What are the Differences Between Kratom and Cannabis

cannabis leaf with water drops
Kratom and cannabis are two distinct substances with different origins, chemical compositions, and effects. Here’s a breakdown of their differences:

Plant Source:

Kratom is derived from the leaves of the Mitragyna speciosa tree, native to Southeast Asia, particularly Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. On the other hand, cannabis refers to a genus of flowering plants that include Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. These plants are cultivated worldwide, with various strains and chemical profiles.

Active Compounds:

Kratom contains several alkaloids, with mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine being the most prevalent. These alkaloids act on opioid receptors in the brain, producing effects similar to opioids but with some differing mechanisms. Cannabis contains over a hundred cannabinoids, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), which interact with the endocannabinoid system in the body.


Kratom is known to have stimulating and sedative effects, depending on the dosage and strain. At lower doses, it may induce increased energy, focus, and alertness, while higher doses can lead to relaxation, pain relief, and sedation. Cannabis, especially THC-dominant strains, is typically associated with psychoactive effects such as euphoria, relaxation, altered perception, increased appetite, and potential impairment of cognitive functions. CBD-dominant strains are more commonly used for their potential therapeutic benefits without significant psychoactive effects.


The legal status of kratom and cannabis varies across countries and jurisdictions. While some countries have banned or strictly regulated the use of kratom, others permit its sale and consumption. Similarly, cannabis laws range from strict prohibition to various degrees of legalization, either for medical purposes, recreational use, or both. It’s crucial to understand the specific regulations in your region.
As of 2022, the legal status of kratom in the United States varies at the state level. Kratom is federally legal and not controlled under the Controlled Substances Act. However, several states have taken different approaches to its regulation. Check with your state before using.

Medical Use:

Kratom has been used traditionally in Southeast Asia for its analgesic properties and as a remedy for various conditions, including diarrhea, fatigue, and opiate withdrawal symptoms. Research on kratom’s potential medical benefits is still in its early stages. Cannabis, particularly CBD, has gained attention for its potential therapeutic applications in managing pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, nausea, and certain mental health conditions. Medical cannabis programs exist in some regions to provide legal access to cannabis-based treatments.
It’s important to note that both kratom and cannabis can have potential risks and side effects, and their use should be approached with caution. Kratom may lead to dependence and withdrawal symptoms, and its long-term effects are not yet well understood. Cannabis, especially THC-rich strains, may cause cognitive impairment, addiction, and other adverse effects. It’s crucial to gather accurate information, consult healthcare professionals, and adhere to local laws and regulations when considering the use of these substances.