Germination Guarantee
Free Shipping
Cranberry Hibiscus

Marijuana Lookalikes: 13 Plants That Look Like Weed But Aren’t

Plants that look like weed could get you into trouble, especially with nosy neighbors.  There are tons of plants that resemble marijuana, and knowing the difference can save you a lot of misery. Plus, it’s fun to learn about them and share the deets with your neighbors before they call the cops on your tomato plant. 

Are you keen to discover thirteen plants that look like pot? Let’s go! We’ve done the research, and we’re ready to reveal all. 

Cannabis flower
Cannabis flower

Is it important to know the difference between marijuana and its lookalikes?

It’s interesting to see how many plants have a similar appearance to cannabis. Apart from that, there are more important reasons to learn the difference. Here are some reasons why it's crucial to be able to identify plants that look like marijuana

  • To avoid misguided legal trouble. You don’t want the police to come knocking on your door for your herb garden. If you live in a strict neighborhood, you can plant herbs that look like weed away from prying eyes.
  • To have a cool weed-themed garden. Every cloud has a silver lining. Most reasons to know the difference between a weed plant and a marijuana look-alike are to avoid negative consequences.
  • To avoid deadly plants. Being able to identify different plants is crucial. Consuming the wrong plant could be dangerous or deadly.

Some pot enthusiasts collect everything from marijuana-themed t-shirts, mugs, and car stickers. Why not bring your passion home and grow a ganja-themed garden filled with plants that look like weed? You could even have a high-tea party with your cannabis-loving friends.

How to recognize a cannabis plant

Marijuana is infamous for its seven-pointed leaves that have smooth edges. The appearance of the foliage is the primary factor in spotting hemp or marijuana plants.

The middle leaf tends to reduce in length compared to the rest. Each lobe, after the longest center leaf, gets shorter and shorter.

cannabis plant in early flowering

The smell is another crucial factor in identifying a cannabis plant. When the buds are in the vegging and flowering stage, their resin production increases, releasing a pungent scent. Some people associate the aroma with skunk spray or cat pee.

Do you know what cannabis seeds look like? They’re typically dark brown with almost black “tiger stripes,” roughly the size of a peppercorn.

Some cannabis crops can produce leaves with only a single lobe. Most leaves have 3, 4, 5, or 7. There’s commonly a variety on one plant.

Wild weed plants come in all different sizes, colors, and shapes. They typically have stark green fan leaves amongst the vibrant buds. A healthy weed plant has dark green leaves, similar to lawn or pine needles. An unhealthy crop has lighter/yellowing leaves.

Buds and pistils grow later in a marijuana plant’s life cycle. The pistols are red, orange, or white and appear in large quantities on marijuana flowers. These factors easily identify the difference between a Japanese maple and a weed leaf.

Cannabis plants are also known for their white trichomes. These microscopic appendages contain cannabinoids and terpenes. They appear as tiny crystals on the buds and sugar leaves. Without trichomes, the plant is either immature or not part of the cannabis family. A large cannabis plant won’t have trichomes when in veg.

13 plants that look like weed

Now that you know why it’s essential to know the difference let’s look at 13 plants that look like marijuana. These descriptions will help you spot the difference and be prepared to explain your garden vs. “what weed really looks like” to your nosy neighbors. 

Let’s dig in. 

1. Japanese Maple

These delicate plants are commonly confused for cannabis plants, especially during spring when the leaves are still green. It has arguably the most prominent marijuana leaf look-alikes. The blades grow narrow at the ends and have the same five-edged classic weed leaf appearance. 

The most significant difference is that the Japanese Maple foliage turns bright red during the summer. It is one of the plants that look like weed, but it lacks common attributes such as the benefits and challenges of growing cannabis. Here are some reasons people grow Japanese Maple: 

  • Beautiful appearance
  • Some forms make perfect Bonsai - could be easily mistaken for cannabis bonsai trees
  • Herbal medicinal uses including eye inflammation and liver problems
  • Sap used as a sweetener in beverages and dishes 
Japanese Maple
Japanese Maple

2. Texas Star

The Texas Star is one of the plants that resemble marijuana that could deceive most people. This beauty has slender branches adorned in thin, pointy leaves, all hanging from an erect, textured stem. Of course, cannabis growers wouldn’t draw conclusions simply on the leaf shape. 

It has leaves that look like weed, but once it flowers, it can’t be confused. Texas Star lives up to its name when it begins to blossom with stunning red flowers in the shape of a star. People typically plant these flowers to beautify a space and attract stunning creatures like butterflies and hummingbirds. 

Texas Star
Texas Star

3. Chaste Tree

The Chaste Tree looks like a weed plant that had a spa day. It has a similar leaf pattern, but the blades are smooth and soft. The structure makes it one of the plants that look like weed. You’ll see a few pointy green leaves bunched up in each stem; all joined on a sturdy trunk. 

Of course, when the tree is fully grown, it’s clear to see it’s not a weed plant because of the brown trunks and lilac flowers that bloom in late Spring. Also known as Vitex agnus-castus, this tree has a lot of health benefits, specifically for women. It’s said to help regulate menstruation, rebalance hormones and boost fertility. 

Chaste Tree
Chaste Tree

4. Cassava

Cassava is a plant that looks like weed at first glance, but if you look closely, you should spot the difference. Each branch connects seven yellowish-green leaves. These are typically the only reason people confuse it for weed, since it has red branches and fleshy roots.

The roots, also known as the tubers, are highly poisonous but edible once appropriately cooked. They’re enjoyed in famous dishes worldwide, such as Taiwanese boba tea, cassava pie in Bermuda, and yuca fries in South America.

Eating cassava boasts a wide range of health benefits, including high vitamin C and good carbohydrates. To be safe, never consume a plant that is unfamiliar to you.


5. Cranberry Hibiscus

Cranberry hibiscus is marijuana’s beautiful cousin. When young, they’re one of the plants that look like weed but aren’t. The leaves look like cannabis with a red hue. Of course, this can still be confusing because pot isn’t always green. Genetics, anthocyanins, and certain strains like Predator Pink may create a stunning amber color as well. 

As cranberry hibiscus grows, the leaves broaden and look like typical maple leaves. There are many reasons people risk funny looks from their neighbors when they grow these plants that look like weed. Here are some: 

  • Easy to grow 
  • Edible and deliciously sweet and tart
  • Used to make herbal teas to treat anemia and weakness
  • Beautiful natural food dye 
Cranberry Hibiscus
Cranberry Hibiscus

6. Kenaf

This marijuana look-alike shares the same star-like pattern, rough edge texture, and lines of cannabis leaves. It looks like marijuana but has a lot in common with hemp. Also known as Deccan hemp, it produces one of the strongest fibers on the planet. 

When Kenaf blossoms, it has white and crimson flowers, which are impossible to be confused with cannabis. Here are some of its uses:

  • Fibers used to make bags, rope, and paper products
  • Leaves and seeds used in cooking or baking
  • Seeds extracted for oil

7. Mugwort

Also known as common wormwood, Mugwort plants grow tall with short upright branches. The leaves are a forest green color on the top and covered in silver wooly hairs at the bottom. This plant that looks like marijuana may appear with resin-covered buds that accompany strains like Gorilla Glue seeds to the untrained eye. 

It’s an ancient belief that Mugwort is a lucky plant that brings good fortune, but if you’re not careful, it could get the police instead. More than just a marijuana look-alike, it also has similar medicinal benefits and a strong earthy scent. Here are some uses for Mugwort: 

  • Energy booster 
  • Digestive trouble 
  • Menstrual problems 
  • Anxiety, depression, and chronic fatigue 

8. Mint

These delicious minty leaves will give you fresh breath to face your nosy neighbors with confidence when asking about your garden. Mint plants have dark green leaves bunched together in groups of four or five and stacked tightly on a long vine-like stem. Sound familiar? 

Mints plants are herbs that look like weed, but you definitely shouldn’t smoke them. If you’d like minty fresh breath after smoking, try strains like Super Silver Haze Auto seeds which create buds with minty undertones. 


9. Oregano 

This aromatic Italian herb commonly sprinkled on pizza could easily be mistaken for the herb you smoke instead. The hue is a lighter shade of green than cannabis plants, but it has leaves that look like weed. Slightly serrated edges and a similar bumpy texture could fool anyone. 

If you want to keep your oregano plant a secret, you can grow this marijuana look-alike indoors by your kitchen window. In the culinary world, oregano is typically dried and ground (much like weed), and it has a potent earthy scent. It also boasts a wide array of health benefits such as: 

  • Antibacterial properties
  • High in phytonutrients which may help fight infections
  • Good source of vitamin K, iron, and fiber. 

10. Okra

A man from Cartersville was woken up by a chopper, county deputies, and a K-9 unit. They were from the Governor's Task Force for drug suppression and later realized what they saw as a weed plantation was just a garden of okra. 

Okra has marijuana leaf look-alikes and buds. That’s right, it has buds that look scarily akin to weed nuggets, but you don’t want to smoke these. Eating okra, however, has many benefits, including: 

  • Diabetes control
  • High in fiber 
  • Carb-free way to thicken sauces and soups 
  • Good source of antioxidants and minerals 

11. Skunk Cabbage

If it looks and smells like weed, then it must be weed...or it could be skunk cabbage. This is a well-known plant in America, so you won’t have to explain to your neighbors what is a marijuana plant and why these plants that look like marijuana will get you stoned. 

Skunk Cabbage is usually grown in swampy areas and has a superpower of keeping pests away. Animals can’t eat this marijuana look-alike because it causes a burning sensation, but humans can eat it in moderate amounts. 

Skunk Cabbage
Skunk Cabbage

12. Tagetes Minuta

The long, finely serrated leaves make tagetes minuta a plant that looks like weed, especially in the early stages. It’s also around the same size as most common cannabis crops. During later stages, it blossoms in yellow and white flowers, which cancels all confusion. 

Similar to some cannabis strains such as Blue Dream, it releases an earthy licorice scent when rubbed. Some parts are edible such as the leaves and flowers but consume with caution because too much can cause toxicity. Here are some uses: 

  • Respiratory problems
  • Used for tapeworms or digestive issues 
  • Can treat cuts and burns 
Tagetes Minuta
Tagetes Minuta

13. Tomato plant

A worker at an apartment block once called the police because he spotted plants that look like weed on the roof. I know what you’re thinking, tomato plants look nothing like marijuana; it’s obvious. The police officer who came to analyze these suspicious salad leaves was also unsure.

That report was eventually closed. In another case, police raided a 79 years old woman’s cottage and arrested her dogs because they confused the tomato plants on her windowsill for weed. They also tore her house apart.   

Honestly, tomato plants have one thing in common with cannabis: green leaves. If you do pot these plants that look like marijuana, let your neighbors know and maybe label your herb garden so the police won’t have to call on the help of a botanist (or arrest your dogs). 


Final thoughts on plants that look like weed

It’s surprising how many marijuana lookalikes are out there. By now, you should know what plant looks like weed and what doesn’t but could still get your door broken down.

In conclusion, tomatoes are dangerous. Just kidding! Hopefully, this helps you spot the difference and keep your lovely herb garden away from prying eyes. If you are growing weed, be sure to check out our top-notch collection and buy marijuana seeds from our seed bank. 

Happy harvesting! 


Now that you’re clued up on identifying marijuana plants, you may have some leftover queries. The colors of marijuana and leaf size and formation are the primary identification factors, but always look for other signs, like the smell.

What plant smells similar to cannabis?

Moss phlox is one of the rare plants that smells like cannabis. Although this purple, blue, and pink flower is beautiful to look at, its appearance has no association with cannabis.

What is the closest related plant to cannabis?

The plants most closely related to cannabis are hemp, hops, hackberry, Trema orientalis, and blue sandalwood. All five have similar genetics and shared appearances.

Is there a cannabis type that doesn’t look like cannabis?

The Ducksfoot strain is one of the rare varieties of cannabis that doesn’t resemble the typical appearance. Its leaves look like webbed duck feet instead of the iconic pointed foliage. Freakshow is another interesting-looking strain, with wild, fern-like leaves. Varieties like this can have dark, almost black, purple leaves.

question-icon Was this article helpful?
Do you need help? Contact us
Leave your comment
Your email address will not be published
This website is intended for adults only (21+)

Are you over 21 years of age?