Kratom vs CBD: What’s the Difference?

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The main differences between Kratom and CBD are the legal status of each in some states of the USA, where they are obtained from, and what effect they may have on the user. 

Put simply, CBD is obtained from hemp and is a relaxant, while Kratom is made from the leaves of a plant native to Thailand and nearby countries, which – in small doses – can also act as a stimulant.

Kratom and CBD

Both Kratom and CBD have seen a lot of press coverage in recent years. These two substances are also party to plenty of confusion and misunderstanding. We want to look at both Kratom and CBD, their effects on a user, and whether they are legal or not where you live. 

Let’s begin our Kratom vs. CBD guide by differentiating between the two. 

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Kratom vs cbd: what’s the difference? 16

Is Kratom the Same as CBD?

The simple answer is no: they are two entirely different substances. They are similar in the soothing and relaxing effect each can provide. However, it’s essential to know that Kratom can also be used as a stimulant. 

CBD is cannabidiol. This is an extract of the cannabis plant – or, more correctly, the hemp strain of cannabis, which is legally the only strain that can be used for CBD in the USA.

The reason for this is that hemp has very low THC content. THC is tetrahydrocannabinol and is the psychoactive compound in cannabis, the one that gives you the ‘high.’ So, when you vape or take CBD in any of the many forms, you will feel the relaxing effects but not the high. 

CBD is available as an oil, a tincture, in pill form, and as a vape. It has a solid following worldwide and is gaining in popularity all the time. 

Kratom is later to the market than CBD. It is made from the leaves of a plant found in Thailand, Indonesia, and other countries of the region. It is taken either as dried and ground leaves in powder form or served boiled as tea. 

In Thailand, everyday workers take Kratom as a stimulant. This is largely where it differs to CBD. Small doses of Kratom act as a stimulant to provide focus and energy. Larger quantities will serve as a sedative. Like CBD, it is also taken as a pain reliever.

Take too large a dose of Kratom, and you may experience psychoactive effects such as euphoria and hallucinations. It is a member of the opiate family. 

Kratom is also used to help with insomnia and anxiety, which we will talk about shortly.

First, we want to look at the legality of these two substances in the USA.

Kratom Dosage

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Are Kratom and CBD Legal?

The answer is a complicated one. It’s a combination of yes and no. Neither Kratom nor CBD is federally approved, so officially they are both illegal in the USA. But it’s not as simple as that. 

In some US states, Kratom and CBD are permitted for use. In others, they are not. It’s perhaps easier to list the states where Kratom is still illegal. These are:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Indiana
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Wisconsin

In those states, you cannot legally purchase or use Kratom. In all others, you can buy and use the substance, but we recommend you check the age limit. In some places, it is 21, in others, it is 18; and in many states, there are no regulations regarding Kratom. 

Also, there are some places in Florida, Colorado, and Illinois where the substance is banned. The above information may need to be updated in the future as states introduce their own regulations.

CBD is now widely accepted as a recreational and medicinal drug and is entirely legal in the following states:

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Nevada
  • Oregon
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • Washington DC.

In all other states, we recommend you make local inquiries as it can be complicated to understand. So, we mentioned anxiety – let’s talk about Kratom and CBD in this context.

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Which is Best for Anxiety?

We ask the question, is CBD or Kratom better for anxiety? The answer is that it should be up to the user. Both have been reported by the user as anti-anxiety substances. Yet, it may be that Kratom is the better of the two in this area, especially if you suffer from social anxiety. 

Whereas CBD will make you more relaxed, a dose of Kratom of around 2 to 5 grams may have the following effects:

  • Improved mood and a general feeling of well-being
  • Sharpened concentration and cognitive performance
  • More energy and stamina
  • Improved confidence, more sociable, more talkative

We can see from these effects that Kratom will help significantly in social situations. It is also said to improve one’s sex life, thanks mainly to the stamina boost.

Which is Best for Pain Relief? 

What would the result be in CBD oil vs. Kratom, where pain relief is the requirement? Again, it’s hard to give a firm answer one way or the other.

The effects of both substances will differ from person to person. Your metabolic rate, age, body weight, and daily lifestyle will all exert an influence when it comes to enjoying the benefits.

We can say that where CBD has been proven to reduce pain, Kratom is possibly the more powerful pain reliever thanks to its opiate properties. Our advice would be to choose which you want to try and work with it, then have a few days off and try the other.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Does Kratom Have THC in it?

There is no THC in Kratom, and very little, only in some forms of CBD.

Does Kratom Eliminate Anxiety? 

Kratom is becoming more widely used as an anxiety treatment because of its stimulating and energetic effects in small doses. It also makes many people more talkative and willing to become involved in social situations.

Can Kratom and CBD Be Used at the Same Time?

Yes. It is recommended that users taking both do not exceed a 4-gram dose of Kratom alongside no more than 15mg of CBD. We recommend new users start with dosages far beneath these amounts. 


Kratom and CBD are interesting and effective substances that are entirely natural, and that can both induce a feeling of relaxation. Kratom is also used as a stimulant. Each of these natural products has its uses for sleep, relaxation, dealing with anxiety, and pain relief. 

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