With the Kratom industry on the rise, more people are turning to natural herbs to explore their soothing effects and for recreational purposes. However, some have chosen Kratom as an alternative to alcohol and drugs like opiates, thinking it’s a much safer and healthier option. 

But the real question is: Is Kratom healthier than alcohol?

The More You Know About Kratom and Alcohol

Kratom and alcohol are both legal to consume in the United States, except for the six states that have banned kratom use. But, for most people, legality is not the primary concern. Instead, their main focus is to understand which substance is healthier. 

Alcohol has been a part of various cultures for many centuries, and it continues to be the best social lubricant in gatherings. However, with many health risks attached to it, the younger generation has opted for less sedative options, hoping to live more with a sound liver function. And this is when Kratom and CBD products come into the picture, known for being less sensitive and more natural. 

While alcohol is deemed a depressant drug, kratom today is regarded in a positive light. Much like the scenery showcasing all the blacks and brights in one frame, with kratom being on the latter palette. Mainly because of its status as a natural botanical with a centuries-old history of use for medicinal purposes.

Coming from the evergreen landscapes of SouthEast Asian lands, Kratom has gained much popularity for its relieving and soothing properties, minus the overpowering sedative effect like alcohol. According to many studies, Kratom is an effective mood enhancer and a natural stress reliever—all good reasons for everyone to turn to it to gain the maximum of these benefits.

However, despite its many offerings, a sense of conflict arises whenever the discussion turns to safety or health. After all, how sure can one be about Kratom’s safety profile when there isn’t much research done to claim it is completely safe?

Kratom and Alcohol — Comparing Their Mechanisms

To conclude whether Kratom is healthier than alcohol or not, it is crucial to understand its mechanism of action.  

If we were to draw a comparison between the pharmacology of both of these substances, the analogy is simple. Kratom is like a friend with a gentle exterior and calming aura, while alcohol is the one with a more intimidating and explosive presence, ticking like a bomb and exhibiting a crude demeanor.

Even though both kratom and alcohol interact with the brain’s chemical and neurotransmitters, their effects are markedly different. 

Kratom, coming from Mitragyna speciosa leaves, acts as a partial agonist at mu-opioid receptors and antagonist at delta- and kappa-opioid receptors. This interaction results in pain relief, mood enhancement, and relaxation upon consumption. At high doses, it can even work as a sedative and stimulant. Yet, no respiratory depression or overdose risk is associated with kratom use. 

On the other hand, alcohol primarily enhances GABAergic activity. This interaction results in sedation, impaired judgment, numbness of the nerves, and initial euphoric sensation at moderate alcohol consumption. Excessive consumption is then further associated with confusion, aggression, and memory loss. 

The bottom line: Kratom has a more gentle effect and subtly enhances mood and cognition. On the contrary, alcohol is more empowering and carries overall health risks upon prolonged use.

Speaking of health risks and concerns, you might wonder: 

Are there any health concerns associated with Kratom’s use?

Side Effects of Using Alcohol and Kratom

Unlike alcohol, the side effects of Kratom’s use upon prolonged consumption still weigh a ton less than its provided benefits. 

As many studies have stated, prolonged and heavy alcohol consumption is associated with various health risks, such as:

  • Alcohol-induced hepatatitis
  • Brain decoration
  • Cancers of various body parts like breast, colon, stomach, liver, and oral cancers
  • Digestive problems
  • Damage to internal organs and their functionality, like heart, liver, colon, and rectum
  • Impaired cognition and judgment 
  • Weakened immune system

However, when it comes to Kratom, the side effects take a different turn. Generally, these side effects are associated with long-term use and more significantly with higher dosages.

At higher doses, Kratom might result in hallucinations, sweating, breathing difficulty, constipation, and feelings of nausea. 

Long-term use of Kratom is typically linked with dependence and opioid-like withdrawal symptoms. However, withdrawal symptom is a common phenomenon with both alcohol and kratom use. What sets Kratom apart is the comparatively lower intensity and duration of its withdrawal symptoms compared to alcohol.

Kratom’s withdrawal symptoms are associated with:

  • Agitation and irritability
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Muscle pain

On the other hand, alcohol withdrawal symptoms are more intense, and linked with:

  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Weightloss
  • Insomnia
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Anorexia
  • Anxiety and depression

If not medically supervised, a person suffering from alcohol-induced withdrawal may even die. Therefore, medical professionals and people who have suffered long with alcohol withdrawal are always advised against drinking daily and consuming more than a glass of red wine.

Benefits of Kratom

Since Kratom is widely used nowadays, it comes as no surprise that it offers various health benefits. After all, the ban was lifted considering these very benefits of Kratom years ago. Despite its legality in only a few states, those where it is permitted are reaping its maximum benefits.

To list the said benefits of Kratom, here are to name a few:

  1. Natural muscle relaxant
  2. Anti-inflammatory herb
  3. Pain and discomfort reliever 
  4. Mood enhancer
  5. Stress alleviator
  6. Stimulant
  7. Improves focus and enhances clarity
  8. Regulates sleep

As for alcohol, apart from its nerve-numbing effect, the most alcohol does is “help” people fall asleep. Beyond this sedative property, its overall impact on health is predominantly negative.

Kratom VS Alcohol: Which One Is Safe?

Before the final verdict, let’s quickly do a recap. 

Are Kratom and alcohol both legal in the United States? Yes, with Krataom being legal in 44 states only.

Does Kratom affect as intensively and aggressively with brain chemicals or neurotransmitters as alcohol? No, it has a more gentle approach, and its effects are nothing like alcohol.

Does prolonged use of Kratom cause organ damage or cancers? No, the most Kratom does is it causes constipation upon repeated use. 

Are Kratom’s withdrawal symptoms as bad as alcohol’s? No, they are less intense and short-lived. But caution is advised regardless. 

There you have it. The answer to your question: Is Kratom safer to use than alcohol?

Yes! Kratom is much safer and healthier than alcohol. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Kratom 

1. Is Kratom an addictive drug?

Studies suggest that kratom’s effects depend on several factors, such as the amount consumed, the kratom strain, potency, method of consumption, individual metabolism, and existing health conditions. Therefore, Kratom has less dependence and withdrawal potential as compared to other stimulants, drugs, or alcohol. 

2. Can you overdose on Kratom?

According to research evidence, the chances of Kratom overdose are nearly little-to-none, since it’s a natural herb and not as intense as alcohol and other drugs. 

However, according to one report from the CDC, 91 fatalities were reported due to kratom overdose across 27 US states. Out of these 91 cases, 84 have consumed other substances as well. This implies that Kraton overdose is a rare occurrence but definitely heard of. At higher doses, Kratom may:

  • Increase heart rate,
  • Cause nausea,
  • Drowsiness, and
  • Irritability

3. Can you mix Kratom with alcohol?

Kratom and alcohol can be a deadly combination — both figuratively and literally. Since the chemical combination between the two is different, there is one similarity between the two: they both interact with the brain. The combination and interaction of both of these substances within the human body can lead to overdose, organ failure, coma, and even death. 

Based on research, concurrent consumption of Kratom and alcohol has been associated with several severe health risks:

  • Respiratory depression
  • Kidney failure
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Dehydration
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Liver damage
  • Seizures

4. Can I use Kratom to cure the hangover?

There is no definitive answer to this question.

It’s unsafe to consume Kratom and alcohol together — that much is an already established fact. But most people consume Kratom after a night of drinking alcohol to reduce the hangover or to cure it completely. For most people, taking Kratom hungover works like magic, as it’s a natural pain reliever and energy booster. However, none can deny that it has powerful psychoactive properties as well, which might result in undesired conditions. 

Therefore, experts suggest it is best not to take chances and stick to the good old hangover-reducing methods: getting maximum hydration and resting as much as possible. 

5. Can Kratom treat alcohol addiction?

Although some people say Kratom can help with alcohol and other drug addictions, there’s not enough scientific proof for these claims. Only a few cases reported using Kratom for alcoholism or opioid cravings, but these often include other proven medications. This makes it unclear if Kratom helps with addiction. 

Using unregulated Kratom might even make the addiction worse or cause other problems. Therefore, it is important to be cautious and use proven treatments for substance use disorders.



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