Connect with us

CBD vs Kratom: A detailed Guide

CBD vs Kratom:
Which is better for you?

Man has forever had a “natural” affinity towards herbal remedies. The reason is quite simple. They are cheaper, easier to access and have fewer side effects when compared to pharmaceutical drugs.

So, it’s no wonder that CBD & Kratom have become so popular among people looking to treat their pain, anxiety and sleep disorders these days!

But, which herbal remedy can we actually trust on to cure us without harming us in any way? Let’s find out.

CBD vs Kratom: A detailed Guide

CBD vs Kratom:
A General Comparison

Similarities in Kratom and CBD

Herbal extract dused for medicinal purposes
Ability to significantly reduce pain
Can help overcome substance abuse
Can help with anxiety issues
Used for centuries as a natural remedy
Plenty of anecdotal evidence of its benefits
CBD is legal as per the federal law; though remains in legal murky waters due to its wrongful association with marijuana. Similarly, Kratom is unregulated, but technically legal; though also remains in legal grey area.
Can cause stomach cramps and upset stomach
CBD oil is edible; can be infused in edible products. Similarly, Kratom is also edible; leaf chewed or powder mixed in tea/warm water

Differences

CBD, one of the over 120 cannabinoids found in cannabis plants, is extracted through a complicated procedure from the flower of the plant Kratom plant parts can be used in its raw form. MG or Mitragynine, one of the 25 alkaloids found in the plant, is responsible for its analgesic properties
CBD is extracted as oil and converted into different products like tinctures, capsules, edibles, and vapeable oils Kratom can be chewed, smoked, or steeped in tea. Kratom can also be ground into a powder and mixed with hot water
Substance withdrawal treatment: CBD doesn’t react directly with cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, hence doesn’t directly control withdrawal issues; it acts as a anti-depressant, has anxiolytic, antipsychotic and pain-reliever capabilities Substance withdrawal treatment: Kratom directly interacts with opioid receptors. Considered as an opioid substitute
CBD is a non-psychotropic substance; doesn’t result in “high”/dependence Kratom is psychotropic; can cause hallucinations & addiction
Scientifically proven to treat certain types of epilepsy No such effect on epilepsy patients
CBD has anti-inflammatory properties, helps fight the immune system to reduce inflammation Helps fight inflammation, but also strengthens the immune system
CBD’s ability to reduce pain, especially neuropathic pain, has been well-documented through lab tests No such documentation exists in case of Kratom; it’s mostly dependent on anecdotal evidence
Doesn’t affect appetite and sleep patterns Reduces appetite and disrupts sleep patterns
Reacts, but minimally, with other pharmaceutical medications Reacts quite strongly with any other medications; often cause OD

 

 

CBD vs Kratom: A detailed Guide

All About CBD:
An Overview

What is CBD?

CBD or cannabidiol is one of over 400 compounds and among the 120 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. It is extracted from the resinous flowers of hemp or marijuana plants, both of which belong to the Cannabis Sativa species.

However, most CBD oils found in the US markets are made from hemp to adhere to our state and federal laws. These don’t have the psychoactive or intoxicating properties that we generally associate with marijuana.

Extracted in an oil form by using CO2 or solvents like ethanol, CBD is then processed to be sold in the market as different types of products, such as tinctures, capsules, creams and even CBD-infused edibles like CBD gummies.

Cannabidiol is comparatively safe when consumed in appropriate doses among adults. Following are the safe levels:



  • CBD doses of up to 300 mg daily have been used safely for up to 6 months.
  • Doses of 1200-1500 mg daily have been used safely for up to 4 weeks.
  • Cannabidiol under-the-tongue sprays have been used in doses of 2.5 mg for up to 2 weeks.

Isolate and full-spectrum: Fast facts:

  • Cannabis plants have other cannabinoids. So CBD extracts often contain other cannabinoids, like THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is the cannabinoid that causes the famous marijuana “high”. CBD products having other cannabinoids like THC are known as full-spectrum CBD.
  • While pure CBD, known as CBD isolate, can be as effective in treating in different ailments, many users prefer a full-spectrum CBD product as they seem to experience faster and more effective recovery when compared to pure CBD.
  • However, most others prefer pure CBD products for fear of their body reacting adversely to THC.

Our federal law DOES allow full-spectrum CBD oil products to be sold in the markets as long as they don’t contain more than 0.3% THC. To possess CBD oil having more than 0.3% THC, an individual needs to acquire a medical marijuana card, which proves he/she is suffering from some sort of chronic disease on which conventional medication has no effect.

 

A BRIEF HISTORY OF CBD

The association of cannabis (plants from which CBD is extracted) with our society has over a 6,000-year history, with its first cultivation dating back to 4000 BC.

However, scientists first became aware of cannabidiol’s existence in 1940.

  • It was in 1940 when an American chemist, Roger Adams, isolated CBD from cannabis. Later in 1960, an Israeli organic chemist, Raphael Mechoulam, first deciphered its chemical structure, thus confirming the presence of a non-intoxicating compound in cannabis.
  • By the 1950s, CBD had already been outlawed in all 50 states of USA. Meanwhile, aggressive scientific research into CBD’s potential as a medicine and food supplement ensued.
  • It was not until October 7, 2003, that the US government patented the first CBD-based composition (used as a neuro-protectant) under the US Patent #6,630,507.
  • About 11 years later, former President Barrack Obama legalized the Federal Farm Bill (2014) that allowed growing of hemp that has over 2,000 uses, both medicinal and industrial.
  • In 2017, FDA first approved a CBD-based drug (Epidiolex) for treating two very rare forms of epilepsy.
  • Today, low-THC CBD oil is legal in all 50 states of USA.

However, different variants of full-spectrum CBD and medicinal marijuana that have THC levels higher than 0.3% are still not allowed without a medicinal marijuana card. Medicinal marijuana has now been reclassified as a Schedule V substance (as opposed to previously categorized Schedule I).

Interestingly, there are several anecdotal evidences of people using CBD to manage symptoms associated with different physical and mental issues and benefitting from it too!

 

 

Science behind CBD’s potential in treating ailments

How does it work?

Cannabidiol is a cannabinoid that exists in nature, and like any other cannabinoid (like endocannabinoids that exist within our body), they attach themselves to some neurological receptor or the other to influence one of our body’s physiological processes in certain ways.

CBD (like THC and other such naturally found cannabinoids) basically mimics and augments the effects of the endocannabinoids in our body and regulates the working of some of the body’s systems.

For instance, CBD influences the functioning of the immune system and reduces inflammation and pain – common warning signs triggered by the immune system to alert us of issues in our body.

On the other hand, endocannabinoids are part of a biological regulatory system known as the endocannabinoid system. Apart from the immune system, the endocannabinoid system also influences our mood, energy level, intestinal fortitude, blood pressure, bone density, glucose metabolism, feeling of pain, stress, hunger, and many more.

Interestingly, the discovery of the endocannabinoid system has brought about a significant change in our understanding of healthcare and diseases. When our endocannabinoid system doesn’t function properly, we suffer from different kinds of disorders or diseases. At this point, cannabinoids like CBD, when used, react on our body to compensate for the deficiency, and thereby modulate the endocannabinoid system, slowing down the progression of a disease or disorder or even reverting the progression altogether.

Scientists and medical professionals have now been able to look at ailments and these phyto(found in plants)cannabinoids in a new light. A lot of resources have been spent in the last few years in researching these cannabinoids and their versatile potentials.

Research that proves its benefits

CBD acts on our body in different ways. It can regulate pain, inflammation, anxiety, and even help manage symptoms of cancer, ADHD, diabetes and epilepsy.

Similarly, CBD has been found to efficiently treat chronic pain associated with:



  • cancer,
  • fibromyalgia,
  • multiple sclerosis,
  • headaches, including migraine
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • lower back pain
  • neuropathic pain or nerve pain
  • osteoarthritis & rheumatoid arthritis

A study, published in the European Journal of Pain in December 2016, revealed that CBD can prevent both osteoarthritis pain and joint neuropathy because it reduces joint inflammation and protects the nerves.

In this study, the scientists administered the affected rats with a topical gel containing CBD orally (5–40 mg/kg) once a day for 3 days after the onset of acute inflammation. By the fourth day, the swelling was almost gone, that too without any side effects.

According to a 2017 report in journal Pain, it also prevents pain due to nerve damage caused by arthritis.

WHY IS IT SO POPULAR?

CBD has gained much popularity as a therapeutic drug or food supplement in recent times, mostly due to the fact that it is safer than most pharmaceutical drugs and it is far more versatile than most other pain and inflammation relieving agents available to mankind in the at present.

Notwithstanding the legal issues, a lot of people have gone above and beyond to get access to CBD oils and creams to manage their symptoms or simply to stay healthy.

This “natural remedy” has come to be associated with getting healthy the safe way and with much less side effects, something that no pharmaceutical drug can provide at this point in time.

HOW DO WE USE IT?

CBD, which is extracted in the form of oil (tincture) through a complicated procedure, can be consumed as a dietary supplement, used as creams to apply on affected areas, or even infused in different edibles, like the popular gummies.

When we buy it with a prescription, the dosage is already mentioned by the physician. Alternatively, the package labels always state the standard dosage.

Always remember, that going all in may not give you the desired result. It is best to stick to the dosage and preferably consult a CBD-certified physician before you actually start using it.

WHAT ARE ITS BENEFITS?

CBD has been known to help overcome a lot of health issues and manage symptoms of some very serious diseases and disorders. They include:


  1. Chronic Pain
  2. Inflammation
  3. Epilepsy
  4. Anxiety & Depression
  5. Oxidative Stress
  6. Heart Diseases
  7. Diabetes
  8. Skin Conditions
  9. Tackle Addiction
  10. Cancer, among others

LAWS RELATING TO CBD IN THE US

After centuries of battle for legalizing cannabidoil in the US, it is finally legal in all 50 states. However, some states still have certain reservations and kept certain aspects of CBD production, sale and possession a little grey.

This is mostly due to the fact that not all manufacturers adhere to the regulations of keeping the THC levels in these CBD products below 0.3% (by weight).

THC is an intoxicating agent of cannabis plants. Being the main psychotropic cannabinoid of these plants, THC tends to cause hallucinatory effects on its users, leaving patients potentially harmed.

Besides, there is the fear of other contaminants, like fertilizers, making their way into the produce, causing permanent damage to the body.

This is exactly why some of the state authorities are apprehensive of allowing sale of CBD freely.

In case of medicinal cannabis (in which THC levels higher than 0.3% is permitted), different states have different laws.

CBD vs Kratom: A detailed Guide

All About Kratom:
An Overview

WHAT IS KRATOM?

Colloquially known as Thang, Krypton, Kakuam, Thom, Ketum, Biak-Biak (Thailand), Kratom is a tropical evergreen tree from Southeast Asia, belonging to the Mitragyna speciosa species.

Its raw leaves are often chewed or boiled to make tea, dried to smoke, or its extracts, dried, turned into a powder, and pressed into capsules and tablets.

Kratom belongs to Rubiaceae family that also includes coffee and gardenia.

Traditionally, kratom leaves were used by Thai and Malaysian natives and workers to overcome fatigue and depression and boost energy levels and stamina and improve mood. These effects are evident when consumed in low doses.

However, at higher doses, Kratom starts acting as an opioid-like depressant and creates euphoric effects. It is often also used to counter effects of opioids, overcome addictions and curb withdrawal symptoms of both. In fact, it is being used as a substitute for opioids by many as it helps in significantly reducing pain.

A BRIEF HISTORY

Although its use in the Western culture is quite new, it has long been part of people’s lives in the Southeast Asian countries of Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

Like we mentioned earlier, kratom leaves had been used by Thai workers for centuries to increase productivity. Besides, the native tribes would often use it as a poultice for various wounds and as part of a ritual in ancestor worship.

However, not much is known about the actual origin of its use or its effect on humans. In fact, there is a general lack of evidence and understanding of the plant’s efficacy, as well as its historical use.

Traditional uses

  • For centuries, people of Southeast Asian used kratom to treat chronic cough, diarrhea, intestinal ailments, etc.
  • Manual laborers and farm hands would often chew on its leaves to get relief from pain and depression.
  • Much like coffee, kratom acts as a mild nerve stimulant (when taken in small doses) for people needing a boost in stamina.

Western countries

  • Not much of recorded history on kratom is available before the Dutch made their way into Malaysia in the early 17th
  • The first mention of kratom in Western literature was by Pieter Willem Korthals after he noticed some local people chewing the herb. Korthals, who was in Malaysia on behalf of the East India Company, was the first to classify the plant.
  • Soon after, kratom was again mentioned in another Western literature as a cheaper alternative for opium [*].
  • Kratom’s first documented use for medicinal purposes dates back to the early 19th
  • In 1836, it was discovered that people used kratom as an opium substitute, or even to help those addicted to opium to detox from the substance or overcome withdrawal symptoms.
  • Kratom finally got its official name, Mitragyna Speciosa, in 1859.

Opium [*] – a popular nerve stimulant, intoxicant and pain reliever in Thailand – was out of bounds for the poorer section of the society. For these people, kratom became a popular substitute. They would chew it to numb their pain or brew it in tea to feel relaxed.

However, it has now been banned in Malaysia and Thailand. Kratom manufacturers now source their produce from Indonesia.

In Western countries, kratom is available in both powder and pressed tablet forms.

HOW DOES IT WORK – SCIENTIFICALLY SPEAKING

Kratom has several components in it, most of which react with different receptors of our neurological system. These chemical compounds, though don’t work in the same fashion, act like opioid drugs, such as codeine and morphine.

Mitragynine, which is one of the 25 active alkaloids present in kratom, is the dominant indole-based opioid-receptor agonist, i.e., this alkaloid offers relief from pain and anxiety by stimulating the opioid receptors of the body.

In other words, mitragynine is the component of kratom that is responsible for most of kratom’s analgesic capability.

Classified as a kappa-opioid receptor agonist, mitragynine is roughly 13 times more potent than morphine and almost as potent as codeine. Besides Mitragynine, kratom has three other alkaloids that directly activate opioid receptors in the body and brain, including 7-hydroxymitragynine (7-HMG).

Interestingly, much like CBD, mitragynine is less effective as an isolate than when consumed as a whole plant. This is mostly due to hydroxymitragynine, which is a strong analgesic that interacts with the mu-opioid receptor (and not the opioid receptors like opioids).

Not only is hydroxymitragynine structurally different from opioids, its effects are also quite different from those of pharmaceutical opioids. Moreover, like THC, 7-HMG is also psychotropic.

Research papers:
Published papers on kratom’s effects are very rare. The few we do have are:




  • An initial stage animal study, published in Neuropharmacology (2018) indicates that mitragynine primarily acts on the mu and delta-opioid receptors, as well as serotonergic and noradrenergic pathways of the spinal cord.
  • For a 2010 report, published in the International Journal on Drug Policy, scientists conducted a survey of 136 active users of kratom. Their findings concluded that the users generally described the herb as “affordable, easily available and having no serious side effects despite prolonged use”.
  • A 2014 report, published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, included a survey of 293 regular kratom users. Researchers found out that over half of the users had developed severe dependence on kratom. Withdrawal symptoms included muscle spasms, sleep disruption, anger, and tension.
  • A mouse-based study, published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry in 2016, implied that kratom may not reduce breathing rate as much as other drugs like morphine do. Given that deaths due to opioid overdose are usually the result of respiratory depression, the study's finding suggests that further research on the compounds in kratom is warranted.

We must bear in mind that kratom’s effects depend on the amount consumed:



  • At doses as low as 1 to 5 grams, kratom merely acts as a psychostimulant. Kratom users experience heightened energy level, sociability, and alertness when is taken in such amounts.
  • When taken in doses as high as 5 to 15 g, kratom has pain-relieving effects and opioid-like “high”. Some users experience feelings of pleasure, sedation, and decreased pain. Some may even experience certain side effects when they consume doses towards the upper levels of this range.
  • When the dosage is increased above 15 g, Kratom acts as a sedative. Risk of serious side effects become increased.

WHY IS IT GAINING POPULARITY?

Kratom has been part of Southeast Asian culture for thousands of years. However, it is only recently that kratom has reached the Western countries, where it has come to be used as painkiller and at times a nerve stimulant. Some even use it as a substitute of opioids and to overcome withdrawal symptoms of addictions and opioids.

It is gradually gaining popularity as a “natural” agent for managing chronic pain, overcoming substance abuse as well as improving mood and stamina.

However, there are quite a few concerns regarding its use. It is a highly addictive agent, just like the opioids. While it helps overcome dependence on other opioids, it creates its own, owing to its intoxicating and analgesic properties.

All attempts by the FDA and DEA to ban it, or at least categorize it as a Schedule I substance, fell flat in the face of massive outcry across the US.

HOW CAN WE CONSUME IT?

  • Kratom leaves are generally chewed in its raw form, dried and smoked, or brewed with tea.
  • It can be ground into a powder and mixed with a fluid like warm water and consumed.
  • The powder can also be pressed into capsules or tablets.
  • Kratom can also be mixed with other edibles to make it easier to ingest. A convenient choice is yoghurt.
  • Other forms in which they are sold are raw lead (liquid) extract and gum.

WHAT ARE ITS BENEFITS?

In the US and European countries, kratom has become a popular choice for people suffering from chronic pain or withdrawal symptoms from opioid drugs, like heroin and prescription painkillers.
Kratom’s known benefits are, it:



  • Relieves pain
  • Strengthens immune system
  • Boosts energy & stamina
  • Stimulates sexuality
  • Curbs anxiety
  • Helps give up addiction
  • Manage diabetes

LEGALITIES IN THE US

For now, kratom isn’t an illegal substance in the US. However, its similarity with opioids has often drawn negative attention from the lawmakers.
We can quite easily order kratom online. It is often sold as a green powder in packets, labeled ‘not for human consumption’.
However, some states and counties in the US have banned its use. They have classified kratom as a Schedule I substance. They are:



  • Indiana
  • Tennessee
  • Wisconsin
  • Vermont
  • Arkansas
  • Florida
  • Alabama
  • District of Columbia
  • Sarasota County
  • San Diego County
  • California
  • Denver, Colorado

There are, however, no such regulations in the federal level, as all attempts to this effect failed to gain public consensus.



  • On August 31, 2016, the DEA made the first attempt to ban this biological substance. It published a notice that it was planning to categorize kratom under Schedule I substances. Its two main active alkaloids – mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine (7-HMG), would be temporarily placed under Schedule I on September 30. This failed to take off.
  • On November 14, 2017, the FDA once again sought for kratom to be classified under Schedule I, alongside other opioid narcotics.
  • Due to the massive outcry from the public, who included members of the Congress, researchers and kratom advocates, both the DEA and FDA decided not to pursue their recommendations.
Countries like Poland, Germany, and New Zealand have declared it a controlled substance. Others like Australia, Myanmar, and Thailand have made it outright illegal.
CBD vs Kratom: A detailed Guide

Benefits of CBD & Kratom:
On different ailments

Ailments CBD Kratom
benefit of CBD and kratom in PainPain Yes. Pain that are or due to chronic, arthritic, osteoarthritic, rheumatoid, neuropathic or nerve-related, muscular, inflamed bowel, cancer chemotherapy, soft tissue pain, headaches,  temporomandibular pain. Yes. Chronic, muscular, cancer, osteoarthritic, headaches, surgery and injury pain (like other opioids).
benefit of CBD and kratom in anxietyAnxiety Yes. It eases anxiety and stress owing to its anti-depressant and anti-anxiety properties. Yes. Kratom enhances mood and relieves anxiety. Mitragynine acts as an anti-deppressant.
benefit of CBD and kratom in SleepSleep Yes. In low doses it helps energize an individual, while in high doses it seems to act as a sedative. In high does, it may help overcome insomnia. No. Disrupts sleep patterns. Some users, however, feel relaxed when consumed in high doses. But no evidence of it helping sleep has been found.
benefit of CBD and kratom in Crohn's DiseaseCrohn’s Disease Yes, it not only helps reduce inflammation but also helps manage symptoms of Crohn’s Disease in an independent way. Yes, only to an extent. Crohn’s patients can use kratom to stop diarrhea. Kratom also has anti-inflammatory properties.

CBD vs. Kratom for Pain

Types of Pain

Not all types of pain feel the same, neither do every individual patient experience pain the same way. However, generally speaking, pain can of two broad categories: nociceptive and neuropathic pain.

The former results from actual physical damage to tissues and is usually acute in nature. This is caused by injury or surgery.

The latter, however, is a more chronic sort that occurs due to damage or dysfunction of neurons or nerves alone, with no obvious injury to the other parts of the body.

If we go into specifics, pain can be classified under the following types:

  • Acute pain, which starts suddenly and lasts for a short term
  • Chronic pain, which lasts for a longer period of time, sometimes several years
  • Breakthrough pain, which is often experienced between regular, scheduled painkillers
  • Bone pain, which occurs in cases of bone cancer
  • Soft tissue pain, which occurs when organs, muscles or tissues are damaged or inflamed
  • Nerve pain or neuropathic pain, which occurs when a nerve/nerves is/are damaged
  • Referred pain, which initiates in one part of the body and progresses to another part unrelated to the actual pain source
  • Phantom pain, which occurs when a part of the body that has been removed seems to pain
  • Total pain includes the emotional, social and spiritual factors that affect a person’s pain experience

CBD for Pain

Individuals, who are unable to manage their pain with conventional medical care, often turn to alternative means of treatment. CBD oil is a popular choice among such people.

Since not many clinical trials have been done on CBD’s benefits to human patients of chronic pain, we have to depend on the few animal models that are available.

  • A study [1, 2 & 3], published in the European Journal of Pain in December 2016, concluded that CBD can prevent both osteoarthritis pain and joint neuropathy in rats, as it reduces joint inflammation and protects the nerves.
  • Another study, which was published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, supports the claims that cannabinoids can offer new treatment options for people with chronic pain and inflammation.
  • A few studies [4, 5 & 6] have also discovered CBD’s role in preventing neuropathic pain (caused by cancer) and thermal sensitivity, without negatively impacting the functioning of the nervous system or the effectiveness of the chemotherapy treatment.

Kratom for Pain

Kratom, considered another herbal pain reliever, is found mostly in Southeast Asia. This species of plant contains over 40 compounds, 25 of which are alkaloids.

Two of such alkaloids – mitragynine (MG) and hydroxymitragynine (7-HMG) are under careful scrutiny by both researchers and lawmakers alike as they both seem to have properties similar to CBD and THC. While MG can be therapeutic, 7-HMG is a psychoactive compound.

While there is a dearth of scientific evidence of Kratom’s benefits, it is still considered a powerful painkiller due to its opioid-like properties.

  • Some animal studies have indicated that the main component MG interacts with the mu and delta-opioid receptors, as well as serotonergic and noradrenergic pathways in the spinal cord, influencing the sense of pain. Besides, it is also believed that the post-synaptic alpha-2 adrenergic receptors are also stimulated and 5-hydroxytryptamine 2A receptor is also blocked. The presence of 7HMG is believed to heighten the action.
  • Besides, a recent study, published in Current Drug Targets, has shown that this plant can effectively alleviate pain and enhance the immune system as well as significantly reduce opioid addiction. This study also indicates future possibilities of use of Kratom or at least some of its components to address these physical problems.
  • An initial stage animal study, published in Neuropharmacology (2018) indicates that MG primarily acts on the mu and delta-opioid receptors, as well as serotonergic and noradrenergic pathways of the spinal cord.
  • A mouse-based study, published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry in 2016, implied that kratom may not reduce breathing rate as much as other drugs like morphine do. Given that deaths due to opioid overdose are usually the result of respiratory depression, the study's finding suggests that further research on the compounds in kratom is warranted.

CBD vs. Kratom for Anxiety

CBD for Anxiety

When therapy, medication and self-management fail to yield positive effects, individuals suffering from anxiety and depression often take to alternative “herbal” remedies to manage and/or overcome their issues.

Many have found a safe haven in CBD. These are some studies that prove their claims:

  • A 2010 study revealed CBD’s potential in decreasing ‘Social Anxiety Disorder symptoms’. The human subjects showed clear signs of calming down under the effect of CBD.
  • A 2011 study, published the Neuropsychopharmacology, found that CBD can in fact reduce social anxiety among people with phobia of public speaking. Subjects, who were given CBD, dealt better with their anxiety than those given placebos.
  • In a 2016 case study, scientists tested the effect of CBD oil on a child who had been suffering from a traumatic past. They observed its calming effect, as the child fell asleep, proving that CBD oil can reduce PTSD symptoms and anxiety-provoked sleep disorder.

Kratom for Anxiety

Kratom too seems to have a significant ability to reduce anxiety and depression among users. Although not an opioid, Kratom seems to react with the body in a similar fashion.

  • 2017 review of 57 years of international scientific evidence, led by researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) and the University of British Columbia, revealed that kratom tends to improve mood and relieve anxiety among some users. It was also highlighted that kratom has sedative effects. The study suggested that kratom could be a safer substitute for opioids. Published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, this study represents the largest systematic review of the scientific research on kratom’s use and mental health.

Indonesian strain of kratom, known as Indo is believed to help manage anxiety. Similarly, a Malaysian strain, called green malay, which is particularly dark green in color, is also said to help with anxiety issues among its users.

However, some studies show depression and anxiety as a withdrawal symptom of kratom cessation.

  • In a 2018 study that was published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 150 Malaysian kratom users were studied by researchers at the University of Science in Malaysia. The study revealed that 70% users experienced mild anxiety, after quitting kratom, while 30% experienced moderate anxiety. The scientists also discovered that 81% of the respondents reported mild depression, when they quit drinking kratom tea, and 19% reported moderate depression

CBD or Kratom for Sleep?

CBD for Sleep

Around 80% Americans have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep at least once a week. According to some surveys, about 10% Americans, who reportedly consumed CBD, used it to help them sleep, with a majority of them reporting that it worked.

  • A study, conducted in February this year and published online in The Permanente Journal, suggests that CBD could help with short-term sleep issues. in this study, Colorado researchers looked at the health records of 72 patients of either anxiety or poor sleep, treated with CBD.
  • Joseph Maroon (MD), a clinical professor and neurosurgeon at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, who has studied the effects of cannabis on our brain, says that CBD could help some people sleep better. According to him, it seems to ease anxiety and pain – both of which deprives a person of a good night’s sleep.
  • A 2017 review, published in the Current Psychiatry Reports, indicated that CBD may, in fact, directly affect sleep by attaching to receptors in the brain that dictate our body’s sleep/wake cycles.

However, there is more evidence of CBD’s ability to manage anxiety than help in sleep patterns. Although, easing anxiety does help in the body to relax, and eventually fall asleep.

Kratom for Sleep

While it is generally believed that kratom hinders normal sleep patterns and makes it difficult to fall asleep, a few studies prove otherwise.

  • A 2015 study, published in the Phytomedicine, demonstrated that the alkaloid extracts from kratom successfully counters the symptoms of ethanol withdrawal, without any side-effects on REM sleep.
  • Another 2015 study, published in BioMed Research Internationa, derived at the most-expected conclusion that kratom does, in fact, cause sleep disturbances, apart from other side effects like nausea, constipation, temporary erectile dysfunction, itching, or sweating. But this is only in cases of low doses. In case of high dose uses, the effect slightly reverses, with the body experiencing a relaxed and sedated feeling.

CBD or Kratom for Crohn's Disease?

CBD for Crohn's Disease

Owing to CBD’s influence over the human immune system, both scientists and proponents of herbal remedies are increasingly focusing their attention on the cannabinoid’s power to curb bowel inflammation and some very serious diseases related to it, like Crohn’s Disease.

  • A 2016 study, published in the journal Gastroenterology & Hepatology, cannabis users are physically capable of inhibiting the progression of the condition. The researchers concluded that cannabis helps users manage “abdominal pain, joint pain, cramping, diarrhea, poor appetite, weight loss, and nausea”.
  • A recent synopsis of studies [7, 8, 9 & 10], presented at the United European Gastroenterology Conference 2018 in Vienna, Austria, noted that CBD can manage symptoms of Crohn's disease independently of its anti-inflammatory properties.

According to a Canadian study conducted in 2011 on a large sample of patients diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, 48.1% had used CBD sometime during their lifetime, while 15.9% were still using it.

Kratom for Crohn's Disease

Together with its anti-inflammatory action, kratom makes a great alternative remedy for patients of inflammatory bowel diseases, like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

However, no clinical trial data is available in this regard, though there are quite a few anecdotal evidences of its efficacy.

Other Benefits of CBD and Kratom

Other Benefits of CBD

Apart from Crohn’s Disease, CBD is great for any and every kind of inflammation. Besides, this cannabinoid also works wonders for:

  • Heart diseases
  • Epilepsy
  • Cancer
  • Oxidative stress
  • Multi-drug resistant bacteria
  • Diabetes
  • Schizophrenia
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Eczema
  • Fighting addiction
  • Alzheimer’s Disease

Other Benefits of Kratom

Apart from Crohn’s Disease, kratom helps in several stomach inflammation-related problems. Besides, the previously mentioned ailments, kratom also helps in:

  • Boosting immunity
  • Suppressing appetite
  • Fighting addiction
  • Substituting opioids
  • Enhancing libido
  • Bowel cancer
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Managing diabetes

Laws Surrounding CBD & Kratom

CBD is technically legal in all of America. However, owing to the discrepancies in the actual composition of CBD oils sold by manufacturers, several states are wary of their benefits. Hence, as an extra level of precaution has been put in place in some states.

The dilemma over composition is about the concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, a psychotropic component of cannbis, found in the CBD oil extracts.

As per law, the permissible level of THC in legal CBD oil is only 0.3% (in total weight). However, to get away with higher proportions, manufacturers often mislabel their products.

On the other hand, kratom, which is actually sold as a full-spectrum product having both the good and the not-so-good elements still present in it, is still legal in the US.

Ironically, all attempts by the DEA and FDA to ban it or classify it under Schedule I substance fell flat following massive public protest.

Even the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has put kratom under the controlled substances list, although it has not been federally approved so far. CDC’s move was prompted by a massive outbreak of 28 salmonella infections spanning across 20 states linked to kratom use.

The CDC, which began its investigation on February 20, 2018, noted that 11 people had been hospitalized with salmonella illness linked to kratom. They had all consumed kratom via pills, powder or tea. However, no common distributor could be identified.

Side effects of CBD

No cases of toxicity or overdose due to use of hemp-based CBD oil has been reported so far. Having said that, let us find out about CBD’s negative effects:

  1. Dryness of Mouth: Creates a cotton ball-like sensation in your mouth. Studies have found that the submandibular gland, which produces over 60% of the saliva, has cannabinoid receptors. Anandamide, an endocannabinoid that causes dryness of mouth, interacts with these receptors and inhibits saliva production by blocking the signals from the nervous system to produce saliva.
  2. Drowsiness: CBD oil typically does not induce any feelings of drowsiness. However, when taken in high doses, some people tend to feel drowsy.
  3. Dizziness or Lightheadedness: This rarely happens, but isn’t something a good cup of tea or coffee can’t fix.
  4. Drop in Blood Pressure: This is usually the reason why some people experience lightheadedness. Some studies suggest that higher doses of CBD can cause a dip in blood pressure. Individuals, who are prone to experiencing low blood pressure, should refrain from consuming CBD or CBD-based products.
  5. Diarrhea and Change in Appetite & Weight: During a clinical study (2017) of patients with epilepsy and psychotic disorders, and CBD’s effect on them, (published in the Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research) it was discovered that the subjects experienced some common side effects like tiredness, diarrhea, and changes in both weight and/or appetite.
  6. Interaction with pharmaceutical medications: Patients who are currently under conventional form of medication may experience complications if combined with CBD oil. This is because the liver enzymes required to metabolize CBD are the same as that required to break down pharmaceutical drugs.

Side effects of Kratom

Kratom in low doses may make you feel energized. But it may also cause sleeplessness. In high doses the number of side effects and level of risks rises.

Kratom is, after all, a psychotropic herbal extract. The fact that it is a herb doesn’t give it a clean chit when it comes to the safety of humans.

Kratom’s reported health risks include:

  • Nausea
  • Itching
  • Sweating
  • Dryness of mouth
  • Constipation
  • Increased urination
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Sometimes, psychosis

Final Thoughts

Weighing the overall benefits and side effects, safety and legal concerns, as well as depth of scientific knowledge and understanding about the two “herbal remedies”, it is perhaps safe to conclude that CBD is a much better option for a therapeutic agent.

  • CBD, isolate or full-spectrum, is still safer than kratom. The latter is a far more powerful psychotropic agent that can even turn lethal.
  • CBD oil (with THC levels below 0.3%) is completely legal in the US. But, the authorities may once again pick up its battle against kratom right where it left off.
  • CBD can treat a wider range of diseases and stop the progression of many more. That’s not really the case with kratom.
  • Kratom, owing to its opioid-like behavior, often leads to dependence. CBD has no such issue.
  • If you quit kratom, (again owing to its opioid-like behavior), you will most certainly experience withdrawal symptoms similar to opioids. And there are no antidote for that either. You would not experience any withdrawal symptoms due to cessation of CBD.
  • Kratom can cause disruption in sleep patterns. That’s not the case with CBD.
  • No chance of overdosing on CBD. But, some deaths due to ODing on kratom have been reported in recent times.

Kratom’s adverse side effects far outweigh its benefits, while CBD’s benefits are far greater than its side-effects. So, it is much safer to choose CBD products.

No matter what you choose as your alternative medication; be warned that all medications have certain side effects – whether they are pharmaceutical or herbal. It would be wise for you to consult your physician before you decide.