Most cannabis consumers are already aware of the cannabis compound cannabidiol or CBD. However, kratom, a unique botanical substance, is slowly gaining traction in the cannabis world for its potential therapeutic properties and versatile applications. Kratom and CBD have several similarities in their potential medical benefits and effects on the body, but there is so much more to consider when examining CBD vs. kratom. In this guide, we will delve into the unique characteristics and differences of kratom vs. CBD and how you can use kratom.
What Is Kratom
Kratom, scientifically known as Mitragyna speciose, is a tropical shrub that thrives in Southeast Asia. The plant belongs to the coffee family (Rubiaceae) and has been traditionally chewed, brewed into teas, or used in other preparations by indigenous communities for their medicinal and recreational effects.
In recent years, kratom has gained popularity in the Western world as a herbal supplement for various purposes, including pain management, mood enhancement, and relaxation. The active compounds in kratom leaves are called alkaloids, with two of the most notable ones being mitragynine and 7-hydroxy mitragynine. These alkaloids interact with the body’s opioid receptors, producing effects that vary depending on the dosage and individual response.
How are Kratom and CBD Different?
Kratom and CBD are distinct natural remedies with different origins, chemical compositions, and effects. Kratom is derived from the leaves of the Mitragyna speciosa tree, while CBD is one of the many cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. It is extracted from hemp, a variety of cannabis with low levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive compound responsible for the “high” associated with marijuana.
The active compounds in kratom leaves are primarily mitragynine and 7-hydroxy mitragynine, both of which interact with opioid receptors in the brain, producing psychoactive effects. On the other hand, CBD is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid, and it does not produce a psychoactive effect. It interacts with the endocannabinoid system in the body. This system plays a role in regulating various physiological processes.
Kratom is believed to promote relaxation, enhance mood, and combat fatigue. More research is still needed on kratom’s potential benefits. CBD is commonly used for its potential anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing), and analgesic (pain-relieving) properties. It has been explored for its potential benefits in managing conditions such as epilepsy, anxiety disorders, and chronic pain.
How can Kratom Be Used?
Kratom can be used in various ways, and the method of consumption often depends on personal preference and the desired effects. In regions where kratom is native, traditional users often chew fresh kratom leaves. This method provides a more gradual and sustained release of the active compounds.
Brewing kratom tea is one of the more popular methods of consuming kratom. This method involves steeping dried kratom leaves or powders in hot water. The tea can be sweetened or flavored to improve its taste. Kratom can also be found in pre-measured capsules or tablets for easy consumption without the need for measuring.
Kratom powder can be mixed with various beverages, such as fruit juices, milk, or smoothies, to mask its taste and make consumption more enjoyable. It’s important to note that the effects of kratom can vary based on factors such as strain, dosage, and individual tolerance. Moreover, kratom should be used responsibly, and it’s advisable to start with a lower dose to gauge individual sensitivity and response.
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