What is a Kratom Bar

What is a Kratom Bar?

In the evolving landscape of alternative medicine and wellness, Kratom has emerged from Southeast Asia's ancient traditions to claim its spot in the Western world's quest for herbal remedies. This botanical substance, derived from the Mitragyna Speciosa tree, brings with it a plethora of uses that span the spectrum of human wellness needs. Its arrival in the United States has sparked both interest and debate, leading to the rise of unique establishments known as Kratom Bars. These venues offer a novel experience centered around the communal and individual exploration of Kratom's potential. Before delving into what exactly a Kratom Bar is, it's essential to understand the substance at the heart of this phenomenon: Kratom itself.

 


What Exactly is a Kratom Bar?

Kratom Bars, emerging as a novel concept in the U.S., provide a social space akin to traditional bars but focus on serving Kratom-infused beverages instead of alcohol. These establishments, sometimes ambiguously named Kava Bars, aim to foster a community around the botanical interests, offering a tranquil atmosphere for enjoying herbal teas and other Kratom-based concoctions. The menu at a Kratom Bar might include a variety of options like Kratom, coffee, tea, and kombucha, along with other botanical drinks such as kava root and kanna.

The market today sees three types of Kratom Bars:

  • The hyper-responsible Kratom Bar (or Kava Bar) focuses on educating customers about Kratom's uses and its addictive potential, ensuring informed choices.
  • The mid-range Kratom Bar generally provides good information but may not delve as deeply into education on Kratom's effects and risks.
  • The irresponsible Kratom Bar tends to market Kratom aggressively without sufficient emphasis on its potential for addiction, aiming to capitalize on repeat business.

Finding a Kratom Bar involves a mix of online searches and community engagement, bearing in mind the legal status of Kratom in your area. This new trend highlights a growing interest in herbal remedies and the importance of informed, responsible consumption within the botanical community.

  

A Brief Overview of Kratom and Its Uses

Kratom has been a fixture in Southeast Asian traditional medicine for centuries. Kratom only recently became popular in the U.S. It originates from the Mitragyna Speciosa tree, a large evergreen native to that region. Locals have long used Kratom for various medicinal purposes.

Kratom is notable for its numerous benefits. The leaves contain active alkaloids responsible for its effects. Various strains of Kratom, such as red, green, white, and yellow veins, offer different alkaloid profiles and benefits. These range from energy and focus to relaxation, pain relief, positive mood, and better sleep.

Red Vein Kratom: People often seek out red vein strains for their renowned calming properties. Use them to alleviate pain and improve sleep. Ideal for evening use, they help promote relaxation and can aid in managing anxiety.

White Vein Kratom: White strains are the go-to for those needing a boost in energy and concentration. Comparable to a strong cup of coffee, white vein kratom is best enjoyed during the day to enhance productivity and focus.

Green Vein Kratom: Striking a balance between the previous veins mentioned, green vein strains offer moderate energy enhancement and relaxation. They are perfect for those seeking a mild mood lift without significant stimulation or sedation.

Yellow Vein Kratom: Not as commonly discussed, yellow vein kratom is another intriguing option. The leaves are dried and treated in a special process to blend different strains. Yellow vein strains produce effects that sit between the energizing white and the relaxing red and are known for their balanced impact.

Often associated with enhanced mood and a balanced energy boost, they are an excellent choice for those seeking a unique balance of kratom's effects.

Use Kratom Responsibly

While kratom is popular, it’s important to note that it has a physically addictive nature. It has gained popularity in the South Pacific and South Asia as a cost-effective alternative to opium. While it does not contain opium, it works on the same receptors, which is what makes it highly addictive.

Kratom has helped countless people kick alcohol to the curb and manage addictions in a much less dangerous way than some alternatives. That said, promoting responsible use and understanding the potential for abuse is essential for maintaining healthy kratom as well as the overall health of the industry. 

Regarding the Legality of Kratom

Kratom's legality varies across the United States, with some states and local counties imposing restrictions. Currently, six states have outlawed Kratom and many related lawsuits have been filed regarding its alleged abuse.

Given its rising popularity, there is hope for increased research funding to study Kratom and its advantages when its use is under control. More research could help highlight its therapeutic qualities and present Kratom in a new, positive light.

The stance at Art of Kava is that Kratom may be a better alternative to alcohol, tobacco and recreational drug use. This is highly dependant on how responsible and knowledgable the user is while taking it.

We do not and will not buy or sell kratom due to its continued legal issues.

We are herbalists first, so we believe this is a useful herb when used responsibly.

Kava and Kratom aren't at all alike, however the communities tend to have a lot in common. Most of us are taking these two herbs to help reduce stress, anxiety, replace alcohol or drug use, etc. The intention is to use it as a tool to help make our lives better, not become dependant. 

For those interested, we also have an in-depth article on the history of Kratom's legality. Please feel free to send us a message in chat if you'd like to chat about the difference between kava and kratom. 

Things to Watch Out for at Kratom Bars

As mentioned previously, Kratom Bars are rarely titled just that. Most often, they are called Kava Bars, Botanical Bars, or something of the like. This fact can make them seem misleading but this wouldn’t be a comprehensive guide if we didn’t include this information. Hopefully, this will help guide old and new kava, kratom, and botanical bar owners into making good choices for themselves as well as for your health and the industry as a whole.

There are three types of Kratom Bars in the market today:

1. The hyper-responsible Kratom Bar. This bar can also be called a Botanical Bar. In fact, some of the best kava bars, may also call themselves botanical bars (while not selling any kratom at all). Given Kratom's useful but addictive nature, this is the bar to seek out. The staff will give the following important information:
    • Have you been in before?
    • Do you know what Kratom and Kava are?
    • If you want to try Kratom, great! Are you aware of its addictive nature?
    • Here’s an overview of what Kratom is typically used for: It may be very useful for those trying to deal with addiction and withdrawal symptoms to move on to something that can be a bit easier to quit, with less severe symptoms. (definitly not intended to treat, diagnose or cure anything. fda not approved)

      Depending on the answers to these, the tender may determine that Kratom might not be the best fit and may suggest another botanical like Kava. While it is ultimately the customer's decision, it is up to the tenders and owners to make sure they do the best they can at training their customers and the community about the benefits and warnings of Kratom to minimize abuses.

      2. The mid-range of Kava Bar is responsible, for the most part. The Kava tenders will typically be trained well, however, their job is to make mocktails and serve guests. If someone wants a Kratom drink, they may have that same conversation as before but may not be as diligent or specific. 
        • This is an excellent Kava/Kratom Bar to go to, but it may not provide as much knowledge from the staff as the first type.
          3. The last type is the irresponsible Kratom Bar. These bars call themselves Kava Bars, but they market kratom only. They commonly push drinks and free samples of kratom to their guests, knowing that it is an addictive substance. These bars look to capitalize on that fact to get customers to come back. 
            • These are Kratom Bars that call themselves Kava Bars but only sell a small amount of Kava. If Kratom is ever banned or becomes illegal for some reason, these are the shops that will feel the effects the most.
            • The argument can be made for coffee shops doing these same things. Coffee is addictive, and the Kratom plant is part of the same family. The difference between the two is that Kratom can have much more serious withdrawal consequences. For those with addictive tendencies, Kratom shots are easy to buy in bulk and to spend thousands of dollars on. 

              Visiting a Local Kratom Bar: What to Expect

              Visiting a Kratom Bar, you'll find an ambiance akin to a traditional bar but without alcohol. They typically offer a more relaxed and peaceful setting.

              Kratom Bars provide a space to mingle within the botanical community while enjoying a favorite herbal tea. A lot of them are much like a café or coffee shop, only the open hours are in the afternoon and evening instead of the morning.

              Kratom Bar Menu Highlights

              Kratom Coffee: Coffee mixed with Kratom powder, sweetened or unsweetened.

              Kratom Shots: Small shots of Kratom tea with flavors like mango, cherry, or watermelon, and optional additional botanicals.

              Kratom Tea: Simple Kratom powder tea steeped in hot water, without sweeteners or flavorings.

              Kratom Tea Blends: Flavored Kratom tea with optional added botanicals.

              Raw Kratom Powder: Versatile and available for bulk purchase, much like raw coffee grounds.

              Kava Root: Known for its calming effects, made from Kava roots and customizable with sweeteners.

              Kombucha: A fermented probiotic tea from mushrooms, rich in antioxidants.

               

              Finding a Kratom Bar Near You

              Finding a Kratom Bar can be tricky, depending on location and legality in your area. Start by googling “Kratom Bars near me” to see what is available in your area. As mentioned previously, establishments are often not labeled as kratom bars. For this reason, also try searching “Kava Bars near me” instead. 

              We also have a useful map that shows the current Kava Bars in the United States.

              Many Kava Bars sell Kratom, but not all of them will. This is a subtle difference emerging in the industry. This leaves many wanting to know the difference between a Kava Bar and a Kratom Bar. A quick phone call will determine if they sell Kratom or just Kava and other botanicals.

              Another way to find a Kratom Bar close to home is to chat with Kratom lovers online. Social media platforms, Reddit threads, and discord servers are available for the tried and true recommendations of others. 

              Conclusion

              Let's get real about Kratom for a second. While it can be addictive, it’s not necessarily fair to slap it with the "bad” label.

              When playing it smart and being balanced with how much is being used, it can be a helpful botanical to use in place of other substances with more dangerous withdrawal side effects.

              It's all about finding a sweet spot and using Kratom as a stepping stone to move on and explore the rest of the herbal alternatives available.

              Sources: 


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            3. Gorelick DA. Kratom: Substance of Abuse or Therapeutic Plant? Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2022 Sep;45(3):415-430. doi: 10.1016/j.psc.2022.04.002. Epub 2022 Jul 31. PMID: 36055730.
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            5. Jentsch MJ, Pippin MM. Kratom. 2023 Aug 28. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2024 Jan–. PMID: 36256767.
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            7. Swogger MT, Smith KE, Garcia-Romeu A, Grundmann O, Veltri CA, Henningfield JE, Busch LY. Understanding Kratom Use: A Guide for Healthcare Providers. Front Pharmacol. 2022 Mar 2;13:801855. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2022.801855. PMID: 35308216; PMCID: PMC8924421.
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            9. Johnson LE, Balyan L, Magdalany A, Saeed F, Salinas R, Wallace S, Veltri CA, Swogger MT, Walsh Z, Grundmann O. The Potential for Kratom as an Antidepressant and Antipsychotic. Yale J Biol Med. 2020 Jun 29;93(2):283-289. PMID: 32607089; PMCID: PMC7309668.
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