Kratom vs CBD Oil: What You Need to Know

October 29, 2018 Articles, CBD Oil, Kratom Alkaloids, Kratom Research

If you’ve landed on this blog then you’re probably well-acquainted with kratom and its purported benefits. You’re no doubt familiar with the fact that users have burned kratom leaf powder to help them cope with chronic pain, anxiety, stress, depression, diarrhea, neuropathy, fatigue and more.

What you might not know is that there are other products on the market that are vying for kratom’s spot as the number one aromatic botanical for natural stimulation and analgesia. Cannabidiol (CBD) has been blowing up of late with countless smoke shops and online stores offering it, often for astonomical prices.

You may be asking yourself, how do kratom and CBD compare for managing pain and stress? The guide below will explore these question in depth and attempt to explain the subtle differences that make these two stand out and stand apart.


Here’s what we already know about the leaves of the Mitragyna speciosa or kratom plant. It is an ancient Ayurvedic herb that hails from the coffee family. It has been used for at least 200 years by the natives of Southeast Asia as a multi-purpose folk medicine.

Kratom leaf or kratom powder contains indole alkaloids that are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Many of these alkaloids also act as muscle relaxants, mild psychoactive compounds and natural anxiolytics.

Most kratom strains have high concentrations of the key alkaloid Mitragynine which induces analgesic effects. Clinical studies on kratom and mitragynine are only just beginning, but some evidence points to its potential as both a sleep aid and herbal pain reliever.

Now, what do we know about CBD oil? Cannabidiol is a naturally occurring cannabinoid constituent of cannabis which accounts for upwards of 40 percent of the cannabis or marijuana plant’s extract. It is commonly extracted from industrial hemp and bottled in small tinctures.

CBD has garnered a lot of attention because of its potential for pain relief; anecdotal evidence purports that this oil may be useful in managing chronic pain conditions. However, researchers have said that the work hasn’t yet caught up for most applications.

Some have claimed that CBD oil is capable of relieving anxiety without the “high” typical of marijuana ingestion, but scientific data has not yet corroborated this. Nevertheless, the CBD industry has doubled in size in the last two years alone and is estimated to be worth $200 million. The hype is strong with this one.

Therapeutic use of cannabinoids have been on the rise with some medical experts suggesting that they could be beneficial to those dealing with Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, bipolar disorder, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), depression, insomnia and more.

If all of this is beginning to sound a bit familiar then you’ve probably figured out why CBD has become such a buzzword. In the wake of the DEA and FDA’s attempts at banning kratom, a lot of people in the kratom community are scattering like teen revelers at the sight of a cop car.

For the tens of thousands of people who use kratom on the reg to alleviate their afflictions, it’s a scary and uncertain time. With the prospect of kratom being scheduled as a controlled substance still looming over our heads, we’re bound to be in search of an alternative.

Cue the CBD vendors who have shrewdly moved into the space to fill any future void. You’ll notice that if you visit most any online store that sells CBD oil, the list of supposed benefits are uncannily similar to those boasted by kratom vendors about their own products.

In fact, there has been such a volume of claims made about CBD that some are now wondering if it’s a true miracle drug. A cursory search of Google brings up search results like “Does CBD oil cure cancer?”

The short answer to that is an emphatic NO! Although scientists have reported that cannabinoids slow the growth in certain forms of cancer cells growing in lab dishes.

As with anything else, discerning consumers should be cautious about managing their expectations. After all, it’s easy to be taken in by snake oil salesmen or, in this case, CBD oil salesmen. Let’s get one thing straight: Neither kratom nor CBD oil is a cure for anything. At best, they share an alleged ability to assist in one’s daily regimen.

Before we go any further, I feel it is incumbent upon me to reiterate something that I’ve reiterated a hundred times (or more) on this blog: Kratom (and, by extension, CBD oil) are not approved for human consumption by the FDA. This post is meant purely for research purposes.


This is an important area of consideration for those who are thinking about choosing CBD oil over kratom. It has been said that CBD oil takes longer if you’re not vaping and, on average, users can anticipate waiting 20 to 40 minutes for CBD to kick in.

That’s a long time to wait once you realize that kratom powder usually takes effect within 10 to 15 minutes.

What’s more, CBD oil only last for about four hours whereas the effects of a high dose of kratom have a duration of approximately eight hours. That’s a sizable difference if you ask me, and one that should seem significant to someone grappling with chronic pain or inflammation.


Let’s be real, a lot of our younger readers might be thinking about snatching up a bottle of CBD oil because it’s a cannabis extract and they think they’re gonna get their buzz on. Well, for those among us, I hate to harsh your mellow, but you’ve gotten some bad info.

CBD oil cannot get you high because it only contains trace amounts of THC, the chemical compound responsible for marijuana’s psychoactive attributes.

The good news is that some people may actually benefit from CBD oil inasmuch as they would benefit from burning kratom. A 2011 study found that CBD could reduce social anxiety in much the same way that kratom has been known to increase sociability in introverted personalities.

An animal paradigm implemented in 2014 research supported these findings and offered reason to believe that it could also aid in the treatment of depression.



Even though it is normally well-tolerated, CBD oil does carry with it a range of adverse effects, none of which sound particularly appealing. They include the following:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Agitation
  • Depression
  • Psychosis

Of course, kratom shares some of these side effects, such as potential dizziness, nausea or vomiting, but that’s pretty much where the comparison ends. I don’t know about you, but psychosis doesn’t sound too enticing. Also, if I’m using a substance to treat my anxiety or depression, I don’t want one of the potential side effects to be anxiety or depression.


As we’ve seen, these two botanical products share a lot of similarities. Both have been labeled as natural analgesics and anxiolytics, both have been used to help insomnia and both have been studied for their potential to treat neurodegenerative problems.

CBD oil is touted as a natural mood enhancer and sleep aid just the same as kratom. CBD has also been marketed as an energy booster by some head shops. Cannabidiol activates the same adenosine receptors as caffeine, making it as much of a stimulant as kratom is.


The people have spoken and their voices have been pretty divisive on the subject. Most users prefer kratom to CBD for its overall effects. One user on Reddit wrote, “Kratom gives much more of a buzz than CBD. As I saw another user put it CBD doesn’t really add any type of feeling it just sort of takes away negative feelings like pain or anxiety.”

However, not everyone agrees with this assessment; on the contrary, one user responded by saying, “Also, I don’t get constipated from CBD and has done far more for my anxiety than kratom, cannabis or any other phamaceutical drug for that matter. But yea, don’t expect those euphoric highs that you get from Kratom.”

All things considered, it comes down to one’s personal needs when selecting an herbal tonic. Our readers would do well to do their own independent research into these exciting compounds.

Bob Freville
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