My Buds Stink! Is Neem to Blame? Can I Fix This?

I’ll start with the TLDR since I’m wordy:

Chopped a couple plants and hung to dry. Noticed odd stinky smell that smells a bit like neem oil or bitter matcha/green tea mixed with maybe cheese. Buds do not appear to be rotting. Sprayed neem in week 2-3 of flower and think it may be the culprit. Will the smell go away with cure? Any ideas what the smell could be if not neem? Is this weed even safe?

Now for the wordy part. This is my first grow. I am growing 2 GSC and 1 Gelato. One GSC I damaged trying training techniques but did not kill it. It is a few weeks behind the others in terms of development. At around week 3 of flower I started having a bad gnat problem. I tried less invasive things such as fly strips, increasing fan speeds, skipping water for a few days and even a bug zapper. This didn’t help and I couldn’t get my hands on some diatomaceous earth so I did some searching and found several people suggesting neem oil. Most people I talked to and articles I read said that neem was fine to use even up until late flower and would not affect the smell, taste or quality. I sprayed neem at around 3-4 weeks of flower. I tried not to get too much on the flowers but I misted it pretty heavily, being mad at those gnats and wanting them gone. The neem worked in getting rid of the gnats and after a few days the tent didn’t stink.

Fast forward to week 9 or so of flower and the two main plants are ready for harvest. I chopped them and noticed that they smell kinda bad. I was expecting a skunky, spicy, sweet standard weed smell but this is anything but. There is a little smell of hay but I expect that to go away with cure. The overwhelming smell is that of what I think may be neem but I am not certain. I smelled the bottle of neem and compared and while it is similar it is also different. I’ve never smelled anything like it so the best I can do to describe it is like the smell of strong green tea mixed with a hint of stinky cheese. Maybe a slight smell of molasses too, which I did add to 3 of the waterings. The buds don’t look bad and I cut a couple open to be sure there wasn’t any rot. It took 4-5 days to dry the buds. I smoked a small bud just to see how it was. The flavor was not good. I did get a decent high that was a little like buzzy if that makes sense. I didn’t feel sick afterwards… /shrug

For comparison, the second GSC is probably a couple weeks away from harvest and so far it smells great. A sweet but standard marijuana smell. This plant had barely started flowering when I sprayed the neem.

So, anyone experienced with neem or bud that smells like this have any comments? The buds have been in jars for a few days now and the smell is still there. I’m basically heartbroken at this point knowing that I spent 5 months and a lot of money (equipment, nutes, electricity, etc) and all I have is some stinky weed that may not be good or safe to smoke.

I’ve seen many people here say never neem in flower, however with high rain and humidity where I grow I’ve had to neem almost every other day in flower and sometimes up until a day or two before harvest. I never had a bad smell or taste from the neem but thats my experience, others say different.

If it isn’t neem then what could this smell be? It has toned down a little while in jars but the normal weed smell has not taken over as I had hoped. I thought of something else that it sorta smells like: cantaloupe or maybe even just the rind of cantaloupe. It is not a bad smell as in like something bacterial or fungal, at least I don’t think it is.

Any tips on how I can get my bud to smell right or am going to have to throw these ounces in the trash?

Have you smelled a wide variety of cannabis? Could this just be some really aromatic, rank flower?

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