Both Kratom and Kava are teas that produce euphoric effects, which is why they are frequently used interchangeably. They share some similarities but are also very different. It's only natural to compare Kratom vs. Kava and wonder which one is actually better. Kava has calming effects and can relieve pain, improve sleep, and promote sociability. In contrast, Kratom has mild calming effects in small doses but can have more opiate-like effects when taken in large doses.
Both Kratom and Kava come in supplements in various forms, with the raw leaves of both plants being used to create consumable items. It's important to examine some of the key differences and similarities and know why buyers and consumers must distinguish between the two.
What Is Kratom?
People are frequently surprised to learn that Kratom is a coffee-related plant. Locals in Kratom's native Southeast Asia chew the leaves for energy and pain relief. Because of growing concern about the potential for addiction, some of these countries have outlawed Kratom in recent years. The plant, however, is still exported to the United States and other countries. The leaves are crushed and processed for commercial sale as a nutritional supplement.
Kratom is sold in the United States as a powder or liquid extract. The powder form is occasionally made into tea or mixed into drinks. Because of the strong taste of Kratom powder, many people prefer it in capsule form. Kratom in liquid extract form is a potent concentrate that is easy to consume in high doses. Kratom is used recreationally to promote relaxation and medicinally to help with various physical and mental health issues and promote overall well-being.
Origins and Uses of Kratom
Kratom is a type of herbal medicine that has been used in this manner since around the nineteenth century. The leaves are mostly chewed to exorcise their effects, which are thought to include muscle and joint pain relief as well as increased sexual libido.
Kratom leaves have also been found to aid in treating gastrointestinal issues, such as stomach and intestines infections, and the slowing of diarrhea. If you have stomach pains when you're lost in the woods somewhere in Thailand, simply take a few Kratom leaves and begin chewing.
It is also used as a numbing agent to treat wounds, gashes, and lacerations. Kratom does not end there. It has also been found to be beneficial in treating opioid addiction, though research on this topic is limited.
So how long does Kratom stay in your system? When ingested, the effects of Kratom tend to settle within five to ten minutes and peak between two and three hours, depending on the dosage. Kratom is frequently combined with other substances with similar reactive properties, such as coffee, soda, and ice. Such blends have grown in popularity among Thai youth, who refer to them as "recreational names."
Kratom has a negative reputation, particularly when directed at its users. While the Thai population, in particular, frowns on regular users of the plant, they are not regarded as negatively as those who use narcotic drugs and other drugs with stronger effects.
Using Kratom shouldn't be a guessing game. Ensure your safety when it comes to consuming Kratom. When it comes to the safe use of Kratom, buy only high-quality products such as Apotheca Kratom Capsules, Apotheca Kratom Powder, and Apotheca Kratom Extracts/Concentrates.
What Is Kava?
Kava is derived from the roots of the Kava plant. The plant is native to Fiji and Indonesia and belongs to the pepper family. People in the Kava plant's native area use the root to make various tea and juice beverages. Some restaurants and Kava bars combine it with either water or coconut milk to make social or recreational drinks. Kava has also been used in religious ceremonies.
In the United States, Kava is consumed as a tea, a supplement, or as an additional ingredient in certain baked goods. It is frequently used by those suffering from anxiety or insomnia due to its relaxing properties.
Preparation and Uses of Kava
The Polynesian and Pacific region's Kava culture is steeped in its original uses for its sedative properties and ceremonial purposes. There are several simple ways to prepare Kava. The first method is to grind it using a mortar and pestle made from the grinder's hand and the coral against which it is ground. This method has traditionally been used in the Pacific region.
Other methods include simply chewing it or moistening it to make it easier to grind the root and bark. However, because the bark mostly produces its moisture, only a small amount of water is required to soften it.
Kavalactone is the extract that seeps from the bark. The extract is combined with other ingredients, most notably buttermilk and starches, and is not consumed alone. It is frequently used as an ingredient rather than as a base product. The most effective way to obtain Kava's sedative properties is to chew it.
Because direct ingestion allows the user to reap the plant's finest, most beneficial particles, Kava properties are much more potent when chewed. Because the plant's psychoactive properties take some time to settle into one's system and actually begin to work, it is culturally common to consume a meal or a drink after consuming Kava.
Kava vs. Kratom: Distinct Differences
Everyone should be aware of two key distinctions between Kratom and Kava.
The Pharmacological Distinction - Kratom is addictive, whereas Kava is not.
Kava and Kratom differ in how they interact with the brain and in their pharmacology. Alkaloids are found in Kratom. Kratom alkaloids interact with the opioid receptors in the brain, which play important roles in modulating how we respond to pain. Kratom's alkaloids act as opiate receptor agonists, just like morphine or other opiates. Kratom is not an opiate. Nevertheless, its effects are quite similar to those of opiate drugs, and it carries the same risks of addiction.
The scientific research on Kratom is insufficient, but based on findings, the alkaloids mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine are thought to be the main psychoactive ingredients in Kratom. The latter is known to be analgesic when administered orally to animals. These alkaloids have typical opioid side effects. This explains why Kratom is potentially addictive. The side effects of opioids include the development of tolerance, which means that the effect of a drug diminishes over time, and withdrawal symptoms after abstinence.
Because of Kratom's distinct chemical composition and effects, the plant is being used to help heroin addicts wean themselves off the drug. Regrettably, this can backfire. This New York Times article describes how a heroin addict turned to Kratom to help her quit, only to become addicted to the drink instead.
Kava's pharmacology differs greatly from that of Kratom. While research into Kratom is still in its early stages, there is a developing body of scientific data on Kava's chemistry and effects. Kava contains Kavalactones, with six alone accounting for more than 90 percent of the active natural ingredients in it. Active ingredients differ depending on the plant variety, and these can be identified by a plant chemotype. Learn more about Kava science.
The positive effects of the root are attributed to Kavalactones, which interact with the limbic system, the brain region highly associated with motivation, emotions, and emotional behavior. Unlike Kratom's alkaloids, Kavalactones are not opiate agonists and do not add to the risk of opioid side effects, including addiction.
Legality is the second major distinction between Kratom and Kava. Kratom is becoming increasingly regulated and banned, whereas Kava is not, for a good reason. Because Kratom is marketed as a dietary supplement, the FDA does not regulate it as a drug. The agency prohibited the herb's importation in 2014 because it was unsafe and possibly toxic.
Several states have already prohibited the use of Kratom. Indiana, Tennessee, Vermont, and Wyoming are among them. Florida and New Jersey are delaying legislation until more information is available.
Even in Thailand, where the plant grows abundantly and is widely used, Kratom has been illegal since 1943. The original ban was based on the fear that Kratom would reduce Thai government tax revenues from opium distribution. And, despite recent calls to legalize Kratom and remove it from the list of prohibited narcotics, this has yet to happen.
Kratom use is also prohibited in Malaysia, where users face up to five years in prison. At the same time, though, Kava is gaining international recognition as a natural and safe herbal product.
Can Kratom and Kava Make You Addicted?
The similarity between Kratom and opioid drugs and the parts of the brain it activates contribute to its addictive potential. The euphoric effects of the supplement play an important role in the development of addiction, as some people may come to rely on the feelings they experience when taking it.
People with a history of substance abuse are more likely to develop a Kratom addiction. Frequent use, especially at high doses, significantly increases the risk of addiction. This is why one must know how to consume Kratom safely.
Many facilities provide specialized programs for people experiencing Kratom addiction symptoms. There is currently no evidence that Kava addiction is possible. However, people using Kava should be aware of its other risks, including liver damage.
Is Kratom the same thing as Kava?
Despite their similarities, the two plants have several significant differences. They are from entirely different botanical families; Kava is from the pepper family, also known as the Piperaceae, whereas Kratom is from the coffee family, the Rubiaceae.
Kratom is more complex. Any benefits obtained from Kratom stem from the dosage, with a lower dosage having a different effect than a higher one. Meanwhile, Kava has a consistent effect and may induce a state of calm regardless of dosage. It should be used responsibly and in the proper, safe dosage. Another distinction is the plant part used. Kratom's leaves are used in herbal preparations, whereas the root is used in conjunction with Kava.
Is Kava a stimulant or depressant?
Kava is a central nervous system depressant. Even though Kava doesn't have any alcohol in it, it can cause symptoms like being drunk, such as trouble keeping your balance and slurred speech. It's like having the same effects as drinking alcohol, practically. Kava can help with stress, anxiety, and trouble sleeping. It can be an alternative for those who want to try something other than prescription drugs.
Should you drink Kava and Kratom together?
Even though Kratom and Kava may have similar effects, you should still be careful. Do not mix Kratom and Kava in one dose. Many people who like both Kava and Kratom choose to use them at different times during their daily or weekly routines. Do not smoke or vape either Kratom or Kava because their strong parts could cause your body to shut down.
Are Kava and Kratom addictive?
People with a history of substance abuse are more likely to develop a Kratom addiction. Frequent use, especially at high doses, significantly increases the risk of addiction. Many facilities provide specialized programs for people experiencing Kratom addiction symptoms. There is currently no evidence that Kava addiction is possible.
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