Originating from the Combretum Quadrangulare tree in the wetlands of Southeast Asia, Sakae Naa is a magical plant being considered an alternative to ketum. You’re probably curious about this new herb and how it compares to ketum so keep reading our detailed sakae naa vs kratom comparison below.

Sakae Naa vs Kratom: A Comparison

How Are They Alike?

Although they have their differences, Sakae Naa and Kratom are also alike in many ways.

  • Both herbs cause increased alertness comparable to a caffeine rush. They improve mood swings and increase motivation, working as effective treatments for certain ailments.
  • The two herbs are very similar in smell, which is mild-like but closer to the smell of grass and leaves. They are also somewhat similar in taste.
  • Both kratom and Sakae Naa are easily available in local smoke shops, vape shops, and specialty shops. They can also be bought online.
  • They have the same powder manufacturing process where the leaves are carefully picked and sun dried before being transported to industrial plants which crush them.

How Are They Different?

Continuing our comparison of sakae naa vs kratom, we now move onto the differences between the two plants.

1)    Chemistry

The first difference of sakae naa vs kratom is their chemical composition. Ketum contains alkaloids like Mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine which are responsible for its effects. Mitragynine is a stimulant, while 7-hydroxymitragynine is a relaxant. The herb has more than 40 kinds of alkaloids, which differ from one strain to the next.

In contrast, Sakae Naa is rich in flavonoids (mainly Combretol) and triterpenoids which are responsible for the herb’s beneficial properties. Combretol, in particular, is a chemical relaxant.

2)    Legality

In 1943, ketum was banned in its home country of Thailand. This started a sort of chain reaction which resulted in the herb being banned in multiple other countries and even some continents. So while Mitragyna speciosa is still legal in most of the United States, the FDA considers it a potentially dangerous chemical agent and some places like Alabama, Indiana, Vermont, and Rhode Island have banned its use.

Sakae naa, vs kratom, is legal all over the world, mostly due to being a relatively new and unregulated substance. Although not approved by the FDA, there are no laws declaring it illegal in the United States. This allows it to be used as a pocket-friendly substitute in areas where Ketum is unavailable.

3)    Effects

Coming to their effects on the human mind and body, sakae naa vs kratom produce vastly different results. Although dose dependent, Sakae Naa is mainly used as a relaxant. The herb increases vigor to work, concentration span, and wakefulness, helping users easily tackle complex, time-consuming tasks. It has also been shown to have anti-cancer properties and liver protective effects in mice.

On the other hand, ketum has both relaxant and stimulant activities, although its stimulant effect is usually stronger. This leads to the herb’s use in low doses to increase alertness, focus, energy levels, working capacity, output, and heat tolerance. While high doses of the substance are linked with a relaxed mental state, relief from illness, and feelings of euphoria.

4)    Forms

When discussing sakae naa vs kratom forms, it is important to mention that both substances are available in powder form. This is where the similarities end, however. Due to a lack of strains and varieties, Sakae Naa is only available in powder form at the commercial level. This powder can be vaped, smoked, or taken orally.

In contrast, ketum is commercially available in the form of powder, capsules, tinctures, teas, extracts, gum, and shots. The most common and economical form of ketum is powdered, although the substance can also be consumed orally via capsules or liquid extract and even brewed into a tea.

5)    Types

Another difference between sakae naa vs. kratom is the types and varieties offered. Depending on origin area and leaf color, Ketum has many types like Maeng Da, Thai, Borneo, Malay, Indo, Elephant, Horn, etc. There are also color varieties like red, green, white, and yellow vein varieties which are determined by the leaf’s main vein.

Unlike ketum, Sakae Naa doesn’t offer any such variants. The plant has only one type produced from wetland trees without much color variation as other than the leaves, the roots and seeds are also used.

6)    Physical Differences and Origins

Thought to have originated from the Sakai tribe of Malaysia, Sakae Naa can be found in Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, etc. In contrast, Mitragyna Speciosa is indigenous to Southeast Asia, the Philippines, and New Guinea.

The two plants are also very different physically. Mitragyna Speciosa is a large, evergreen tree, reaching heights of upto 30 meters. While the Sakae Naa can only grow upto 10 meters. Their leaves are also diffident, with Mitragyna’s being smooth and dark green and Sakae Naa’s being hairy and light green.

7)    Taste and Potency

Coming to sakae naa vs. kratom taste, ketum has a herbal taste almost similar to tea while Saknea naa is much more bitter as a result of undergoing a fermentation process. Ketum is also more potent and affordable, although Sakae Naa lasts longer.


1. Who wins the sakae naa vs. kratom debate?

At the end of the day, everything comes down to personal preference. There is no right or wrong choice. Instead, you must do your due research to determine the best option for you; whether it be the energizing ketum or the relaxing Sakae Naa.

2. Which is healthier, sakae naa or ketum?

Sakae Naa is milder with fewer known side-effects, and doesn’t result in a dependency state like ketum. This has led some to believe it to be a healthier alternative to ketum. More research is needed for a conclusive answer.

3. Is ketum more toxic than sakae naa?

Both herbs have side-effects, but we can’t say for sure if sakae naa or ketumis more toxic. Ketum causes irritability, aggression, itching, weight reduction, and decreased appetite. While Sakae Naa is linked to altered mental state, sleep disturbances, and decreased hunger.

4. How to tell sakae naa vs. kratom powder apart?

Ketum powder has a herbal flavor and usually smells like green tea. The powder is available in many colors depending on the strain like red, green, yellow, and white ketum. In contrast, Sakae Naa powder is brownish-green in color with a more bitter taste as a result of the fermentation process.

5. Will sakae naa replace ketum?

Although gaining popularity as an alternative to ketum, as of now, Sakae Naa is unlikely to replace the other herb. This is because of its decreased potency and lack of research.

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