When you first heard the name kratom your first question was most likely What is Kratom? Well, here we will go into details on every aspect of the plant.
With this post, you will have certainty to know exactly what to say when someone asks “What is Kratom?”. Simply refer them to this page or, if you are great at holding knowledge, tell them about it.
I give you step by step information to answer your the question ” What is Kratom?”
I will begin by giving you some background on the plant’s nature to give you a true scope of What kratom is.
What is Kratom?
Its true name is Mitragyna speciosa and it is a native tree to South-east Asia. It can grow higher than 55 feet and as wide as 15 feet in circumference. There are other terms for kratom that you can find kratom is slightly psychoactive but remains in the coffee family.
Kratom has been in nature since before man new it existed. It had to inevitably be discovered, tried and experimented on.
Something to keep in mind is the fact that the media only shows us what it wants to/ the “best” stories that they can. It is not because you don’t here about it in the news that it does not exist.
The Kratom Plant was discovered by a Dutch botanist. He first tried the plant himself and found that the leaves of the tree had amazing potential in helping him feel Happy, Energized, Motivated, and Relaxed.
In the early discoveries of the kratom leaf, the botanist Pieter Korthals who discovered kratom in 1839 (Wikipedia) shared his discoveries with the native people of the southeast Asian countries. Kratom became an all around healer for many folks of the past.
Kratom was, in fact, helping them with everything from mental stress to pain from injuries. The natives of South East Asia are known to also pick the leaves and chew them.
I would imagine when Kratom was first discovered its alkaloid level incredibly potent due to the lack of picking the tree.
Nobody had touched them and the plant was getting older and more mature. Allowing them to produce more alkaloid levels to their leaves.
The age of the tree and leaf definitely play a part in the potency of the kratom alkaloids.
The natives would use this as a “pick me up” similar to how we use coffee today.
Some of the media have been portraying kratom in an awful way. These are the facts on kratom and this way you can make an informed decision.
Not by pulling emotional strings and making you fear this plant that could help you if you are a person who needs it.
What is kratom
Also View – How to use Kratom – Different Methods for a guide on using the powder.
Kratom inside the body
What is kratom.
The kratom leaf is what is used by kratom users to get the kratom effect. Today, we don’t need to chew on leaves, we can simply Buy Kratom powder and easily ingest it.
The historic ways of ingesting kratom into your body would be quite gruesome considering the taste of the kratom powder.
Kratom leaf contains alkaloids which have shown to be beneficial to a wide variety of individuals.
Mitragynine is the main active alkaloid and a mu-opioid receptor agonist; which means that there’s a body-mind response when the alkaloid binds to the mu-opioid receptor.
What is kratom
View Kratom effects: What to Expect
The mu opioid receptor in the brain is what agonists such as morphine bind to.
Kratom binds to the mu-delta receptors and is great for people with opiate withdrawals.
What is kratom
Kratom binds to the mu -delta receptor mimicking the function of the previous opiate agonist allowing your body to recover and get clean from the previously toxic state.
Also, 7-hydroxymitragynine is another major alkaloid found in the leaf which is actually stronger than our well-known prescription drug morphine, which is tremendously helpful for people suffering pain and prefers a natural way to get through it.
Is Kratom a new Drug Fad?
If you are a person of conservative nature than maybe this question has come up countless times when the word “Kratom” has been mentioned.
I would like to invite you to understand that kratom is NOT heroin or any opiate of that nature. Kratom simply BINDS to the same receptors as opiates do and tend to resemble (Not an exact copy) of an opiate.
Kratom should not be viewed as a drug although some of the effects may sound drug like, this plant is in the coffee family. The kratom effects that are being used by people who need this plant are truly beneficial.What is kratom
In fact, many people are turning to kratom because they cannot go on living just using the normal prescription drugs.
As you already know, most prescription drugs have opiates in them. Opiates feel amazing in the beginning but come at a price.
It is said that the worst feeling in the world is an opiate withdrawal, and the worst part is, they do not take long to form. Once it is formed, quitting means facing the physical and mental pain that opiate withdrawals will bring and staying on course means staying normal (since the tolerance would naturally go up after taking a drug over and over)
It is important to buy kratom from a reputable vendor because it is crucial to be taking something that is healthy for our bodies.What is kratom. A lot can be said from someone who is promoting something for purely personal gain.
There are people however, that may promote kratom as a legal drug, promoting that you can get a legal high. This is not the way you want to be introduced to the world of kratom nor should you support that company or business. This will only endanger the plant’s reputation.What is kratom.
Kratom is in the coffee family and definitely not in the narcotics family. Even though the plant has psychoactive ingredients, this should not be confused as to something that will make you completely lose motor skills. I have personally been taking kratom powder only and have never felt any negative effects less a headache when taken too much. *Note: Some Kratom Strains May Cause Nausea So always take a new strain slow
Kratom can also be taken every day for people who will need the continued dosage in their bodies. View the Taking Kratom Everyday for more on this.
Different Kratom Origins
Kratom is usually labeled from the country in which it originated and defined by the color of the stem and veins of the leaf. For Example:
- White Vein Kratom – A white stem kratom is the fastest strain that you can find. It has a motivating energetic effect that can be used for many different things including working out.
- Green Kratom – A green stem will have a “moderate” effect meaning that you will have benefits of having effects of both fast and slow strains.
- Red Kratom – A Red strain will give you a relaxing effect that can be VERY nice when unwinding at the end of the day. A good red strain will induce small amounts of euphoria that will allow you to relax and meditate to a different extent. This strain is also great for many different things including insomnia and pain relief.
- Maeng Da Kratom – Said to be the best kratom strain on this earth. Its alkaloids are stronger than the normal leaves and this proves to be true in the felt effects of a Maeng Da strain. To see the detailed difference, viewMaeng Da Kratom – What’s the Difference?
4 most popular spoken strains
Thailand- Malaysia- Borneo- Indonesian
Thai leaves tend to be more energetic (fast) such as the popular Maeng da.
Malaysian leaves are less energetic (moderate) such as super green Malay
“Bali” (Borneo) leaves are more sedative(slow) such as Bali or Borneo,
Indonesian leaves are energetic, moderate or sedative making it a triple threat.
What is Kratom used for, and by Who?
Kratom can be used by absolutely anybody.
Most people that tend to suffer from anxiety, depression, lack of focus and procrastination find that kratom is an amazing alternative to the traditional ways of soothing these symptoms aka through a prescription drug received from your trusty doctor.
Kratom restores mental alertness as well and is also a painkiller at higher doses as it becomes a sedative. Kratom also is an amazing help to those who are suffering from opiate addiction for whatever reason.
Opiates are found in a lot of pain medication today and unfortunately, opiate receptors in the brain multiply requiring a physical need.
Kratom comes in with its alkaloids and becomes an opiate receptor agonist so that your brain thinks it still receiving opiates but in fact, it is merely an alkaloid of kratom.
Check out kratom and pain for more on this
Also, kratom is a lot easier to stop than any opiate, making it also a very sought after remedy for those in opiate recovery.
It is an alternative to the vastly prescribed drugs that are being pushed to you or to sufferers of any of these disorders.
As we all know, or at least should know, prescription drugs are slowly killing our society and luckily, people are finding alternatives rather than suffering nasty side effects.
Since the dawn of time man has been using plants to research what they have in store for us. Nature is known to produce extravagant things and I think, subconsciously, we all know this.
Opium: For instance, opium is derived from the poppy plant. The poppy seed is what opium comes from which essentially can be made into opiates or opioids.
Wikipedia description for opium is extremely well said and you would benefit in reading it if you have questions about opium.
With this being said, yes, opium is from the poppy seed that would make it a plant and not necessarily a chemical. Well, this is where human beings step in and experiment. Having a bunch of poppy seeds does not necessarily mean that you have opium.
There are certain steps that man had to take in order to DERIVE (Dictionary Definition) opium from that seed.
Marijuana: The same can be said about marijuana. Although marijuana is now showing to be a MAJOR health benefit in people needing it, the problem with people saying “How can it be dangerous, its just a plant”.
Well, the thing about it is, you are lighting the bud on fire and inhaling SMOKE (Dictionary Definition) which in turn is used to bring out the THC.
Hence THC being derived from marijuana. However, please do not take this the wrong way, I am not saying marijuana and opium are the same things, at all.
Kratom: This brings me to Kratom. Kratom is a tree that grows naturally on the earth like the former two plants just mentioned, HOWEVER, kratom goes through no derivative process.
It simply gets cut off of the tree, ground into powder and then the stem and vein are removed for better quality powder. THIS is ESPECIALLY important to consider when speaking of kratom as a Drug.
Although kratom is a psychoactive plant, it is not derived from anything hence making it quite a lot safer than the former two plants.
The reason that kratom has not had bad press until now should give you a different mindset than the one that the media has tried to portray.
There have been no consequences as of yet that link Directly to kratom use alone.
Natives of where the mitragyna speciosa (kratom) grows naturally, have been chewing on the leaves for centuries. The possible threat kratom may hold is to be less profiting for the opium industry to keep flourishing.
In turn, it may even be a “secret” that has been held from us for a very long time.
Again I am not saying, kratom is the answer for you personally, but kratom is known to help thousands, maybe millions of people all over the world.
I personally am very grateful that I have found this plant to know that IF anything grave were to happen *knock on wood* I would be one to turn to kratom before the other two just for these simple reasons:
- Kratom is natural, not derived simply ground
- It is NOT smoked
- No KNOWN grave side effects from the natives using it for centuries
View kratom dangers for more
The prescription pills being prescribed today have a list of side effects that in most cases surpass the amount of good that they give.
The only side effect that I have personally ever encountered was nausea due to taking to much green powder than my body could handle. Much like alcohol, if you overdue you throw it up.
Your body senses that you have burned too much kratom and you must evacuate, also at high intake level it can make you feel drowsy and lethargic.
This is a great way to see people, like myself, who are speaking on pure experience and not hear say and fear.
I found that Shawn at Kratom Info is a blogger that has experience on kratom and he has a great explanation about “Is Kratom Safe“. Check it out and let me know what you think in the comments below.
There are three different types of Kratom
The following is a way to express how the effects would feel. Although everyone is different, people across the internet seem to agree with these concepts.
You will find that there are three different types of kratom these will be:
All this simply means, is basically how it sounds:
Fast: You have a stimulating sensation, more alert, focused and “on the ball”.
Slow: Gives the sensation of mellowness and relaxation\sense of well-being. (not to be confused with TIREDNESS)
Moderate: Is directly in the middle of a stimulating\sense of well-being sensation. It varies from every person, however.
This guide was created as an educational resource to provide accurate information about kratom. It is also intended to correct much of the misinformation circulating on the Internet and being perpetrated by the Media.
What is kratom?
Kratom is a tree native to Southeast Asia (Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Borneo, etc.). Its botanical name is Mitragyna speciosa. Kratom is in the same family as the coffee tree (Rubiaceae). The leaves of kratom have been used as an herbal drug from time immemorial by peoples of Southeast Asia. It is used in folk medicine as a stimulant (at low doses), sedative (at high doses), recreational drug, pain killer, medicine for diarrhea, and treatment for opiate addiction. Many people report that kratom is an effective treatment for arthritis, restless legs syndrome (RLS), and fibromyalgia.
How is it taken?
In its native region, kratom leaves are often chewed fresh (usually after removing the stringy central vein). Dried leaves can also be chewed, but since they are a bit tough, most people prefer to crush them up or powder them so that they can be swallowed easily. Powdered kratom can be mixed with water and then drunk. This method is quick and easy. It can also be mixed with other liquids, such as fruit juice, milk, or kefir. Chocolate milk works especially well for masking the taste. Powdered kratom can also be made into a paste that can easily be swallowed with water. The powder can also be mixed with applesauce or yogurt. It can also be put into capsules. Dried kratom leaves are often made into a tea that is strained and then drunk. Kratom can be smoked, but doing so is impractical because the amount of leaf that constitutes a typical dose is too much to be smoked easily. A resin-like extract can be prepared by evaporating the water from kratom tea. This can be stored for later use. Small pellets of this extract can be swallowed, or it can be dissolved in hot water and consumed as a tea. Some people like to mix kratom tea with ordinary black tea, or other herbal teas, before it is consumed. This is done to make it more palatable. Sugar or honey can be added to sweeten it.
How does one prepare a chocolate kratom milkshake?
This is the nicest way to ingest kratom that we know of. It actually tastes quite good. Chocolate milk masks the bitter taste of kratom remarkably well and its viscosity helps to keep the kratom from settling to the bottom. If you just add powdered kratom to a glass of chocolate milk, the kratom tends to float on top and resists absorbing liquid. Even with stirring, it tends to stay floating on the top and forms lumps. Ideally you want to make a smooth milkshake without lumps and without dry kratom powder floating on the top. To do that, follow these simple instructions:
AMAZING CHOCOLATE KRATOM MILKSHAKE
Use about 1 cup (8 fl. oz.) of chocolate milk per dose of kratom. Chocolate-flavored almond milk also works very well for this, and is non-dairy (we especially like the “dark chocolate” flavored almond milk produced under the brand name Silk®, because of it’s especially thick viscocity and rich flavor).
1.) Put one dose of powdered kratom into an empty glass.
2.) Add an equal volume of chocolate milk (typically, just 1-2 tablespoons).
3.) Stir until the kratom absorbs the liquid completely and forms a homogeneous paste.
4.) Add a few more tablespoons of chocolate milk and stir again until smooth and free of lumps.
5.) Add the remaining chocolate milk and stir again until well mixed.
6.) Drink until the glass is empty.
7.) Add a little more chocolate milk to the glass, stir, and drink. (This caches any kratom particles left clinging to the sides of the glass. And since it is mainly just chocolate milk, it tastes even better than the kratom milkshake.)
How does one prepare a powdered kratom PASTE for drinking?
1.) Place a single dose of powdered kratom in a small empty cup.
2.) Add just enough water to make a soft paste (roughly equal parts kratom powder to water, by volume). You will need to stir the mixture for a few minutes until the powder completely absorbs the water and you have a nicely homogenized paste.
3.) Fill a separate glass with water and set it aside. Using a spoon, scoop an easy-to-swallow spoonful of paste into your mouth, then take a big sip of water from the other glass and gulp it down. Repeat spooning, sipping, and swallowing until you have consumed the entire dose. Be careful not to gulp down too much at once, so you don’t accidentally choke on the mixture.
How does one prepare a powdered kratom SLURRY for drinking?
1.) Add powdered kratom to a glass of water (or other beverage). For a typical dose of kratom (about 7 grams), use about 1 cup (8 ounces) of water.
2.) Stir throughly (until the powder is completely suspended), then gulp it down quickly before it has a chance to settle (it is like drinking a bitter-tasting, slightly fibrous smoothy).
3.) Add more water to the glass to recover any material that stuck to the sides. About 1/2 cup of water should be sufficient, but it doesn’t hurt to use more.
4.) Stir again and drink.
5.) When you have got it all down, you can drink a little fruit juice to chase away the bitter taste. Mint-flavored chewing gum also work great for this.
How does one make kratom tea?
Following is a basic recipe for making kratom tea. This recipe makes enough tea for several doses–about 8 moderately strong doses, if using “premium quality” kratom (see “dosage guidelines” below):
1.) Take 2 ounces (56 grams) of dried, coarsley ground or crushed kratom leaves and put into a pot. To this add 1 quart (about 1 liter) of water.
2.) Boil gently for 15 minutes.
3.) Pour the tea through a strainer into a bowl and reserve the liquid.
(squeeze the leaves in the strainer to get most of the liquid out).
4.) Put the leaves back in the pot and add another liter of fresh water. Repeat steps 2 and 3.
(after the leaves have been strained a second time, they can be discarded.)
5.) Put the combined liquid from both boilings back into the pot and boil until the volume is reduced to about 1 cup (250 ml).
(The idea is to boil the tea down to a small volume so that each individual dose can be quickly swallowed.
You can boil it down to whatever concentration you are comfortable with. Be careful near the end of the process.
If it starts to become syrupy, it may spatter and/or burn.)
The tea is bitter tasting. To minimize the unpleasant taste, gulp it down quickly and then immediately chase it with a pleasant-tasting bevearge, such as fruit juice.
The same general preparation method can of course be used with larger or smaller amounts of herb by simply adjusting the volume of water used. Kratom tea can be safely stored in the refrigerator for about five days. It is probably okay to keep it a bit longer, but it’s better to play it safe and not drink it after five days. It can be stored for many months if you add some alcohol to it. Adding about 10% alcohol will preserve it for many months (in the refrigerator). That is one part 80 proof liquor (vodka, rum, or a similar spirit) to three parts kratom tea. When refrigerated, some components may precipitate out of solution and form a sediment in the bottom of the container. This sediment may contain active alkaloids so it should be redissolved before consuming the tea. This is easily done by warming the tea and stirring.
How can I powder dried leaves?
Dried leaves, whether whole, crushed, or coarsely ground, can easily be powdered by putting them in a kitchen blender or coffee grinder and processing for a few minutes at high speed. Many suppliers offer kratom that is already finely powdered.
How does one measure dosage?
The best way to measure dosage is with a scale. Since a typical dose of kratom is just a few, or several, grams, one should ideally use a scale that can measure down to a single gram and is accurate to at least 1/10th of a gram. Low-cost, highly accurate, digital scales are widely available, and purchasing one is a great investment, since they can last a lifetime and are useful for many other things besides weighing kratom. These can be obtained from KratomLeaf.us, as well as many other suppliers.
Measuring kratom by volume is less accurate than measuring by weight because the amount contained in a given volume depends on how finely ground the material is. Obviously, a teaspoon of finely powdered kratom will weigh more than a teaspoon of loosely crushed or coarsely ground leaves. That said, here are some rough guidelines. On average, 1 LEVEL teaspoon of most commercially available, finely powdered kratom will weigh about 2 grams (very finely powdered kratom may weigh closer to 2.25 grams). Since there are 3 teaspoons in a tablespoon, that means that a LEVEL tablespoon of finely powdered kratom will weigh, on average, about 6 to 7 grams. That is a mid-sized dose for kratom of average potency (possibly a strong dose for high-potency kratom, or a mild dose for low-potency kratrom).
Coarsely ground leaves weigh less than finely powdered leaves (when measured by volume). A LEVEL teaspoon of typical, commercially available, coarsely ground leaves typically weighs about 0.8 grams. If the leaves are loosely crushed they will weigh less, possibly much less, depending on how finely (or coarsely) crushed they are.
What are the effects?
Kratom is a rather unique drug in that a low to moderate dose will usually (but not always) be stimulating, while a high dose is almost always quite sedating. This is apparently because the active alkaloids have both stimulant and sedative effects. Which predominates probably depends both on dosage and individual differences between users. Many people report that the effects are very similar to opiate drugs. From a pharmacological perspective this is not surprising because kratom contains alkaloids that act as opiate receptor agonists. Interestingly, although kratom has a similar mechanism of action as many opiate pain medications it does not appear to be nearly as addictive. In fact many people use kratom to overcome opiate addiction.
The stimulant level: At the stimulant level, the mind is more alert, physical energy (and sometimes sexual energy) is increased, one feels more motivated to get things done, ability to do hard, monotonous physical work may be improved, there is an elevation of mood (it has an antidepressant effect), one is more talkative, friendly, and sociable. The stimulant effects of kratom are different from typical CNS stimulants, such as caffeine or amphetamine drugs. Kratom is more of a cognitive stimulant tnan a physical stimulant.
The sedative-euphoric-analgesic level: At this dosage you will be less sensitive to physical or emotional pain, feel and look calm, have a general feeling of comfortable pleasure, and may enter a pleasant dreamy reverie. You may experience some itching or sweating. Your pupils may be constricted (small). It is possible you may feel nauseated, but if you lie down and relax the nausea should quickly subside. You may find your appreciation of music is increased. It will be very pleasant to lie down on your back in a semi-darkened room, with eyes closed, and just listen to your favorite music. If you do this you may be fortunate enough to enter the delightful mixed-state of ‘waking-dreaming’ where you have one foot in dreamland and the other foot in the real world. This state was much prized by the 19th century Romantic writers, who, lacking knowledge of kratom, resorted to the much more habit-forming narcotic, opium, to achieve it.
What effects are associated with different doses? (dosage guidelines)
That depends on the potency of the kratom. The following dosage-guidline charts are typical for the kratom varieties offered by KratomLeaf.us, the sponsor of this page.
Premium Quality Kratom
Threshold 2-4 grams
Mild 3-5 grams
Moderate 4-10 grams
Strong 8-15 grams
Very Strong 12-25 grams
Threshold 1-3 grams
Mild 2-4 grams
Moderate 3-7 grams
Strong 6-10 grams
Very Strong 8-16 grams
Threshold 1 gram
Mild 1-2 grams
Moderate 2-4 grams
Strong 3-6 grams
Very Strong 5-8 grams
Threshold = The effects are clearly apparent, but subtle.
Mild = Typically the effects are stimulant-like.
Moderate = The effects can be stimulant-like or sedative-euphoric-analgesic.
Strong = Sedative-euphoric-analgesic effects; too strong for highly sensitive people.
Very Strong = Sedative-euphoric-analgesic effects (TOO STRONG FOR MOST PEOPLE)
Caution: People vary in sensitivity to kratom, and kratom from different sources can vary in potency (sometimes quite a lot), so these dosage estimates should be regarded as loose approximations. One should always start with a low dose when experimenting with a new batch of kratom. One can then increase the dose gradually with subsequent experiments until one obtains the desired level of effects. DO NOT take a strong, or very strong dose, the first time you are sampling a new batch of kratom. Most people experience nausea when using very strong doses. Sensitive individuals may experience nausea at lower doses. For this reason, it is best to take kratom on an empty stomach when using strong doses (i.e. wait about 3 hours after eating). Some people are hypersensitive to kratom, and may experience adverse reactions (such as severe and prolonged vomiting) when using very strong doses.
What is duration of kratoms effects?
The effects of kratom usually last 5-6 hours. When taken on an empty stomach, the onset of effects is typically felt 30-40 minutes after ingestion. If there is much food in the stomach, it may take 60-90 minutes before it begins to take effect. When taken in capsules (gelatin or vegetarian), the onset of effects may be delayed a little because it takes time for the capsules to dissolve in the stomach.
What are the risks? How safe is it?
When kratom is taken by itself (without mixing it with other drugs), the greatest risk is falling asleep while engaged in hazardous activities. NEVER drive while under the influence of kratom, even if you feel stimulated, rather than sleepy, for sleepiness may come on you without warning. Use common sense. Do not use power tools or climb ladders while under the influence of kratom. Be careful not to leave a pot on a lit stove and then fall asleep.
Pregnant women should not take any drug or medication except on medical advice. Since there have been no studies of the risks of kratom use by pregnant women, it is not known whether it could cause birth defects or fetal death. We strongly recommend that any woman who could possibly be pregnant NOT use kratom.
Is kratom an effective pain medication?
Yes, kratom is an effective pain medication (analgesic). In fact, except for opium, kratom is probably the most effective herbal analgesic available. Many people use kratom to alleviate aches and pains, and to help manage painful conditions such as arthritis and fibromyalgia.
Is kratom an effective treatment for opiate addiction?
One of the traditional uses of kratom in Thailand is as a treatment opiate addiction. Opiate addiction is a widespread problem. Not just for people who use opiate drugs illegally, but also for people who are prescribed opiate pain medications. Unfortunately, people who use opiate drugs daily often become addicted. Understandably, many people do not like being addicted to these drugs and are looking for ways to overcome their addiction. Many people report that kratom is effective for this purpose. Because it contains alkaloids that act as opiate receptor agonists it can be used as a substitute for opiate drugs, both as a pain medication and to avoid opiate withdrawals. After switching to kratom for a while, people say that they are able to reduce and then end their kratom use completely without suffering through difficult opiate withdrawal. This suggests that although it contains opiate receptor agonists, the pharmacology of kratom differs from opiate drugs in an important and potentially useful way. Before using kratom to overcome opiate addiction, it is obviously a good idea to discuss this with an open-minded physician.
Is kratom habit forming?
Kratom is not habit forming when it is used responsibly. If used occasionally as a recreational drug, rather than daily, there is virtually no risk of becoming dependent on it. But it is very important not to get into the habit of using it every day. For kratom, like many drugs [e.g. alcohol, coffee, tobacco, etc.] if used on a daily basis for a prolonged period of time, could become a habit hard to break. Before starting to experiment with it set yourself usage guidelines. If you ever find it is hard to stay within your usage guidelines immediately quit using kratom. Of course, people who are using kratom to overcome a preexisting opiate addiction may need to use kratom daily to avoid opiate withdrawal. People suffering from chronic pain may need to take pain medications on a daily basis, and some people choose to use kratom instead of pharmaceutical pain killers. Interestingly, studies have found that opiate drugs (morphine and its relatives) are rarely addictive for pain sufferers except among people with a history of substance abuse. This is probably also true for kratom, because like opiate drugs, the effects of kratom are due to opiate receptor agonist activity.
Is it possible to develop tolerance to kratom?
Yes. Like many drugs, if kratom is used on a daily basis one will eventually develop some tolerance to its effects and will gradually need to take increasingly larger doses to obtain the same level of effects. Tolerance does not develop when kratom is taken occasionally (no more than twice a week). Since the active constituents in kratom are opioid receptor agonists, there is likely to be cross-tolerance with other opioid drugs. This means that people who have developed tolerance to other opioid drugs will probably need to use higher doses of kratom than people who have not. Tolerance is not permanent. Normal sensitivity resumes after a few weeks of abstinence.
I have heard that tolerance can be avoided by taking different varieties of kratom on different days. Is that true?
No. Mixing up different kinds of kratom is not going reduce tolerance. All varieties of kratom contain the same active constituents, although their concentration varies with different batches.
I have heard that the potency and quality of kratom’s effects is correlated with the color of the central leaf vein. Is that true?
The color of the central leaf vein ranges from various shades of green to various shades of red. This is partly determined by genetics, but it also varies depending on how mature the leaf is, how much sunlight the tree receives, and other environmental factors. The same tree can have leaves with pale green, dark green, and red veins. Usually the young leaves have red veins, but the red color disappears as the leaves mature, changing to green. Eventually the leaves fade to yellow, then to brown. Since the leaves cycle through these various colors as they mature, they can all occur on a tree at the same time. Obviously, one can select a particular color when harvesting the leaves. Some trees do not produce leaves with red coloration, so that is probably a genetically variable trait. We have not seen any consistent connection between vein color and potency or type of effects. It appears that such correlations are mostly marketing hype invented by kratom merchants. We do see variations in potency between different batches of leaves, but those differences do not correlate with color in any consistent way. Since the effects of kratom do vary based on dosage, differences in potency will cause a weak batch of leaves to seem like it has different effects than a stronger batch, when the same amount of both are compared.
Is it true that some kratom products are adulterated or mislabeled?
Chemical analysis has shown that some kratom products are adulterated with other substances. In some cases the kratom has been “cut” with less expensive herbs to reduce the seller’s cost and increase profits. In some cases synthetic drugs have been added to enhance the effects. In some cases products labeled as kratom or as a kratom extract don’t contain any kratom, but other, less expensive, substances instead. Disturbingly, some products labeled as kratom extracts have been found to contain the “designer drug” O-desmethyltramadol, which is a dangerously potent synthetic opioid drug. Sadly, products containing this compound have resulted in several deaths (first reported in Sweden). Similar compounds have been detected in some other kratom products. Analysis has also found kratom laced with hydrocodone and morphine. Since these are opioid compounds, the effects they produce would be somewhat similar to those of kratom, but obviously far dangerous (there is not a single case in which a death could be attributed to kratom by itself). Obviously, it is important to obtain kratom from a trustworthy source, preferable someone who routinely tests the kratom obtained from his or her own suppliers before reselling it. Kratom is a tremendously helpful and relatively safe herb. It is sad that some unscrupulous merchants are acting so recklessly.
What are safe usage guidelines?
It is best to err on the side of caution. Therefore, we recommend that people not use Kratom more than once or twice a week. Preferably, no more than once or twice a month. This will insure that Kratom does not become a habit. In other words, kratom should be reserved as a special, but OCCASIONAL treat. By using it infrequently, you will avoid habituation and get more pleasure from it.
Are there any reported health problems?
Health problems are unlikely unless one is consuming large quantities of kratom every day. In Thailand, where there are some people who use kratom every day, those dependent on it can develop weight loss, dark pigmentation of the face, and have physical withdrawal symptoms if they quit abruptly. The withdrawal symptoms may include muscle aches, irritability, crying, runny nose, diarrhea, and muscle jerking. Health problems are unlikely to occur in occasional kratom users. Like any drug or medicine, people’s reactions vary and some people could possibly have an allergic or other unusual reaction to kratom, even if they used it responsibly.
Can kratom be combined safely with other substances?
In general, combining drugs can be risky. We recommend that kratom not be combined with yohimbine, cocaine, amphetamine-like drugs, or large doses of caffeine, because of the possibility of over-stimulation or increased blood pressure. We recommend that kratom not be combined with large amounts of alcohol, with benzodiazepines, opiates (other than possible use with red poppy tea—see below), or any other drugs that depress the nervous system. This is because of the possibility that such combinations might cause over-sedation or even possible respiratory depression (slowed breathing, or possibly death), We recommended that kratom not be combined with Syrian rue, Banesteriopsis caapi, or any other MAO inhibitor drug. Serious, even fatal, reactions can occur if MAO inhibitor drugs are combined with monoamine drugs. The combination of MAO inhibitor drugs with kratom, which contains monoamine alkaloids, has not been studied.
Certain combinations have been reported by users to be pleasant and supposedly safe. Kratom can certainly be combined with ordinary tea without risk. It has been used with a tea made from red poppy flowers (Papaver rhoeas), which itself has an extremely mild narcotic effect, and with a sedating-euphoriant tea made from ‘blue lotus’ (Nymphaea caerulea). It has been safely combined with SMALL quantities of alcohol, however large quantities of alcohol must be avoided. Some people report they like to smoke tobacco or cannabis while under the influence of kratom. But anyone smoking under the influence of kratom must be very careful not to nod off and drop lit smoking materials.
What is kratom’s legal status?
Kratom is illegal in Australia, Denmark, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), and Thailand. It is legal in most of the United States (it is only illegal in Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Tennessee, Vermont, and Wisconsin). Some of these countries impose sever penalties for possession of this herb. It is legal in most other countries. Laws can and do change, so be sure that kratom is legal where you live before using it.
What are kratom’s active constituents?
There are many closely-related tryptamine alkaloids in kratom. The most important ones are mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. These are primarily responsible for kratom’s pain relieving, sedative, euphoric, and stimulating effects. These alkaloids resemble yohimbine in structure, but do not have the same effects.
Is kratom use detected on drug tests?
Although kratom does contain alkaloids that bind to opiate receptors, they are structurally unrelated to opiate drugs and therefore would not be detected by opiate drug tests. It is technically possible to detect the alkaloids in kratom in body fluids, but since kratom is a legal herbal drug (in most places), it is not normally tested for. This may change, especially if kratom becomes a controlled substance in the United States.
Where can kratom be purchased?
There are a number of online merchants, in countries where it is legal, who sell the dried kratom leaves, extracts, or both. But, beware of misleading labels and marketing hype. It is important to find a trustworthy source. There have been problems with some vendors selling bogus “kratom” (misrepresenting other herbs as kratom) or adulterating kratom with other herbs and/or chemicals. One of the authors of this guide now offerskratom through his online herbal products company, KratomLeaf.us.
Can kratom be cultivated?
Kratom can be grown as a house plant (but will have to be cut back because they can grow quite large). They prefer a humid environment. They dislike cold weather and do not tolerate frost. Potted plants can be grown outdoors in temperate climates when the weather is sufficiently warm, and grown indoors the rest of the time. Kratom can be grown outdoors all year in tropical climates. Potted plants should be lightly fertilized every few weeks, but only when actively growing. They can be propagated from cuttings.
Has The Kratom User’s Guide been plagiarized?
Yes. Several kratom vendors have copied huge parts of the Kratom User’s Guide and put the text of it on their own websites without even bothering to credit the original source. We are happy to see that some kratom vendors are providing information about kratom, but they must write it themeselves. It is not okay to copy and republish the work of other people, unless one is clearly quoting and crediting one’s sources.
The “Wobbles” is a term that was coined within kratom communities to describe the most prominent side effect of kratom, especially Bali strains. The wobbles are defined by the difficulty to refocus the eyes at a specific point without strain and annoyance; this effect can lead to headaches and nausea.
While the wobbles are not much more than an annoyance, driving or operating other heavy machinery while experiencing the wobbles is dangerous, and should never be attempted.
Avoiding the Wobbles
The easiest way to avoid the wobbles is to keep dosage below the side effect threshold. This threshold can vary between strains and plants. Typically, doses under 5 grams will generally prevent the wobbles, although there are some exceptions
Strains by Wobble Factor
- Bali – High
- Green Malaysian – Moderate/High
- Indo – Moderate
- Maeng Da – Moderate
- Thai – Moderate/Low
- True Borneo – Low
Note: It is much more to experience the wobbles with strained kratom tea; leading many to believe that it is an effect caused by one of the fat-soluble alkaloids.
Combating the Wobbles
While there is not much information available on combating the wobbles, there are a few things that can help in the process.
- Activated Charcoal – This supplement is one of the most effective ways to get rid of the wobbles; it works by adsorbing a portion of the wobble-causing alkaloids, negating the effects almost entirely.
- Food/Carbonated Drinks – While these won’t help get rid of the wobbles, they can speed up digestion, allowing the symptoms to pass more quickly (if inevitable).
Reducing Kratom Tolerance
Kratom tolerance is the number one impediment when looking to ensure peak medicinal effects. Besides taking this plant less frequently, there are some tricks one can use to keep tolerance low.
Many have found strain rotation is a great way to keep the medicinal effects of kratom fresh. When using a specific strain for a long period, you can develop a tolerance to its specific alkaloid profile; however, by switching strains regularly, the alkaloid levels many not remain stable enough to develop a complete tolerance to the effects.
- Rotation by Effects – This method involves using alternating strains types (e.g. Mon. – Sedating, Tues. – Stimulating, Weds. – Sedating)
- Rotation by Vein Color – Similar to the above method, this involves rotating by vein color (e.g. Mon. – Red, Tues. – White, Weds. – Green)
By using these methods, one can ensure that the alkaloid profiles are as varied as possible on consecutive days or periods, which can keep tolerance at bay for a longer period of time.
Note: Stem and vein kratom is often used as a substitute to further reduce tolerance, as its alkaloid profile is typically very different than the plain leaf.
However, although using this technique to it’s fullest requires 3-5+ different strains, this method of tolerance reduction can still be somewhat beneficial with 2 or 3 varieties.
There are a variety of other ways to supplement tolerance reduction, including:
Magnesium supplementation is a great way to keep kratom tolerance low due to its NMDA antagonist effects, which helps regulate how the brain and body react to frequent exposure to these compounds .
Exercise is a very effective yet under rated method of reducing tolerance. Exercise’s reduction of tolerance is cumulative, meaning the more you exercise, and the more in shape you are, the less tolerance is developed, which potentiates the medicinal effects of kratom.
Kratom Preparation – Traditional and Modern Methods
Throughout the thousands of years kratom has been used, preparation methods have remained relatively the same; however, as western society has interacted with this plant, there have been some unique additions — recipes and methods to fit our unique needs.
The Kratom Quid
The quid is the original method of kratom use for Southeast Asian cultures, especially Thailand. The quid method of use involves taking fresh kratom leaves (a rare commodity in the western world), removing the stems and veins in one quick motion, bundling the kratom and chewing it while holding the saliva and chewed leaf material in their mouth.
The quid works through mostly sublingual methods, however, the swallowed portion also has a considerable effect.
Toss and Wash Method
One of the most common kratom preparation methods, if it could be called preparation at all, is the toss ‘n’ wash. This method is typically done by:
- Putting water (or other liquid) in the mouth
- Adding desired kratom dose to this water
- Submerging and mixing the kratom/water mixture within the mouth to avoid dry particles getting caught in the mouth and throat
- Taking another gulp of water while simultaneously swallowing the mixture
- Chasing with more water to get down any debris
This is another very common preparation method, both in the west and east. Learning how to make kratom tea is fairly simple:
- Add water to pot (3-10 ounces)
- Add desired kratom dose
- Simmer for 15 – 45 minutes (20 minutes typically suffices)
- Optional: strain powder
Tea is considered effective by many because of the quick onset of effects; however, by straining out the powder, one may lose the full alkaloid spectrum of the plain leaf, reducing some medicinal potentials.
- Adding water to kratom powder and freezing prior to making tea can increase the amount of alkaloids absorbed
- Adding lemon juice, or small amounts of citric acid can also increase amount of alkaloids absorbed
- One can salvage the strained powder from tea and reuse it to ensure no alkaloids are wasted
Kratom Tea Recipes
Because some are more sensitive to the bitter taste of kratom tea, many tea recipes have been developed. One of the most effective we have seen for masking the taste of kratom is to mix it with a flavoring, or mixture.
One of the most effective kratom recipes we have found is what we have heard called “Speciosa Chai”. This method is very simple and is composed of a few simple steps:
- Condense kratom tea to 3-4 ounces
- Add 4-5 ounces of Chai tea mixture
- Add sugar & cream/milk if desired
There are a variety of different chai mixtures one can experiment with; however, the Tazo Organic Chai Black Tea mix is the favorite we have seen at an associated kava bar in our area.
Something that we have seen to be surprisingly effective at masking the taste are pump flavorings– especially the fruit-based flavorings. You can find these pump flavorings at local coffee shops or online for a very reasonable cost.
Mixtures & Blends
Another common method that has been more recently for those who don’t want to toss ‘n’ wash or make tea, is to mix kratom. Some of the most common mixers we have heard are:
- Peanut Butter
- Chocolate Milk
Mixing kratom with these has the added benefit of allowing it to be taken while minimizing the taste, however, with some of these it may take longer to digest.
Another creative method we have heard is to kratom with peanut butter to form little peanut butter balls to swallow. Nearly any decent tasting drink/mixture can be effective.
Additionally, tools such as blender bottles, commonly used for protein shakes, have been suggested for this process.
A common form of kratom preparation is by capping the kratom powder rather than taking it whole, mixed or in tea form. Kratom capsules have the benefit of being easy to use.
Buying capsules can be extremely expensive in comparison to powder, and kratom capsules (especially the variety sold by less reputable companies at shady stores and gas stations) that have had a big part in giving kratom a bad name. Additionally, when buying these capsules you don’t really know what you’re getting, as it isn’t an approved dietary supplement; which could lead to dangers for both the user, and kratom’s legality.
Because of this, anyone who wants to keep kratom legal should avoid buying kratom capsules. There are a large variety of capsule tools, such as “The Capsule Machine” and “Cap m Quick”, which can make capsules in bulk (and save you a tremendous amount of money over time in the process).
Something that is frequently encountered with a variety of strains is the difference in effects at differing doses. Although this varies depending upon the strain and where you buy kratom, typically, lower doses are relatively more stimulating than higher doses; while the cause of this is not well known, it likely has to do with the the diminishing returns of stimulating alkaloids in comparison to 7-hydroxymitragynine.
For anyone inexperienced with kratom, it is essential to know about the philosophy, theory and advice regarding kratom dosage in order to get the ideal effects.
The “Less is More” Theory
The “less is more” theory is very popular among kratom forums, and there is some evidence to back this theory. Almost every strain has an optimal dose for both medicinal and euphoric effects, and dosage above this ideal threshold can have paradoxical effects.
Now, it’s important to note that different strains have differing levels of this alkaloid, so if this common experiences is a result of this alkaloid, it this statement may not apply to all strains — however, the majority of strains seem to be affected.
The “less is more” theory, is also advisable because lower dosage also creates less tolerance to effects, which can help maintain the plant’s medicinal potential over time.
As plain leaf has to be digested in order to have medicinal benefit, many have found it to be best taken on an empty stomach, as this will ensure the effects are delivered quickly and reliably. In addition to taking kratom on an empty stomach, many have found that some foods seem to not only delay the effects of kratom, but nullify them almost entirely.
Because eating is a necessity, it may not always be possible to use it in this manner; for this reason, many have turned to kratom tea to deliver effects more quickly and reliably.
Kratom Strain Differences
Differences between strains is a factor that can’t be overlooked when calculating a dosage. There are a few primary strains that should be dosed relatively lower than the average, these strains are:
- Maeng Da – Potent, active at lower doses
- Bali – Side effects encountered at lower doses in comparison to other strains
- Thai – Can be overstimulating for some at higher doses
Because of this, it is a good idea to modify dosage with these strains accordingly in order to achieve best results. Some strains, such as Borneo, can be dosed relatively higher, due to their lack of side-effects. Because of this variability in strains, it is advisable to start low with any new or unknown strain.
For best effect, many have found that this plant should not be taken in high doses regularly, as some of the medicinal effects can diminish. However, those who use this plant to combat chronic pain may find this inevitable, as pain doesn’t operate in a convenient time-cycle.
Dosage has been a key factor for those looking for specific effects. By dosing too low, the medicinal capabilities are nulled, while dosing too high can often lead to relatively harmless, but potentially unpleasant side-effects, such as the “wobbles” and minor nausea. To learn about kratom dosage, refer below.
Average Dosage by Grams
- Mild – 1 to 2 grams
- Moderate – 2-4.5 grams
- High – 4.5 – 8 grams
Average Dosage by Teaspoon
- Mild – .5 to .9 tsp
- Moderate – 1 to 2 tsp
- High – 2 to 3.5 tsp
It should be noted that due to varying potency between strains and plants, this estimate is in no way standardized, instead it an estimate based on historical and experiential reports. Doses at the the “high” end of the spectrum are also much more likely to cause side-effects, depending upon the strain.
The reason for the difference in effects from strain to strain is the variability of kratom’s alkaloids; in fact, there are over 28 identified alkaloids found within the plant with different half-lives and durations. For more information on these alkaloids, their effects, and their content (% of total alkaloid weight, one standard deviation), refer below :
- 7-hydroxymitragynine – Analgesic/painkiller, antidiarrheal, antitussive – 1.5 – 2.5%
- Mitragynine – Analgesic/painkiller, antidiarrheal, antitussive, adrenergic receptor agonist (mild stimulant), antimalarial – 40 – 75% [Lowest recorded content: 12%]
- Speciogynine – Smooth Muscle Relaxer – 6.5 – 7.2%
- Mitraphylline – Muscle relaxer, vasodilator, anti-hypertensive, anti-amnesic, immune system stimulant, anti-leukemic – less than 1%
- Epicatechin (EGC) – Antioxidant, antiviral, anti-mutagenic, anti-leukemic, anti inflammatory, anti-diabetic. Commonly found in green tea. – 1%
- 9-Hydroxycorynantheidine – Painkiller/analgesic – 1%
- Corynantheidine – less than 1%
- Isomitraphylline – Immune System Stimulant – less than 1%
- Isomitrafoline – Immune System Stimulant – less than 1%
- Isorhynchophylline – Immune System Stimulant – less than 1%
- Isopteropodine – Immune System Stimulant – less than 1%
- Ciliaphylline – Analgesic, antitussive – less than 1%
- Corynoxine A – Dopamine Mediator – less than 1%
- Corynoxine B – Dopamine Mediator – less than 1%
- Ajmalicine – Sedative (Anti-Adrenergic), increase blood flow to brain, smooth muscle relaxer – less than 1%
- Rhynchophylline – Anti-inflammatory, vasodilator, anti-hypertensive – less than 1%
- Speciociliatine – less than 1%
- Speciophylline – Anti-leukemic – less than 1%
- Tetrahydroalstonine – Anti-adrenergic, lowers blood sugar – less than 1%
- Akuammigine – inactive – less than 1%
- Mitrafoline – inactive – less than 1%
- Mitraversine – inactive – less than 1%
- Speciofoline – inactive – less than 1%
- Stipulatine – inactive – less than 1%
Respected kratom researchers such as Takayama H, Shellard EJ, Raymond-Hamet, Becket AH, Philipson JD and Lee CM, have shown that the alkaloid profiles of the plants from different regions vary heavily; especially in Thai strains, in which case mitragynine content is well above the average. Malaysian strains, on the other hand, have proportionally low levels of mitragynine, suggesting its potency may be due to proportionally higher levels of 7-hydroxymitragynine.
These differences in alkaloid profile are what make each strain unique and effective in quite different ways, but there is still much research to be done until we have a complete understanding of alkaloid effects, and an alkaloid profile of each strain, region and vein color.