Kratom Vs Marijuana: What’s the Difference?

When people ask what the difference is between kratom and marijuana, there is also a second question they are usually wondering. Namely, is it better than cannabis in terms of the effects and benefits.

And what about the pitfalls of using kratom and marijuana? Is taking one going to be more beneficial and have less downside?

It’s not a simple subject because the two “drugs” are different in terms of consumption, effect and legality. It’s like asking: “Which is better, oranges or apples?” Asking if one is “better” is not a good question.

But what we can do is lay out the differences, the benefits and pitfalls, the ups and the downs, and importantly the legality, so that you can make an informed decision.

Difference In How Kratom And Marijuana Are Used

Kratom has been used for centuries to ease pain, deal with low mood and increase cognitive abilities. At higher doses it can have numbing and fogging effects, but generally it’s use is positive.

This is also the case with marijuana, however the difference is that marijuana on the other hand creates a lack of clarity. It calms, blurs and lessens responses.

It gives you a sense of peace and makes you want to chill out, it does not increase your cognitive abilities. It does however help with pain relief, which is why a lot of people advocate it for conditions such as arthritis and even multiple sclerosis.

So it depends on the dose, and especially with kratom, the strain, but although the general effects can be very different, there are definitely crossovers between using these two drugs.

In terms of use, overwhelmingly kratom is taken orally in liquid, while cannabis is mostly smoked. Again this makes a difference because kratom is easier to take, and less invasive, but in terms of a pleasant and indulgent user experience, it is less so to just swig a drink.

kratom juice

Kratom Vs Marijuana: The Effects

Kratom delivers its effects through to alkaloids, 7-hydroxymitragynine and mitragynine. These alkaloids deaden certain receptors in our brains, lessening pain signals. At low doses this can significantly lessen moderate pain within around an hour.

Marijuana has lots of different alkaloids in it, depending on the strain, but generally the main one is THC. THC can lessen the bodies response to pain through not only affecting the receptors, and also through creating a general disassociation between the mind and body.

An effective dose of kratom delivers the following effects:

  • Lowers anxiety
  • Increases productivity
  • Improves focus
  • Feeling of sedation
  • Lessening of pain

Onset of these effects occur within around an hour after ingestion. So kratom is not an instant relief from pain. This is slightly different to cannabis, where pain relief can be felt within as little as 5 minutes.

In terms of the effects of cannabis:

  • An easing of pain
  • A feeling of disassociation from surroundings
  • A feeling of relaxation
  • A feeling of falling
  • Less in touch with time and space
  • A lessening of cognitive functions

Which Is Better For Pain Relief?

This is another apples and oranges question, because as you now know the effects of kratom and marijuana are different even though they can produce broadly similar pain relief benefits.

The problem with answering this question is also the fact that kratom comes in different strains, which have different effects. On top of this, the dose makes more difference with kratom as well.

The most recommended kratom strain for pain relief is usually a red vein Bali. Occasionally Borneo or Indo kratom.  At lower doses these strains have significant pain relief effects, while also retaining cognitive function. At higher doses they have the ability to almost completely remove pain, but at the cost of retaining sharpness.

Higher doses can create a far more varied and dramatic response and this is where kratom use is less certain.

Cannabis is well known for its pain relief effects. But even one joint can lower cognitive response and make the user obviously under the influence and unable to function normally.

So it’s a difficult question, but generally low to moderate dose of kratom will have a decent effect on pain while retaining a higher degree of cognitive stability than using weed.

Marijuana for pain relief

Which Is Most Beneficial For Anxiety & Wellbeing?

Both kratom and marijuana have been proven to help with anxiety and wellbeing, at least in the immediate moment.

At lower doses, kratom relieves pain and increases focus, allowing you to get on and not dwell on things. Marijuana relieves pain but basically lets you relax, and drop out so you don’t focus on your anxiety.

You simply smoke it and you can’t really overdose on it. Although a kratom overdose won’t have any significant bad effects, a higher dose can leave you unable to function almost at all for a few hours.

So you don’t have to be as careful with cannabis consumption as you do with kratom, however the correct dose can have the same benefits without the negative side effects of marijuana.

The other downside with marijuana is that there is no link so far with kratom use creating or enhancing anxiety. This is not the case for marijuana, where it is scientifically proven that some people can develop anxiety and paranoia through smoking it, especially the more powerful modern marijuana resins where the THC content can reach 7% (the average a few years ago was just 4%).

Kratom vs weed

Legal Status & Drug Testing

Although kratom is scheduled in some states and countries, it is basically almost universally available, but its important to purchase it from trusted Kratom vendors.

Although cannabis is legalized in some countries and American States, it is mostly not legal.

In terms of drug testing, no commercial lab drug testing for employment or the prison service test for kratom at this time. This is not the case for cannabis, where the active ingredient THC is tested in all commercial lab tests.

So of its legality that worries you then kratom wins hands down, even in states or countries where marijuana is legal. Just because it’s legal it doesn’t mean that an employer or the court service would be okay with it.

The conclusion really is that they can both be very beneficial, but for moderate pain relief and legality, then kratom is certainly something you should consider trying before routinely smoking cannabis for the relief of pain and anxiety.


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