Kava bars have become increasingly popular in the U.S., with thousands of people flocking to these establishments across the country to enjoy a relaxing drink of kava. But many kava bars don’t only sell bilos of kava grog. They also sell kratom, another plant-based drink. Unlike kava, which is nonaddictive in nature, kratom has addictive properties and produces a mild buzz when consumed. Kratom is barely regulated by the federal government but is legal in most US states, and many kava bars cite kratom sales as a driving force behind their kava business’s success. The American Kratom Association states that there are an estimated 15 million kratom consumers in the United States, contributing $1.5 billion to the US market.
While kratom has fueled many kava bars’ profits, the consumption of kratom is something that should be taken seriously. Kratom has undergone increasing scrutiny for its potential to produce adverse health effects, some leading to death. Many assert that the plant needs to be restricted or, at the very least, regulated: we agree.
In a recent Bloomberg article, Kalm with Kava CEO Morgan Smith addresses the tense relationship between kava and kratom in the kava industry. He explains that kratom is often sold alongside kava bars in the United States, which can confuse the general public who are unaware of kratom’s addictive nature. Kratom hides behind the relaxing, health-focused nature of kava. “When I walk into a kava bar, I say, ‘what’s the best thing you got?’” Smith says. “And 90% of the time, the bartender will say, ‘Oh, we’ve got this great stuff called kratom.’”
When people visit a kava bar, they are expecting to sip kava, which is non-addictive and can help support a sober living lifestyle. However, if someone is offered kratom alongside kava in a bar, they may not know the difference between the two. The unaware kava bar visitor could end up choosing a substance that can cause dependency, the exact opposite of kava’s effects.
Though there is disagreement between interested parties on whether or not kratom should be regulated, professor Oliver Grundmann, who has studied kratom for nearly a decade, says the negative effects of kratom in low doses are “tolerable and typically result in mild, preventable stomach problems. But more concentrated forms are associated with addiction, liver and cardiovascular toxicity.” Unlike kratom, kava is not addictive and is a beverage many people turn to relax and unwind without the risk of becoming dependent. When consumed safely, kava can help support relaxation goals and promote a lifestyle free from addictive substances.
For the full story, visit the Bloomberg article here.
Curious about the Difference between Kava vs Kratom?
Check out how these two plant-based beverages differ and why we love the non addictive relaxation effects of kava. Visit the link below to learn more—bula!