Kava and Kratom, a combination many seek to get some effective herbal relaxation. It is pure contentment for many users, and it’s legal and most of all it is cheap. The pleasant feeling of the combination is a result of the synergistic effect. Both these natural drugs are known to promote a sense of euphoria and a feeling of relaxation.

Kratom has been utilized more for medicinal purposes but now its use as a recreational substance is also increasing. On the other hand, Kava is more like an alcoholic drink that is used recreationally to boost mood, relieve symptoms of anxiety and increase sociability.

Many users have stated that consuming the two drugs together potentiate the effect of each other, giving more enduring and stronger effects. Kava and Kratom are frequently compared with one and another of their respective abilities to induce desired feelings like relaxation, stimulation, etc.

Below is an elaborate comparison of the study of the two drugs.

What is Kava root?

Scientifically called Piper Methysticum, also known as kava-kava, this plant is known for its sedative qualities. Consumed like an alcoholic beverage this plant resembles in producing effects similar to that of alcohol, alleviating anxiety, producing a sense of relaxation, acting as an analgesic as well as an anti-depressant.

It enhances sociability and helps you with your communication skills and mood disorders.

The mechanism of Kava includes potentiating GABA receptors. GABA is an inhibitory neuron that binds to GABA receptors in some regions of the brain, resulting in the opening of chloride channels and this lead to suppression of the hyperactive states.

Much like benzodiazepines, Kava through its action on GABA receptors acts as a sedative and hypnotic, muscle relaxant and an anti-anxiety drug.

Kava also interacts with the dopaminergic receptors which influence feelings like pleasure and motivation. Thus as a whole Kava calms the brain and results in a soothing effect.

What is Kratom?

Botanical name Mitragyna Speciosa, Kratom is an evergreen tree which has served as a medicinal drug for many years. Traditionally used by workers in the raw leaf form, to stave off exhaustion, relieve the symptoms of pain and enhance contentment. It has certain alkaloids that resemble in action with that of opium-producing a state of euphoria at lower doses and sedation at higher doses.

Used as a drug to alleviate the withdrawal symptoms of opiate addiction and as a painkiller originally, this drug is more renowned as a recreational drug as it produces calmness in the user and helps one do work more efficiently without getting tired.

Kava and Kratom similarities:

The two drugs Kava and Kratom produce the same effects of euphoria and sedation. Kratom is a psychoactive drug that gives you an energetic and socially hyperactive effect after consuming small doses. Whereas, a higher dose creates sedative effects, relieves pain, and enables you to experience euphoria.

Similarly, Kava reduces stress, alleviates pain and act as an anxiolytic, and at the same time, it acts as a muscle relaxant. Having Kava makes ones more sociable, reducing the social inhibitions and inducing euphoria.

The drugs are also similar in the method of consumption. Both can be found in the pill form, or their leaves/root can be dried to be either chewed directly or in making tea. Such similarities in preparation and consumption often confuse consumers, assuming Kava and Kratom are similar in nature.

But in reality, these drugs are different not entirely, though.  They can be used for recreational purposes and to treat the same physical and psychological conditions, but they are different in nature.

Kava and Kratom differences:

As mentioned earlier, Kava acts on GABA receptors and Dopamine receptors while Kratom has more to do with opiate receptors, serotonin, and adrenergic pathways. There are differences other than their action which needs to be accounted.

The first one being, Kratom has a potential to cause addiction while Kava doesn’t. The alkaloids in Kratom, mainly mitragynine and 7-hydroxy mitragynine are opiate agonists. They bind to the opioid receptors just the way morphine does. Therefore Kratom comes with the same risk of addiction. They can induce side effects similar to that of opiates, which include the development of tolerance and dependence. This explains why Kratom is addictive.

On the other hand, Kava containing kavalactones mainly, interacts with the limbic system of central nervous system evoking responses associated with emotions and motivation. Thus Kava doesn’t pose the risk of addiction.

The second difference is based on the legality. Kratom is widely regulated and banned in many countries due to the concerns that it is unsafe and possibly toxic. Kava is accepted in all parts of the world as a natural and safe herbal product.

How does Kava and kratom combination interact in the human body?

The two drugs act in synergism, potentiating each other’s influence, giving stronger effects. To use the combo, make sure you are well aware of the experience with Kratom and then only can you start using Kava. Ensure that you reduce the dose of Kratom when you start taking it with Kava.

The effects of taking Kratom and Kava together include calmness, soothing effects and a sense of inner peace. It gives you better sleep at night fighting insomnia.

Side effects of Kava and Kratom combination:

Side effects include nausea, vomiting dizziness, lack of mental clarity, liver and kidney damage, and fatigue. These side effects can cause severe damage because the two drugs potentiate each other.

It is recommended to avoid the consumption of alcohol with these two drugs. Kava has dermatologic side effects while Kratom causes addiction. It is necessary that the dose of Kratom is reduced when taking in combination with Kava to reduce the overall side effects. Ensuring hydration can also reduce the side effects.



  1. Kratom most definitely does NOT cause addiction any more than eating chocolate or coffee. Anything can become a habit that one might miss when stopped, but to call Kratom ‘addictive’ is misleading. If anything, it frees people from addiction.


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