Yes, the Crown of Thorns is real.

Religious Symbols: Crown of Thorns

A Handmaid HPB Vocations, News, Vocation Snippet

When we take our final vows, part of the ceremony is receiving and wearing a crown of thorns. A real one. We use pyracantha (otherwise called, very appropriately, firethorn) to fashion the crown. Since our veils are white, symbolizing the Eucharist, the Mother Prioress tries not to draw any blood either through the thorns or when pinning the crown to …