In this article, I’m going to teach you the differences between kava and kratom, and how to use kava and kratom together in a way that is safe and effective.
These are two wonderful herbs that have helped countless individuals treat issues like opiate addiction, anxiety, depression, muscle tension, PTSD, and chronic pain naturally.
To start things off, I’ll first provide you with brief overviews on kava and kratom.
After that, I’ll discuss the similarities and difference between kava and kratom.
Next, you’ll learn about the kava/kratom combination and how this synergistic duo makes you feel. Then, I’ll add a section with a step-by-step plan for you to use kratom and kava together, in a manner that is both safe and effective.
Okay, I hope you’re ready to learn some really awesome facts on the plant science of these extraordinary herbs!
And without further ado, let’s begin…starting with a brief overview on the relaxing and mood-enhancing effects of kava….
Kava kava, also known simply as kava, is a plant that is native to the Western Pacific. Kava is widely consumed throughout Pacific Ocean cultures of Polynesia for it’s sedative (calming) and anesthetic (painkilling) properties.
Kava has the rare ability to induce relaxation while simultaneously improving mental clarity and cognitive function.
Cultures throughout the Pacific have a great respect for kava and hold it in the highest regard. These Pacific cultures frequently hold kava ceremonies, which often accompany important political, religious, and social functions.
During these kava ceremonies, kava is prepared in a “kava bowl,” then the kava is passed around for people to drink.
Many individuals have used kava for it’s abilities to reduce anxiety, depression, pain, muscle tension, and insomnia. The active ingredients in kava are known as kavalactones.
These kavalactones induce effects similar to alcohol, such as:
However, unlike alcohol, kava induces these effects while still maintaining mental clarity in the user.
The kavalactones in kava contain the following properties:
- Anxiolytic (Anti-Anxiety)
- Analgesic (Painkilling)
- Muscle Relaxing
- Anticonvulsant (Anti-Seizure)
The following pharmacological actions have been reported for kava and/or it’s main active ingredients:
- Potentiation of GABAA receptor activity – Leads to an increase in GABA (our natural Valium) levels in the brain. Promotes mental relaxation and restful sleep.
- Inhibits the reuptake of dopamine and norepinephrine – Leads to an increase in pleasure, euphoria, and concentration.
- Agonism of the CB1 receptor – Leads to very mild effects similar to those of THC, an active ingredient in marijuana.
My First Kava Vapor Experience
A couple of years ago, I tried kava vapor for the first time to ease my neck tension. My dad is a Master Herbalist that has trained over 10,000 people in herbal medicine over the past three decades. He let me try some of his blueberry-flavored kava vapor oil out of his vaporizer.
Within minutes I was experiencing a euphoric, relaxing effect that improved my focus and led to me becoming more talkative and social.
My neck tension instantly dissipated, and I quickly found myself in a great mood that lasted for about two hours.
Kratom is an evergreen tree native to Southeast Asia, and is a member of the coffee family. Currently, kratom is not regulated by the Drug Enforcement Agency in the United States (making it legal). However, some states have passed laws banning kratom, and it seems like more and more states are banning it or trying to ban it lately.
Despite common misconception, Kratom is NOT AN OPIATE.
Kratom, simply put, is an opioid-agonist.
Once a person takes a dose of kratom, the drug binds to the same opioid receptors in the brain and other parts of the body that opiates bind to, and as a result, leads to effects which feel very similar (though not identical) to opiate drugs.
Mitragynine, the major alkaloid in kratom, is a partial opioid agonist producing similar effects to morphine. An interesting minor alkaloid of kratom, 7-hyrdoxymitragynine, has been reported to be more potent than morphine.
Both kratom alkaloids activate supraspinal mu- and delta- opioid receptors, which is the main reason the plant alleviates pain and opiate withdrawal symptoms/cravings so well.
To sum things up, kratom is not an opiate, however, it binds to the same opioid receptors that opiate drugs bind to. Thus, kratom is a legal plant that can be used as a natural alternative to prescription or illicit opiates.
Kratom Risks and Effects
I will warn you with a good dose of caution, however, that many individuals are addicted to kratom. If you take too much for too long, it can even cause a horrible withdrawal syndrome very similar to opiate withdrawal.
People can develop addictions to kratom because the effects can be quite nice, and though I’ve never become addicted to it while testing different strains and dosages, I can see why so many people abuse it.
Kratom effects include the following:
- Pain Relief
- Mental Stimulation
Note: The kratom effects vary depending on the strain and dosage used. For instance, lower dosages in the 2-6 gram range could produce stimulating effects, while higher dosages from 7-10 grams or more can lead to more pain relief and sedation.
*Furthermore, the red kratom strains tend to be the most sedating, while the white strains are typically more stimulating. The green strains are typically not as stimulating as white strains, and not as sedating as red ones, and fall somewhere in the middle of the two.
There are many different strains of kratom to choose from. Kratom has become extremely popular, and there’s an abundance of different strains available online and in smoke shops. As I previously mentioned, different strains have different effects.
Along with this, each human being has their own individual biochemical makeup.
Thus, the same kratom strain and dosage might make one person feel ABSOLUTELY AMAZING, while it could make another person sick to their stomach. There really is no way to know how you will respond to a particular strain or dosage until you try it.
My First Kratom Experience
After two years of being fascinated with the kratom plant, I finally gained the courage to try it from a strictly investigative perspective.
I wasn’t using kratom for medicinal or recreational purposes. I simply wanted to feel the effects of the plant before I wrote an article on how to use kratom for opiate withdrawal. I had been nervous about trying kratom for some time due to it’s potential to become habit-forming over prolonged use.
But I had ultimate faith in my high level of self-discipline, so I decided to try kratom for the fist time. I ended up really enjoying the mild buzz, which felt a lot like taking hydrocodone, though not exactly.
Relaxing on the couch hadn’t been that much fun in years.
Kava vs Kratom – Similarities and Differences
As you can tell from reading about kava and kratom, they have some over-lapping similarities, and they also have a few substantial differences.
In this section, I’ll list off the similarities and differences of kratom and kava, which will give you a nice little matchup of these medicinal plants.
Kava and kratom similarities:
- Kava and kratom are both plants.
- Kava and kratom are both federally legal to purchase and consume (though kratom is banned in several states).
- Kava and kratom both have mood-elevating effects.
- Kava and kratom both act as muscle relaxants and painkillers (though kratom is more powerful in this regard).
- Kava and kratom both have the ability to treat anxiety, depression, insomnia, PTSD, and opiate withdrawal.
- Kava and kratom can both enhance cognition (though depending on the strain and dosage, kratom can also have the reverse effect).
- Kava and kratom both increase levels of dopamine in the brain.
Kava and kratom differences:
- Kava binds to GABA receptors (like Valium) and CB1 receptors (like marijuana), and kratom binds to opioid receptors (like Vicodin and Percocet).
- Kava has an extremely low addiction, dependence, and withdrawal syndrome potential, while kratom has a very high potential for all of these.
- The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is trying to ban kratom, but they’re not trying to ban kava.
Effects from Using Kava and Kratom Together
When you use kava and kratom together, this can result in a type of natural synergy that is truly remarkable and noticeable. Synergy is when the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Since kava and kratom have so many similarities (e.g. relaxing, painkilling, mood-enhancing, etc), using these plants together can result in massive increases of these effects.
I’ve used kratom and kava together many times, and I would liken the experience to being a natural version of the opiate/benzo combination, only much safer and healthier for you.
In my experience, the kava and kratom combination does a good job mimicking the hydocodone and Valium combination, but without the high overdose potential.
If I had to sum up the kava/kratom experience in one phrase, I would liken it to standing underneath a rainbow that’s filling you with all of the best emotions on earth…all at once.
Note: The kava and kratom combination can be very effective at easing symptoms of: anxiety, social anxiety, panic attacks, depression, insomnia, muscle tension, pain, PTSD, fatigue, opiate withdrawal, opiate cravings, alcohol withdrawal, alcohol cravings, benzo withdrawal, benzo cravings, and much, much more.
How To Use Kava and Kratom Together
Finally, we’ve reached the “How-To” section. Now you’re going to learn how to use kava and kratom together in a manner that is both safe and effective.
The first important fact I need to mention is that many online vendors have low-quality kava and kratom.
I’ve tried at least a dozen online companies, and I’ve only found one that has both premium kava and premium kratom, with excellent customer service and great prices.
My preferred online vendor for high-quality kava and kratom is TopExtracts.com.
The owner, Jim, is the nicest business owner you’ll ever meet, and his top-notch customer service and integrity, coupled with his obsession for only carrying the most premium botanical powders and extracts, are what separates him from the rest of the online vendors I’ve reviewed.
Here’s how I use the Top Extracts kava and kratom together for peak efficacy and safety:
- Add 1-2 teaspoons of Classic Red Bali Kratom, White Borneo Kratom, or any other Top Extracts kratom powder to a glass of water or juice (grapefruit juice and orange juice potentiate the effects).
- Add a half tsp to 1 tsp of Kava 70% Kavalactones Extract to the mixture.
- Use a spoon to mix the elixir.
- Add a few ice cubes to make it more refreshing (optional).
- Add a couple of mint leaves for taste and presentation (optional).
- Make sure you drink it on an empty stomach.
- Enjoy the effects!!!
- Repeat this process up to 3-4 times per day as needed or desired.
Kava and Kratom from Top Extracts 15% Discount
I’ve now been friends with Jim, the Top Extracts owner, for a couple of years. We are even friends on Facebook and “Like” and comment on each others posts.
Jim was nice enough to offer any readers of this article a 15% discount on your first purchase by using an Exclusive Limited Time Promo Code.
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Hi Matt and friends! Ugh.. I have a bottle of Pacific Roots kava from Kalm with Kava and even though I desperately want to because I think it could really help the wd’s (especially paws because I can never get myself passed or to that point).. I’m terrified to try it. I’m terrified because of listed side effects of skin reactions, allergies, trouble breathing. I’m afraid I’m going to take it and end up in the ER. I’m no stranger to the ER having had breathing issues in the past and I absolutely hate and fear it. Are my concerns warranted? or is that just them trying to scare us from a natural plant that can help us?
Thank you for reading and for any responses!
Ps. I was scared of kratom at first too.. but once I tried it, I was fine and it’s helped immensely with the acute wd’s.
I don’t know if you’ll see this or not as I’m a little late. I can’t tell you with 100% certainty that you won’t have any negative side effects at all, but I will tell you that those are included on the side label because they have to include them. The same goes for baby wipes, ibuprofen, laundry detergent and nail polish. Secondly, without sounding too brash I hope, it sounds very much like you’re having a lot of health related anxiety.
They are not “trying to scare you away from a plant that might help us”, it’s simply there because, as with all things, a small group of people have had negative reactions. I’ve personally never heard of anyone ever having a negative reaction from Kava Kava. Of course use it responsibly! But also understand that it’s totally safe and often prescribed by physicians as well. I came across Kava Kava originally from my doctor as he was helping me with benzodiazepine withdrawal.
You’re safe! Don’t let your thoughts (or Googling side effects!!) deter you from something that could be truly beneficial for you.
Thanks man! I’ve been asking allot of these questions continuously, everywhere, with 0 results. I use allot of kratom it helps everything but my anxiety. (and or anger issues, not sure I know the dif), (I’m kinda stuck in a stressful environment right now. I just started using kava, but I’m not quite ok yet. I love you man! I will be talking to you again soon.
Glad this article helped! I appreciate the kind feedback. Take care! -Matt
Great article. Have you done any research on the effects of kava on the liver? I’ve been using kratom for almost a year now and without it I would pretty much be bedridden from my chronic neuro lyme and auto-immune issues. I recently bought some kava juice extract, but have been a little nervous to take it after reading about some studies on its potential for liver damage. But there also seem to be other studies that dispute those claims. Would love to hear any insight you have on that. I do not drink alcohol pretty much ever and am not on any other medications besides kratom & some other other gentle herbal supplements/treatments for my health conditions, and have never had any liver problems, so I’m guessing its fine for me, but still a little nervous.
I am s 58 year old female with disk disease arthritis and I have had both my hips replaced I use kratom daily and kava about 2 a week I don’t smoke or drink and I no longer take 120 hydro’s a month thanks to these wonderful plants . I love to read you posts thanks tee
This is great to hear, Teresa. Good for you, and thanks for the feedback on the posts.
Hello. It’s refreshing too see an article not only for people with opioid addictions but with alternative treatments that actually help address the underlining issues. People want to ignore the issue meanwhile the amount of people addicted to opioids and benzodiazepines continues to rise drastically. Thanks for the info. I’m currently trying to get off of methadone and benzo. I’ve been clean from heroin for 7 years but I’m so sick of this stuff. However the depression and anxiety is debilitating. I’m currently taking Kava and I just received an order of Kratom. Keep up the great work!
Glad you enjoyed this article and info. And thanks for the feedback!
I am new to Kratom but have been using Kava intermittently for the past year. I have been trying to help myself through terrible insomnia, depression, anxiety, and PTSD. This is literally my 2nd day trying kratom and the first trying both together. I saw your drink recipe. Could you please offer a suggestion on how to equate that in capsule form? I have .85mg red hulu kratom capsules and 442mg (75mg kavalactones) capsules. I imagine if I find a combination of them together and drink it with orange juice, it may help me. Could you offer a suggestion?
Thank you so much for explaining in simple terms how theses 2 plants work in the body.
I read about “noble” kava, and among other things, that it works works best on an empty stomach. And Kratom, which may cause nausea in some individuals is best with the some food in the stomach. (I think most anything taken on an empty stomach is more potent). So I am wondering about the option of taking kava on an empty stomach, and then after a meal is consumed, kratom could then be taken. What are your thoughts on this? I’m in the research phase:) but I do believe that these two plants hold amazing promises for people who struggle with all of the things you listed above. It’s upsetting that a remedy is out there that is natural, not overrun by big Pharma, and the government feels the need to control at least one of them, for now. Who is to say kava would not be next? Thank you very much for writing this article.
I was wondering about taking kava on an empty stomach as well. I almost always take kratom on an empty stomach and never have any issues.
Wow! Finally someone put this all in one place. Answered ALL of my questions after days of searching online.
Thank you so much for a well written, organized, thorough and extremely helpful article.
Hello, I found your page tonight and it’s been pretty helpful so far. I was taking large doses of Hydrocodone, Tramadol, Xanax and beautalbital for about 8 years. (not all at once or even all on the same day but still quite a bit.) They were all prescription by my doctor. When they cracked down on the pill mills the pharmacy acted like I was a criminal every time I went to pick up a refill. I started using Kratom about 2 years ago. Now I am only taking the Kratom and nothing else. One of the best things is, every time I started getting low on the scripts I’d get so anxious I couldn’t eat and felt shaky for days before going to the pharmacy. With Kratom if I get low I just think. I guess I’d better order more. My tolerance is pretty high now so I was looking around for other options and found Kava. Tonight is my first time and had no clue how to use it. That’s when I found your page. Thanks for the info. I’ll have to check back after I try it and tell you guys how it went.
I’m so glad this article has been helpful for you. And I’ve heard from a lot of other people saying the same thing about kratom. It’s rare that I hear from someone that is as addicted to kratom as pills or heroin. It’s a great plant. Enjoy the kava, and thanks for the feedback!!
I was wondering if you could give an update on your experience? I’m curious as to how they work together? Does it upset your stomach? I’m a recovering addict for almost 7 years now👏👏 but am on a very low dose of Suboxone😬 (2mg in the morning and 1mg at night) I also take Valium but rarely(go through a script of 30, 5mg every 3-5 months). I want off the Suboxone, cigarettes and Valium, I don’t want to be dependent on any script. I’ve been hanging on to it bc of my back pain. I need something but don’t want to take opiates unless administered by a doctor undergoing surgery or extreme low back and hip pain, obviously under supervision. I’m extremely self-disciplined and traumatized enough to not be effected by any opiates in a way that would risk my sobriety but it’s just the point. I’d never go back to the life I once lived, under any circumstances. My Christian beliefs have me needing to get off any substance(my spirit is screaming at me and convicts me of my use) that doesn’t keep me viligant, I feel I’m sinning every time I take my medicine. It’s not any way to live by living like that. I need to quit Suboxone and cigarettes and feel these Herb’s will help me off both, that Valium can be tossed at any given moment but keep it around for emergencies. I’ve got my pain under control by doing stretches and weight lifting, now is the time to get off this crap. I don’t want kava or kratom to become a habit but to help me ease off the Suboxone and nicotine gracefully and as comfortable as possible for a short period of time. Also, I like CBD oil however it gets too expensive and figure kratom and kava is probably cheaper. I’ve tried kratom or kava tea (forget which one) and it made me extremely ill. I don’t know how people stomach it. How do you? How do you use it and what form? Any tips on the preparations, strains, brands or forms in which you use and like better? I’m thinking of getting them in pill form, hoping I don’t necessarily taste it. Any suggestions or insight on these Herb’s will be helpful and much appreciated. Hope things are going well for you, look forward to hearing back from soon.(in February is when you commented so I’m assuming I probably won’t 🤔😔 I’m being optimistic though🙏💛🌞) Thanks.
Hi, I hope you see this and can help me. Your site is so informative and has been so helpful to me. I have chronic pain from a 15 year old injury. I have been on pain medication on and off for years without a problem, but for the last 4 years I’ve been in pain management and have taken medication daily. I am currently prescribed six 10mg Percocet a day, every month I run out between 1-2 weeks early depending on how hard I try not to take too much. I have either bought on the street or gone thru withdrawal when I couldn’t. I really want to be off of this, it has changed me in many ways and I hate it. Currently where I am at is, I took the last of my Percocet last Saturday (6 days ago) I had also been drinking heavily the last few months and last drink was Sunday night (5 days ago) I have been taking Kratom (O.P.M.S. Gold) capsules. The package is very confusing to me so I’m not sure of how much I’m taking except that I take about 5-6 capsules a day. I am also taking an adderall or 2 per day and then an ambien at night. I have worked every day and every day has gotten a little better but when I wake up my entire body is in a lot of pain until I take the Kratom (2 capsules) after an hour I start to feel better. My questions are what do I do from here, I really don’t want to become dependent on the Kratom (not sure how long I should take it or how to taper it) and am I still going to go thru the oxy withdrawal when I do? I have Baclofen, Cyclobenzaprine, and some benzos but I have not used them. I am scared of the full body aching because I have to be able to work and take care of my kids. I am confused as to what supplements to get because there are so many. Any advice would be really appreciated. Thank you so much
So you go through opiat withdrawals for up to 2 years. That is how long it takes for your brain to get back to normal. And start drinking lemon water once a day you will find your tolerance going down. When you notice that lower your dose of kratom. And you can start doing Kava Kava as well to help lower the dose further. Drinking Cats claw once or two a day will help the pain. And make both the kratom and kava more affective I have been taking kava for a few days now it has been helping. I take kratom 4-6 days a week for about 4 months now and I have been drinking cats claw tea and lemon water every day for 2 months now. My pain is manageable now and I can take breaks from the kratom, kava, and cats claw for up to 2 weeks. And when I have to I take pills but that’s rare. I feel better taking the kratom. I have 13 different problems and kratom kava and cats claw help with them all.
Hi Matt, love your info. I have a daughter who is tapering off Clonazepam, prescribed by a doctor in high dose, also encouraged to take more as needed!! Now suffering withdrawal. We have now, with some advice stabilised the dosage, and worked out a slow taper plan. What can she take or do to help make this taper less traumatic? She suffers from extreme fatigue, depression, anxiety, aches & pains, etc. Thankyou.
Glad you’re getting value from this info. In addition to a slow taper, nutrient supplementation and nutrition is essential. I’m going to post a link to an article I wrote on tapering off clonazepam that will show you a great plan to use:
How To Get Off Klonopin Without Withdrawal>>
Hi Matt. First and foremost I want to say thank you so much for the work you do. It has been life changing. Also, thank you for the reputable copanies to buy suggested supplements.
I wanted to ask you a few questions I am confident that you’ll be able to point me in the direction of..
*When using Kava/Kratom in combination for WD symptoms, can it be used while still weaning off of opiates? If not, how long must one wait before using it?
*Can it be used in combination with gabapentin? If so, how should one take it in conjunction with gabapentin? Together, hours after the other, without food, etc? Does the gabapentin dose have to be changed?
Lastly, you offer so many suggestions for supplements to help with WD and PAWS. It seems like doing EVERY single one isnt realistic. So, may I pick your brain and ask..
*If you had to pick 3 supplements/modalities to use in combination for WDs, what would they be? For example 1Kava/Kratom 2Gabapentin 3DPLA or 1vitaminC 2Calm Support 3marijuana, etc etc?
I’m leaning towards 1Gabapentin 2Kava/Kratom 3Calm Support 4CBD supplements and maybe DPLA. It is beginning to get a little pricey, although worth it. My biggest issue is safety. Would this 4 combination be safe to use together?
I honestly look forward to hearing from you. Its a new year and I imagine that lots of people will tackle this and be successful in the coming year. Best to all!!!!
I was addicted to opiate pills for 6 years, and got off using Kratom. I’ve been taking 1 (rounded) tsp. Kratom 3 times/day for 2 years. Not feeling much of an effect anymore, but don’t want to increase Kratom dosage. If I wanted to decrease Kratom, but still have a ‘feel good’ experience, what do you think about the two together? How much and how often? I have a bottle of 30% capsules (Kavalectones?). Haven’t tried them yet. Any suggestions? Thanks very much.
I don’t know how effective 30% capsules would be. Often it’s the 60% to 80% powders, pastes, and wax forms of kava that boost mood the most.
You could always try the 30% capsules and see how it feels. I’ve explained in the article how I feel about the two together.In my opinion it’s a very good match!
Hi Matt. I’ve been reading your website for months I even subscribed to your e-mail newsletter. I want to thank you so much for putting this information out there it has been so helpful in me in my research for a way out of my addiction trap. I took some kratom with kava this morning and found that is does have a better synergy when taken in combination. I feel like you get more anxiety relief as well without having to swallow a lot more kratom. I’m still working on my journey to freedom by weaning down off a high, high dose of Roxicodone. Anyhow, I just wanted to encourage you a little and let you know that I appreciate all the work you do in putting this out there. I’m pretty sure you have saved several lives from your work. THANK YOU!!!!!
Awe thanks Stace!!! That was so nice of you to say and I really appreciate your gratitude and feedback. I’m very proud of you for taking natural plants instead of synthetic drugs and I know you’re well on your way to achieving your Ultimate Goal! Take care and I’m wishing you the best! 🙂