Kratom vs Kava Main Similarities and Differences

If you go to a store to find some Kratom or Kava, you’ll notice that they’re often sold right by each other and that they’re pretty similar in terms of their psychoactive effects.

The Culture

There’s an Eastern and a Western culture when it comes to Kratom and Kava. Kratom is found primarily in Southeast Asia in parts of Malaysia, Indonesia, Borneo, and Thailand. People who consume Kratom typically drink the dried leaves mixed with water. It relieves exhaustion, gives you energy, enhances your mood, cures depression, temporarily relieves pain and cure exhaustion when workers are overworked.

Kava, however, is more of Western culture. It’s mostly found in the Pacific region which includes New Guinea, Micronesia, Vanuatu, Fiji, and Hawaii. There are some Kava bars set up where Kava is served instead of alcohol. It’s believed that it’s important to drink Kava before a religious ceremony and is often used to relax people.

Similarities of Kava and Kratom

#1 – The Appearance

If you look at Kava and Kratom side by side when they’re raw, they look really similar. The leaves look similar and when they’re sold side by side, most amateurs will have no clue which one is which.

#2 – The Preparation

Both Kratom and Kava can be mixed in water or juices. Some people prefer to mix them in drinks with taste though to help hide some of the tastes you get from natural Kava and Kratom. For Kava, you have to grind the roots into a powder and then you have to combine it with the liquid of your choice. Kratom, however, uses leaves instead of roots and it’s literally the only difference when it comes to preparing the two.

#3 – The Effects

Both Kava and Kratom can do the following things:

  • Help people who suffer from pain relieve the pain temporarily
  • Reduce the amount of anxiety and tension one might be suffering
  • Cut down on the amount of stress that someone has
  • Greatly increase the level of social interactions and your social awareness
  • Some doses of both will act as a sedative and make you feel drowsy or sleepy

Kava leaf

Legality of Kava and Kratom

Kava is perfectly legal in the United States and has been so for over 20 years. It’s actually not even considered cannabis in the states, it’s considered to be a herbal supplement. There are even Kava bars in Hawaii. There was a period of time where Kava was banned in both Switzerland and Germany but this ban was lifted in 2015.

Kratom, however, is facing a complicated legal battle in the United States, but it’s legal in most states. You can buy kratom online, but it’s also available in smoke shops, gas stations. The plant has been outlawed in Thailand for 70 years now. The original ban was because the government was missing out on taxes, so no surprise there. Many residents of Thailand want the ban to be removed as the ban is unjust and petty. You can even be imprisoned in Malaysia if you’re caught drinking Kratom.

White Maeng Da Kratom leaf

Differences Between Kava and Kratom

#1 – Chemical Composition

This essentially is how the two plants are built. Kratom has 40 different alkaloids that make up the plant, which is also known as chemical compounds. Alkaloids in Kratom essentially act the same way as morphine does. Kava, however, has kavalactones. They produce a lot more GABA receptors that spread throughout the brain and makes you happier.

#2 – The Benefits and Risks

While we’ve discussed the main benefits of Kava and Kratom and they’re pretty similar in that area, there are some differences between the risks associated with both.

Kava Side Effects – Some people might find that Kava is a bit too sedative for them and they often end up feeling way too drowsy or sleepy. Kava may possibly be dangerous for the liver if it’s consumed in heavy amounts over a long period of time but it takes a lot of consumption to reach this stage.

Kratom Side Effects – While Kratom is great for a euphoric feeling, it does have some unpleasant side effects if it’s abused. First, there’s the high tolerance you can develop if you do excessive amounts. Then, there’s the level of dependence that some people can develop while taking Kratom. There’re some minor withdrawal symptoms that could develop if you suddenly stop taking them. Dry mouth and losing your appetite are also some minor side effects associated with heavy Kratom use.

In conclusion, both of them help greatly with anxiety, they’re great stress relievers, pain relievers and while there are a few minor side effects if abused, many people praise the benefits of both Kratom and Kava.