How To Tell The Difference Between Weed And Oregano

How To Tell The Difference Between Weed And Oregano

Oregano plant
Oregano plant
Reading Time: 8 minutes

Frequently people might confuse weed and oregano. These two herbs have an almost similar smell, which might be confusing to some people. In this article, we will share some tips that will help you tell the difference between weed and oregano. 

We will look at some of the characteristics of both herbs that we can use to differentiate the two. One of the characteristics is smell. Both herbs have a strong smell that is almost similar. However, the distinct notes of smell can be used to tell them apart. The plants grow in different conditions and possess different modes of growth. 

Let’s look at the common characteristics that one can use to tell weed and oregano apart.

Smell: Marijuana has a distinctly strong smell

Marijuana buds
An example of marijuana buds.

Marijuana has a distinctly strong smell.  Depending on the time the weed was harvested, the scent is either mild or strong. It is safe to assume that the plant’s age determines the smell of wee at the time of harvest.  

With that is harvested while in the early life cycle is likely to have a mild smell that is less “skunky.” When you smoke it in its early stages of growth, it will have a less powerful effect than if it was a little bit aged. Weed that has been picked when mature will have a strong odor that is more like pine. 

The smell is usually at its peak when the plant flowers and blooms. When the weed is dried, it usually has an herbal and woody scent. If you roll up the weed to make a joint and light it, the smoke will likely have some accents of pine, lemongrass, or wood.  However, it retains the distinct “skunk” of marijuana.

Oregano is an herb that can be used for cooking different dishes. It can be confused with weed because of its smell. The distinct smell of oregano can be described as aromatic with earthy and minty notes. When you taste it, it leaves an astringent taste in your mouth. If you store it for long, it is likely to change the smell to appearing minty. 

Weed and oregano can be confused because of the pungent smell they possess. These two herbs belong to the same species hence the confusion.  It is also important to note that oregano is similar to marjoram type of weed. While oregano is spicy, marjoram is considered to be lemony sweet. 

Weed and oregano have a strong, distinct smell.  You should remember that weed has a skunk smell with notes of wood to differentiate the two.  On the other hand, oregano tends to smell more like mint with earth and musty notes.

Dried oregano
An example of dried oregano, notice the different structure compared to dried weed.

Plant: very different characteristics

The marijuana plant has been around for a long time. When you look at a marijuana seed, you cannot tell if it will produce a male or a female plant. The female plant bears cola buds that are rich in trachoma. This is the part that is usually used as medicine or for ingesting purposes.  

As for the male plant, its main purpose is to pollinate the female counterpart. Pollination is a good idea, right? Wrong. 

When the females get pollinated, they stop feeding the buds and instead start producing seeds. Buds are what we all love because of the versatile uses.  When you plant a male and female next to each other, you will likely harvest fewer buds than you would if you planted them far apart. Therefore, the female weed plant has buds that are harvested and dried for ingestion and medicinal purposes. The male plant is mainly grown to produce seeds. 

Oregano plants grow around 4 inches tall before they are trimmed to ensure they become dense and bushier. Regular trimming usually occurs throughout the plant’s growth to avoid legginess. Oregano leaves can be harvested when needed.  If you want to harvest flavor-filled leaves, do so right before the blooming season.  Dry them out in the sun and store them in an airtight container. 

Weed and oregano plants have different and distinct characteristics.  As for weed, the male and female parts grow separately, while those of oregano grow as one plant. The only similar characteristic is the drying process. Weed buds and leaves are harvested and dried, while in oregano, only leaves are harvested and dried. 

Both herbs are used for different purposes. Oregano can be used to make tea that eases stomach upsets.  On the other hand, weed buds are harvested to produce medicinal value.

Dried weed
Another example, this time of semi-dried weed.

Appearance: De leaves have a different shape

Oregano has green leaves that are oval in shape. The plant has purple flowers and leaves that are shaped like spades. Being a perennial plant, it is grown annually. Since it likes full sun, it is planted during spring because it cannot survive during winter.

The leaves of oregano are small in size and olive green in color. Stems of this perennial plant grow to become woody over the years. As for the flowers, they come in attractive colors. Different oregano plants produce white, purple, or pink plants that attract bees to allow pollination. 

The plant grows low on the ground, but it can grow as high as two feet hence taking up a lot of space. 

The marijuana plant has palmate leaves that have serrated leaflets. Even though other plants might have serrated leaves, the weed plant has a distinct serration. 

Some people might confuse weed with other plants that have a similar leaf structure like cassava. The two plants have a similar leaf structure, only that the weed leaves are serrated. Leaves that appear along the plant’s length are referred to as fan leaves. 

Fan leaves are essential because they help in photosynthesis. 

Flowers present in the female weed plant have pistils that are attached to bracts. They are small and covered with trachoma. The cola part of the flower has multiple floral clusters that form loose structures. 

Oregano and weed plants have different appearances. Oregano takes up a lot of space because it is bushier and grows up to 2 feet tall. It has small oval leaves and normally produces different colors like white, purple, and pink.  

On the other hand, marijuana produces flowers that form clusters. The leaves are serrated and have a distinct shape. The stem has fan leaves to aid in photosynthesis. These two herbs can be differentiated by looking at the appearance of the plant. 

Oregano oil

Uses: Both have some medical applications

Oregano and weed are herbs that can be used for different purposes. Weed can be used in various forms to treat different ailments. A component called CBD that is present in weed can be used to relieve chronic pain. 

Studies have shown that smoking weed increases lung capacity instead of causing harm.  For people who want to lose weight, weed can help achieve that goal. 

Medicinal weed is used to treat a large range of symptoms and conditions. There are plenty of benefits associated with medical marijuana.

Oregano leaves are used to make medicine that treats respiratory tract disorders. These disorders include coughs, croup, bronchitis, and asthma.  Gastrointestinal disorders like heartburn and bloating can also be treated using oregano. 

Filled with antioxidants, fresh oregano can be used as a healing agent. In its dried form, this herb can be used to flavor food and provide healing properties. For instance, taking oregano tea can help ease muscle pain. 

An amazing characteristic about this herb is the ability to make medicinal oil. Through steam distillation, dried oregano can produce oregano oil. This oil will be yellow-brown, and it will have a spicy smell. It can be used as a home remedy to treat a wide range of ailments. 

However, oregano oil is strong and overpowering. It is advisable to mix it with oil before use. For instance, you can mix it with olive oil. Only use a few drops of oregano oil to soothe sore throats, ease joint pain, and aid poor digestion.

It is evident that both weed and oregano offer numerous medicinal properties to the human body. Medicinal cannabis can be used to treat common diseases like depression, reduce seizures, help children with autism to deal with mood swings, and help one to lose weight. 

There are other uses of medicinal marijuana that prove that the versatility of this herb. Oregano can be used to make oregano oil that is intern used to treat common ailments. The leaves can also be used to make tea that contains medicinal properties. In its dried form, oregano can be used as a spice to make flavorful meals. 

These two herbs can be differentiated by the ailments they treat or relieve. Apart from recreation, weed is known for its medicinal values. In most cases, it is used to treat or relieve the pain that comes with chronic diseases. On the other hand, oregano can be used as a home remedy to treat easily manageable ailments without using over the counter drugs.

Weed plant
As you can see the weed leaves look very different from the oregano leaves shown in the first picture of this article.

Texture: weed buds vs oregano leaves

Weed buds are harvested and dried before consumption. Buds grow in many clusters that are beneficial to the human body. After drying, the weed leaves and buds, commonly called pot, have a lumpy texture and coarse to touch. When rubbed in between fingers, it produces a powdery substance that can be rolled with other herbs.

When dried, oregano leaves have a crisp and crumbly texture suitable for cooking meals full of flavor. When the leaves are fresh, they are soft to touch. In this form, the leaves are full of antioxidants and can be used to make tea. They can also be chopped up for garnishing.

Weed and oregano have almost similar textures. In the black market, weed is wrapped together with oregano to mask the smell. For people who are not careful enough to distinguish the two herbs, they might not notice the difference.

Final Thoughts

Weed and oregano can be differentiated in a number of ways. Each herb has unique characteristics that make it stand out from the smell to the leaves and use. Weed is a unique herb because the male and female plants grow separately. 

The female plant grows to produce buds that we all use and love. They are known for treating a wide range of ailments as well as recreation. The male plants are planted far from the female to avoid pollination. However, they are not completely done away with because they produce seeds. 

Oregano plant requires a lot of room to grow because it becomes bushy, and it can grow up to 2 feet tall. The flowers are white, purple, or pink. This herb loves full sunshine, and it should be planted during summer. Leaves can be used while fresh to make teas or dried and stored for use as a spice. Oregano oil can be obtained through the steam distillation process. This home remedy should be used sparingly because it is overpowering.

Weed has a distinct “skunk” smell that is hard to miss. When harvested in its earlier growth cycle, it might not be as strong as when harvested mature. On the other hand, oregano has an earthy smell with notes of mint. These two herbs have an almost similar smell that is often confused. To tell the difference between the two, remember that weed has a woody smell while oregano has an earthy smell.

Another way you can use to tell the difference between the two herbs is the appearance. Oregano has oven shaped leaves and grows low in the shade. Weed has long serrated leaves. It is often confused with cassava leaves. Even though these two herbs might be confused, they can easily be told apart, as discussed in this article.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does oregano smell like weed?

Oregano does not smell like weed but it is easy to mistake the smell with that of weed especially if oregano is not properly dried. When oregano is not properly dried over a period of a few days, the smell is similar to that of grass, herbs, or even hay but the plant does not smell like weed whether it is fresh or dry.

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