Comparing Kava vs Kratom

Comparing Kava vs Kratom: An In-Depth Guide to Understand Kava and Kratom

Botanical solutions have been around for centuries. People all over the world have used native plants to enhance their lives or soothe what ails them. Today, we have a variety of naturopathic options available – including kava and kratom. While both kava and kratom can make you feel good, these two plants (and the products made from them) are actually quite different. Today we’re comparing these two time-tested botanicals for you – to help you make informed choices that make you feel your best!

Kava and Kratom

Kava-kava (as it’s sometimes called) and kratom are both homeopathic, plant-based substances. Both can improve your well-being and comfort. Used wisely, both can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. The confusion and misinformation, however, are rampant – what kava and kratom are, what they do, and how they differ, for example. Furthermore, which is better? Kava or kratom? To answer your questions, let’s get to the root of things.

Strong Botanical Traditions

Both kava and kratom have long traditional uses for the native peoples where the plants grow naturally. Traditionally, kava was used in Polynesian cultures as an enhancement for spiritual and social ceremonies. Kava comes from the root of the kava plant – Piper Methysticum, a member of the pepper family – which grows in the south Pacific. The kava root is ground to make powders to be used in teas, or taken in capsule or powder form. Today’s kava is used more for relaxation or as a social drink. Sold as a dietary supplement or tea, kava is legally and socially acceptable, likely because the soothing herb is so enjoyable but isn’t addictive.

The primary active components of kava are called kavalactones. These botanical molecules work on your body’s limbic system, affecting your motivations and emotions. Overall, kava has a soothing and relaxing effect, and can make you feel more pleasantly sociable. Like kava, kratom is also harvested from trees. Indonesia – the largest archipelago of islands in the world – is home to the Mitragyna speciosa tree. This tree is a member of the coffee family. Traditionally, farming field hands knew to chew the leaves of this special tree so they could keep doing the hard work of the day ahead. That rich tradition has ignited a world-wide interest in the potent substance.

Like kava, parts of the kratom trees are harvested, dried, and ground into powders to use. But with kratom the goodies are found in the leaves rather than the roots. Ground kratom leaf powder is taken with a beverage, brewed into teas, or taken in liquid or capsule form. The main psychoactive compounds in kratom are called alkaloids. The primary alkaloid found in kratom is known as mitragynine. Alkaloids work differently on the body. Kava also contains alkaloids but they are found in the aerial parts of the plant which aren’t used to make the kava powders.

Kratom’s effects are also more varied than kava. Kratom can support both your relaxation and your energy, depending on what strains and amounts you consume. Today, kratom holds strong to its ancestral roots. But, unlike kava, kratom is largely unregulated. Modern kratom enthusiasts use kratom for calm and balanced energy throughout the days, and some strains for even more relaxation at night. Kratom also helps to support your health and fitness objectives, or to relieve discomfort. For any supplement you take, it’s important to review the risks and weigh those against the benefits for your particular health profile.

Learn More: Kats Botanicals is dedicated to educating consumers on how to safely and wisely use botanical solutions. We have a variety of helpful resources available to you, including:

Which Is Better: Kratom or Kava?

Whatever your needs, these two powerhouse botanicals are considerable solutions. In fact, they are often sold right next to each other and are easy to confuse. While each of these plant-derivatives has its place in your healthcare cabinet, they are not interchangeable. People are right to compare these two relaxing herbs, as they do have a lot of things in common.

Key Similarities

  • Both are herbal products that offer wellness perks.
  • Both appeal to consumers who want natural alternatives.
  • Both are relatively easy to use.
  • Both can make you feel good.
  • Both are considered nootropics.
  • Both can be taken in a variety of forms: tea, powder, capsule, liquid/extract, or tincture.
  • Both may have potential side effects or health risks when overused, abused, or combined with other substances.

For all that kava and kratom have in common, there are myriad differences. And these differences may be the deciding factors for which is best for you, kava or kratom.

Key Differences

  • They affect your body differently.
  • No addictive profile for kava, possible for kratom.
  • Kava is legal in all 50 states. Kratom is still unregulated.
  • Both contain alkaloids but for kava the wellness focus is on the kavalactones. Kratom contains mitragynine, a very important alkaloid.
  • Kava does not have energizing properties like some veins of kratom powder do.
  • Kratom is more versatile, with more potential applications. Kratom comes in a wide variety of veins and types.
  • Kava has consistent relaxing effects, but with kratom you may feel different effects at higher doses.

Can I Take Kava and Kratom Together?

Should you mix kratom and kava? Well, no. Not at the same time. But you can use both kratom and kava if you are careful about when you take them. Because both of these botanical herbs affect your body’s central nervous system differently, you may experience unpredictable results when using them together. Or, you may increase the risk for side effects. Therefore, it is recommended that if you use both of them to do so at different times of the day. Allow one to fully metabolize before consuming the other.

For example, you may find that using your favorite Maeng Da kratom as a replacement for morning coffee better balances your days. You have more calm energy, no jitters, and less body discomfort. Your days feel energized, yet calm, and you feel up to all the tasks to which you are called.

But in the evenings, you want something a little more relaxing. Maybe even a pleasant social experience, like visiting your local kava bar. On these evenings, you can partake in kava beverages, but skip that evening’s kratom dose. On your non-kava evenings, you may find a relaxing Red Borneo kratom capsule does the trick.

Learn What Works Best for You

Plant-based natural solutions like kava and kratom require a bit of educated and prudent trial and error on your part. This is to determine what kinds of products work best for you, and how much of them you need to take. Understanding how they work is one thing – knowing how they work for you is yet another.

Consider doing an easy “trial run” of your new kava or kratom product. Start off with a small amount and test run it to see how it makes you feel.

  1. Begin with a small amount (less than the recommended dose/serving). You can measure out exact amounts of powders and weigh it with a small kitchen scale for precise dosing.
  2. Take the product as directed.
  3. Take self-assessments at regular intervals over the next 4-5 hours to see how you feel.
  4. Keep a wellness journal! This can help you remember the smaller details of your experience.
  5. The next time you take it, make small adjustments to the dose amounts to fine-tune your experience.
  6. Remember not to exceed recommended dosing for a product. If you max-out at the recommended dosing and feel it’s still not enough, try a different product or a stronger one.

Testing out a product can be as simple as being more mindful of how a product affects you, or as complex as taking precise measurements and practicing thorough documentation. Either way, this bit of work helps you to fine-tune your life for the better.

You Can Trust Kats Botanicals

Kats Botanicals supports your wellness journey with a complete line-up of kratom, kava and other botanicals. Each batch is rigorously tested for quality, purity, and potency. We also provide stellar customer service and a 100% risk-free Customer Satisfaction Guarantee on every purchase. While you’re weighing the pros and cons of kava vs kratom, we’re here for you. Let us know how we can help!

Written By Staff

The staff writers for Kats Botanicals have been researching and writing about Kratom products for more than 5 years, and have a combined experience of over 35 years of writing in the healthcare and supplement industry. The team has a keen understanding of the topic, remain current on all FDA and industry news, and use their expertise to generate engaging and informative content to help educate consumers on Kats Botanicals’ products. Each article is fact-checked and includes sources to scientific data to ensure readers receive the most up-to-date and accurate information possible.

Reviewed By Justin Kats

Justin Kats, founder of Kats Botanicals reviews and approves all content before releasing it for posting on the Kats Botanical website. Justin has been a tireless advocate for the benefits of Kratom since 2012. As a champion for botanical therapy, Justin created a Facebook group where more than 12,000 people discuss botanicals, and Kratom. He has also assisted more than 80,000 customers since the inception of his business and works directly with a single source farmer to ensure the purity of the products he sells. He also performs rigorous lab testing because he understands what it takes to get a high-quality and safe product to market.

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Comparing Kava vs Kratom