Kratom is one of the most widely accepted psychoactive plants across the United States, with only six states prohibiting it. If you live in states that do not allow this plant or you simply want to try other options, kratom alternatives are your best bet.
When looking for a substitute for this plant, there are several things you should look for including the effect, mode of consumption, accessibility and legality, and finally, potency. The good news is there are various natural replacements for kratom.
These options include items you may have already been using. You can learn more about some of the best choices below.
The key to finding the right substitutes is to understand what exactly the plant is and what it has to offer. The first thing you need to about it is it is an evergreen plant native to Southeast Asia. It is traditionally used as a naturally medicinal substance.
This plant is known by many kratom alternative names, including its scientific name Mitragyna speciosa, ketum and biak in Malaysia, and kratom and Thom in Thailand. It is also referred to as ithang, kakuan, and katawn in other cultures.
The thing about kratom is that it grows in the wild in Southeast Asia or it can be propagated and farmed. Because of its wide presence, many cultures in the area have been utilizing the plant to their advantage, especially for productive and social purposes.
Throughout history, it has been used by manual workers to soothe their aching bodies throughout history after a long day at work. These laborers, such as farmers and fishermen, also consume this plant to battle fatigue and improve productivity during the day.
Many people also use it to self-medicate when experiencing different types of illnesses such as fever, diarrhea, and pain. Mashed-up leaves are used applied onto wounds as a poultice. It is also consumed during community social gatherings until now.
To consume kratom, people in Southeast Aasia used fresh or dried leaves, which can be chewed, brewed, or smoked. It can also be ground into a fine powder and steeped in water to make tea.
Speaking of accessibility and consumption, it is worth noting that the popularity of kratom had gone beyond Southeast Asia.
While it is now heavily regulated in countries in the area such as Thailand, Malaysia, and Myanmar, it is available and allowed in many parts of the world including the United States except in six states.
Kratom Benefits and Effects
One thing you need to know about kratom is it offers a whole host of benefits that can help improve the quality of life of consumers.
Above, we talked about its uses in Southeast Asian cultures as a social and medicinal plant. Meanwhile, it gained popularity in the US, Europe, and other countries for its recreational effects on top of its therapeutic properties.
To understand how the plant is able to provide such properties, let’s talk about the major alkaloids present in Mitragyna speciosa namely mitragynine and 7-hydromitragynine.
These chemical compounds interact with the mu, kappa, and delta opioid receptors in the human body, giving it the ability to provide effects similar to opioids and other psychoactives.
They also bind to serotonin and dopamine receptors, which are in charge of processing happiness and the feel-good hormones. All of these can be found in parts of the nervous system like the central, periphery, spinal cord, and supraspinal areas, as well as the limbic system.
Because of their properties and the location of the receptors they bind with, these alkaloids have been observed to provide energy, enhance moods, improve cognition, relieve stress, address pain, and treat inflammation.
Another important benefit offered by kratom is its potential to help in treating opiate withdrawal. Let us pedal back and take a look at kratom’s effects, especially its opioid- and psychostimulant-like properties. Now, you might be wondering if it is addictive like opioids.
To answer this question, it is important to establish the fact that all relatively harmless things can be addictive if you have the personality for it. Just take a look at workaholism and gaming addiction.
So, is kratom addictive? The answer is individuals can develop a physical dependency or an intense psychological craving for the plant. Some signs of addiction include extreme urge to consume, more frequent consumption, tolerance build-up, risky behaviors, and withdrawals.
What are Kratom Alternatives?
Given that users can develop an addiction, you might be looking for kratom alternatives. You will be glad to know that there are other options that can serve as a replacement for kratom.
Before we talk about products you can consume as kratom alternatives, let us first establish what qualifies as substitutes. Here, we are looking for naturally occurring items that provide similar effects as Mitragyna.
Ideally, these replacements have similar levels of accessibility and potency as kratom. Moreover, they should also be legal to consume in the US or in some parts of the country.
Some Kratom Alternatives
Two kratom alternative solutions are Mitragyna hirsuta and Mitragyna javanica. These two are under the same genus as kratom, which means that they have a lot of characteristics with kratom. They are the most related to speciosa of all the kratom alternatives.
Mitragyna hirsuta, also known as Kra Thum Khok, is known to have similar effects as kratom, especially red vein varieties, but at a diminished potency. Nevertheless, this plant offers energizing and pain-relieving effects.
However, instead of having mitragynine as its primary alkaloid, it has mitraphylline, a chemical compound that acts similar to those present in kratom. It may have milder effects but the best part is that they last longer compared to what speciosa has to offer.
Javanica is another species of Mytragina, which offers a weaker potency. Few researches has been done about javanica, but what is known about it is that its primary compounds are mitrajavine and 3-isoajmalicine.
According to anecdotal evidence, javanica can relax your muscles, stimulate your brain, relievwidely consumede pain and aches, and induce euphoria. Both kratom alternatives can be purchased in different forms such as pills and powder, but they are rarer.
Now, if you are a coffee drinker, you will be delighted to know that these two trees are related. Both belong in the Rubiaceae family, except kratom falls under the Mitragyna genus, while coffee is in the Coffea genus.
Being in the same family, they have some overall commonalities, so if you are looking for kratom alternatives that are widely accepted anywhere in the world and are easy to get into, then coffee is a great choice.
Coffee is known as a mild stimulant that interacts with the central nervous system. Allowing it to provide additional energy. When used moderately, it offers improvements in cognitive and mental performance, focus, attention, and alertness.
Now, let’s move on to kratom alternatives that are not related to the plant. Kava, kanna, and marijuana are great choices.
Kava roots contain alkaloids that help provide similar effects on the body. When consumed, its kavalactones interact with receptors in the limbic system that stimulates the brain to help promote sleep and relieve anxiety. However, prolonged use of kava can result in liver issues.
Another option is to use kanna, a flowering plant that has mesembrine and mesembrenone as the main ingredients. It is known to have potent mood-enhancing effects on top of its anxiety- and stress-relieving properties.
Marijuana is probably one of the most popular kratom alternatives, especially with the traction it has been receiving in terms of legalization and decriminalization.
Cannabis sativa is widely-consumed because of its wide spectrum of stimulating effects. THC-rich strains offer psychoactivity, euphoria, relaxation, and sedation, while CBD-rich strains have more to offer in the way of creativity, energy, cognition, and productivity.
What Kratom Alternative is the Best?
Of all these kratom alternatives, you might be wondering which one is your best option. If you do not have access to kratom, then perhaps your best bet is to find kanna.
Kanna does not have legal issues like the ones surrounding kratom. In fact, it is perfectly legal to consume in the form of supplements and herbal medicine. It also has very similar effects as kratom, combined with a satisfying potency.
Now, if you do not mind the legal hurdles of marijuana, then maybe this plant is the perfect option for you. It has a lot of variety, just like kratom. It also has similar and even more intense effects than Mitragyna speciosa or kanna.
With different states legalizing cannabis for medicinal, and even recreational use, you can get your hands on marijuana with minimal hassle.
There are a lot of kratom alternatives out there, but you only want the best for your consumption. With the help of Kratom Krush, you are bound to find not only the ones with the closest effects but also the most accessible and potent ones, so check it out.