Kava Vs Kratom: Differences, Effects, And Which Is Right For You

kratom vs kava-know differences & similarities-read on bedrock botanicals blog

In a world where everyone wants to have a natural solution to their problems, two names have been the topic of discussion ever since; kava and Kratom. Popularly sold alongside each other in kava bars and online stores, they’re high in demand for their unique effects. 

Although they look alike it’s a common perception that both these botanicals are similar. But the truth is their worlds apart and you must know everything about both before using them. 

Keep reading to understand the origin, effects, and differences between kava and bedrock Kratom, and who knows it saves you from choosing the wrong one for yourself.

Origin & Composition Of Kava

Kava is a plant that belongs to the pepper family, known as Piper Methysticum. It is native to the Western Pacific region, which includes Vanuatu, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Micronesia, and Hawaii.

In these places, kava has been used for a long time in traditional medicine. They also drink kava on special religious occasions and while welcoming guests. 

The most active ingredient present in kava is kavalactones. It is widely served in the kava bars or being used in various products for relaxing effects in the West.

Origin, Composition, & Popularity Of Kratom

Kratom also known as Mitragyna speciosa is a tropical evergreen plant commonly found in Southeast Asia, specifically in countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Borneo. 

It has been deeply rooted in the traditional culture of these regions for countless generations. Workers traditionally chew raw leaves that might prevent exhaustion, alleviate pain, and enhance mood.

To this day, Kratom is being used as powder and capsule by mixing it with teas, coffee, smoothies, juices, etc. 

Preparation Method Of Kava & Kratom

Now that you know the basics of both Kratom and kava, let’s understand their manufacturing process, it’ll help you understand the two even further.

Preparing Kava

  • The first step is to grind the kava root into a fine powder
  • Place the powder into a cloth or strainer bag and dip into warm water (not hot)
  • Tightly squeeze the cloth into the water for about 20 minutes until the water turns brown
  • Your kava drink is ready. Serve it in a bowl or a coconut shell
  • Note: some people might experience a mouth-numbing effect after consuming kava drink which is normal if you’re new to it.

Preparing & Consuming Kratom

  • Kratom is consumed in leaf form as well. You can brew Kratom leaves in tea but for those who don’t want to taste its bitterness, there are other options too.
  • Grind Kratom leaves into a fine powder. The powder can be used with different food items and juices for a flavorful experience.
  • Its powder can also be used to make third eye capsules for an on-the-go, tasteless experience.

Comparing The Effects Of Kava & Kratom

First, let’s talk about the similarities between kava and Kratom. Both of them might offer stimulating and soothing effects. Here’s a comparison table that’ll help you understand their effects even further.

Primary UsageRelaxation, soothing effect, cheerful moodStrain relief might reduce irritability, relaxation, mood enhancement
Low DosageMild relaxation, slight mood enhancementMild stimulation, a slight increase in energy and focus
High DosageDeep relaxation & sedationSedation & significant mood enhancement
StimulationNot typically stimulating, more relaxingStimulating at low doses
Social UseUsed in social settings for its relaxing and euphoric effectsUsed in both social and individual settings for various effects

Both Kava and Kratom offer distinct effects that might make them suitable for an energy boost to get through a long day or a relaxing effect to end a busy day. However, the similarities end here.

Distinct Differences Between Kava & Kratom

Now that we have talked about what makes Kratom and kava similar, let’s talk about what makes them different from each other. There are two main differences between them, let’s talk about both of them.

Pharmacological Difference

Kratom and kava have distinct effects on the body. Kava may promote a sense of calmness, while Kratom has stimulating effects. Kava contains certain compounds that may have a calming effect on the body, which may be beneficial for reducing irritability and strain.

However, Kratom contains compounds that offer both stimulation and sedation. Kratom impacts the opioid receptors in your brain. On the other hand, kava focuses on neurotransmitters to produce a calming effect.

Other than this, kava and Kratom have entirely different origins, kava originates from the West while Kratom from the Southeast. Their active igredients are different the way they are consumed is entirely opposite. While kava is traditionally consumed as a beverage, Kratom is chewed, smoked, and used in powder and capsule form.

Legal Differences

Knowing the legal status of substances like kava and Kratom is highly important. The legal status for both of them varies depending on where you live. Here’s a detailed comparison chart to help you understand their legality.

RegionKava Legal StatusKratom Legal Status
United StatesLegal in most states; some have specific regulations.Faces increased regulation; illegal in some states.
Federal ClassificationNot a controlled substance federally.Classified as a controlled substance in some jurisdictions
InternationalGenerally legal with some country-specific restrictions.Legality varies with some countries imposing complete bans.

Should You Combine Kava & Kratom?

When you’re mixing kava and Kratom, you’re blending two substances that affect your body in different ways. Kava may make you feel calm and relaxed, while Kratom may either make you feel relaxed or sedated, depending on how much you take. Combining them might cause an overdose, so, it’s good to think carefully before using kava and Kratom at the same time.

Side Effects & Guidelines For Safe Use

Although both Kratom and kava are considered to be natural their larger dosage or taking them for a long time might lead to some effects like:

  • Dependency
  • Sedation
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Skin changes
  • Drowsiness

These side effects may vary depending on what you’re consuming and how much you’re taking. Here are some safety guidelines for the responsible usage of both kava and Kratom.

  1. Whether you’re trying kava or Kratom, begin with a small amount to see how it affects you. This is important to avoid any unexpected or intense effects.
  2. To prevent intense issues or dependency, it’s best not to use either substance every day.
  3. Avoid mixing kava or Kratom with alcohol or other drugs. These combinations can cause overdosage.
  4. Before starting either kava or Kratom, especially if you have health concerns, or are taking medication, talk to a healthcare professional.
  5. Kratom’s legality varies, so make sure it’s legal where you live before purchasing or using it.

Bottom Line

Now after reading the article, you might have understood the difference between kava and Kratom. You must have this understanding before using them, so you can make informed decisions by knowing their benefits and effects. 

While kava is generally considered to be non-addictive, you still need to be conscious while using it. Just like this, Kratom is banned in various regions due to a lack of research. We encourage you to study both substances to understand what suits your body and routine.

Keep in mind that just because something is natural does not mean it’s completely safe. It’s important to approach with care and consideration.


How Long Does Kava Stay In Your System?

There’s not enough research to determine the answer to this question. Although, it’s known to be eliminated after maybe a few days.

Are Kratom And Kava Addictive?

Kava is generally not considered addictive. Kratom, however, can be addictive depending on the dosage.

Is Kratom A Stimulant Or A Sedative?

Kratom can be both, depending on the dose. At lower doses, it tends to have stimulant-like effects, while higher doses can produce sedative effects.

How Long Do The Effects Of Kava And Kratom Last?

The effects of kava can last anywhere from 2 to 3 hours, while Kratom’s effects can last from 3 to 6 hours, depending on the strain and dosage.

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