As the health and wellness industry continues to grow and an increasing number of people seek information about traditional medicines, we often find that people want to know how Kratom compares to other plant-based, alkaloid supplements.
One of the most common lines of inquiry is how Kratom differs from Akuamma. To help clear up some of the confusion regarding Kratom vs Akuamma, we are going to take a closer look at both substances.
Much like our Kratom vs Kava post, we will explain where they come from, how people use them, and the effects they have. By looking at their similarities and differences, you will be able to tell them apart and determine if either substance can help you.
So, What Exactly is Akuamma?
Given that you probably have an understanding of what Kratom is, we will start by quickly explaining what Akuamma is and what it is used for.
Just like Kratom, Akuamma is a natural plant product that is almost always sold in the form of a dried powder. Where Kratom supplements are derived from the dried leaves of the Mitragyna Speciosa trees of Southeast Asia, Akuamma powders come from the dried and crushed seeds of the Picralima Nitida plant.
Where Kratom trees are massive and can grow as tall as 80 feet when they reach full maturity, Akuamma trees are much lower to the ground and almost have a shrub-like appearance while they are growing.
Where Does Akuamma Come From?
Where Kratom grows in the hot and humid tropical climates of countries in Southeast Asia, like Thailand, Indonesia, and Papa New Guinea, Akuamma trees are found in the tropical regions of Western Africa.
Just as Kratom has been used for thousands of years as traditional medicine, Akuamma powder has a long history of being used for folk medicine and ceremonial purposes. All along what is now modern-day Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Zaire, people have used Akuamma for centuries.
What is Akuamma Used for and How is it Harvested?
While there are various uses for the fruits, bark, and roots of the Akuamma plant, the seeds attract the most interest.
When the Akuamma fruits reach peak ripeness, they are harvested, and the seeds are extracted and dried in the sun. While people sometimes chew them whole, the seeds are more commonly dried and ground similar to the leaves of the Kratom tree.
Since the seeds are the part of the plant with the highest concentration of alkaloids, they have the highest medicinal and therapeutic value. Traditionally, the dried and ground seeds were used to treat fevers, intestinal worms, diarrhea, and other health issues related to the digestive system.
Today, dried and powdered Akuamma seeds are popular because people believe that consuming these supplements can have many mental and physical benefits.
Akuamma vs. Kratom
Now that you know more about Akuamma, we can begin comparing it to Kratom. We will start by explaining some of the similarities between the two substances, which will help you understand both a little bit better.
Despite the fact they originate from very different parts of the world, Kratom and Akuamma have the following similarities:
- Unique Alkaloid Content – Both Kratom and Akuamma contain unique alkaloids known to interact with the opioid receptors in the human brain. Where Kratom contains mitragynine and 7-hydroxy mitragynine, Akuamma contains akuammine. The ways these rare alkaloids interact with the brain is what gives the two substances their pain-killing effects.
- Derived from Natural Sources – Both substances are derived from natural sources and require little refinement. Other supplements must be refined and are heavily processed, sometimes with harmful chemicals, but Akuamma seeds and Kratom leaves are typically just dried and ground.
- Powdered Form – Both Akuamma and Kratom are almost always delivered in powdered form. While the leaves and bark of both trees are sometimes chewed, it is their powdered forms that are undoubtedly the most popular. Dried powders of both compounds are also offered in gel capsules, making it easier to properly dose either substance.
- Mental and Physical Benefits – Kratom and Akuamma are both sought after for their unique effects on the human body. While those effects differ, both substances are said to have anti-inflammatory effects and other pain-relief benefits. Both supplements are also taken for therapeutic and recreational purposes due to their calming, anti-anxiety effects.
- Legal Standing – Neither Akuamma nor Kratom are regulated at the federal level in the United States. Essentially, this means that both Akuamma and Kratom are legal; however, it is worth noting that states can have their laws regarding either substance. For example, Kratom is listed as an illegal substance at the state level in Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin. Since attitudes are always changing, it is worth keeping an eye on the legal status of both compounds in your home state.
Now that you understand how Akuamma and Kratom are alike, we can explore some of their differences.
- The Ways the Alkaloids Interact with Opioid Receptors – While both Akuamma seeds and Kratom leaves contain high levels of unique alkaloids, the way these alkaloids interact with the opioid receptors in our brains differs. Studies have shown that akuammine and other Akuamma alkaloids, like akuammicine and alstonine, have weaker interactions with brain receptors than Kratom alkaloids. In simple terms, this means that the effects of Akuamma seed powder are weaker than those caused by Kratom, which partially explains why Kratom is the more popular supplement.
- Pain Relief Properties – While both herbs are used to relieve pain, there are doubts about how effective the analgesic properties are for Akuamma. On the other hand, Kratom use can help with the management of pain. Again, this is partially due to the different alkaloid contents.
- The Part of the Plant That is Used – Kratom supplements are nearly always derived from the leaves of the Kratom tree. On the other hand, most Akuamma supplements come from the seeds contained within the fruit of the Akuamma tree. Since the seeds are only present during a particular phase of the growing season, they are more difficult to access, and their harvest requires significantly more effort. For these reasons, Kratom harvests are less expensive, which means the supplements are usually far less expensive.
- Different Strains – Since Akuamma supplements are sourced from seeds, there is little variation between one Akuamma supplement and another. However, with Kratom, powders can be sourced from leaves at different periods of maturity. There are also different strains, which means Kratom users have more options. With Kratom, different strains are intentionally grown and harvested because they produce specific effects.
Important Note: Both Substances are Dosage Dependant
Before you consider taking Akuamma or Kratom powder, it is worth noting that both substances are very dose-dependent, meaning that the amount you take of either substance will heavily determine how it affects your mind and body. This dosing is why pre-measured capsules are so popular.
It is also worth noting that most people find that Kratom is much easier to dose properly and create a customized experience. Since Kratom is more popular, there are generally greater levels of quality control in Kratom supplements when compared to Akuamma supplements.
The fact that consumers also have the option to purchase specific strains of Kratom helps create specific experiences. Where Akuamma supplements are generally less precise, Kratom supplements are reliable and available in specific strains.
How are Kratom and Akuamma Taken?
While they have their differences, Akuamma seed powder and Kratom powder are usually taken in the same way. Most people will take the powders simply washed down with water, or create a tea they can drink. As mentioned above, they are also available in capsule form, which helps with dosing.
In countries where the two trees are grown, it is not unusual to see a wider variety of supplements. Some of these supplements use the bark and roots of the trees rather than just the seeds and leaves.
You will also find products of both served more openly in these countries. You can even find bars and restaurants that will serve either supplements as a hot tea, cold smoothie, or as an ingredient in solid foods.
Before you take either substance, it is worth doing more research on Akuamma as well as Kratom. While the two plants and supplements share many similarities, they can affect the brain and body differently and can have side effects with overuse.
While there is overlap in how the two substances are taken and harvested, it does not mean they are the same. Both plants provide benefits for pain relief and relaxation, but it is generally much easier to customize the effects by choosing specific Kratom strains.
No matter which you choose, always purchase from a reputable vendor and practice dose control, as this is the best way to ensure a positive and enjoyable experience.
Founder of Kratom IQ; a self-improvement junkie and Kratom enthusiast. I started this website in 2015 to help people avoid the common pitfalls and mistakes with Mitragyna Speciosa, and ultimately get the most out of this amazing plant. Learn More…