The Similarities between Coffee and Kratom
Are Kratom and Coffee Related?
Both coffee and kratom belong to a botanical family of flowering plants commonly known as Rubiaceae. The Rubiaceae family consists mostly of herbs, shrubs, and terrestrial trees and is the fifth largest flowering plant family with over 13150 species and consisting of 611 genera spread globally mostly in warmer climates.
This includes the Kratom tree also known as Mitragyna speciosa and the coffee tree which belongs to the genus, Coffea. The genus Coffea consists of approximately 125 species but only two members of the genus supply most of the world’s coffee consumption. Namely, the Coffea arabica and C. canephora. As you can see, both Kratom and coffee are members of the same family.
Both Coffee and Kratom are Addictive
Both coffee and Kratom have been used for years for recreational purposes. However, they can be addictive to users due to their stimulating effects. While some users feel that Kratom is more addictive due to its opiate like qualities leading to dependency, research indicates that caffeine is equally addictive.
For instance, more people consume coffee on a daily basis whether at home, in the workplace, while driving, or even on a date. The beverage is also consumed to enhance the flavor of ice cream and other foods. This easily leads to dependency and eventually the user develops some tolerance levels.
Both Coffee and Kratom Have a Bitter Taste
Although both Kratom and coffee do share some similarities, they do not taste the same as some sources perceive. One thing that stands out, however, is that both have a bitter, nearly earthy taste. In most cases, coffee is recognizable by its dark color and roasted flavor.
Kratom on the other hand has a very earthy aroma similar to that of green tea. Some users have referred to it as having a pungent aroma that’s not offensive. However, this is dependent on the strain in question and the quality of the powder.
That said, drinking coffee or Kratom can be hard on some people and that’s why most people prefer to mix coffee with milk or Kratom with other beverages to mask the bitterness. To further mask the smell of Kratom, users who are irritated by its smell can take Kratom capsules.
Both Coffee and Kratom Have Stimulating Effects
Both coffee and Kratom have the ability to stimulate the body when ingested among other effects. This is because they both contain alkaloids. These are naturally occurring compounds made by plants that are composed of nitrogen.
Coffee for instance contains caffeine, a purine alkaloid that is responsible for the stimulation of the central nervous system and the bitterness in coffee. Caffeine is known to restore mental alertness and reduce physical fatigue.
Kratom on the other hand boasts of over 40 alkaloids, with mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine being the most predominant ones. Based on anecdotal research, these two indole alkaloids are responsible for Kratom’s range of effects that include stimulation, pain relief, alertness, sociability, and increased mood among others.
Both Coffee and Kratom Help in Alleviating Stress and Anxiety
Neither Kratom nor Coffee are the exact treatments for anxiety and depression. However, as humans we instinctively look for ways to lessen the effects of stress and most times we instinctively find ourselves self-medicating.
According to epidemiological studies, individuals who experience repeated stress are more likely to increase their intake of caffeine. This high intake of caffeine has been linked to decreasing the risks of depression and suicide.
In a study conducted among more than 50K nurses by the Harvard Medical School researchers, it was found that the nurses who resorted to taking more than two cups of coffee every day had lower chances of getting depressed.
But how is this possible? Well, studies suggest that when you take coffee, the caffeine triggers an increase in the levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. This in part helps release stress, anxiety, and other illnesses that are caused by low levels of dopamine in the brain such as the Parkinson’s disease.
Kratom on the other hand helps relieve stress and anxiety through the action of the active ingredient, mitragynine. This alkaloid works in a similar way just like opioids do although it’s technically not an opioid. In short it works by binding itself to the opioid receptors in the brain. This action is thought to have pain relieving, anti-anxiety, and antidepressant effects.
The Difference between Coffee and Kratom
Beyond their shared taxonomy and side effects, both coffee and kratom share some significant differences. These include:
Varieties of Coffee and Kratom
As aforementioned, the genus Coffea consists of over 120 species. Out of these, only 2 species contribute to the worlds coffee needs and they include Coffea arabica and C. canephora (Robusta). One thing about all these species is that they are all stimulants.
On the other hand, Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is different from coffee. For one, Kratom strains are categorized depending on the color of the leaf vein which is determined by the time of harvest. The three major kratom strains include White Vein Kratom, Green Vein Kratom, and Red Vein Kratom.
The White Vein Kratom is obtained from the youngest leaves while the Green Vein Kratom is obtained from Kratom tree leaves that are in their mid-lifecycle. Red Vein Kratom on the other hand is obtained from mature leaves. Note that each vein/strain is responsible for different effects.
Forms of Coffee and Kratom
Notably both kratom and coffee come in various forms. For instance, coffee is available in whole beans and pre-ground beans from which you can brew your coffee. After harvest, these beans are normally roasted to support various flavor profiles that you enjoy.
When it comes to kratom, one of the main points worth noting is that it’s available in a lot more forms than coffee. For one, it’s the kratom leaves that are cultivated for use unlike coffee which is cultivated for its beans.
That said, kratom leaves can be consumed while fresh by chewing or drying and crushing them to create powder that you can brew or mix with coffee to make Kratom coffee. Kratom can also be consumed in the form of capsules or extracts.
Capsules are a great choice for users who do not want to keep measuring their dosages as well as those who are not big fans of Kratom’s flavor.
When it comes to effects, Kratom is reported to have more profound and noticeable effects as compared to caffeine. Typically, both Kratom and caffeine effects can be detected 30 to 45 minutes after ingestion.
For most people, the effects of Kratom can peak for 2 hours and the effects can last up to 8 hours. On the other hand, the peak effects of caffeine can be detected within the first 2 hours and the mild effects can last anywhere between 4 to 6 hours.
Note however that how long the effects last is highly dependent on dosage. The higher the dosage the longer the effects.
The Legality of Kratom and Coffee
By law, coffee is the only truly potentially addictive drug that is not illegal to drink in any country. On the other hand, Kratom is illegal in most countries such as Denmark, Romania, Finland, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Japan, Singapore and many others.
In the United States, Kratom is technically legal and is not regulated by the federal government. However, some states such as Wisconsin, Alabama, Vermont, Indiana, Arkansas, and Rhode Island have passes laws that make it illegal to use, possess, sell or buy Kratom.
In the rest of the states, its legality comes with some restrictions. For example in the state of Illinois, kratom is legal to use provided you are above the legal age. As such, you need to understand the legality of Kratom in your state, county, or municipality before you use, buy, sell, or possess.
Can You Consume Caffeine and Kratom Together?
Yes you can take caffeine and kratom together with care or decide to use one individually or replace one for the other. That said, most kratomites like their Kratom powder added to coffee to make a perfect blend of caffeine and Kratom or what is commonly referred to as Kratom coffee.
Kratom coffee has been reported to yield some unique benefits as well as increase the long-term effects associated with caffeine such as alertness and focus which is especially beneficial to heavy coffee users who intend to cut down on their caffeine intake.
What’s more, both caffeine and kratom have the tendency to lift up your energy levels which reduces fatigue as well as boost your mood. So combining them gives an even stronger effect.
Note however that we cannot draw any definitive conclusions into this subject because more research is needed to understand the interactions of these two products.
Negative Side Effects Combining Caffeine and Kratom
While there is a lot to be derived from consuming caffeine and kratom together, one thing that’s certain is the likelihood of suffering the negative side effects of both. Here’s how caffeine and Kratom can endanger the user.
Kratom Coffee Overdose
Kratom, when used in small amounts has stimulant like effects. Caffeine on the other hand is a stimulant. This means that consuming either kratom or coffee in higher proportions can result into anxiety, nausea, sweating, or palpitations of the heart. These side effects are normally temporary.
However, when Kratom and caffeine are consumed together and in higher than tolerable amounts, these side effects could become severe. As such, users who are only getting started with kratom coffee should start with small doses and increase the dosage gradually as they monitor their body’s reaction to the combo.
In particular, people with heart disease or hypertension should avoid Kratom coffee as they can make the symptoms more profound.
Mitraphylline, one of the active alkaloids found in the leaves of Mitragyna speciosa together with caffeine, the active alkaloid in coffee are both diuretics. This means that they both promote diuresis or the increased production of urine (salt and water) from your body.
This increased release of water and salt from the body can cause dehydration if the lost water is not replenished which can cause fatigue, confusion, and dizziness. At times excessive dehydration can lead to hospitalization.
While caffeine doesn’t cause so much dehydration, when mixed with Kratom, it can cause lead to diuresis. As such, you need to ensure that you take enough water after taking in your dose of kratom coffee.
Both kratom and coffee have the potential to cause addition. People who consume either of the substances regularly have the tendency to develop some form of dependency. This leads to withdrawal side effects when usage is stopped. Some notable side effects of kratom coffee withdrawal include:
- Focusing troubles
As you can see, kratom and coffee should only be used together in moderation as continued usage of both can resort to dependency. If you have to suddenly stop to use kratom coffee, the best thing is to stop using one product at a time. Abrupt withdrawal from kratom coffee can lead to intolerable withdrawal effects.
How to Mix Kratom and Coffee
Here are some tips on how to effectively mix kratom and coffee.
- Before doing anything else ensure that your Kratom as well as your coffee is fresh and of high quality. Typically, fresh and high quality kratom has an earthy strong aroma similar to that of green tea. Fresh coffee on the other hand will whif lightly caramelized and almost nutty.
- To ensure that you do not kill the alkaloids in both Kratom and coffee, ensure that your water is brewed at between the temperature ranges of 190 and 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
That said, here are a number of ways you can make an ideal mixture of kratom coffee.
- Brew a cup of coffee and add kratom powder then mix
- Brew Kratom tea and add coffee
- Combine coffee grounds with kratom powder and brew them together
- Take kratom (in whatever form including capsules) and then drink a cup of coffee
Which Kratom Strains Are Most Effective With Coffee?
As mentioned earlier, Kratom coffee can yield unique benefits. However, finding the perfect strain of kratom to mix with coffee can take a little trialing.
That said, the most common kratom strains that go well with caffeine are the “moderate” and “fast” strains. These are typically the white vein and green vein kratom strains.
The White Vein varieties are known for their energizing properties a property also associated with caffeine intake. Here are the most common white veins that you can use with coffee.
- White Thai Kratom: In comparison to other Kratom strains, White vein Indo has less discomfort relieving properties and is overly stimulating.
- White Vein Borneo: Often compared to coffee, this particular white vein helps with alertness and focus. It’s referred to as a daytime strain.
- White Indo Kratom: This strain is one of the best when it comes to providing a mild boost and relief from discomforts.
- White Vein Kali: As one of the most energizing white strains, white vein kali makes a perfect combo with coffee.
Green Veined Kratom strains are known for their ability to boost energy as well as provide relief from physical discomfort. The three green vein strains of kratom that you can use together with coffee include:
- Green Vein Indo: Thanks to its balanced alkaloid profile, this particular strain offers balanced qualities of energy, relaxation, and discomfort relief.
- Green Vein Kali: Unlike Green Vein Indo, this strain is highly stimulating and highly potent.
- Green Vein Malay: Like most green veins, this particular strain is known for its energizing and mood uplifting effects.
Mixing Kratom and Coffee: The Final Verdict
When used together and in moderate amounts, the coffee kratom duo can be a powerful combo that can aid in staving off fatigue, aid in focus and alertness, and help in boosting your mood.
But like all super-heroic duos, the Kratom coffee blend has its downside. If used heavily and without control, this botanical blend can lead to addiction and even overdose, which can quickly overshadow the combo’s usefulness.
So if you want to enjoy kratom coffee, start small and slowly build up until you find your sweet spot. Just make sure you use it responsibly.