7 Types of Plants That Look Like Weed

7 Types of Plants That Look Like Weed

The cannabis plant may be one of the most iconic and recognizable plants out there, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t get mistaken from time to time. In nature, there are various types of plants out there that resemble the cannabis plant’s various physical features. This could pose a problem, however, since cannabis is not a legal plant in all parts of the world and some can get in some serious trouble if cannabis plants are discovered in their garden. But how do you tell the difference between cannabis and a plant that looks like weed?

For individuals interested in learning about the different types of plants that look like weed, stay tuned. This article explores 8 of the most common plant types in nature that tend to resemble cannabis, some to a stark degree while pointing out the differences between cannabis and the plants on this list. 

How To Identify A Weed Plant


7 Types of Plants That Look Like WeedFirst and foremost, it is important to be able to identify the unique characteristics of the cannabis plant so distinguishing it from other plants becomes a lot less challenging. The most distinguishable part of the cannabis plant is its leaves. The marijuana plant’s leaves contain rather large and broad leaflets with alternate/opposite leaves or both on the same plant. The top half of the leaves is dark green while the underside of the leaves is a lighter shade of green. The overall shape of the leaflet closely resembles that of the maple but it is much shorter. 

With the stalks growing to be roughly 8 inches long, the cannabis leaf is made up of 1 to 16 coarsely toothed palmate leaflets. Experienced gardeners and growers can easily distinguish between the various look-alikes and the real deal, but to the untrained eye, the differences are not as simple as they might seem at first. 

It should also be noted that there is some variety when it comes to cannabis plants and some variations that exist, for example, there is a slight difference between the way a sativa and an indica look like. Both still incorporate the same basic features except the plants grow to be either larger or smaller with leaves that follow. 

8 Plants Easily Mistaken For Weed

To potentially avoid any negative scenarios where law enforcement might get involved, especially if an individual is into gardening, it’s important to be educated on how to differentiate the cannabis plant from look-alikes. Cannabis connoisseurs, due to their familiarity with the plant, won’t be beguiled by the false imitators but to the untrained eye, it might not be so easy to distinguish. The following are 8 of the most common types of plants that look like weed.

#1 Japanese Maple

7 Types of Plants That Look Like Weed

The Japanese Maple is one of the plants on this list that can easily be mistaken for a cannabis plant. Several varieties, shapes, and colors can be found among Japanese Maples and they share certain unmistakable commonalities in terms of appearance but are very different indeed. The Japanese Maple, as its name suggests, is indigenous to Japan, central China, and Korea. 

During the growing stage of this tree, the leaves and foliage closely resemble that of cannabis, however, the leaves are a brighter shade of green, with smaller leaves, and red stalks. Upon closer examination, the clear differences between the two become apparent. 

#2 Texas Star Hibiscus

7 Types of Plants That Look Like WeedThe Texas Star Hibiscus is another entry on this list that, upon first glance, resembles the cannabis plant to an uncanny degree. However, there are some stark differences between the two that make them easily distinguishable. First, the leaves and branches of the Texas Star are more slender and lack the sharp, pointed edges of the leaves to truly be the cannabis plant. During the growing stage, the Texas Star Hibiscus produces green leaves that eventually change color during maturity, but during the growing stage, the leaves could be mistaken as a cannabis plant by the untrained eye. 

#3 Coral Plant

7 Types of Plants That Look Like WeedThe Coral Plant is a unique plant that displays long and slender leaves that are a bright shade of green, easily confusing with other types of weeds and even marijuana. This plant is a typical plant that is mainly found in Mexico and Central America and is commonly used to try and pawn it off as ‘real weed’ to dealers due to the similarities. The texture and style of the plant are where the confusion lies and can catch people off guard, specifically when it comes to the sharp cuts and extended size of the leaves. 

#4 Cranberry Hibiscus 

7 Types of Plants That Look Like WeedDuring the early stages of development, the Cranberry Hibiscus can be easily mistaken as a cannabis plant due to the similarity of the structure of their leaves, however, during the later stages of maturity, the Cranberry Hibiscus’ leaves change to a vibrant cranberry color which easily distinguishes the two apart from one another. Although the plant may look psychedelic due to its appearance and have similarities to cannabis, there is no THC present in the Cranberry Hibiscus. 

#5 Kenaf

7 Types of Plants That Look Like WeedLike the Japanese Maple, Kenaf is another plant that closely resembles the cannabis plant more so than some others on this list. With leaves and coloring that seriously looks like a copycat to cannabis, the Kenaf plant can easily be mistaken for cannabis, especially in the early stages and with an untrained eye. The texture and sizes of the leaves are where the eerie similarities between the two plants arise to the point where the Kenaf plant’s scientific name (Hibiscus cannabinus) even has the word cannabis in its name. 

#6 Sweetfern

7 Types of Plants That Look Like WeedSweetfern is an invasive species that can be commonly found in yards and gardens. The leaves tend to resemble that of cannabis leaves, however, there is a distinct aroma the Sweetfern gives off that is an odor that is reminiscent of certain cannabis strains. This can go so far as to make someone question whether the Sweetfern is a variety of marijuana, but even though it may share some characteristics of cannabis, it is just another herbal plant. 

#7 Okra 

7 Types of Plants That Look Like WeedOkra is another commonly herbal plant that can be easily mistaken for cannabis and has even happened in the past to a poor individual where the cops mistook his Okra plants for cannabis and he was arrested. The Okra plant is an edible plant that tends to grow in warmer, tropical climates where Okra is commonly incorporated in various southeast Indian dishes. The Okra’s leaves are wider and shorter than the cannabis plant, but upon first glance can be easily mistaken. 

420VL Team

Author Since:  July 2, 2022

Leave a Reply