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Kratom vs Kava: 3 Best Differences and Similarities



People are busy, and the world is fast-paced. To match the speed, people have to find ways to calm their nerves. While some indulge in alcohol, others find it beneficial to turn to marijuana. Kratom and Kava are the new plants in the market that have gained attention as lots of people are looking for kratom vs kava. They have been in existence for a long time, but the people saw that recently. However, since they both originate from tropical trees and look alike, many people are unsure. 

This causes a lot of skepticism, and thus they remain devoid of something truly amazing. Nonetheless, trying something new is nice, but you should know what you are trying. Therefore, here is a guide that will help you distinguish the two plants from each other. We have segregated starting from the origin to the effects.

Kratom Vs Kava (Overview of Kratom)

Another name for Kratom is Mitragyna Speciosa. It has been in existence and in use for as long as the 19th century. The people who have had Kratom have observed a lot of help with physical and mental health.

Kratom VS Kava

In the earlier days, kratom was consumed differently than regular plants. While most of the plants were crushed and used the juice, kratom leaves were directly taken from plants and chewed. It started with some laborers trying to find something that would give them energy. They tried out Kratom, and that became the usual lingo when they wanted some energy.

The tradition only grew, but the ways of consumption changed. Now kratom is consumed in the form of tea, edibles and sometimes it is even smoked. Nonetheless, it has been proven to be very helpful when people need energy or need to relax.

Origin of kratom

It comes from southeast Asia of the region’s indigenous places, including Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and Borneo, among others. This is a tropical evergreen plant that has been in practice in almost all parts of the world. You may find the plant is used in herbal medicines and provides relief.

Kratom Vs Kava (Overview of kava)

People generally are on the lookout for anything that would help them calm down. It is bad enough that the world is always picking on people. Additionally, they have a lot of stress with respect to work, relationships among other things. To find some relief, people are looking for something to have fun with.

Kratom VS Kava

Kava is something that many people have successfully commercialized to provide and get some relief. There are many places that entertain kava cafes and provide beverages related to them. A lot of people have described the plant as relaxing enough to melt into their seats. However, it is not that easy to work with. To understand that you are under the influence of kava, you will have to consume it for at least 14 days. But apparently, the results and the feeling are worth it. So what is kava, and where does it come from?

Kava is primarily a plant that comes from the pepper family. People in the earlier days consumed kava for any kind of festive occasion, and a lot of communities are participants of this culture. However, recent times have seen kava getting consumed for recreational purposes.

Where does it come from?

The plant comes from the west side of the world. It is also known as Piper methysticum in scientific terms. If you are looking at history, you will find kava in the western pacific region like Fiji, New Guinea, Hawaii, and Micronesia. If you are looking for kava in those regions, you will find a lot of them in Nakamals. These are Kava bars that exclusively serve the drink. Unlike most cultures, these places are devoid of alcohol.

What are the Similarities between Kratom vs Kava?

While we establish the origin and the background of both the herbs, we will talk about the differences between the Kratom vs Kava. But there is always a silver lining between two things that are different. Hence, before we fall into establishing differences between the two, let us see if they are similar in any way:

  • Consumption:

The main similarity which brings Kratom vs Kava together is how people consume it. Kratom was chewed earlier without preparing it anyhow. But the more efficient way was is to crush it into powder after drying it. Then mix it with a capital juice or otherwise and then consume it. Kava is kind of prepared in a similar way. There are bars that serve kava juice. This is made by mixing the plant leaves with any kind of beverage.

Moreover, kratom is also consumed by making tea and then drinking it. One of the key similarities between the two is that both can be made tea with. And they will give out the same kind of color and smell when done preparing.

This is the sole similarity between the two plants, and so far, it has been enough to confuse people. The tea produced gives out a dirty brown color, and the aroma is not very different. But in reality, kratom and kava are two totally different plants, and they vary in many ways, which we will discuss further. 

Kratom vs Kava: Key Differences

People who have consumed kava before will know that it is very different from Kratom. Though the effects will be felt after regular consumption. Nonetheless, they will be significantly distinguished when compared to Kratom vs Kava. Though both may look alike when on the trees and when made tea, when consumed, that’s when things get interesting.  Below are some key differences that completely change the notion of most people who confuse both of them.

  1. Composition (Kratom Vs Kava)

The very first thing to check between kratom vs kava is their composition. Kava and kratom have been put under the microscope and determined the key compositions. The main sector which separates both of them is how they react with the brain. While both have the target to relax people, the way they do it varies.

Kratom has a lot of alkaloids that have properties that resist opioid addiction. It also helps with the withdrawal symptoms of the opioid. It also contains the property called 7-hydroxy mitragynine. It reacts with the brain that brings out opioid-like effects and helps reduce the addiction. Moreover, you will feel your body relax and calm the nerves. It has helped a lot of people with something called shingles.

Kava is composed of a property known as kavalactones. This is among six more active ingredients that make kava what it is. It reacts with the limbic system of the body. The limbic system reacts to the emotion and the behavior of people. Any ups and downs can affect motivation or create panic. It may also make you overly emotional, wherein you may break down and start crying for no reason. In extreme cases, you may suffer from depression. Kava helps lessen those effects and create a happy place for your brain. 

2. Addiction (Kratom Vs Kava)

Addiction is something that one needs to stay away from. It will get overboard if not looked into and may create a lot of problems. When you have an addiction to something, abstinence is the best way to go, but the withdrawal symptoms during that time may pose a threat. When you start taking something regularly, the tolerance increases. This means that after developing tolerance, you will need more of the substance to feel the effects.

Kratom VS Kava

Kratom is known to help with opioid addiction. When a person consumes opioids, they will get addicted very quickly. Unfortunately, if you are away from opioids, you will experience worse effects of withdrawal. 

Kratom creates similar effects as opioids, disguising the plant, and the body seems to think it is an opioid. Hence the withdrawal symptoms are controlled, and hence you don’t feel much resistance. However, continued intake of kratom will result in its addiction since the effects are the same.

Kava, on the other hand, is not addictive at all. The effects of kava are over the people’s emotions and motivation and similar experiences. It has nothing to do with any receptors of the brain which need to be fed. Thus kava cannot be addictive. However, you may have to consume a lot of kava to experience the uprising and the downfall of the effects altogether. Generally, the plant is also diluted when provided in bars or otherwise, and hence you will not see any risks that come with kava in general, and that’s one of the key differences between kratom vs kava.

3. Legality (Kratom Vs Kava)

No matter what kind of substance you choose to relax in, you will need to make sure it is safe for you. That is why we have the FDA keep an eye on what a substance or food contains. Should there be an issue that may pose a threat later, you will find them banned or declared illegal. You can visit their official website for more data on kratom vs kava.

Kratom VS Kava

There aren’t many studies that are related to kratom, but that doesn’t mean it was completely ignored. In the earlier days, kratom was consumed by the people without any hesitation. And even today, it is legal and openly consumed in the Southeast Asian region except for Malaysia. However, the United States is working towards a discussion over the legality of the plant. Though it is not declared illegal yet, the parties are still having a heated debate over it.

On the other hand, kava is rapidly winning hearts all over the world. It does not create any psychoactive effect like marijuana and is also helpful to keep the emotions secure and in check. Moreover, it has helped a lot with creating a harmonious environment for the people around. After a lot of studies, there hasn’t been anything found that would argue otherwise. In its indigenous countries, kava is consumed in cafes and bars. It is on the verge of replacing alcohol altogether. The sole reason is that not only is it non-addictive; it also comes from plants that make it completely natural.

Effects of Kratom vs Kava

People look mostly into how a certain substance helps them regardless of its origin, and similar cases arise in the matter of comparison between kratom vs kava. And if they find it beneficial, not much can be done to stop their consumption. Hence, if you are looking for either kratom vs kava it is important to know what are the effects. It may or may not be addictive, but regardless it should come with some benefits. They are explained as follows:


There is a lot of research going into this magic plant. It is difficult to concur whether or not it may be harmful. But it has helped a lot of people overcome a lot of difficulties. Some of the effects that kratom would have on a person are as follows:

  • Kratom is a natural painkiller and a sedative 
  • It is an amazing energy shot
  • You will experience an increase in focus and attention span
  • It may help strengthen the immune system
  • If you need something to fire up the libido, kratom is a sexual stimulant.
  • Has helped massively to people who have symptoms of anxiety.


  • It will help you reduce stress and anxiety
  • Help you if you have trouble sleeping.
  • It creates a euphoric effect that you may feel when you drink alcohol.
  • Helps relieve muscle tension and spasms
  • A sedative for headaches

(Kratom Vs Kava) Conclusion:

Just because both are plants originating from tropical trees, many people confuse them with each other. However, both have been found to be helpful with the daily work life of people, and it is something that they can turn towards at the end of the day. Regardless of what kind of substance you plan to take, it is important to do your homework if you’re confused about kratom vs kava. You wouldn’t want the one thing for the effects to backfire and cause harm to your body and mind. That being said, if you feel that something is not right after consumption of either kava or kratom, make sure you go to your doctor.





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