Are there any important differences between kratom vs kava?


Actually, there are more differences than you may think.

Kratom and kava are increasingly sold one next to another in kava bars or brick-and-mortar and online shops.

Their physical characteristics are a valid reason for creating confusion, however, when we talk about geographical origins, how they are prepared and consumed, their chemical composition, effects, and legality, we are talking about two totally unique plants, that is, herbal products.

Kratom vs kava – geographical origin

If we look at the kratom vs kava origin differences, we can say that kratom originates in Southeast Asia. More precisely, it’s indigenous to Indonesia, Malaysia, Borneo, Thailand, and other parts of the region. 

Kava, on the other hand, comes from the Western Pacific islands such as Fiji, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Micronesia, Polynesia, and Hawaii.

Preparation and consumption

Traditionally, kratom is taken by chewing the leaves. Today we have Kratom products in the form of powder, oil, tea and edibles which are made from the leaves of the Mitragyna speciosa, the tropical evergreen tree that belongs to the coffee family, or kratom. Kratom was a part of a traditional culture in Southeast Asia where workers would use it as a way to improve their mood and stave off exhaustion. 

Unlike kratom, the roots of kava or Piper methysticum, a tropical evergreen shrub that belongs to the pepper family, are ground into a paste, mixed with water, strained and consumed (prepared as a tea). Today, consumers can find kava as a tincture, in a capsule or powder. Kava is still consumed daily in this region as a natural way to relax and de-stress and as a part of ceremonies and religious events.

Kratom vs kava – Legal status

At the moment, there is a legal battle around kratom. Although kratom is legal in some countries, there are still some concerns concerning its active constituents and the lack of scientific research.

In countries like the USA, the American Kratom Association is one of the drivers in the process of establishing kratom as a safe-to-use remedy. Their aim is to raise awareness of kratom benefits and provide support for both consumers and the kratom industry with programs like the AKA GMP Compliance Program and the Kratom Consumer Protection Act.

Contrary to this, kava is gaining worldwide acceptance as a legal, natural and safe herbal product. It has been legal and available in the USA (especially since it is a part of the cultural life in Hawaii) for more than 20 years where it is categorized as a herbal supplement. However, even though it’s labeled as safe, consumers must be careful when combining it with other substances as it can create negative effects.

As you can see now, there are important differences between kratom vs kava all consumers should be aware of. 

Is there anything else you would add to the list? Feel free to share what you know with the community in the comments section below!

FDA Disclaimer

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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