Kratom and marijuana are both rather controversial herbs that help masses of people improve their quality of life. If you are considering both, making the right choice can be challenging. Let’s take a look and kratom vs. marijuana to find out more.
What Is Kratom?
Kratom, or Mitragyna speciosa, is a tropical tree that is indigenous to Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and other Southeast Asian countries. Due to its potent alkaloids, namely mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, kratom has numerous beneficial properties, such as pain relief, stress, anxiety, and depression relief, euphoria, and more.
Kratom plant belongs to the coffee family of plants, yet kratom alkaloids have opioid-like properties and affect the receptors in the brain that opioids affect. Therefore, many people choose kratom as an alternative to opioids as well as to overcome opioid addiction.
Kratom pain relief is potent and effective for various kinds of pain, including chronic pain that resists opioids.
Kratom has various vein and strain types. Depending on the type, kratom can be more stimulating like coffee or have relaxing and sedating effects.
What Is Marijuana?
Cannabis, also commonly known as marijuana, weed, or pot, is a plant that is frequently used for medicinal and recreational purposes. Indigenous to central Asia, cannabis has been used for medicinal and spiritual purposes for centuries.
The cannabis plant has nearly 500 known active compounds. At least 65 of them are cannabinoids. One of them, THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis. Cannabinoids interact with the cannabinoid receptors, which are a part of the endocannabinoid system.
Cannabis plants have various species and strains, each of which attributes to different uses and effects. However, people most commonly use it for chronic pain relief, relaxation, stress, depression, and anxiety relief, alleviating ADHD and PTSD, controlling seizures, and more.
Are CBD and Marijuana the Same?
CBD and marijuana are not the same. However, let’s take a look at the details to clear any misunderstandings.
Currently, there are three recognized cannabis species: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. While virtually undistinguishable visually, hemp and marijuana are both varieties of the Cannabis sativa plant.
Hemp plants have less than 0.3% of THC content, whereas marijuana plants can contain anywhere from 0.3% to up to 30% THC. Both are high in cannabinoids. Hemp plants have many uses because it’s the strongest and most durable natural fiber.
Hemp plants can grow outdoors and do not require any special conditions or much control. In the meantime, marijuana needs a controlled environment, such as temperature and lighting, and regular care and supervision.
CBD oil or cannabidiol is a natural compound that can be derived from Cannabis sativa plants. Therefore, CDB can come from both hemp and marijuana. However, most CBD oil you’ll encounter on the market derives from hemp. That’s because hemp-derived CBD that contains less than 0.3% THC is legal across the US.
Kratom vs. Marijuana: Similarities
People use both kratom and marijuana for their analgesic properties. Both can provide potent pain relief, relief from stress, anxiety, and depression, mood boost, as well as help with conditions such as ADHD, PTSD.
Kratom vs. Marijuana: Differences
Kratom belongs to the coffee, also known as Rubiaceae or Madder, family. Coffee and Gardenia are some of the other plants from this family. It’s native to Southeast Asian countries that include Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia.
However, cannabis plants are indigenous to Central Asia and belong to the Cannabaceae family, which is a small family of flowering plants. Hop plant is another popular and economically important plant in the same family.
Most kratom comes in powder form. Therefore people take it by brewing kratom tea, tossing and washing it, or mixing it with liquids such as juice, yogurt, or smoothies. Heat can potentiate kratom effects, but it’s not needed for one to benefit from kratom.
Kratom also comes in capsule, extract, and resin form.
When it comes to marijuana, it needs to be heated for one to experience beneficial effects. That’s because the active compounds contain an extra molecule that cancels out the psychoactive effects. Heating causes the decarboxylation process. During it, the heat turns THCA that does not have psychoactive effects into THC that has numerous beneficial properties.
Therefore, marijuana is taken by smoking or vaping it, or through edibles or extracts. On the other hand, vaping and smoking kratom or smoking kratom together with marijuana is not a good idea.
Both herbs come in topicals, yet, THC topicals are a lot more common. You may come across kratom soap, bath bombs, and balms. In the meantime, there are THC balms, bath salts, lotions, oils, shampoos, and other products.
The effects of both kratom and marijuana are dose-dependent. The more marijuana one takes, the stronger the effects.
Things are a little different with kratom. A smaller dose has mild pain-relieving effects and acts as a stimulant in a similar way to coffee. However, larger doses of kratom have stronger relaxing and sedating effects.
While kratom is frequently mislabeled as a psychoactive plant or a plant that will give you a “high,” it does not possess psychoactive compounds or properties. Marijuana, however, does. THC is the primary psychoactive compound in kratom.
Effects on Body
While cannabis and kratom are both effective for pain relief, they work in different ways. Kratom interacts with the opioid receptors in the brain. Therefore, it provides similar pain relief to what you can expect from opioid medications.
Cannabis acts on the cannabinoid receptors of the endocannabinoid system. These receptors are located throughout the body and are involved in processes such as pain sensation, appetite, mood, and others.
Effects and Pain
Humans experience two different kinds of pain: nociceptive and neuropathic.
Nociceptive pain is the body’s response to potentially harmful stimuli. The body’s tissue suffers damage and can result from inflammation, harmful chemicals, or can be caused physically. Pain can be sharp and throbbing.
Neuropathic pain results from damage caused to the nervous system caused by an infection or an illness. It can manifest differently in different people and last throughout the day. Pain can be stabbing, burning, or prickling.
While some effects overlap, kratom tends to be more effective with nociceptive pain, and marijuana works better with neuropathic pain. So, kratom can be more helpful with conditions such as arthritis, but marijuana could aid cancer patients more effectively.
Kratom legality is somewhat complicated. It is legal in most of the United States. However, the FDA does not regulate it on a federal level. Several states and municipalities have outlawed kratom, yet some of them are considering reversing the ban and regulating kratom. A few states have already passed the Kratom Consumer Protection Act that strives to only provide pure and unadulterated kratom to buyers.
When it comes to marijuana, its legality is even more complicated. Eleven states, such as California, Oregon, Washington, and Colorado, have legalized its recreational use. Several states allow marijuana for medicinal use only. In the rest of the United States, marijuana is illegal.
Moreover, to purchase marijuana or any THC product, you must do it through a local dispensary. There is, however, a possibility of having local dispensaries deliver to your home. Buying kratom online is a lot easier. There are multiple online kratom vendors; however, you need to carefully select a trustworthy and reliable vendor.
If you use marijuana, it will show on drug tests, whereas kratom will not show on most drug tests, unless it’s a specific kratom drug test.
Which Is Best for You?
While you may benefit from both, take individual factors into consideration. These are your needs, type of pain you experience, the location you live in, and the preferred method of using it. Since effects may vary from person to person, you may need to try both to find out what meets your needs better.
Since you should take breaks from the herb if you take kratom daily, marijuana can be one of the kratom alternatives.
Keep in mind that if your workplace takes regular drug tests, then marijuana may cause you problems.