What is the Difference Between Kava and Kratom?

kratom and kava

The two substances share a common ingredient, mitragynine, which turns into 7-hydroxy mitragynine in the body to have sedating and stimulating effects. But kratom and kava are from different plants and produce different effects at various doses. Kava comes from a plant’s roots, while kratom is from the leaves of a tree.

A colorful chalkboard outside Noble Kava lists the drink specials for that day, and inside, people talk over coffee tables and couches while sipping on freshly ladled drinks of kratom and kava. Dion Cooper, a Noble Kava employee, says many people come to the shop for kava because of its ability to relieve anxiety and stress, ease migraines and muscle tension and improve sleeplessness.

Kratom and Kava: Unlocking the Secrets of Two Traditional Herbal Remedies

Kava is indigenous to the Pacific islands, and its pharmacology centers around a group of chemicals called kavalactones that interact with neurotransmitters in the brain, producing its reported effects. One study found that kavalactones DMY, DMX, and desmethoxyyangonin all significantly inhibited COX-2 in human liver cells and decreased ATP levels, reducing mitochondrial membrane potential and inducing apoptosis.

While kava is not an FDA-approved drug, it has been shown to be safe in long-term studies. However, if you’re considering using it, be aware that it may cause liver damage and should not be taken with other drugs that can have similar side effects, such as anti-anxiety medication or opioids. Kava also can increase the risk of seizures, so it’s important to discuss any concerns with your doctor before trying it.