The plant-based supplements kava and kratom are popular for their mood-boosting and calming properties. The raw leaves of these two products are used to create dietary supplements in a variety of forms. Kratom and kava are from separate plants, even though some of their effects are identical.
Additionally, they each have their unique mechanisms for achieving the same ends. They may have a similar sounding name and look. Users must not confuse the two in this article where we have detailed differences between Kratom vs Kava.
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In modest dosages, these two chemicals may appear to provide slight health benefits, but in high doses, they can pose serious health risks. There has been a rise in the number of people who are concerned about the use of chemicals. Below is what you need to understand about kratom vs kava.
What is kava?
Piper methysticum, more commonly referred to as kava, is a non-addictive organic product native to countries such as Indonesia and Fiji in the South Pacific. The plant is a member of the pepper family that grows to an average height of 6 feet and has heart-shaped leaves about 10 inches wide.
Residents of this region consider the product as a social beverage, served as a ceremonial tea at communal setup, or offered to those attending. However, in the 1980s, kava was introduced to northern Australian communities as an alternative to liquor, with the intention of lowering alcohol-related problems in the general population.
One of the most enticing aspects of kava, especially for health-conscious people, is that it has the same effects as alcohol without the downsides, such as the morning misery of a hangover. As a result, it has become a favorite of many individuals. Similar to alcohol, kava has a calming, sedative, and muscle-relaxing effect as well.
It is also worth noting that most people use kava for a variety of reasons, including its therapeutic benefits. The medicinal properties of the kava plant have been used to treat numerous ailments in the Pacific Islands for hundreds of years. Its benefits have been shown to alleviate stress, anxiety, as well as muscle and neurological tension through scientific studies. To put it another way, kava can reduce stress and promote well-being. Kava is effective in treating a wide range of ailments, including sleeplessness, migraines, infections, and rheumatism.
As a result of these and other causes, kava is commonly used as a natural remedy for a variety of diseases, including anxiety. With kava, you can safely replace antidepressants and anxiety meds, according to kava experts, and it may even be as effective as these prescription pharmaceuticals.
However, with Kava, it is vital to use the product moderately and determine how your body reacts to it. In case of any undesirable effects, it is best to speak with your physician. However, according to (WHO) World Health Organization Kava in any form poses “acceptably minimal health risk.” However, it can be harmful to your health if ingested in excess, leading to liver damage. Health experts, as well as kava professionals, discourage the use of kava alongside other drugs such as alcohol since it can lead to adverse effects.
What Is Kratom?
If you are like many others, you may be startled to hear that kratom comes from a species of coffee bean. The leaves of kratom are commonly chewed by people in Southeast Asia for both energy and pain treatment. Some countries have banned kratom in recent years due to various concerns about its addictive potential. However, the product is still shipped to other nations, including the US. Manufacturers finely ground the dried leaves of this plant and sold them as a dietary supplement.
In the United States, kratom is sold in powder or liquid extract form. Some users use the powdered form of the product to brew kratom tea or to flavor drinks. Kratom is also available in pill form, which many prefer because of the powerful taste of the powder form. Recreational or therapeutic usage of Kratom can help alleviate a wide range of physical and mental ailments, as well as improve one’s quality of life.
Distinct Differences between KAVA and KRATOM:
Kratom and Kava have two major differences that everyone should be aware of.
Kratom is native to Southeast Asia, while kava is native to Central and South America. Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) comes from Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia, and is a member of the Rubiaceae family of plants.
A member of the pepper family (Piperaceae), Kava (Piper methysticum) is closely related to other familiar herbs, such as black pepper. Kava thrives in countries such as Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu, Samoa, and Hawaii are some of the Pacific islands where kava is grown.
Pharmacological Difference between Kratom and Kava
It is worth noting that kratom can be addictive, while kava is not.
The pharmacological differences between Kava and Kratom are most apparent in their effects on the brain. Kratom hosts more than 40 alkaloids. The analgesic effects of Kratom are mediated by its alkaloids, which operate on the brain’s opioid systems. Similar to morphine and other opiates, Kratom’s alkaloids function as opiate receptor agonists. Although Kratom is not an opiate, its effects and risks of addiction are extremely similar to those of opiate medications.
Alkaloids 7-hydroxymitragynine and mitragynine are the most active compounds of Kratom, despite the lack of scientific investigation into their effects. The side effects of these alkaloids are consistent with those of standard opioids. This helps to understand Kratom’s potential for addiction. Addiction can lead to tolerance, which means that the effects of a drug diminish over time, and withdrawal syndrome occurs when a person stops taking the drug.
Heroin addicts prefer to use Kratom as a means of weaning themselves off the drug because of its unique chemical composition and effects. Sadly, this can backfire on you. According to one user on Reddit, kratom helped him fight the withdrawal symptoms of heroin. However, after a while, he noticed that he was addicted to kratom.
Pharmacologically, Kava and Kratom are highly distinct. Scientists are just beginning to study the chemistry and effects of Kava, whilst research into Kratom is still in its infant stages. Kava’s primary active compounds are kavalactones, with six of them accounting for more than 90% of the plant’s active natural chemicals. Different varieties of plants contain different active ingredients and these are identified using plant chemotypes.
For its good benefits, kavalactones connect with the limbic system, an area of our brains that is most linked with our emotions, emotional behavior, and motivation. There is no risk of addiction to the Kavalactones in Kava like there is to Kratom because they aren’t opiate agonists.
The effects of kava and kratom are quite similar. Both have a soothing impact and can be used to help with muscle tension, anxiety, and sleep. However, there are some vital distinctions.
In addition to treating symptoms such as stress, anxiety, and muscle tension, Kava also works by controlling the response of the body to stress. When it comes to pain relief, Kratom is far superior since it acts on the area of the nervous system responsible for controlling pain transmission.
There is a wide range of traditional uses for these herbs. Those who worked in physically demanding activities utilized kratom to stay energized and alleviate hip and back pain during their daily activities. People used kava to connect with deceased relatives and to socialize at ceremonies.
When it comes to current use, the main distinction is that whereas kratom is great for pain relief, kava is better for anxiety or insomnia. Kava, on the other hand, is typically regarded as the safest alternative for the long term use of herbs.
The legality of Kratom vs. Kava is the second major distinction. However, while Kratom is becoming increasingly regulated and even illegal, this is not the case for most of its natural counterparts, Kava.
As a dietary supplement, Kratom is not subject to FDA regulation. Because of worries about its safety and possible toxicity, a restriction was put in place on imports of the herb in 2014. However, the usage of Kratom has already been outlawed in several states and cities. As more information becomes available, Florida and New Jersey are delaying legislation. According to a Business Insider report, Kratom is a legal, yet potentially deadly substance.
Kratom has been illegal in Thailand, where it grows abundantly and is widely used, since 1943. The product’s original ban was because the Thai government was losing money from opium sales. Most people prefer taking kratom to opium. Decriminalization of Kratom and removal of it from the list of prohibited drugs have been proposed in recent years but have not been implemented.
At the same time, Kava is becoming widely accepted as a safe and effective herbal supplement. The German court recently overturned a 15-year prohibition on kava after Dr. Matthias Schmidt argued that it was inappropriate and baseless. As effective as benxodiazepine medicines in treating anxiety, kava has been studied by several universities and may even be able to combat cancer cells, according to this research.
Is Kratom and Kava Safe to Mix?
Both plants are said to offer a wide range of beneficial effects, but research into how they can combine is still in its early stages. It is better to avoid combining kava with kratom because there is no conclusive research on the topic.
However, according to various users who have tried mixing the two products, some claim that the combo potentiates each other leading to elevated effects. Some claim that a small portion of the two helped them achieve their effects. Experts on the other hand encourage anyone who would want to use the combo to exercise caution as the hepatotoxicity of both is currently under investigation. You should not use kava if you are currently taking medication that has an adverse effect on the liver, such as hepatitis C drugs.
How to Combine Kratom with Kava
Make the kava first, as you normally would, and then proceed as normal. Then drain the solution for between 10 and 15 minutes using a strainer. Add your dose of kratom and stir it thoroughly when the kava has finished brewing.
There are a lot of perspectives on how much kratom you should mix with kava, but the general rule of thumb is to keep the kratom dose between 10% and 20% of the entire dose.
When using kava, for example, use around 8 grams instead of 10 grams, and ad 2 grams of your preferred kratom. Mixing 4 grams of kratom with 20 grams of kava is fine.
In order to prevent the effects from becoming more potent than you expected while combining the two herbs, start with considerably lesser doses of each than you would normally take.
Put your brains to good use. Slow and steady wins the race. Get acclimated to the mixture by gradually increasing the dosage. For any reason, do not exceed 40 grams of kava or 6 grams of kratom.
Are Kratom and Kava addictive?
Because of its resemblance to opioids and the areas of the brain it activates, kratom has a high potential for dependence. Some people become addicted to the supplement’s euphoric benefits because they depend on the sensations they get from taking the product. Addiction to kratom is more likely to strike those with a history of drug abuse. High doses and frequent use both raise the likelihood of addiction.
There is a need for specialized treatment at drug rehab centers in Florida among other states. Specialized treatment programs for kratom addicts are available at many facilities. There is no evidence that kava addiction is conceivable at this time. Even so, those who use kava should be aware of its numerous negative effects, including the possibility of liver damage.
There are numerous similarities between kratom and kava, however, the two substances use completely distinct methods to achieve their effects. In terms of muscle tension and anxiety, kava is superior, however, in terms of pain management, kratom is better.
When it comes to the dosage of these herbs, you might get a variety of results. Kava has minor mood-boosting effects and can be used to improve creativity and concentration.
In Southeast Asia, laborers utilized kratom to boost their energy levels since it has a powerful stimulant effect on the body. Both Kratom and Kava have an effect on the user’s mood when taken in high amounts.
Most people combine Kava and Kratom in order to achieve the best of both worlds. While there is no clear reason to avoid this, it’s crucial to take it gently until you understand how the combo will affect your body.