What is Kratom?
Mitragyna Speciosa, also known as Kratom is tree, not an herb, which is native to Southeast Asia including Indonesia, Thailand, the Malaysian Floristic Region and several surrounding countries. The leaf of this tree is typically ground into a fine powder and ingested orally for many medicinal purposes. These include, but are not limited to Pain Relief, Decreased Anxiety, Mood Enhancement, Decreased Hypertension, Decreased Fatigue, Increased Focus, Relief of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), Increased Energy and more.
This leaf has been used for centuries by the indigenous populations of these regions for increased energy, relief of dysentery, sedation in higher doses, pain relief and focus. The leaf was originally chewed or crushed and boiled for tea.
Kratom effects the opioid receptors in the brain similarly to an opiate, although it is NOT an opiate. Kratom is NOT a substitute for opiates. Over the last several years Kratom has been used as an aid for the management of opium withdrawal and is currently being endorsed by several addiction treatment clinics throughout the United States. In addition to its many natural benefits, it has been found to successfully curb the craving and withdrawal symptoms experienced by opiate addicts.
Kratom has seen extensive therapeutic use in Thai ethnomedicine as an antidiarrheal, a treatment for opioid dependency, and the increase of sexual performance. The general consensus in Thailand among public health officials, academics and policymakers is that the use of Kratom causes little to no health risks.
How is Kratom Taken?
Kratom is ingested in several ways. Although, not popular in the US, fresh or dried Kratom leafs can be chewed. A more popular method is taking the crushed dried leaf to be brewed as a tea and consumed. Some prefer to brew the tea along with regular black or herbal tea and add honey or sugar for improved taste.
The powder is normally ingested in one of 4 ways. The “toss & wash” method is where a spoon full of powder is placed into the mouth and washed down with a drink such as orange juice, water, coffee or similar. The citric acid in the orange juice helps to activate the alkaloids found in the Kratom for a stronger effect. The second way is to mix the powder into a drink of choice, although it does not fully dissolve, and consume the beverage fast. The Kratom leaf has a bitter flavor which is why it is often mixed with food or drink to minimize the taste. The third way is to mix the powder into food such as apple sauce, yogurt or similar and eaten. The fourth way is to encapsulate the powder into edible gelatin or vegetarian capsules and swallowed. When taking capsules, there is generally a 20 – 30 minute delay before effect as your body digests the capsules.
Kratom Extract generally comes in the form of a dried powder or paste which is created by placing the leaves in boiling water and evaporating the liquid from the container. This process produces tar like pellets which can be frozen for later or dissolved into hot water and consumed. Kratom Extract is much more potent than regular Kratom because you’re using a process called reduction which reduces the Kratom down, extracting the active alkaloids in theS liquid found in the remaining paste. At the end of this process, you’re also removing the majority of the empty leaf matter, leaving only the active components (alkaloids) in a small amount of liquid (Paste).
Kratom Tincture is made by placing crushed leaf or powder in an alcohol such vodka and left to soak for several days or less. This process also pulls the active alkaloids from the leaf into the alcohol. The remaining leaf matter is normally removed, leaving the Kratom infused alcohol.
Kratom Dosage Information
Based on hundreds of Kratom user’s feedback the range below seems to be the most accurate. The effects of Kratom, when taken in moderate doses will generally last anywhere from 2 – 5 hours. The effects depend on several factors such as body mass, general tolerance, etc. One should always use caution and start with a lower to moderate dose and increase or decrease by 0.5 gram as needed until you find what works for you. The increase or decrease was applied on the next use (Warning: This increase was not done immediately, but the following day in this interviewee’s case). In most cases the person allowed themselves 20 – 40 minutes for the Kratom to take effect on each dose. Most commonly, the Kratom was taken in moderate or average doses (3 -4 grams), every 3 to 4 hours.
Another rarely talked about factor is the difference between Red, Green and White Veined Kratom. In over half of the users interviewed it was found that many Kratom users either responded more positively to either the Red Vein Kratom or the other two, White and Green Vein. It seemed that there are two camps here. The reasons were, according to these users, that the Red Vein such as Thai or Maeng Da generally offered a higher level of energy and for those that did not respond well to Red Vein, experienced edginess similar to drinking too much coffee. Others, who preferred the White and Green Vein Kratom generally reported a lower to moderate stimulating effect (Energetic) and higher Euphoric effect.
Another very important factor to mention is that Kratom taken in higher doses will cause a sedating effect. It was reported that, in many cases, the Kratom user had taken a dose which was too high without realizing it and experienced this sedating effect, thus not thinking that the Kratom had worked at all. In fact, the Kratom did work, but unbeknownst to them, they had taken too much and gotten tired instead of experiencing the pleasant stimulation that they’d heard so much about. With that said, if you experience a sedative effect instead of a stimulating (Energetic) effect, you probably took too much and should reduce the amount of Kratom used on your next dose. In cases where too much Kratom was taken and sedative effects were experienced, one must allow 6 – 10 hours before attempting another dose as to allow the Kratom effects to absolve.
If you have taken Kratom and do not feel the effects in an expedient manner, DO NOT take more or double your dosage. Factors such as recent meals can delay the effects, so allow yourself a minimum of 1 hour or longer for the effects to take place. Another factor regarding delayed effects have been reported when ingesting Kratom capsules. Bear in mind that your stomach must also dissolve the gelatin or vegetable cellulose capsules.
If you’ve taken a low to moderate dose of Kratom and experienced very mild effects or none at all and have waited over 4 hours, you can increase your dose by 0.5 grams. Just because you are over 6 foot tall and 200 Lbs. does not mean that more is better. Upon one male Kratom users experience, he was was 6′ 4″ in height and over 200 lbs and could not take more than 2 grams of Kratom per dose without feeling sedation. In another interview, a female Kratom user’s experience, she was 5′ 1″ in height and 98 lbs and her perfect dose was approximately 4 grams per dose. This information helps to reinforce that moderation with finding your perfect Kratom dose is imperative.
Finally, there have been no reported overdoses from the use of Kratom. If one were to take an exceeding large amount of Kratom, the body would simply expel it (Throw it up). There have been a small amount of reports where people had high amounts of hard narcotics, alcohol, cough medicine and Kratom in their system and had extremely negative effects. For anyone with common sense, including the medical examiner, these effects were not caused by Kratom.
The doses below are for regular Kratom powder and NOT enhanced Kratom or Extract:
2 – 4 grams=mild effects (Stimulant Effects)
4 – 6 grams = medium effects (Stimulant Effects or Sedative / Analgesic Effects)
6 – 8 grams=strong effects (Sedative / Analgesic Effects; Too strong for most people)
8 grams or Higher=very strong effects (Sedative / Analgesic Effects; NOT RECOMMENDED)
Caution: The Kratom dosages above apply to Kratom leaves or powder (not extracts). People’s sensitivity to Kratom can vary, and Kratom can vary in potency based on the type or where it was sourced from and can vary quite a bit, so these dosage estimates should be regarded as approximations only. As recommended above, one should always start with a low dose when experimenting with any type of Kratom that you have not tried before or Kratom sourced from a new vendor. It is not recommend to take a strong dose on the first time you are sampling a new batch of Kratom. It is best to take Kratom on an empty stomach (i.e. wait about 3 hours after eating). Those have sensitive stomachs or who are hypersensitive to Kratom may experience adverse reactions such as upset stomach or vomiting.
The alkaloids found in Kratom effect the brain similarly to an opiate, although it is not. It triggers similar receptors, which is why many former addicts use Kratom to curb the craving for other substances and minimize the effects of withdrawal. Its effects are unique in that, at moderate or low doses it will generally be stimulating and euphoric. Based on hundreds of Kratom user’s feedback, it is not enough to impair normal functions such as socializing or working long hours. In fact, based on many interactions with active Kratom users, the feedback was that many use it as, not only an alternative to pain medication, but as an energy booster.
In higher doses Kratom will have sedating effects. Other, outside, factors can fluctuate these effects such as eating a large meal right before taking Kratom, body mass, general tolerance levels, etc. The active alkaloids in Kratom can have both stimulant and sedative effects. With that said, it is never recommended to use Kratom while operating any vehicles, operating machinery, power tools or similar, to mix with drugs, alcohol or take while pregnant.
The stimulant effects will cause the mind to be more alert, physical energy and increased libido, work for longer periods of time with accuracy, higher social ability and improved mood. Some have found the energy level to be more than their used to which can cause a bit of edginess. This can be lessened by eating food and/or drinking water to help dilute the stomach contents. The effects of Kratom at low to moderate doses generally last 3 – 5 hours.
Also known as a euphoric or analgesic effect, in a higher dose you will be less sensitive to pain, feel more relaxed, have a general feeling of comfort, and may experience pleasant sleep patterns. Although rare, some have experienced itching or sweating. Your pupils may become dilated or small. Those who are predisposed to nausea with prescription pain medication may also experience this with Kratom. If nausea is experienced, lying down and relaxing may ease this symptom. The euphoric effects may cause you to appreciate things such as people, music or television programs that you normally would not. When done in combination with a relaxing environment with the goal of rest, you may find this to be a pleasant alternative to sleep aids. The effects of Kratom taken in higher doses generally last 5 – 6 hours. Kratom taken in higher doses generally last longer and have stronger effects. Many Kratom users have reported experiencing positive rest and feeling quite good the following day.
The 3 Kratom Colors
This is determined by the vein color of the leaf before it’s dried and made into a fine powder. The 3 colors are Red, White and Green.
White Vein Kratom, generally, has more of an energetic or stimulating effect. Those who experience fatigue, exhaustion, or daytime drowsiness may find white strains beneficial. For those who are predisposed to anxiety or sensitivity to caffeine may consider these strains to be too stimulating. A more popular alternative is a blend of white veined Kratom with other strains such as Kratom Fusions.
Green Vein Kratom is usually good for both pain control and energy. They are not too energetic or too sedating, so many use these for pain during the day. Many Green Vein strains are blended with other vein colors to enhance or extend the effects of the Kratom such as Green Malay which has long lasting pain relieving effects. Green veins tend to mix well with other strains.
Red Vein Kratom is best for pain relief and relaxation (sedation). Red veins are known to be more effective with chronic or acute pain sufferers. While lower doses are more stimulating (energetic), this varies from person to person. Many find red strains to be more relaxing in higher doses which helps with anxiety and insomnia. Red veins are also a good to mix with other energetic strains, creating Kratom Fusions, to avoid the sedating effect when your goal is pain relief. Red Borneo and Bali are good choices for pain.
Here are a few helpful tips for those who are new to Kratom or thinking about trying it for the first time.
Everyone’s body is different. Just because you may be big does not necessarily mean that you need larger than normal amounts of Kratom to receive its benefits. Moderation is the key. Use Kratom responsibly.
The average dosage of Kratom, based on 100’s of users feedback is 3 – 4 grams per dose every 3 – 4 hours or as needed.
Kratom, regardless of type, is more stimulating in moderate (smaller) doses and more sedating in higher doses.
If you’ve taken a dose of Kratom and feel a bit sleepy after 20 – 40 minutes (Depending on stomach contents and digestion), then this is a very good indicator that the dosage you took may be a bit too high. On your next dosage (5 – 6 hours later or longer), reduce the amount by 0.5grams and repeat the reduction of your dosage every 5 – 6 hours or more until you find the amount that works for your body. On average, most take Kratom every 5 – 6 hours as needed. A stimulating effect similar to a strong cup of coffee should be felt with Kratom is taken in moderate amounts.
More DOES NOT mean better when using Kratom. Kratom is NOT a narcotic and is NOT meant to get you high. Kratom, when used in moderation, can offer many medicinal benefits.
People often mix different strains for desired effect. Example: Maeng Da and Green Malay would give you a longer lasting energetic effect.
Although everyone’s body is different, an easy way to remember the effects of different strains is through Associative Memory: Red for Bed, White for Flight and Green for In-Between.
Kratom has been described by thousands of individuals as being an effective pain medication (analgesic). Kratom is probably the most effective, all natural, herbal analgesic available over the counter.
Kratom is all natural and contains no additives or preservatives of any kind. Do your due diligence when sourcing a Kratom vendor. Do not be afraid to ask questions, but bear in mind that most vendors are not licensed medical professionals and cannot offer medical advice.
Some Benefits of Kratom
Kratom leaves have had a wide range of uses, starting with the people of Southeast Asia who have known and utilized the benefits of this miracle plant for centuries. Its popularity has grown in the western nations of the world as more and more people are becoming aware of the versatility of this plant. Kratom has been reported to lower pain levels, produce stimulation, mental acuity, a heightened desire to work, extended energy, fatigue relief, increased focus, increased social and communication skills, relief from depression and anxiety, and a feeling of euphoria.
Some of the most commonly reported benefits are listed below.
Feeling more optimistic/happy
Enhanced communication skills
Relief of depression
Lower blood pressure
Lower blood sugars
Increased and extended energy
Increased mental acuity
Lower blood pressure
More recently reported benefits of Kratom include the relief of symptoms associated with drug (opiates) and alcohol withdrawals. Kratom has also been used for allergy and cold symptom relief, as a cough suppressant, fever reducer, to normalize blood pressure and blood sugar levels, to fight intestinal parasites, treat diarrhea, increase melanin production in the skin to aid in protection from the sun, and to prolong sexual intercourse.
A noteworthy benefit of Kratom use is in fighting immune system disorders. This may be due to Kratom’s rich, antiviral compounds which contain 20 times the amount of antioxidants found in green tea.