Kratom vs. CBD
Kratom and CBD are two natural remedies trending as a safer alternative for the treatment of numerous different ailments and medical conditions. This article will take a closer look at the two to find out which may be the best herbal substitute.
Similarly, both substances are reported to manage an extensive list of symptoms ranging from chronic pain and insomnia, lowering high blood pressure and maintaining healthy glucose levels, to managing the withdrawals of alcohol and opiates. Although both are highly sought-after alternatives for the treatment of some similar ailments, they differ quite drastically in their molecular compounds. These specific compounds are what give each plant its unique healing properties, which in turn can be a safer choice over pharmaceuticals.
What is Kratom?
Kratom is scientifically known as mitragyna speciosa, which is a deciduous tree native to the tropical landscapes of Southeastern Asia. Kratom is also referred to as biak-biak, ketum, or Maeng Da in different locations depending upon the methods used for harvesting and the extracts and preparations derived from it. The tree itself is a close relative to the Rubiaceae family of evergreens, which is akin to the coffee family. The abundant leaves from this tree contain specific alkaloids and other molecular compounds which are harvested in countries such as Papua New Guinea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Thailand for numerous infirmities.
The native peoples of these areas have been using kratom for decades for the relief of chronic pain, to boost energy, relieve anxiety and stress, as well as for sleep aides. In larger quantities, it can be used as a mild sedative to promote healthy sleep. The trees produce an abundance of alkaloid rich leaves which are harvested and chewed or brewed into a kratom tea. The leaves are also ground into a fine powder and can be encapsulated for easier digestion.
What is Kratom Used For?
In the sweltering tropical farmlands of Southeast Asia, the natives have been reported to chew the leaves to produce energy for working long, grueling days in the fields. Reports have indicated that the peoples of the area have ingested kratom leaves for the slight stimulant effect to enhance energy and stamina and to alleviate pain. Other reports show that kratom has been used for relieving the debilitating effects from the withdrawals of opiates and alcohol.
In Western Culture, kratom has become a staple for many individuals who are unable to relieve their symptoms with traditional medications. Reports indicate the majority of kratom users are middle-aged, have at least middle income, possess some type of private health insurance, and have indicated they have completed some college history. Although the FDA has yet to release any statement on whether the FDA will ever truly recognize kratom as a useful resource for holistic health, for now it is still legal in most states in the US and in the UK.
How Does Kratom Work?
The alkaloid rich leaves of the kratom tree are classified as either red, white, or green depending upon the location of harvest and have varying levels of alkaloids. The chief active compounds of mitragyna speciosa are indole alkaloids, primarily mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, which act as partial agonists on opioid receptors. Typically, kratom products contain approximately 2% mitragynine and either zero or between 0.01% and 0.02% 7-hydroxymitragynine, respectively. Among other mitragyna
indole alkaloids, mitragynine presents with a unique mechanism of action and has a pharmacology distinct from most classical opioids, such as morphine, heroin, or even fentanyl.
Binding to the μ-opioid receptor causes recruitment and activation of the G-protein-coupled signaling cascade but does not lead to recruitment of β-arrestin 2, which has been attributed to a multitude of the undesired effects of opioid receptor activation, including constipation, respiratory depression, and dependence. To read more about Kratom effects click here.
Is Kratom Legal?
Under the current Poison Act of 1952, kratom is banned in Malaysia but remains in use due to the wealth of native, free-growing trees located throughout the region. In 2018, Thailand lifted its ban on the possession and use of kratom as a natural home remedy. Vietnam still has kratom listed as banned in the region.
In Western culture, the rise of kratom sales has led to the inquiry as to the safety and efficacy of kratom use by governing officials. Because the Food and Drug Administration in the United States has not classified kratom as a recognized supplement, the legality rests upon the individual state and should be investigated thoroughly before purchase. For an updated list on the legal status of Kratom in the United States on a state by state, be sure to check out our [updated] Kratom Legal page.
The FDA has, in turn, designated mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine as opioids and recommended the placement of these compounds into the Controlled Substances Act Schedule I by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Before purchasing Kratom bo find out which states A number of states have classified Kratom
Side Effects and Risks of Kratom Consumption
From July 2016 through December 2019 there were a total of 91 deaths attributed to kratom overdose in the United States, according to a recent report released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of the 91 total deaths known to the agency, only 7 cases were declared as accidental overdoses caused by kratom alone. The remaining cases could not be confirmed because the deceased also showed trace amounts of other substances and kratom could not be ruled out as the attributing factor of death. Calls to the Poison Control Centers also showed an increase in calls relating to kratom consumption 50-fold from 13 in 2011 to 682 in 2017.
Side effects vary from individual to individual because the alkaloids within the herb act differently based upon the unique chemical make-up. For this reason, beginners to kratom should seek out information on side effects and risks prior to consumption and should start with smaller doses until they are sure how it will affect them. Known side effects vary as well in doses. Some known side effects of kratom use include euphoria, increased energy and excitability, sweating, nausea and vomiting, nervousness, constipation, confusion, increased heart rate and irritability.
What is CBD?
CBD, scientifically known as cannabidiol, is a naturally occurring compound found within the Cannabis sativa plant. Unlike its closest relative delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, CBD does not possess the chemicals that make you feel high or disoriented. The plant Cannabis sativa has two primary species, hemp and marijuana. Both species of plants contain CBD, but there is a much higher percentage found in hemp, which also has very low (less than 0.3%) levels of THC compared to marijuana.
What is CBD Used For?
CBD is harvested from the sativa plant and used to make edibles, tinctures and creams, but many people prefer to smoke the flower or vape the oil in a pen. CBD is commonly used for relaxation and for reducing anxiety. CBD is also used to treat epilepsy and seizure disorders, chronic pain, muscle disorders known as dystonia, Parkinson’s Disease, and Crohn’s Disease. Elixinol is a medication containing CBD which is designed specifically to treat the symptoms of epilepsy and seizure disorders.
How Does CBD Work?
Although it is still unclear exactly how the chemicals in CBD work on the brain, research shows it prevents the breakdown of chemicals in the brain that affect mood, pain, and anxiety. By reducing these chemicals in the brain, the blood levels are increased, which reduces the symptoms of schizophrenia.
Although CBD has a small amount of binding affinity for either of the two cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2), cannabidiol modulates several non-cannabinoid receptors and ion channels. CBD also acts through various receptor-independent pathways by delaying the “reuptake” of endogenous neurotransmitters (such as anandamide and adenosine) and by enhancing or inhibiting the binding action of certain G-protein coupled receptors.
Is CBD Legal?
The United States is increasingly legalizing the recreational and medicinal use of marijuana, but the legality varies from state to state. Legislature surrounding hemp products is in a constant state of unrest and is constantly being changed. As of now, eleven states have legalized the sale and use of both medical and recreational marijuana for adults over 21, and over half the states have some sort of medical marijuana program. Some states, however, still retain prosecution for some forms of hemp and cannabis products.
As of 2018, CBD was legalized nationwide at the federal level by passing the 2018 Farm Bill, but that differs dramatically at the state level. Specific legislation regarding marijuana, hemp, and cannabis vary from state to state so be sure to research your local area prior to purchasing CBD from a retailer.
Side Effects and Risks of CBD Consumption
CBD is often regarded as a much safer option than its cousin THC, as CBD has fewer side effects. The compound THC found within the marijuana plant is known to produce feelings of disorientation and creates the feeling of being high. CBD, on the other hand, has a greater affinity to the CB2 receptor, which interacts differently with the nervous system without eliciting any of the uncomfortable psychoactive results. Because of this reason, the advantages of using CBD are numerous.
There are numerous studies which demonstrate the outcomes of cannabidiol as a modality for various conditions, but many of these studies conclude that this cannabinoid is safe and virtually free of side effects. The most common side effects reported are dry mouth, drowsiness, lightheadedness, low blood pressure, tremors in high doses, and inhibition of hepatic drug metabolism. CBD is also reported to counteract the effects of THC if consumed simultaneously with a THC product.
How Does Kratom Compare Next to CBD?
Although both herbal remedies possess traits which are ideal for replacing pharmaceutical therapies, they vary enough to make an impact on knowing which to use for what ailment. Kratom’s chemical composition is ideal for boosting energy and reducing pain and inflammation, whereas CBD is more commonly used for the treatment of anxiety and for relaxation. In other words, kratom is more of an “upper” and CBD is more of a “downer.” Depending upon method of consumption, onset of kratom can be anywhere from ten minutes to one hour. CBD, however, has an immediate onset after smoking, and anywhere from fifteen minutes to an hour after ingestion orally.
Head-to-head, both compounds are ideal for treating pain and for reducing stress and anxiety. Be sure to research the legality in your state before making any decision on which to purchase.
How Does Kratom Compare Next to Marijuana?
Kratom leaves contain at least 43 compounds, including the key indole alkaloids mitragynine, 7-hydroxymitragynine, raubasine and mitraphylline. These alkaloids produce kratom’s health benefits, such as analgesia, anxiety relief, stimulation and sedation. Like marijuana, kratom can produce a multitude of effects at varying dosages. Kratom’s alkaloid profile possesses a vast array of healing properties with some acting as muscle relaxants and others serving as stimulants. Of the 43 + compounds in kratom leaves, some are anti-inflammatory while others are antimalarial and/or antitussive.
Marijuana, a.k.a. cannabis, is classified as a psychoactive substance due to the presence of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. THC is a crystalline compound which induces euphoria upon consumption, either by smoking the flower or ingesting it in edibles or tinctures. The effects of both are largely dependent upon quantity of intake, but both are generally considered to be viable options for managing pain, reducing anxiety and improving overall mood.
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