Mitragyna Javanica vs. Kratom: The Differences Between

Mitragyna Javanica vs. Kratom

Last updated on January 19th, 2024 at 01:30 pm

In recent years, a new plant in the same family as kratom, named Mitragyna javanica has emerged on the supplement scene and within online kratom communities. Some vendors have begun selling Mitragyna javanica powder and making claims that it represents a legal, superior alternative to traditional kratom.

But is there any truth to these assertions? Here we’ll examine what is known about M. javanica in comparison to standard kratom to unravel fact from fiction surrounding this exotic newcomer.

What Is Mitragyna Javanica?

Mitragyna javanica, also known as Sunda kratom or Thai kratom, is a tree in the Rubiaceae family native to Southeast Asian jungles, much like the standard Mitragyna speciosa kratom plant. It thrives in similar hot, humid environments in regions of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.

Like kratom, Mitragyna javanica has also been used in traditional medicine by indigenous peoples, suggesting it may contain stimulating and analgesic biochemical compounds. However, modern research on M. javanica lags far behind established kratom science. Very little is conclusively known about its effects and safety in humans.

What Is Kratom?

In contrast, Kratom in Southeast Asia Traditions Trends reveals that Mitragyna speciosa and its main active alkaloids have been extensively studied. Kratom refers to the dried, crushed leaves of the Mitragyna speciosa tree, native to Southeast Asia. Kratom leaves have been used traditionally as a stimulant, sedative, and pain reliever.

The leaves contain dozens of active compounds, most notably mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, which interact with opioid receptors to produce kratom’s effects. Contemporary research has revealed kratom’s potential as an alternative pain medication, its opioid-like effects, and its activity on serotonin and dopamine neurotransmitter systems related to mood. While still requiring further study, kratom’s usage, risks, and benefits have been delineated far more substantially than Mitragyna javanica.

Is Mitragyna Javanica The New Special Kratom?

In recent years, some kratom vendors have begun importing and supplying Mitragyna javanica leaves, Kratom powders, and extracts. M. javanica products have been marketed under names like “wild kratom” or “Thai kratom.” Enthusiastic claims about M. javanica’s superior effects and legality have accompanied its introduction to Western markets.

However, these assertions about Mitragyna javanica being a radically different, “better” new kratom offering stand on shaky ground currently as research is sparse. There is no well-controlled data yet showing that Mitragyna javanica acts any differently or provides unique benefits beyond traditional kratom.

Much more investigation is needed to substantiate any vendor claims about M. javanica’s performance and pharmacology in humans.

The Key Differences Between Kratom And Mitragyna Javanica

Given the limited formal research on Mitragyna javanica’s effects in humans, most comparisons to standard kratom at this stage are speculative. But here are some known key differences:

Available Research

Kratom has been extensively studied for almost 200 years. Primary, active alkaloids are well documented. Clear data on pharmacology, dosage, and side effects risks in humans.

Mitragyna Javanica: minimal formal research. Little is documented on the alkaloid profile, bioactivity, or appropriate dosage. No human trials. The effects and risks are largely uncharacterized.

US Legality

Kratom is currently legal at the federal level but banned in some states and municipalities. Grey legal status complicates regulation. Mitragyna Javanica: Unscheduled by the DEA or FDA. Federally legal, but risks exist of local bans due to association with kratom.

Alkaloids Content  

Kratom is rich in well-studied alkaloids like mitragynine, 7-OH, and over 25 others. Alkaloid concentrations depend on strain and season. Mitragyna Javanica: Unclear alkaloid profile. Preliminary research suggests different or missing alkaloids versus kratom, but this requires confirmation.


Kratom effects are clearly dose-dependent. Stimulation at low doses, analgesia, and sedation at higher doses. Individual reactions vary. Mitragyna Javanica – Anecdotal reports suggest comparable or mildly weaker potency to kratom, but bioassays are limited. Dosage guidance and LD50 unknown.  

Vendor Price, Availability, and Quality

Kratom – Widely available online and in stores. Mass importing keeps prices low. Quality assurance testing common among reputable vendors. Mitragyna Javanica – Rarer and sold by few vendors currently. Priced higher than kratom. Few or no quality controls reported by sellers as of yet. 


Kratom – Banned in 7 states and a few local jurisdictions. Some age restrictions were enacted. Regulatory status in flux nationally. Mitragyna Javanica – Federally legal and unregulated thus far. But risks remain high of regulatory scrutiny and bans because of the kratom association.

Research is in early stages, but the dearth of human data on Mitragyna javanica’s effects compared to kratom’s long documented history is stark. Much more investigation is required before claims of superiority or radical difference can be substantiated.

Which is Right for You?

Given the uncertainties around Mitragyna javanica currently, most consumers are advised to exercise caution and moderation with this unfamiliar supplement. Kratom remains the better-understood option for those seeking an herbal analgesic or mild stimulant.

However, intrepid early adopters who understand the risks may find value in carefully exploring M. javanica’s effects at low dosages while we await further study. This group may include:

  • Kratom enthusiasts are curious to compare M. javanica’s nuanced properties firsthand with proper precautions.
  • Those unable to access kratom legally who wish to evaluate a still-unrestricted relative.
  • Anyone for whom regulated commercial kratom has lost efficacy or become intolerable, necessitating trying different options.

With sparse human safety data, Mitragyna javanica cannot yet be recommended casually or to the general public. But the adventurous may prudently use this window awaiting regulation to probe M. javanica’s effects through meticulous daily journaling.

If you proceed, start very low with the dosage and monitor bodily reactions closely. And understand that risks are greater with such an understudied substance.

Is Javanica A Threat To Kratom?

Some kratom advocates have raised concerns that Mitragyna javanica and exaggerated vendor claims could increase risks of regulatory scrutiny toward kratom. A few reasons underlie this fear:

  • Lobbyists may confuse or conflate the two plants as one and the same, leading to misinformed policy decisions. Clear distinguishing is imperative.
  • Hyperbolic vendor marketing of M. javanica’s benefits despite inadequate research could bring added negative attention from regulators.
  • If potential risks or harms from M. javanica emerge, kratom could face guilt by association as a kratom-like substance.

However, others argue Mitragyna javanica offers potential benefits for kratom. For instance:

  • It may extend options for those who cannot legally obtain kratom if handled prudently.
  • Research could uncover new alkaloids and therapeutic potentials beneficial to the overall plant family.
  • Differentiating the two botanicals may further highlight kratom’s extensive human safety data in comparison.

The verdict remains on whether emerging Mitragyna javanica poses any real threat to kratom’s stability. As with kratom initially, moderate, responsible use combined with further research is the judicious path forward. Only through rigorous study of M. javanica’s bioactive compounds, pharmacology, and risks in humans can its benefits or dangers be definitively ascertained in coming years.

In Closing

The arrival of Mitragyna javanica, a relatively unknown botanical cousin of kratom, has generated both excitement and caution within the kratom community. While vendors praise its purported superior effects and currently legal federal status, a lack of human research precludes confirming any claims that M. javanica acts significantly differently than standard kratom at this stage.

Prudent supplement consumers understand that unprecedented statements about any new herbal product’s benefits demand substantiating evidence before acceptance. Therefore, skepticism remains warranted until controlled human studies on M. javanica’s alkaloid content, bioactivities, effective dosage, and side effect risks are conducted and published to illuminate this exotic newcomer.

In the interim, the intrepid among the kratom-curious may cautiously probe Mitragyna javanica’s effects at very low doses while judiciously recording their bodily and mental reactions as exploratory pioneers. However, both experienced kratom users and novices are advised to gravitate to reliably sourced traditional kratom until more Mitragyna javanica safety data emerges.

Through patient, rigorous research rather than marketing hype, the potential value or risks of Mitragyna javanica will reveal themselves more objectively in due time. But for now, we echo the concerns of kratom advocates and researchers urging prudence and moderation with any unknown, understudied herbal supplement claiming to be the next new wave.


Is Mitragyna javanica legal? 

Currently Mitragyna javanica remains federally legal and unregulated by the DEA or FDA. However, lack of safety data and association with kratom may lead to future federal or state bans. Legality status could quickly change.

What are the effects of Mitragyna javanica?

With almost no formal human studies, Mitragyna javanica’s effects are largely unknown beyond anecdotal reports of kratom-like stimulation and pain relief. Desired effects, dosing, toxicity, and addiction potential remain completely uncharacterized scientifically thus far.

Can you get high off Mitragyna javanica?

There are anecdotal claims of Mitragyna javanica providing a “high” like kratom but no controlled data on its psychoactive potency or dependence risks. Legal alternatives like kratom deserve thorough safety vetting before recreational use given potential for harm.

Is Mitragyna javanica an opiate? 

No scientific studies have yet examined whether Mitragyna javanica acts on opioid receptors as kratom does. Anecdotal experiences of it having opiate-like effects require confirmation. Research would be needed to determine if it has intrinsic addictive properties.

Is Mitragyna javanica safe?

The safety of Mitragyna javanica in humans is entirely unknown currently. No large scale studies or toxicity testing has been conducted to date. Responsible users should assume risks and start very low with dosage until more data emerges clarifying its effects.

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