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The Differences Between Kratom and CBD

When it comes to natural pain remedies, CBD and kratom are two of the most prominent players. And that’s not even mentioning marijuana. The connection between CBD and marijuana is clear-cut, but how do kratom and cannabis intersect? What’s a good way to compare them? 

Kratom and CBD actually have some compelling similarities. But instead of focusing too much on what’s similar, let’s take a closer look at how they’re different.

Those differences aren’t insignificant, and they’ll help you choose one over the other. With the complete picture, you will be able to figure out which is best for you.

Similarities Between CBD, Kratom, and Marijuana

Similarities Between CBD, Kratom, and Marijuana

You probably already know that CBD comes from cannabis. You can extract it from marijuana strains, but usually, it comes from hemp, which is almost entirely THC-free. If kratom is similar to CBD, it’s necessarily similar to weed on a fundamental level.

When you compare the three, here’s how they’re similar:

  • They’re all plant-based. CBD and weed come from cannabis (which is not a single species; Cannabis is the genus, and the species are C. sativa, C. indica, and C. ruderalis). Kratom is the plant species itself, scientifically classified as Mitragyna speciosa.
  • They all exhibit pain-reducing, stress-relieving, and anxiety-calming properties. This can also, in turn, help you sleep more easily.
  • You can or should consume them as whole-plant products as opposed to isolate extracts.
  • You should obtain high-quality, vetted products to ensure they’re safe and produce the desired results. While that’s not always possible with marijuana, depending on how you’re getting it, CBD and kratom are sold commercially online. Buy from established brands who share lab test results — like Organa Kratom does here.

Other similarities exist only between kratom and weed or kratom and CBD, not all three.  

Kratom and Marijuana Similarities

  • They have a comparable potency range and the potential for addiction/dependency.
  • The product is usually the dried parts of weed and kratom plants and sometimes ground up for consumption.
  • They have a psychoactive (mind-altering) component.
  • Different varieties are used toward different aims. Some might make you feel sleepy and relaxed. Others might help you feel energized, euphoric, and alert.

Kratom and CBD Similarities

Because CBD is extremely mild, kratom actually has more in common with full-blown cannabis.

But there a couple of distinct similarities we can make a note of:

  • Both are legal at the federal level and widely available for purchase.
  • Further research and study are required to better understand what they’re most effective for. 
  • You can find them in capsule and loose powder form, which is convenient. It makes it simple to add to food or drink and incorporate taking them into your routine.

Differences Between Kratom and CBD

We’ll be comparing kratom and CBD since they are the two that you can easily purchase online. But luckily, if you were interested in all the weed talk, a kratom vs. CBD comparison is simultaneously a kratom vs. weed comparison.

That’s because kratom differs from any cannabis at a very basic level. It’s what makes it so compelling and also what has worked against it in some respects.


Kratom is more powerful than CBD as an analgesic and calming agent, generally lasts longer, and has a host of other potential uses. 

  • In smaller amounts, kratom is 100% a stimulant. 
  • It can provide energy, euphoria and help sharpen your mind. As a mid-afternoon pick-me-up, for example, a little kratom might keep you chipper and focused. Organa Kratom offers varieties tailored toward this effect in our Energy Strain
  • In larger doses, CBD oil and kratom are most similar because then it functions as a sedative. 
  • It’s a powerful remedy for chronic pain in this quantity and can wash away stress. You’ll probably feel a sense of relaxation and euphoria in its place. Check out our Unwind Strains for kratom on this end of the spectrum. 

Moreover, it’s widely used to help manage opioid withdrawal symptoms. This is possible because while CBD interacts with our cannabinoid receptors, kratom interacts with our opioid receptors. (Occasionally, CBD is also used to reduce withdrawal symptoms.)

Kratom isn’t an opiate, such as morphine, codeine, and heroin, because it’s not poppy-derived. But it does contain similar plant compounds, namely alkaloids. (Caffeine and nicotine are other examples of alkaloids.)

Kratom’s effects are due to the alkaloids mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. CBD’s effects are caused by cannabidiol (its namesake, CBD) and sometimes other cannabis compounds, too, in what’s called the entourage effect

Side Effects and Other Issues

As you may have guessed from the list of other alkaloids, one of kratom’s most significant downsides is its potential for tolerance and addiction. Mild CBD tolerance is possible, but it’s completely non-addictive. 

  • Still, kratom has less addiction potential than more potent opioids while getting very similar results. 
  • It is a psychoactive substance, however, just as caffeine or nicotine. CBD isn’t mind-altering because it legally can’t exceed a certain threshold of CBD. 

Since kratom is stronger than CBD, that means it can also have more substantial side effects. CBD can cause things like:

  • Mild gastrointestinal distress
  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness and dizziness

But overall, CBD is considered extremely safe, with no known upper limit for overdose. Kratom can cause mild gastrointestinal distress as well, and that’s its most common side effect in smaller quantities. 

More significantly, high doses of kratom induce the symptoms of a depressant. You can be sleepy, and out of it enough to impair function, and the respiratory system can become depressed (slower, shallow breathing). 

The actual overdose threshold seems to be relatively high, but it’s hard to say what it is precisely without proper study. Regardless, the effects are dangerous and potentially fatal if you mix kratom haphazardly with other drugs or alcohol. 


Kratom research is extremely limited, so there’s not much known about it in humans at the clinical level. Anecdotally, we know it works and what some of the risks are. 

CBD isn’t highly researched at this point, but public interest has recently driven more studies. 

  • Because kratom is powerful, opiate-like, and lacking in robust scientific research, it’s faced legal trouble. 
  • It is banned in several countries and facing scrutiny in the U.S. A ban was attempted in 2016 but reversed course after receiving “numerous comments from the public.” 
  • Kratom is still up for consideration as an illegal Schedule I drug, however, and already banned in several states and cities. 

CBD, meanwhile, is legal almost everywhere in the U.S. with relatively lax restrictions. This is thanks to recent agricultural legislation (the 2018 Farm Bill), which made hemp and hemp-derived products like CBD legal at the federal level.


There are some real concerns regarding kratom that you should weigh carefully as you’re considering it. But there’s also a genuine concern that CBD simply won’t be strong enough for your needs. 

If you’re someone who needs powerful results and wants them from a natural source, kratom should definitely be on your shortlist. Know the facts, use responsibly, and get safe, trustworthy products like those from Organa Kratom.

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