plants that look like weed

Weed Wannabes – 10 Plants That Look Like Cannabis (But Aren’t)

Imagine this. You’re sitting outside one bright and sunny summer day and you notice a lot of side-eyeing and funny looks from your neighbors. You decide you’re being paranoid and just brush it off. A few days later, the cops show up at your door. What’s the matter? They ask to see your plant that you have visible from your front window, backyard or balcony… to your surprise, they think it’s a weed plant. You’re perplexed, but have no problem showing them your spider flower house plant and having a good laugh in the end. Even though you might feel annoyed with your nosy neighbors, now you know there’s a number of common herbs that look like weed, plants that look like pot, and even trees that look like marijuana. An entire scenario you could have avoided – if only you’d known beforehand. So, let’s brush up on the top 10 plants that resemble marijuana, and why scenarios like this make it important to know.

Why You Should Know What Plants Look Like Marijuana

Even though our introduction is purely fictional, unfortunately for many in non-legalized states, it could easily be a reality. In fact, in 2014, cops raided a home in Georgia for plants that looked like weed but in actuality were just okra plants. We know there’s still a widespread stigma about cannabis growth and use, and this is one primary reason why you should know what plants look like marijuana.

If you’re a cannabis consumer with plants that look like mary jane, you’re almost certainly drawing unwanted attention to yourself, especially if cannabis isn’t legal in the area where you’re consuming or growing. It’s therefore probably best to keep these types of plants away from the public eye.

Low Odor Cannabis

The List Of Plants That Look Like Cannabis

From common trees to herbs and even vegetables, there is a wide range of plants that look like weed. To be in the know and avoid unnecessary trouble, we’ve compiled a list of plants with leaves that look like weed or plants that resemble marijuana in some way.


Cassava is not only similar to cannabis in terms of its medicinal properties, but in appearance as well. The plant has leaves that look like weed and which are also the same vibrant green color. Like with cannabis, the leaves grow off the stem of cassava plants, adding to the resemblance. One last notable similarity is the leaf structure, as cassava has 7 leaflets and is shaped much like the leaves found on an Indica plant.

Medical Cannabis Strains

Hemp Agrimony

Given its name, the fact that this plant looks like pot may not exactly come as a shock. Also known as eupatorium cannabinum, hemp agrimony plants are far from actually being marijuana or hemp. They’re actually a part of the daisy family. Even though they produce eye-catching purplish-pink flowers during bloom, it’s the plant leaves that most look like weed. Hemp agrimony leaves are a rich green color, with pointed tips and spacing that’s similar to a Sativa plant.

Sativa-dominant strains

Chaste Tree

At full maturity, a chaste tree isn’t really a tree that looks like weed. It’s when the chaste tree is immature and growing that it most resembles mary jane. During this phase, each stem puts out five to six leaves just like a cannabis or hemp plant would. The tree’s leaves are also serrated like marijuana leaves and grow to a similar length and shape.

Texas Star

The leaves of the Texas star hibiscus plant tend to look more like weed than any other plants on this list. At first glance, it’s definitely hard to decipher if it’s a cannabis plant or not. That’s because Texas star leaves are bright green and textured just like marijuana leaves are, and with the same type of edges. Luckily, once mature, the plant blooms in bright reds and whites to detract from the similarities.

Japanese Maple

Japanese maple trees come in a number of varieties. A few of these varieties certainly resemble marijuana. Each different Japanese maple differs in leaf color and shape, but when growing, the plant puts out green leaves that look much like weed leaves do. They have 7 points and can easily trick the eye into thinking it’s marijuana.

Small Plants

Spider Flower

Spider flower, or cleome plants, often get mistaken for Indica-dominant cannabis plants. Like marijuana leaves, spider flower plants grow wide leaflets that begin smaller near the stem. When growing outdoors, the plants also reach about 5 feet in height – another trait similar to many cannabis strains. Fortunately, these plants that initially look like weed eventually bloom with vibrant purple and white flowers.

Outdoor Cannabis Seeds

Coral Plant

When talking about what plants look like marijuana, you can’t avoid the coral plant. The long and lengthy leaflets look very similar to Sativa cannabis varieties from afar. Even the cut of the leaves resembles that of weed leaves. Upon closer look, the texture of the coral plant leaves is what gives it away, as they have a shiny sheen to them that marijuana leaves lack. Eventually, coral plants do flower, which further detracts from the similarities.


Kenaf (not to be confused with kief) is as close to cannabis in appearance as it is by title. The kenaf plant is also known as hibiscus cannabinus, adding to the confusion. The leaves that look like weed share the distinct star pattern, texture and lines. Kenaf plants also put out leaves from the stem in bunches of six or seven, adding to the similarities.

As we mentioned earlier, okra has actually been confused for cannabis by police enforcement before. Hopefully, this mainstream story helps the general population now identify the differences. This vegetable, more so than others on the list, is a plant that resembles weed buds – like cannabis nugs, okra also emerges from buds found near the stem of the plant. Other than that, the leaf color is similar but often wider than marijuana leaves.

Tagetes Minuta

Last but not least is the tagetes minuta plant, which just so happens to share not only medicinal qualities with cannabis but also similarities in appearance. Among the plants that resemble marijuana, tagetes minuta grows most similar in size and height. It also has leaves that look like weed leaves, which are serrated, long and sharp-edged.

Prepared For Plant Confusion?

Just because you may know the difference between house plants that look like pot and actual cannabis plants doesn’t mean that everyone else will. However, now that you know the common plants that develop weed-like leaves and what plants look like marijuana the most, you can avoid having them in the spotlight at your home. With this information, you can be prepared and avoid plant confusion from nosy neighbors, judgmental company, or in the worst-case scenario, law enforcement.

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From common trees to herbs and even vegetables, there is a wide range of plants that look like weed. To be in the know and avoid unnecessary trouble, we’ve compiled a list of plants with leaves that look like weed or plants that resemble marijuana in some way