Kratom vs Kava: Weak Difference You Aren’t Told

What is the difference between Kratom and Kava? Today, you’ll discover the contrast between the two.

Kava and Kratom are are two plants commonly sold together online and in kava bars across the United States. Kava is not the same as Kratom. There’re some key differences.

Let’s discover the differences so you know if you should consume Kava or Kratom.

Kratom vs Kava: Similar Experience

Kava combats stress, anxiety, pain, and promotes a distinct sense of relaxation.

Kratom can produce a similar experience, which is heavily regulated by the dose.

A low Kratom dose (1-2 grams) is energetic and makes you more talkative.

A high dose (5-6 grams)  puts you in a totally different spot. A high dose is required to get the best painkiller and sedative effects similar to Kava.


Euphoria is a state of being where intense feelings of happiness and excitement wash over you. Might be a reason why Kava bars are popular.

Depending on the type of Kratom and Kava root, you can also experience the pleasurable euphoric effects.

Tea and Preparation

You can chew kratom leaves, which is more common in Southeast Asia, where kratom grows in abundance. But that won’t produce the best experience.

Both Kava and Kratom can be made into tea. However, to prepare a successful Kava drink you need to mix kava root with water and use a strainer bag. Kratom is more straightforward in this area.

Kratom tea and Kava tea preparation is what confuses people to think they are similar.

To get rid of confusion and that question mark above your head, let’s dwell more on the differences that sets these natural beauties apart.

Kava vs Kratom and The Key Differences

Kratom is a large tropical evergreen tree known as Mitragyna Speciosa. It belongs to the coffee family and is, therefore, an ideal choice if you want a natural stimulant to raise your energy levels.

Kratom is popular for intense and remarkable pain relief.

Kava is a plant known as Piper Methysticum. It belongs to the pepper family and is an important brew in the Pacific Islands for religious rituals and ceremonies.

Kava drink is used for relaxation and social occasions.

Plant Chemistry

What makes these plants different is how they interact with your system.


Kratom consists of alkaloids that work on the brain’s opioid receptors to trigger relaxation and numb pain.

Some strains of kratom can even produce an opioid-like high, which has helped people to recover from opiate addictions. You can avoid the “high” if you take the right dose and strain.

kratom vs kava

It is important to know that kratom stimulates the brain’s delta-receptor and opioids targets the brain’s mu receptors. So it’s safe to say; Kratom is not an opioid and should not be confused as such.


Kava consists of Kavalactones that interacts with the limbic system. The limbic system handles emotions, motivation, and anxiety. Kavalactones don’t touch the opioid receptors. This is why Kava has a lower risk to make you addicted.

Kava and Kratom Comes in Different Varieties

If you have researched Kratom you know that it is a little bit more complicated that Kava.

How come?

Kratom comes in different strains and colors depending on where it is cultivated from. These are the main strains worth knowing:

  • Malay
  • Thai
  • Borneo
  • Indo
  • Bali
  • Maeng Da

It is still Kratom but with a twist. Thai, for example, is known for the intense stimulative effects while Borneo is more on the sedative side.

Then you have red, green, white, and the grafted Kratom that appears yellow.

Red is more sedative and the best selling color because it is also the best painkiller. White is more stimulating. Green is a mix of red and green. Yellow produces totally unique experiences anyone interested in kratom is bound to try.

Kava is simpler in this area because you can easily pick between heavy, heady, and balanced.

Heavy Kava is the most sedating type. Heady produces mental energy. And balanced offers you mixed effects.

Kratom vs Kava: Legal Status

Kava is legally recognized in the United States as a dietary supplement. Apart from Poland, The only known country with an express ban on the plant’s products, every other state in America, Europe and the majority of the world has no legal qualms with citizens using kava. However, the Food and Drugs Administration has published several advisories explaining the potential health risks of using kava.

Kratom was previously largely regarded as an opiate drug thus leading to its societal condemnation in the vast parts of America. However, in the advent of time, research has proved that Kratom may present the world with a milder, in terms of health effects, alternative for other addictive drugs like heroin, cocaine and prescription pills.

The drug has always been in use for hundreds of years ago, but it was originally popular only in Asia. It has risen in popularity over recent times, and people are increasingly depending on it for its relaxing and pain-relieving effects.

Most countries in the world do not explicitly ban kratom. The legality of Kratom is largely ambiguous with the general implication being that it is globally legal. However, it is illegal in the United Kingdom, Malaysia and Thailand. It is a controlled substance in New Zealand and Australia.

It is also illegal in Russia, UAE and Denmark. In countries like Israel, Norway and Poland, it is categorized as a prescription drug. Close to home, Canada has made Kratom completely legal for recreational use.

Federally, the United States allows for the use and possession of Kratom.

Some states expressly regulate or prohibit the use and possession of the drug.Kratom is legal in the State of California except for San Diego. In Florida, it is only Sarasota County that disallows the substance. Illinois also allows it with the exception of Jerseyville. There are no exceptions challenging the legality of Kratom in New Hampshire. It is implicitly banned in Wisconsin, Indiana, Arkansas, Alabama and Tennessee.

The Big Takeaway

Kava and Kratom work differently on a molecular level but shares some similar effects:

  • Helps to cure insomnia
  • Can reduce pain
  • Improves social cognition
  • Combats stress

It’s harder to get addicted to Kava.

You can use both if you want relaxation.

Kratom is superior if you have intense pains and want to treat and recover from opioid addictions.

Kava is recommended for anxiety and relaxation.

Kratom is recommended to relieve pain.