Here’s How to Differentiate Between Weed and Oregano

Weed and Oregano
Weed and Oregano (Source: BuzzfeedUK/ Twitter)

Have you ever heard of incidents where eating brownies or selling Oregano would lead a person to a detention center?

There are quite a few cases where people mistook Weed for Oregano and had to serve a sentence.

So, being able to differentiate between Weed and Oregano is crucial.

Looking at the morphology, you can easily distinguish between Oregano and Weed, but telling them apart would be exhausting when they are in their dried form.

The main difference between Weed and Oregano lies in their smell and texture. Weed has a more distinct and more intense aroma than Oregano. Furthermore, if we compare the texture, dried Oregano is crispy while dried Weed is coarse.

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Oregano and Weed have almost the same appearance and smell, confusing everyone. But don’t worry, in this article, we will learn some tips and tricks about how to distinguish these two herbs.

Apart from the smell and texture, there are other factors and conditions that we can use to distinguish between Weed and Oregano.

So let’s go into more depth about how exactly are these two herbs similar and different from each other.

Knowing the basics about both these herbs is convenient for differentiating them from one another.

So before comparing their characteristic properties, let us take a sneak peek at the relation between Oregano and Weed. Whether Are they related or not?

Relation Between Weed and Oregano

Belonging to the same division and species, Oregano and Weed are similar and share some characteristics but are different in composition.

Hence, these two herbs are somewhat related to each other.

Wild Marjoram is a type of Weed that is synonymous with Oregano. While Oregano is of Greek origin, Marjoram is primarily found in middle eastern countries.

Oregano_Flowers
Oregano plant in full bloom. (source: pixabay.com)

Thus, Marjoram and Oregano are regarded as the same herb in some countries like Arabia, Egypt, Iran, etc.

However, the Weed that we call Oregano may be Marjoram for a person living in another area.

In addition, several unrelated plants share their characters with the oregano species. These similarities within unrelated species lead to confusion.

As a result, people worldwide may be using these unrelated plants as Oregano.

Here are some characteristics of Oregano and Weed:

CharacterWeedOregano
Scientific nameCannabis Origanum vulgare
Native regionCentral AsiaMediterranean and western Asia
Ideal Temperature65-85°F (18-30°C)55-70°F (18-21°C)
Best Growing Condition10–12 hours of direct sunlight per dayWarm place receiving full and strong sunlight

Differences Between Weed and Oregano

Tricky as it sounds and looks, differentiating Weed and Oregano is possible. Following are some meaningful information and methods that can help separate the two herbs.

1. Weed has a Stronger Smell than Oregano

Based on the smell, Weed and Oregano have slightly different scents. Depending on various factors like types of plants, where they grow, and whether the leaves are old or fresh, the smell varies.

Oregano generally possesses a strong camphoraceous and spicy aroma in dried form. However, the Oregano plant has a strong odor similar to thyme and sage.

They get their odor from over 60 different compounds, mostly consisting of carvacrol and thymol.

Weed, on the other hand, has a more piercingly strong odor than other dried plants. Generally, they have a musky and earthy scent, but the smell’s strength varies from one strain to another and the harvest age.

The Weed has a milder and less skunky scent when harvested at a blossoming age. In contrast, the mature Weed tends to have a more potent aroma like that of pine.

They get their smell from various types of terpenes and thiol compounds.

OreganoWeed
Oregano has a smell more like that of a mint.Weed is described to have a 'skunky' smell.
Oregano has an earthy and musty aroma.Weed generally has a woody and herbal aroma.
Comparatively, it has quite subtle smell than that of weed.As compared to oregano weed has distinctly strong smell

2. Dried Oregano Crumbles on Touch

Comparing the texture of these plants varies depending on whether the plant is in its dried form or fresh form.

While drawing a comparison between dried oregano leaves and dried Weed, they both look similar in texture.

So, people who are unaware of the differences between these plants may not distinguish them.

Weed buds grow in clusters and are dried before consumption. After drying, they develop a lumpy texture that is coarse to touch.

This is because there is the presence of trichome and resin content in the buds, which make them sticky to touch.

Weed vs oregano texture
The texture of dried Weed(left) and Oregano(right). (source: unsplash.com)

The fresh leaves of the Oregano plant have a very smooth and fuzzy texture. But the leaves are crumbly and powdery in texture, in their dried form.

Season your Italian dishes with Simply Organic Oregano.

OreganoWeed
Fresh leaves are soft and smooth to touch.The fresh leaves are comparatively coarse to touch.
Dried oregano leaves have crisp and powdery texture Dried buds and leaves of weed have lumpy texture
They crumble to touch.They are coarse and sticky to touch.

3. Oregano and Weed Look Entirely Different

With pretty flowers ranging from pink to purple to white, Oregano stands about 1 to 3 feet tall.

It is a perennial plant that has some difficulties in withstanding the colder climates.

The stem of Oregano is hairy and squarish in shape. Stems are herbaceous, but over time it develops into a woody stem.

Talking about leaves, they are oval, greenish, and arranged alternately on the stem.

On the other hand, Weeds are dioecious ( male and female separate) and annually growing flowering plants. It has imperfect trichome-covered flowers that look more like a cluster of buds.

Oregano_weed_plants
Oregano plant (left) and Weed plant (right) (Source: pixabay.com)

Talking about the leaves of Weeds, it is enormous fan-like with palmate leaves and serrated leaflets.

The stem of weeds is usually small, rigid, and sturdy. It is herbaceous. The weed plant stands about 6-13 feet in height.

OreganoWeed
It is a monoecious plant.It is a dioecious plant.
It is a perennial plant.It is an annual plant.
It stands about 2-4 feet tall.It stands about 6-13 feet tall.
Presence of pink, purple or white clusters of flowers.Presence of imperfect flowers that looks like cluster of buds.
Stem gradually changes from herbaceous to woody.Presence of herbaceous stem.
Stems are hairy and squarish.Stems are small and sturdy.
Leaves are oval, greenish and alternately arranged.Leaves are fan like, palmate with serrated leaflets.

4. Varied Uses of Weeds and Oregano

Oregano and weeds are used for different purposes under various conditions. Both the plants can serve to fulfill some medicinal purposes based on their properties.

Oregano contains many antioxidants, thymol being one of them. These antioxidants help to fight bacteria, regulate blood sugar levels, mitigate cancer-causing cells.

Oregano also helps to treat respiratory tract disorders like cough, asthma, and gastrointestinal discomforts.

In addition, the extraction of oils from oregano plants is beneficial to ease joint pain. It is also effective as over-the-counter antibiotics and ointment.

Dried Oregano has been used as a staple in baking and cooking since time immemorial in various countries.

Likewise, the presence of CBD in Weed helps to enhance the functioning of the brain.

Therefore, its ability to cure various chronic diseases like arthritis, diabetes, cancer, depression, autism, etc., has hailed it to be of great importance.

Hemp Oil
Hemp Oil (Source: pixabay.com)

Studies have also backed up the fact that smoking weed helps to increase the capacity of the lungs.

Similarly, weeds are also associated with curing Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and mental illnesses like anxiety and PTSD.

I use hemp oil as a moisturizer, scalp massaging oil, and a salad dressing.

OreganoWeed
Composed of antioxidants like thymolComposed of cannabidiol (CBD)
Treats respiratory and gastrointestinal discomforts. Treats various diseases including mental illness.

5. Growing Conditions for Weed and Oregano is Slightly Different

Oregano, depending on species, thrives well in Zone 4 to Zone 10. This evergreen subshrub usually grows in a mild climate and is originally from Mediterranean countries and Western Asia.

A place receiving an abundance of sunlight and well-draining porous soil is essential for the optimum growth of Oregano plants. Sandy loamy soil of acidity ranging from 6.5 to 7.0 pH is best suited for the growth of Oregano.

Meanwhile, Weeds vary in their origin according to their strain. Some strains thrive well in dry regions like the Middle East and Northern Africa, while some are more adapted to the continental region near the Himalayas.

Due to this diversity in types of Weeds, the growing conditions for each of them vary. However, generalizing the facts, we can say that Weeds prefer to grow in slightly acidic soil ranging from 5.8 – 6.2  pH.

A place with at least six hours of direct sunlight each day and well-draining loamy soil rich in oxygen is a popular choice of setting among the weed cultivators.

OreganoWeed
Thrives well in Zone 4 - 10Grows in almost all zones depending on the species
Soil pH ranges from 6.5 to 7.0 pHSoil pH ranges from 5.8 – 6.2 pH
Porous, well draining sandy loamy soil is requiredWell draining Loamy soil rich in oxygen is required

Conclusion

Although Weed and Oregano look like twin sisters in their dried form, they are completely different in their uses, composition, appearance, and morphology.

In this way, we can distinguish weeds and Oregano based on smell, texture, uses, and morphology, as mentioned in this article.

Also, check out the Differences and Similarities Between Marble Queen and Golden Pothos.

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