From the tropics of Southeast Asia to Latin America’s deserts and beyond, herbal supplements are everywhere. But to those of us familiar with the health and wellness industry, two supplements stand apart: CBD and kratom.
As our Kratom Spot family already knows: kratom derives from Mitragyna speciosa, a tree in the coffee family. CBD, on the other hand, derives from the hemp plant, a subsidiary of cannabis. Kratom trees grow exclusively in Southeast Asia, but cannabis is seemingly cultivated worldwide.
Despite their differences, both CBD and kratom display an array of similarities. Both chemical compounds are said to reduce anxiety and offer pain relief. The two products are considered “high quality” only when third-party lab tested. And both are the subject of unjustified government discrimination.
Who would’ve thought that these completely different botanical supplements have so much in common?
Kratom vs. Hemp
As we mentioned above, kratom products derive from the Mitragyna speciosa plant, also called the kratom tree. CBD, on the other hand, derives from hemp plants. The hemp plant is considered a subsidiary of cannabis, which creates some confusion among CBD users.
Here’s how we break it down:
- The definition of “cannabis” includes both marijuana and hemp plants.
- Hemp is primarily responsible for CBD.
- Marijuana is largely responsible for THC, the intoxicating chemical compound responsible for getting marijuana users “high.”
CBD and hemp are non-intoxicating in nature. So although some forms of cannabis (including marijuana) get you high, CBD products alone will not.
Furthermore, the effects of kratom come from mitragynine, a chemical compound found in the leaves of the kratom tree. This chemical compound is called an alkaloid, and scientists have so far isolated over 25 active alkaloids from the kratom tree.
In a similar vein, CBD is known as a cannabinoid. We can think about cannabinoids as the alkaloids of the hemp plant. And while kratom contains over 25 alkaloids, cannabis has hundreds of cannabinoids.
The Pharmacology of Kratom Trees
- A tropical evergreen tree.
- Native to Southeast Asia: includes Bali, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Sumatra.
- Contains over 25 alkaloids, most importantly mitragynine and 7-hydroxy-mitragynine.
- Used as herbal medicine since at least the 19th century.
The Pharmacology of Hemp Plants
- A cannabis sativa plant.
- Native to Central Asia, where it then spread to the rest of the world.
- Contains hundreds of cannabinoids, most importantly CBD and THC.
- Used as herbal medicine since before recorded history.
The Campaigns Against Cannabis and Kratom
One of the lesser-known similarities among CBD and kratom is the government discrimination targeting both plants.
Cannabis became popular in the United States during the prohibition era of the 1920s. In 1937, however, the U.S. government promoted anti-cannabis propaganda. Despite medical research efforts to learn more about cannabis, the plant was removed from the U.S. Pharmacopeia in 1942.
It wasn’t until the 1990s that cannabis regained prominence in modern American life. Furthermore, some state and federal government officials still oppose the scientific research in favor of cannabis as a botanical health supplement.
Kratom faces its own government discrimination to differing degrees. Since 2014, the FDA and DEA have launched separate campaigns targeting the plant. The DEA almost banned kratom as a Schedule I substance in 2016.
Are CBD and Kratom a Good Match?
So now that we know a little more about CBD and kratom, are they a good match? To answer this question, we need to look deeper into their similarities and differences.
How Are They Similar?
Similarities between CBD and kratom:
- Derive from plants: Mitragynine speciosa and hemp plants, respectively.
- Contain active chemical compounds responsible for the experienced effects.
- Stigmatized by government efforts that ignore scientific findings.
- Said to reduce anxiety, help with pain relief, offer anti-inflammatory properties, and more.
- Well tolerated in high doses.
- Few (if any) side effects.
- Dangerous only when sold with adulterants or fillers.
- Considered high quality when third-party lab tested.
How Are They Different?
CBD and kratom share many similarities. However, they also have some differences between them:
- CBD is non-intoxicating. Kratom has been known to induce mild intoxication-like effects.
- CBD targets endocannabinoid receptors in the brain. Kratom targets u-opioid receptors.
- CBD is commonly sold as CBD oil. Kratom is more commonly sold as kratom powder.
CBD and Kratom: Do They Mix?
Currently, there is no scientific evidence that argues for or against the joint use of CBD and kratom. However, given both CBD and kratom’s non-existent toxicity profiles, relatively few side effects, and overwhelmingly positive communities, we say: decide for yourself!
Both CBD and kratom are said to offer relatively similar effects. CBD is said to:
- Offer pain relief.
- Promote homeostasis.
- Reduce anxiety and symptoms of depression.
- Offer anti-inflammatory benefits.
- Increase creativity.
- And more!
If you think that adding CBD to your daily kratom routine is beneficial, that’s for you to decide. As always, you can stay up-to-date on all the latest kratom news on our blog. In addition, you can learn a lot more about CBD and other cannabis trends from our friends at CBD Choice!