Kava Vs. Kratom - What's The Difference?

Updated: Aug 18

New Age Herbal is excited to announce that we are now selling Kava at our Caldwell, Idaho storefront! This is the next step in our mission to provide the good people of Treasure Valley with all the very best herbal options available in Idaho. We know that there has been some general confusion regarding the difference between Kava and another popular herb available in our stores: Kratom. With that in mind, we have created the following list for you detailing the major differences between Kava and Kratom:


Origins -

Kratom is a tropical evergreen tree belonging to the coffee family of plants. It is native to Southeast Asian countries including Borneo, Thailand, and Malaysia.

Kava is a tropical evergreen shrub belonging to the pepper family of plants. It is native to Western Pacific countries and islands including Fiji, Micronesia, and Hawaii.


Preparation -

Kratom is prepared by harvesting only the leaves of the plant and drying them. The dried leaves can then be used or sold in their raw form, or they can be processed into various products, the most common being powder, liquid or capsules.

Kava is prepared by harvesting only the roots of the plant, which can either be dried before processing or ground into a fine powder while fresh. This powder can then be used or sold as is, or it can be further processed into liquids or capsules.


Active ingredients -

The active ingredients in Kratom are known as alkaloids, with the most prevalent of these alkaloids being Mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. These alkaloids interact with certain opioid receptors in the brain to produce their effects.

The active ingredients in Kava are known as kavalactones, there are 6 of these kavalactones that are known to produce the majority of the effects of kava, including kavain and yangonin. Kavalactones are believed to work by binding to certain neurotransmitters in the brain, including the GABA receptors and CB1 receptors.


Effects -

The effects of kratom are mostly dependent upon the amount consumed as well as the strain and vein type. Typically taking a small amount is best for achieving an energizing effect, while taking a larger amount is best for achieving a relaxing effect.

The effects of Kava are mostly dependent upon the specific variety taken. There are three common varieties of Kava: Heady Kavas are best for daytime energy, Heavy Kavas are best for night time relaxation, and Balanced Kavas are multipurpose and can be taken in smaller amounts when waking up in the morning or in larger amounts when resting at night.


Also Known As -

Some people assume that Kava is just a different term for Kratom and vice versa. This is not the case, but both of these amazing botanicals do have a plethora of different names which can contribute to the confusion.

You may hear Kratom referred to as Ketum, Biak, Thang, and it’s scientific name Mitragyna Speciosa depending on what region of the world you are in and who you are talking to.

Kava is known in various regions as either Kava Kava, Awa, Ava, Seka, or its scientific name Piper Methysticum.

There you have it, the top 5 major differences between Kratom and Kava. Now that you are armed with this valuable knowledge you can shop with confidence for your preferred herb! Stop in to New Age Herbal and check out our new stock of Premium Quality Kava products. Still have Kava questions? Our knowledgeable team is ready to provide the answers you need to make the right choices for yourself on your journey to total herbal wellness! Come browse the very best CBD, Kratom, Essential Oils and Kava products available in all of Treasure Valley, Idaho!

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CBD and Kratom are not for sale to persons under the age of 18 in Idaho. CBD or Kratom products should be used only as directed on the label. A Doctor’s advice should be sought before using these products. Statements made regarding herbal products have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The Federal Food Drug & Cosmetic Act requires this notice.