weed that looks like marijuana

Pictures of Marijuana for Parents

Photos in Different Stages of Growth and Use

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John C. Umhau, MD, MPH, CPE is board-certified in addiction medicine and preventative medicine. He is the medical director at Alcohol Recovery Medicine. For over 20 years Dr. Umhau was a senior clinical investigator at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

These pictures show marijuana, also known as cannabis or weed, in varying stages of growth, processing, and use. You may be concerned about plants you find growing in and around your home. Or, you may wonder whether what you discovered in your child’s room is marijuana or indicates your child may be using marijuana.

Even if you live in a jurisdiction where marijuana is legal, there are age restrictions and your child can end up on the wrong side of the law. You should prepare to have a conversation with your child about the risks involved in using or selling marijuana when underage.

Marijuana Plant Growing in a Pot

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Cavan Images, LLC / Taxi / Getty Images

If you find plants around your home that look similar to the marijuana plant in the photo, someone in your household is trying to grow their own weed. The plants have changed considerably in recent decades as they have been bred to produce more buds.

Leaves on a Marijuana Plant

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Gary Morrison / Getty Images

If you see plants like this growing around your home, chances are they did not just pop-up in the wild—they were purposely cultivated. Cannabis plants have a palmate leaf with serrated leaflets. You are likely to recognize them from popular art. While there are plants with similar leaves, the serration pattern for Cannabis is distinctive.

Chopped Up Marijuana Plant

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Steve Cicero / Getty Images

Marijuana is dried and chopped up to prepare it for use and sale. The stems are usually removed.

Marijuana Joints

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Levi Bianco / Getty Images

If your child is using marijuana, you may be likely to find rolled joints of marijuana cigarettes. You may also find rolling papers. Your child may claim that these are hand-rolled tobacco cigarettes, which would also be a concern.

Small Amount of Marijuana Ready for Sale

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Michael Betts / Getty Images

You may find a small amount of marijuana your child has acquired for personal use to smoke. It is probably readily available in your community.

Plastic Bag Full of Marijuana

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Nate Brown / EyeEm / Getty Images

You may also find larger quantities of marijuana in a plastic zip-lock bag. You might find smaller plastic bags with residue inside. This can trigger concerns that your child is transporting or selling marijuana rather than obtaining it for personal use.

Marijuana Bud

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Oksana Smith / EyeEm / Getty Images

Marijuana buds are higher in THC than other parts of the plant and are sold at a premium. As marijuana has been increasingly bred to produce more buds, you may find this type of marijuana in your home. It is probably much more potent than the average street-grade weed.

Close Up of Marijuana Bud

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Michael Thomas / EyeEm / Getty Images

If you look closely at a marijuana bud, you will see the fine “hairs” and leaves that make up the bud after it is dried.

Processed Marijuana Buds

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Sinisa Kukic / Getty Images

If you find a larger quantity of processed marijuana buds in your home, someone either has an expensive habit or they are selling weed to their friends.

Indoor Marijuana Grow Operation

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Jeff Rotman / / Getty Images

If you see this many marijuana plants growing indoors, you have stumbled upon a major indoor marijuana grow operation. Leave the scene immediately and call 9-1-1 if it is not a legal operation.

You Found Some Marijuana, Now What?

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Richard T. Nowitz / Getty Images

First of all, don’t over-react. Before you force your child into a professional drug treatment program that you may not be able to afford and they may not even need, take a step back and try to evaluate the situation.

It may be that your child has experimented with marijuana use or tried it a couple of times with their friends. That happens a lot more these days than it may have happened when you were in school.

Forty-four percent of all students have tried weed by 12th grade according to the National Institutes of Health.   That means that your child probably has friends who are smoking marijuana or at least know someone who is.

Your child’s involvement in marijuana may have just been a passing curiosity, or it may be more than that. Before you react, you need to assess just what your child’s level of involvement is with marijuana.

How do you do that? The best advice available is the simplest—ask your child.

Whether or not adolescents become involved in drugs—or stay involved—may be related to their parents’ attitudes about drug use. Having a matter-of-fact, rational discussion with your child about marijuana may be the best way to approach the situation.

Of course, your child’s use of marijuana may be more involved than simple experimentation, depending on how much of the drug you found. If so, they may not be as willing to talk to you about it. In this case, you will need to educate your child on the legal risks of transporting or selling marijuana.

Parents may want to know what marijuana looks like in all stages of development and use. See photos that can help you check what you find at home.

Plants That Look Like Cannabis

Cannabis is one of those plants that pretty much everyone over the age of 13 (for better or worse) can recognize. You can probably picture a cartoon version of this leafy, stalky, controversial plant in your mind if you try. Also called Marijuana, Hemp and weed or pot, Cannabis is versatile and common around the world for its innumerable useful properties. When I was living in West Philadelphia, police often raided houses after seeing some growing in a front yard. It was clear to everyone that this rogue sprout must have fallen from someone’s dime bag while waiting for the bus, or something similarly innocent. The cops never found anything in my neighbor’s houses, and it was almost silly to think that someone would intentionally grow outside their front stoop in the city.

The thing about this plant and almost all of its look-alikes is that they all grow like– well, a weed. Recently, I thought to myself, what if we planted non-Cannabis imposters all over the city, effectively normalizing its presence? Would these dope doppelgangers reduce the number of house raids on my neighbors? Would Cannabis copycats enrich the soil as Marijuana does? First, I needed to know what these plants were and if this plan even made any sense. It turns out, there are a handful of North American native Hemp look-alikes. One of my favorites is Cranberry Hibiscus. The rich purple color on these leaves looks a little more like a Japanese Maple than a Cannabis plant, though the leaf shape is a dead ringer for the five-fingered serrated edge green leaves we all know and love. The Cranberry Hibiscus grows in full sun as well as lightly shady areas and can bloom in the late fall and early winter in the U.S.

So Many Plants that Look Like Cannabis

Many people think that Wild Okra also looks similar to the plant that produces CBD. Their leaves have a similar personality, shape, and size. Okra, like cannabis, is also linked to protection from cancer and is a protocol for patients with some forms of cancer after it is detected in the body. Once you see the green rocket-shaped fruit shooting out of the plant’s center, however, it is clear that you are working with something very different.

The Texas Star Plant is also in the hibiscus family, so not unlike the Cranberry Hibiscus once it starts flowering it is hard to mistake for a Cannabis plant, however, before it blooms it can be a dead ringer for our green friend. This plant loves to be watered and bask in the sunlight, in order to produce it’s five-pointed star leaves, hence its name.

Cannabis is one of those plants that pretty much everyone over the age of 13 (for better or worse) can recognize. You can probably picture a cartoon version of this leafy, stalky, controversial plant in your mind if you try. Also called Marijuana, Hemp and weed or pot, Cannabis is…