CBD vs Kratom: How Similar Are These Natural Plant Remedies?

cbd vs kratom

Posted on December 20th, 2020

CBD and Kratom have become two of the most highly sought after, and researched, herbal supplements in recent years. With that in mind, it makes a lot of sense to have an objective article on CBD Vs Kratom. 

From afar, both Kratom and CBD may appear to be more or less the same considering the fact that they are herbal extracts thought to have a variety of powerful effects, including anxiety and pain relief among others. 

However, as you learn more about these natural supplements, you find that they are quite different from each other. For starters, to produce their health benefits, each of these substances work differently once they make their way into the body. Furthermore, both substances have different side effects; and are treated differently, in some cases, when it comes to their legal status in the US. 

If you are thinking about trying one of these natural supplements in a bid to address any health condition, and improve your overall physical wellbeing, but aren’t sure of which to choose and what to expect, you have come to the right place. Read on below for a detailed comparison of CBD Vs Kratom. 

A Little About CBD

CBD (Cannabidiol) is one of the many active compounds in cannabis plants. Legal CBD (with less than 0.3% THC) normally comes from industrial hemp plants.

Once it makes its way into the body, CBD interacts with certain receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS), where it works to restore a natural balance in various physiological processes. 

Unlike THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) another compound in cannabis, CBD does not intoxicate you. Fortunately though, the compound has powerful anti-depressant and analgesic (pain relief) properties according to the findings of various research studies. 

CBD is available in the form of a variety of products, including CBD oil, concentrate, topical creams, capsules and tinctures among others. 

kratomWhat Is Kratom?

Historians trace the origins of Kratom to South East Asia. This herbal supplement (Mitragyna Speciosa) has been growing naturally for thousands of years in the countries of Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. Locals have been chewing the leaves for thousands of years for their stimulating and sedating effects. 

When consumed in lower amounts, Kratom is known to have a stimulating/energizing effect. However, at higher doses, its effects become more sedative. 

To produce their purported health benefits, the main active compounds of Kratom are said to interact with the opioid receptors in the body. Of the 25 active compounds found in Kratom, 7-hydroxymitragynine and mitragynine are considered to be two of the most important ones. According to researchers, the former is responsible for the psychoactive effects of this herbal supplement, while the latter is responsible for the therapeutic effects. 

While Kratom leaves can be chewed in their natural form, this herbal supplement is mostly sold as a powder. The powder consists of ground kratom leaves that have undergone a meticulous drying process. 

It is worth mentioning that the amount of research that has been conducted on Kratom is less than what has been done with respect to CBD. This has led to a situation where the popularity of Kratom is lower than that of CBD. 

CBD Vs Kratom: How They Work

Now that you have an idea of what they are, here’s a detailed breakdown of just how both CBD and Kratom work to produce their many potential health benefits. 

Users can vape, ingest, or apply CBD topically over the skin. You can also introduce it into the body sublingually with a tincture.

To produce the many potential health benefits associated with it, CBD normally interacts with the body’s cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2 receptors) in the body indirectly, instead of directly binding to them as THC does. In fact, it interacts with the ECS by activating TRPV1 receptors – and other similar receptors, which then interact with the cannabinoid receptors in the body. 

In general, the ECS plays a huge role in the regulation of a variety of biological processes, including mood, sleep, pain management, immune response and appetite among others. CBD also boosts anandamide levels in the body to enhance the users mood.

On the other hand, you can take kratom in a number of ways (ingestion, smoking or chewing the leaves in their natural state). Many people add the powder to yogurt to create a smoothie that masks the natural taste of Kratom. This natural supplement does not require heat to be activated, so you can consume it in its natural, raw state.

Once in the body, Kratom interacts with a variety of neurotransmitters, including serotonin, GABA and dopamine, to produce sedative and stimulant effects. 

So, why do some call it a great alternative to pharmaceutical opioid drugs? Well, to produce its powerful analgesic effect, kratom’s 7-hydroxymitragynine compound interacts with the body’s opioid receptors without binding to them, unlike conventional opioid drugs. 

Benefits: CBD Vs Kratom 

As you can see, both CBD and Kratom work differently when they make their way into the body. This results in various health benefits:

Kratom Benefits  


At lower doses, Kratom has energy boosting effects in users. This usually happens a few minutes after you take it; and wears off in about an hour. During this period, users tend to feel more sociable and are normally very alert. On the flip side, it may reduce your motor coordination.

Pain Relief

At higher doses, Kratom can have sedative effects on users. At this dosage level, you might feel more relaxed and euphoric. This feeling can result in pain relief

Opiate Withdrawal 

Some individuals addicted to powerful opioids, such as Fentanyl, Oxycodone and heroin have also reported great results when it comes to using Kratom to wean themselves of their dependence. This is generally because Kratom can act as a substitute to opioids. 

Despite the many health claims, there is little concrete research to back them up. 

Benefits Of CBD

For Anxiety And Depression

CBD has shown a lot of promise when it comes to people with anxiety and depression. According to research, CBD can be used with both conditions without causing side effects associated with pharmaceutical drugs. 

Some of the nasty side effects associated with traditional pharmaceutical drugs for treating depression and anxiety include sexual dysfunction, insomnia, drowsiness and agitation, among others. 

Pain Management

Through its interaction with the ECS and neurotransmitters, CBD is capable of relieving both acute and chronic pain, according to research findings. Furthermore, CBD can also reduce inflammation; something that also helps relieve pain. 

For enhanced pain relief properties – especially when it comes to those suffering from arthritis and multiple sclerosis – a combination of CBD and THC is helpful.

Relieving Symptoms Related To Cancer 

According to research, CBD may have the power to relieve symptoms associated with cancer treatments. CBD’s cancer fighting capabilities were demonstrated in a study where a concentrated CBD was used to kill human breast cancer cells. This natural substance has also shown a lot of promise when it comes to unwanted side effects of chemotherapy. This makes it a potential substitute for poorly suited conventional drugs meant for this purpose.     

In addition, CBD has also shown a lot of promise when it comes to fighting epilepsy. But much more research is necessary. 

CBD Vs Kratom Side Effects 

As it stands, CBD has not displayed any serious side effects; thus, making its potential benefits all the more appealing. While it might cause side effects such as drowsiness, dry mouth and nausea, these are only mild. Even in high doses, CBD is not addictive.

Kratom can be quite addictive with regular use. This substance may also lead to other opioid-like side effects, including constipation, nausea and vomiting. Serious side effects include increased blood pressure, liver toxicity, psychosis, seizures and respiratory depression.  

Legal Status

CBD from industrial hemp (with 0.3% THC content) is legal in the US thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill.

The story is quite different when it comes to Kratom. The substance is illegal in Washington DC and a number of states (Tennessee, Vermont, Indiana, Wisconsin and Alabama). It’s also illegal in some cities (Sarasota, San Diego and Denver) across the US. Also, the Department of Health & Human Services called for a kratom ban back in 2018; on top of the 2016 Drug Enforcement Agency threat to classify it as a schedule I substance. This means that users cannot access the substance, if and when the authorities decide to act on these threats. 

Conclusion: CBD vs Kratom

Both CBD and Kratom are very popular natural remedies today. Their highly publicized, potential natural health benefits have made them quite popular among those seeking effective alternatives to conventional medications.

However, this is as far as the similarities go. After a closer look, it is clear to see that these natural supplements are quite different. 

Unlike Kratom, CBD has a wider variety of potential health benefits backed by a growing mountain of research. Furthermore, CBD – which does not have any serious side effects – is legal in the US. However, Kratom – whose side effects are similar to opioids – has a more complicated legal status. If you are looking to give CBD a try, Tanasi offers high quality, full spectrum hemp extracts. Tanasi’s formula includes every available cannabinoid, terpene, and compound available in the hemp plant, ensuring the full benefits hemp can provide


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