How do sniffer dogs spot cannabis?

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In many parts of the world, the possession and use of cannabis remains prohibited, despite the unstoppable wave of legalisation in some jurisdictions. Where marijuana use is prohibited, users have to be discreet and inventive to evade the police. Law enforcement agencies, on the other hand, rely on a major ally that is extremely difficult to fool: sniffer dogs. So how is it that dogs can be so effective in detecting cannabis? Why use sniffer dogs to detect cannabis? For centuries humans have understood the potential of dogs. Their intelligence allows them to be trained for specific tasks and their highly developed sense of smell has made them the ideal companion for hunters. More recently, another profession has taken advantage of these two qualities. They are used by police officers to detect drug users, especially cannabis users. While humans have about 6 million olfactory receptors, dogs have about 300 million in their nose. But thats not the only reason why sniffer dogs are so good at it. The area of their brain that processes odours is also 40 times more developed than in humans. This means that dogs have an extremely sensitive sense of smell, which enables them to not only detect a person who has consumed cannabis, but also anyone who has been in contact with weed. They do this all the more easily because the olfactory particles of cannabis are very persistent. The dog’s final asset in detecting cannabis is its selective sense of smell. In other words, dogs are able to differentiate between the molecules that reach their nose. Whereas humans perceive a cocktail of smells that are difficult to distinguish, dogs perceive the various ingredients in the cocktail. It is therefore illusory to hope to deceive the dog squad by masking the smell of cannabis with…

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