Kratom and Cannabis: Head to Head
Chances are, if you were to go searching for therapeutic herbs on the internet, most of the blog posts you’ll find will guide you towards kratom, cannabis, or both.
Although these plants belong to two totally different families, it’s common to see them compared against each other in online discourse. There are some important similarities between the two organisms – both are used medicinally, for instance.
Cannabis and Kratom have both proven very useful for human beings. Major industries have developed around their production. Hundreds of millions of people are either consumers of these plants, or producers, who rely on their crop to make a living.
Kratom has well and truly entered into the commercial marketplace, despite its illegality in Australia... with that said, kratom just gets nowhere close to the planetary-wide concentration of cannabis, which has successfully secured its spot as the chief ‘choof’ of choice.
We know more about the science behind the healing benefits of cannabis, in comparison to kratom, which has never been investigated on the same scale or scope. Using the existing body of knowledge, this article will contrast what we know about the properties of kratom, with those of the faithful cannabis plant.
What is Kratom?
Kratom is a species of tree, stemming from tropical environments in Southeastern Asia. The modern nations of Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea have cultivated the plant for millennia. In these countries, it’s a part of their daily lives. In the anglophone ‘west’, Kratom is infamous for being illegal.
Kratom leaves hold a special compound known as mitragyna speciosa. The powder is said to possess similar properties to opioid painkillers – without many of the negative side-effects associated with opioids.
The Benefits of Cannabidiol
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is a non-psychoactive compound found in abundance inside of the cannabis plant.
CBD is in great part responsible for the ‘healer’ status of cannabis; there are a wide range of medicinal attributes associated with cannabidiol.
CBD products are now so popular in the United States, that the market worth of the industry is expected to be valued at $5 billion dollars in 2020.
The Differences Between Cannabis and Kratom?
There are many important ways in which cannabis and kratom are completely distinct from each other. First of all, they are are from different plant families. Secondly – the subjective effects of cannabis and kratom are significantly different… especially at moderate to high doses. Some other major differences:
This is perhaps the most concrete and important distinction between the two plants. The social reality surrounding cannabis and kratom varies depending on where you travel. Kratom enjoys a legal status in countries across the globe – but not Australia.
Cannabis is also legal (at least in some form) in many different countries, too. It’s legal to get a medicinal prescription in Australia – and if you live in the ACT, you can grow your own bud at home. It’s illegal everywhere else, though.
It’s often said that kratom assists in treating a score of health conditions… there is a notable lack of medical research to back this up.
On the other hand, the health benefits of cannabis are scientifically proven. Cannabis is an effective treatment for general inflammation, seizures, anxiety, depression, insomnia, erectile dysfunction, and more.
Habitual and daily kratom use has several potential side effects… such as constipation, skin disorder, lung cancer, kidney failure, etc. Cannabis lacks a lot of the potential for major health complications that kratom seemingly displays.
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Real kratom is expensive and mostly inaccessible to the broader Australian public, as a controlled substance. There are vendors out there who push poor quality kratom at a much cheaper price – beware.
On the other hand, cannabis is much less expensive than kratom, because it is far more ubiquitous.