colors.

If the room is bright, your LEDs will stay on, but if the room is dark for more than three minutes, they will turn off.

But you can adjust how they react in the settings.

This air purifier also has an upgraded “N” model you can purchase that will allow you to connect to your WiFi network and control from anywhere with the Rabbit Air App but it is currently only available for Apples iOS devices.

The app allows you to remotely control the settings, set a schedule and change the mood light modes.

There’s a rock solid five-year warranty with 24/7 support in place showing you how much faith the manufacturer puts in this rugged appliance.

#3 Recommendation: Alen BreathSmart Air Purifier

Filter Type Square Foot Coverage CADR Rating
HEPA + Proprietary Filter 1100 square feet 300

Last but by no means least in this list of recommended purifiers for large areas is another highly effective model, this time from Alen, a highly respected company in the air purifier industry.

There is no WiFi connectivity or iOS & Android app for this unit like the above two but if that is not a feature you are looking for than this is a VERY well engineered air purifier.

Alen’s website boasts that this is the quietest, most powerful air purifier in the world.

One feature that makes this unit different from the competition is that it is available in 15 striking finishes that you can pick out.

This guarantees that there’s something to mesh with any color scheme in your home and is perfect for people who have to customize to their exact taste.

You can opt for the regular style or you can focus on pet odors or household chemicals, so you get the right approach in place for your particular problem.

The HEPA FreshPlus filter can’t be beaten when it comes to wicking away those microscopic contaminants.

There are four of these proprietary filter variants, so if you also want to combat the smell of smoke, opt for the HEPA-OdorCell and you’ll soon be sniffing gloriously fresh air.

Alen’s support said their odor removing filters don’t contain charcoal but a proprietary filter that is like baking soda on steroids!

And we agree! It works great for getting rid of cigarette smells in your home.

This model even works well with much larger spaces, so you’ll be safe to purify areas well over 1000 square feet without spending a fortune.

Alen has intelligent sensor technology that lights up to always let you know the status of the air quality around you with a quick glance at the unit.

And when it’s bedtime it can switch to lights-off mode to cleans the air without disturbing your sleep.

Have you ever had an air purifier so noisy you were limited to using the lower settings?

There’s no such need with the Alen and you’ll be able to run it at full clip while basking in its whisper-quiet nature.

Don’t get us wrong, it is not silent, none of them are. But this machine has a gentle soothing white noise quality to it.

With exceptional airflow and a wide range of choices so you can really tweak air purification to your requirements, the Alen BreathSmart is a smart option if you have a budget that allows for the highest quality and you want all smoke and odors removed from your home.

We did the homework for you and reviewed 9 of the BEST air purifiers you can find online to tackle ridding your home of smoke and keep it smelling fresh. ]]>