Kratom vs CBD: Popular, Beneficial, and Very Different

Kratom vs CBD

There’s a lot of debate on the kratom vs CBD topic among users and scientists, so we decided to see for ourselves which is better. Here’s a closer look at what we discovered.

What Is Kratom?

Kratom,  or Mitragyna speciosa, is essentially a tree. This curious plant is native to Southeast Asia, and in one form or the other, it has been around for centuries as a natural remedy. Kratom leaves are very popular as they are dried and then ground into a powder, which can be taken orally or added to food or beverages, so this, too, is called kratom.

Kratom is known for its ability to boost energy levels and improve mood. It also binds to the opioid pain receptors when taken in higher doses (over 7 grams), resulting in significant pain relief, sedation, or euphoria.

Main Differences Between Kratom and CBD

The very first distinction between these two lies in the fact that kratom is a tree or a herbal mixture. Conversely, CBD is a single cannabinoid, though widely used in various forms. 

Let’s check out the basic similarities and differences a bit more closely:

CBD Kratom
Pharmacology CB1 & CB2 receptor Opioid receptors
Active Ingredients CBD Speciogynine




Benefits Reduces stress and anxiety





Helpful for a variety of medical issues (PTSD, fibromyalgia, opioid addiction…)


Reduces stress



Side Effects Dry mouth

Low blood pressure


Appetite changes


Interaction with medications


Blurry vision


Cheek discoloration

Loss of muscle coordination

Nausea and vomiting

High potential for addiction

Can act as depressant

Heart attack

Liver and kidney damage

Potentially deadly

Forms Capsules, tinctures, serums, vapes, topicals, powders, mints, and other edibles Capsules, tinctures, tablets, gum, flavored powders
Legality Legal in all 50 states Legal in the US, but prohibited in several states

As you can see from the table, certain CBD and kratom effects are very similar. However, they have different active ingredients and work in very different ways.

Active Ingredients

According to studies, kratom contains more than 40 active components, but two alkaloids, in particular, stand out — mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. The former is therapeutic, while the latter has opioid-like and psychoactive properties.

Since kratom users eat kratom leaves and products prepared from kratom leaves, they ingest both of the plant’s notable alkaloids.

CBD stands on its own, but it is more commonly joined in products by other cannabinoids (THC, CBN, CBG, CBC…) and terpenes, thus working in synergy.

Now that you know the CBD vs kratom difference in terms of their active components, it’s time to discover what they can do for you.

Pain Treatment

While CBD works by binding to cannabinoid receptors in the brain and nervous system, which helps to reduce inflammation and pain, kratom works quite differently.

Namely, kratom’s pain-relieving effects are due to the alkaloids mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, which bind to opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord. These alkaloids mimic the effects of opioids like morphine and oxycontin. 

In fact, when we compare morphine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, the latter is 13 times more potent.

However, long-term usage of kratom can cause dependency and opiate withdrawal. 

So which one is better for pain treatment, CBD or kratom? CBD is far more beneficial for any type of pain caused by inflammation, especially chronic pain. 

On the other hand, kratom is more effective in treating acute pain. However, it shouldn’t be used long-term since it can cause addiction.

Winner: CBD for long-term, kratom for short-term pain management.

Anxiety Treatment

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health disorders, affecting 40 million adults in the United States alone.

Since both can be used to treat stress-related issues, should you use kratom or CBD for anxiety treatment?

CBD is more effective in reducing anxiety thanks to its ability to interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system. Moreover, many studies support CBD’s efficacy in treating anxiety disorders.

Yet, when it comes to kratom, it offers mild anti-anxiety effects. Moreover, these effects are only noticeable when taken in higher doses. When taken in a low dosage, kratom might increase your anxiety.

Winner: In this CBD vs kratom for anxiety battle, CBD is the clear winner.

Side Effects

Now that you know their benefits, it’s time to discuss the (serious) disadvantages of both.

  • Cannabidiol and kratom are not FDA-approved, which means there’s a lack of long-term studies on their safety. Yet, WHO declares CBD as safe, while its report on kratom is not entirely favorable.
  • CBD can cause side effects like dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, and fatigue. However, these side effects are usually mild and go away on their own. 
  • Kratom, on the other hand, can cause more severe side effects like nausea, vomiting, blurry vision, and loss of muscle coordination. Kratom may also be highly addictive. In interaction with other substances, it has even lead to death.


CBD oil and kratom come in different forms. CBD can be added to tinctures, capsules, gummies, topicals, and vape oils. You can also find CBD-infused edibles like coffee and chocolate. Due to its nature, CBD is easily mixed with carrier oil, which can then be infused or added to a multitude of forms.

Kratom is normally available as leaves, powder, and extracts. You can consume dried or fresh leaves and use them to make kratom tea. Kratom powder is mainly used to make capsules, tinctures, tablets, and flavored powders.

Therefore, both of them come in forms that are easy to take.


When it comes to CBD oil vs kratom legal status, CBD is legal on the federal level in the United States as long as the product it is a part of (oil, tinctures, edibles…) contains less than 0.3% THC. However, each state has its own laws regarding its purchase.

Kratom is also legal on a federal level. However, some states, such as Florida, Indiana, Tennessee, and Wisconsin, have banned its use due to its addictive properties.

Kratom is also banned in the UK, France, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Malaysia, Romania, Italy, Sweden, Russia, Poland, Turkey, Lithuania, and Latvia.

Kratom vs Weed

What distinguishes marijuana and kratom? 

First of all, unlike marijuana, kratom does not contain THC, although it can produce psychoactive effects in higher doses.

Secondly, kratom has the potential to cause a fatal overdose. In contrast, marijuana is not fatal, even if taken in high doses.

And lastly, kratom and marijuana have different legal statuses. Although its regulations per state vary, kratom is federally legal in the US. Marijuana is still illegal on the federal level, yet it is legal in several states.

Neither marijuana nor kratom is FDA-approved, though.


So, what’s our final verdict? While both provide numerous benefits, we believe CBD is the better long-term option. It’s more effective in treating anxiety, and it doesn’t cause addiction.

Moreover, since we lack research on kratom’s effects, we don’t know if it’s safe to use in the long run. For now, we would recommend sticking to CBD.


Is Delta 8 a CBD compound?

Delta 8 is not a CBD compound. It is an analog of THC. CBD and THC are both cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, but they have different effects on the body. Delta 8 has many of the same properties as THC but is less psychoactive.

Is CBD a psycho?

CBD is not a psychoactive compound. True, cannabidiol does boost your mood and can have a special buzz, but it does not cause euphoria or hallucinations like THC or kratom do.

Is kratom like weed?

Kratom is similar to weed in the respect that both of them can induce psychoactive effects. These come from different places, though. 

Marijuana is a plant that contains the psychoactive compound THC. Kratom is a tree that contains the psychoactive compounds mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine.

What's the difference between CBD and kratom?

The main difference is that kratom can be addictive while CBD is not. In high doses, kratom can even lead to death, whereas there are no reports of overdose-related deaths with CBD.

The second difference is that kratom is banned in some states, while both are federally legal in the US.

The last kratom vs CBD difference lies in their active ingredients and the way they work. Kratom works by binding to opioid receptors, while CBD oil regulates the endocannabinoid system.