Prescription Pill Bottles: are they Airtight and Smell Proof?

  • November 7, 2017
Most prescription pill bottles aren’t airtight nor smell proof. However, pill bottles made for the retail and medical marijuana industry are the most airtight pill bottles on the market.

Some people will chime in and say they think, “Orange pill bottles are more airtight than white ones” or vice versa; or that one store brand’s bottles are more airtight than another’s.

However, color and store brand aren’t good ways to determine whether pill bottles are airtight.

Why Prescription Pill Bottles aren’t Airtight

All pharmacy pill bottles are tested to measure:

  • Multiple internal reflectance,
  • Thermal analysis,
  • Heavy metal reactivity,
  • Non-volatile residue,
  • Prevention of ultra-violet light seeping through, and
  • Low moisture permeation.

However, air and light still flow through most pill bottles in small amounts. Standard child resistant caps aren’t designed to be airtight. They are designed to ensure a child can’t remove the cap easily. Pharmacy pill bottles are tested for low exposure to moisture, air, heat and other factors. However, there is still a window for the elements to seep through.

CVS vs. Walgreens bottles?

Many people mistakenly think that CVS pill bottles are more airtight than Walgreens are or vice versa. However, these companies change pill bottle manufacturers all the time, to meet needs of their business. The only way to determine if a prescription pill bottle is airtight is to test it.[1]

Test for Airtightness

Test for water permeation to see if your bottle is airtight. Put a dry tissue in the pill bottle. Then, submerge the closed pill bottle in water. Does the tissue stay dry after several hours? Chances are the answer is no. You’re going to find some moisture in your tissue.

The Demand amongst Weed Smokers

Many people want to use prescription pill bottles to transport drugs and other illegal substances without detection. Cannabis has a strong odor. It’s a hard drug to transport without detection. Many weed smokers mistakenly think that empty pill bottles make excellent vehicles for transporting weed. Many report that they can’t smell weed odors through the bottles.

However, it’s important to consider that most weed smokers aren’t aware of the smell of weed on their person because they’ve gotten so used to smelling it.

Transporting Weed in Pill Bottles

Though weed decriminalization is taking place all over the world, weed possession could still carry heavy repercussions for people. Though they might think their pharmacy pill bottles are airtight; chances are, they aren’t.[2]

Where to Get an Airtight Pill Bottle

There are many tutorials online about how to make prescription pill bottles airtight and water tight; involving things like Gorilla Glue, Duct Tape and Goo Gone. However, none of these solutions are guaranteed to work. In addition, any that do work won’t work long term.

The most airtight pill bottle is one designed for the medical and retail marijuana industry. These industry standards are the highest there are. People want to protect their weed from degradation; and prevent detection during transport. About Sealz is a top pill bottle brand advertised to be airtight, water tight and double sealed.


  1. Vorvick, Linda J. “Storing Your Medicines: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia.” MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 14 Jan. 2018.[]
  2. NIDA. “Marijuana.” National Institute on Drug Abuse.[]

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