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Kratom vs CBD: Comparison and What to Know

February 23rd, 2022 by Lashonda Broom

CBD Vs Kratom

Cannabis Nurse Medical Reviewer, Lashonda Broom
RN & HHP

The widespread and growing popularity of CBD has sparked interest in other natural herbal supplements to support a healthier lifestyle. Kratom in particular has piqued the interest of some for its similarities to cannabis. Yet, despite producing similar effects, the two plants are starkly different.  Let’s discuss Kratom vs CBD.

What is Kratom?

Kratom is a plant that has been used by indigenous populations in Southeast Asia for centuries. Kratom is in the same plant family as coffee. It is a member of the flowering plant species, Rubiaceae. However, Kratom does more than help you stay awake. Kratom is a versatile herb that is believed to provide many different benefits.

Kratom (Mitragyna Speciosa)

Kratom’s leaves are dried and crushed to form a powder which is then converted into paste, pills, and capsules, etc. for multiple purposes. The southeast Asian herb is known for its stimulant properties. It started as a recreational drug, but now it is used for many medicinal purposes. Unlike CBD, the plant is intoxicating.

Kratom FAQs

How does Kratom Work?

Kratom is composed of two compounds, mitragynine and 7-a-hydroxymitragynine. These compounds interact with opioid receptors to produce effects of sedation, pleasure, and even pain relief. When taken in small amounts, those that consume kratom report increased energy and alertness, rather than sedation.

Is Kratom an Opioid?

Though Kratom interacts with the opioid receptors in the body, it isn’t technically an opioid. Kratom interacts with opioid receptors differently when compared to opioids. Kratom does not overstimulate the receptors, which results in a less intense high with a similar opioid sensation.

Is Kratom Addictive?

Like other compounds that produce an opioid-like effect, kratom can be addictive and a dependency can be developed. Over time, withdrawal of regular kratom consumption can cause withdrawal symptoms. Those who have experienced withdrawal symptoms have reported:

  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Muscle aches
  • Hostility
  • Aggression

The risks associated with kratom have been found to be more mild when compared to opioids, but there are still risks involved. There have been deaths attributed to the use of kratom. However, those who have died were consuming other substances as well, so it’s unclear if kratom was entirely to blame. Nevertheless, kratom is best approached with caution.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (also knows as the CBD) is a chemical compound derived from the cannabis sativa plant. It is a naturally occurring substance that is extracted and used in a wide array of products ranging from topical creams to edible gummies and tinctures. Unlike THC, which is another popular cannabis compound, CBD is not intoxicating and won’t produce a high. The effects of CBD will differ from person to person, but CBD is generally known for bringing the body back to a neutral state.

How Does CBD Work?

The human body has an endocannabinoid system (ECS) which is composed of numerous receptors. The endocannabinoid system is regarded as one of the most important physiological systems in the human body. The system is responsible for maintaining homeostasis for our digestive, immune, endocrine, nervous, and reproductive systems. The ECS is believed to play a role in things like appetite, sleep cycle and more. Being a part of the body’s reception, they exist majorly in the CNS (Central Nervous System).

While it was originally believed that CBD attached itself to the cannabinoid receptors in the body, it’s now believed that CBD indirectly influences the endocannabinoid system. CBD inhibits the breakdown of anandamide, which is known as the bliss molecule. The increased concentration of anandamide in the body can have a positive effect on the ECS. CBD also binds to the TRVP-1 receptors, which are responsible for regulating body temperature, inflammation, and pain.

While there are many touted uses for CBD, a study conducted by Brightfield found that CBD is primarily purchased to help with anxiety, sleep problems, and joint pain/inflammation. Researchers have also found that the endocannabinoid system exists in more than just humans. It’s believed there are benefits to CBD for pet healthcare as well.

CBD Oil vs Kratom

Similarities

  • CBD and Kratom are both compounds extracted from plants which are used for health benefits.
  • Both have been used to relieve symptoms related to anxiety and depression.
  • CBD and Kratom are edible herbs. They can be directly consumed or used in mixed forms. The most popular way to consume CBD oil is by tincture (serums and sprays). As for Kratom, the compound is often consumed via Kratom tea.

Differences

CBD Kratom
Not intoxicating Kratom contains a high amount of psychotropic ingredients which makes it quite addictive.
CBD interacts with the ECS of the body.  Kratom stimulates the opioid receptors of the body.
CBD is extracted from the cannabis plant which contains around 120 cannabinoids. Kratom contains alkaloids (25) 
Well recognized studies have found CBD to have stress relieving properties for anxiety Kratom’s stress-relieving properties are based on narratives that have not yet been verified by scientific research
CBD Does not disrupt sleeping schedule and appetite. Psychoactive substances in Kratom might cause interrupted sleep and reduced hunger.
You cannot overdose on CBD. Overdosing on Kratom is possible, especially when combined with other intoxicants. 

Legality

CBD is legal across the country. As of the time of this writing, Kratom remains unregulated and is illegal in 9 states.

Side Effects

Primary side effects of taking too much CBD are nausea and drowsiness. Large doses of kratom can cause many side effects, including aggression, hallucinations, and trouble breathing. Long-term use has been linked with dependence and withdrawal symptoms similar to other opioids.

Which One is Better?

In terms of risks, benefits, legalization and side effects, CBD wins over kratom by a long shot. CBD has been examined in many different medical studies for over a decade. Kratom is still widely unstudied by the scientific community. Moreover, hemp is regulated by the federal government, which helps to ensure that the CBD products you consume are safe for consumption, especially when you buy from a reputable company.

Kratom or CBD for Anxiety?

Preclinical evidence strongly supports CBD as a treatment for multiple anxiety disorders.  There are few other natural supplements that even come close to the reliability of CBD for anxiety. Kratom only offers mild anti-anxiety benefits and only in higher doses.  The lower dose range is more stimulating and can actually cause anxiety in some individuals.

A typical starting serving for CBD would be 10-25mg daily.  Consistency is key with any supplement and best results will be found when taking it 1-2x daily. In a 2018 study, it was reported that up to 5 grams of kratom powder taken up to 3x daily was adequate to experience effects.  In both cases, starting small and working up as needed would be the recommendation.

Kratom or CBD for Sleep?

There are many different causes for insomnia.  In higher servings, CBD can act as a sedative, helping to induce sleep.  In smaller servings, CBD can help achieve a more restful sleep by calming that central nervous system that encompasses the ECS.  While Kratom is a sedative, it’s also a stimulant.  Getting the serving wrong could actually amp up that insomnia. For sleep, in Kratom vs CBD, we would advise sticking to CBD.

Kratom or CBD for Pain?

CBD works through the endocannabinoid system to regulate the volume of pain signals heading to the brain.  CBD does not block pain completely, but can assist in reducing that severity.  Kratom works very differently.  It activates the opioid receptors located in the spinal cord and brain to block signals from ever making it to the brain.  In that way, it is likely more effective than CBD, but it’s important to consider side effects.

This bears the question of using the two together – can CBD and kratom be used together? What would that result be? A 2021 study by the University of Colorado Boulder has shown that the two can have a synergistic effect when taken together, but there is definitely much more research needed to determine the safety and long term impact.

Interested In Trying CBD?

If you’re interested in trying CBD, Green Wellness Life does offer a wide range of CBD products through our online store. We take great pride in only offering products backed by research. All of our products have been independently lab tested for safety.

We are not doctors at Green Wellness Life. We can’t treat, diagnose, or prescribe any ailments. We report on the latest bodies of scientific research in addition to providing feedback from our CBD customers. If you have questions related to Green Wellness Life, CBD, or CBD products, we’re more than happy to help. Feel free to submit a contact form or call us at (888) 772-7875.

About Lashonda Broom

Lashonda BroomLashonda Broom, RN, HHP, is a holistic cannabis nurse and consultant and holistic health practitioner. She specializes in holistic health and wellness and cannabis education with safe access for patients through state’s medicinal cannabis programs. Lashonda consults patients across the country on cannabis use, access and helping them find ways to afford their cannabis medicine. She is passionate about the well being of her patients as well as advocacy for individuals who are living with HIV through her nonprofit movement #KnowUrStatus. The movement encourages global testing and awareness. Part of Lashonda’s mission is to show how healthcare can work to the benefit of the patient when used in collaboration with holistic modalities.


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