Background This study aimed to quantify the allelopathic potential of Datura stramonium (Jimson weed). Sorghum halepense (Johnsongrass) tolerance was assessed by germinating, seed and growing seedlings, dosing of photo-synthesis pigments, followed by treatment with D. stramonium extract tropane alkaloids. Results Preliminary chemical analysis of the extracts showed the presence of alkaloids. The presence of alkaloids was confirmed through HPLC–UV system analysis. Various concentrations of analytic purity alkaloids had similar effects on germination and development of S. halepense’s root systems with those of extracts from of D. stramonium. Germination was not affected by any of the tested extracts, but growth was inhibited by the presence of tropane alkaloids. Extracts had effects at higher alkaloid concentrations. Seedlings of S. halepense developed toxicity symptoms in the presence of alkaloid extracts, but the occurrence of several chlorotic and necrotic areas was noticed in the flower extract biotest. Conclusions Results show that the tested species is sensitive to alkaloids in their growth environment. This research justifies the fact that aqueous extracts from D. stramonium are adequate to the situations in which S. halepense becomes damaging.