CBD and kratom are both effective means of treating chronic pain and other conditions. The popularity of both has been growing significantly over the past years, yet kratom remains a lesser-known and more controversial herb.
Because of the beneficial properties of both substances, you may be wondering which, CBD or kratom, would better suit your needs.
While CDB and kratom may seem similar, there are differences between the two in a variety of aspects such as the way they interact with the body on a molecular level.
What Is CBD?
CBD or CBD oil is short for cannabidiol, a substance found in cannabis plants. It’s one of many cannabinoids that are uniquely present in cannabis plants. Unlike marijuana, CDB is not psychoactive.
The substance that causes the psychoactive properties in marijuana is THC. However, CBD is non-psychoactive. Therefore, it does not produce a “high” one can expect from marijuana.
CBD can be produced from medical marijuana plants and hemp, another plant from the cannabis family. Most of the CBD available for sale comes from hemp. There are a few reasons for it.
While hemp has THC, it’s present in very low quantities. Therefore, hemp is non-psychoactive. Help is also much easier and cheaper to produce. It does not require heat and high-voltage laps that marijuana plants cannot survive without.
Hemp plants can grow in moderate climates. They grow fast and require less water and can be grown in more sustainable conditions that, for instance, corn.
This makes hemp CDB much easier, faster, and cost-efficient to produce. In addition to that, hemp plants are very versatile in use. You can make fabric, shoes, and ropes from hemp. Beauty and personal hygiene products such as sunscreen and soap are becoming more popular. So is hemp milk, a plant-based substitute to regular dairy milk.
CBD comes in liquid oil form and can be infused with a variety of substances such as lemon, peppermint, cinnamon, and even chicken.
What is Kratom?
Kratom is a plant from the coffee family that is indigenous to and only grows in Southeast Asia. It’s most frequently is sold in the form of fine raw powder. Kratom farmers produce it from dried kratom leaf matter. Nonetheless, you can also find kratom extracts and resin.
Despite frequent false claims kratom is not psychoactive and does not result in a high. In smaller amounts, it produces coffee-like effects. However, in higher doses, it relaxes and relieves pain.
7 Differences between CBD and Kratom
CBD and kratom can both be extremely beneficial; however, the differences below can help you determine which is the better option for you.
While both a rather controversial, CBD does have more approval from the public as well as the government. CBD is legal across all 50 states as long as it contains less than 0.3% of THC. CBD from hemp still contains traces of THC, though it is not nearly enough to produce a “high.”
Kratom, however, is less-known and less accepted. It is also not legal in all states. A number of states, as well as counties and cities, have banned it. Nonetheless, other states have chosen to keep kratom legal but regulate it with KCPA (Kratom Consumer Protection Act).
2. The Active Ingredients and their Effects
CBD and kratom both have active ingredients that result in their respective beneficial effects.
The active ingredient in CBD is cannabidiol. Research has identified more than 65 pathways and targets of CBD. In contract with THC, CBD does not bind with cannabinoid receptors, Instead, it affects them indirectly through various non-cannabinoid channels and receptors.
CBD activates receptors that allow it to manipulate body functions such as inflammation, pain perception, and temperature. It also increases the levels of anandamide, a brain lipid that binds to cannabinoid receptors. This allows it to mimic the effects of cannabis-derived drugs and affect the brain’s pleasure response and motivation.
Kratom, on the other hand, contains at least 25 different alkaloids and 40 active compounds. Yet, studies on kratom have been limited and the actual number of alkaloids and active compounds may be much higher.
The two most potent alkaloids in kratom are mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. They bind to opioid receptors in the brain, but in a different way than opioids. Kratom alkaloids also affect the levels of serotonin, dopamine, and GABA.
While CBD and kratom can both provide relief from pain, anxiety, stress, and depression, slight differences apply.
CBD has many different effects. Nonetheless, the most popular ones are:
- stress relief,
- anxiety relief,
- inflammation reduction,
- better sleep,
- joint pain relief,
- arthritis relief,
- substance withdrawal, and
- epilepsy and treatment.
Some sources also indicate the effectiveness of CBD for cancer treatment.
In addition to the above, CBD can be used for pets and in cooking, such as bakery.
In the meantime, kratom can help with:
- chronic pain relief,
- anxiety relief,
- stress relief,
- PTSD relief,
- depression relief,
- mood enhancement,
- improved focus and concentration,
- more productivity,
- more energy,
- better social skills, and
- more self-confidence.
4. Methods of Use
The most popular ways of taking kratom are by steeping a tea from it or toss-and-wash method. The latter involves swallowing the dose of kratom and washing it down with liquids such as orange juice.
You can also add kratom to smoothies and yogurt.
CBD comes in various forms. While CBD oil tincture is the most popular one, there are also gummies and other edibles, capsules, vapes, as well as balms and creams for topical use.
CBD oil tincture is taken sublingually. This means that you need to apply drops of the CBD oil tincture under the tongue. You can also apply CBD tincture to food.
Because you usually take much smaller amounts of CBD than kratom and tinctures can be infused, people find it to be easier to take than kratom. CBD is also easier to take in public. It’s much easier to remain discreet by taking CBD oil or edibles.
If you’d like to know if you can mix kratom and CBD, check out our post “Is Taking CBD and Kratom Together a Good Idea?”
5. Time and Duration of Effects
Kratom effects are fast. You can start experiencing them rather quickly – within 10 minutes after ingesting, and they’ll be the strongest within an hour.
The duration of kratom effects will depend on each particular strains. Many last for 4-5 hours; however, with some, you’ll experience kratom effects for up to 8 hours.
In the meantime, CBD is slow-acting and you should take it as a regular supplement. You should take it consistently. This will allow your system to get used to it and produce the desired effects.
Therefore, kratom can be a better option for someone who is looking for instant effect whereas CBD would be better for someone looking for a continuous duration of effects that become more prominent over time.
With kratom, it is important to take adequate breaks between doses and rotate strains. Otherwise, it is possible to develop kratom tolerance.
CBD does not develop tolerance. As a matter of fact, it can actually produce the opposite effects – reverse tolerance. Once your body has gotten used to CBD, you can lower your dose yet experience the same effects for a period of time.
7. Side Effects
Most kratom side effects result from taking it improperly. This can happen is you take a dose that is too high, or do not take the necessary measure to avoid tolerance.
The most common kratom side effects are:
However, these are easily treatable and avoidable.
With CBD, most users report side effects such as:
- dry mouth,
- changes in appetite and mood, and
Nonetheless, CBD and kratom are both non-addictive and non-psychoactive. Nor do they produce serious side effects that some pharmaceutical drugs have.
Have you tried CBD and kratom? What has your experience been? Do you prefer one over the other?