What is Kratom and what are the main benefits?
Mitragyna Speciosa, more popularly known as Kratom, is a tropical tree that’s in the same family as the coffee tree. And in many countries around the world, Kratom is a legal psychoactive substance.
Kratom is native to Southeast Asia where it has been used for hundreds of years as a natural traditional medicine. Kratom has over 40 known active alkaloids. This gives the substance very unique and diverse effects. Some of the positive effects include stimulation, relaxation, pain relief, feelings of empathy, euphoria, and even vivid waking dreams.
Some of the negative effects include a very bitter taste, nausea, and dizziness, especially in high doses, constipation and mild depression.
Of the over 40 active alkaloids, compounds such as mitragynine act as an opioid agonist, which is precisely why Kratom is an extremely effective treatment for those who are trying to wean themselves off of very heavy opiates like heroin.
Even though Kratom does hit some of the same opioid receptors as substances like heroin, it’s not even close to the strength of something like heroin.
Some people use kratom as an alternative to CBD oil.
Related article: Everything you need to know about CBD oil and What is Kratom?
Does Kratom get you high?
Kratom would hardly be considered getting high. In fact, due to the diverse group of alkaloids within Kratom, it doesn’t strictly act as an opioid.
If you were to take a drug test for opiates and you consumed Kratom that same day, you probably would not have a positive for opiate use.
Kratom is not an opiate. Kratom may have alkaloids* within it that act as opioid agonists, but this does not mean that Kratom itself is an opiate substance.
* Alkaloids are organic compounds found within plants that have an effect on humans
In doses between two to six grammes of powdered leaf, instead of the usual sedation that one would get accompanied with normal opiate use, you can feel energised and your ability to concentrate can be increased.
In regular doses, Kratom doesn’t really feel like a high. In fact, I wouldn’t really call taking Kratom getting high. Rather, it has the ability to put the user in a very calm, relaxed, slightly euphoric, and sometimes chatty mood.
The uplifting and euphoric effects are not necessarily very pronounced in most users. Most people would just say it feels like it puts them in a good mood.
Can you take high doses of kratom?
In higher doses, the effects of kratom can be quite sedating and it can behave more like a traditional opiate. In high doses, you run the risk of dysphoria and particularly the intense nausea.
In terms of the sedative effects, some users feel sedation from as little as three grammes, whereas others would have to take more than six. Tolerance and individual brain chemistry play a large role in regards to what types of effects are going to get from Kratom. There are some individuals who have tried multiple strains of Kratom from multiple vendors and no matter what, they don’t seem to get an effect.
There are other individuals who are extremely sensitive to it, where just two to three grammes is enough to boost their mood and put them into a productive state.
Quality is important!
Quality of kratom leaf also plays a huge role in the potency of it. A lot of people who buy Kratom from, say, a smart shop are extremely disappointed. The very first time I ever tried Kratom was about four years ago. I bought my kratom from a headshop. I made myself a tea out of the leaves, and I drank twice as much as was suggested, and I felt nothing.
Most people who try Kratom this way say, “Oh, kratom didn’t work for me.” I mean, that’s what I said. However, thanks to the internet and online forums, it’s become a lot easier to find vendors that sell good quality kratom leaf.
Getting started with kratom
If you have never tried kratom before, you want to start small. You’re going to start at two to three grammes max. The dose that I have personally found to be the most effective for the nootropic effects is about three to four grams. Usually, I take at least four grams.
I find if I take any more than four though, then it becomes too sedating, meaning I can’t focus if I’m too busy falling asleep.
In order to dose Kratom, you’re going to need a milligramme scale. You can get these for cheap from Amazon. They’re about $10. You don’t really need anything too precise, as long as it goes to 0.00. A popular way to take Kratom is called the toss and wash method.
Making your first drink…
First, you’re going to get your Kratom. I normally use white ‘maeng da‘.
I start out by weighing out the appropriate dose. I’m normally go for about four grams.
I fill a cup with warm water. Not to much water as the Kratom solution can taste pretty gross so the more water you have, the more you have to drink. I pour the Kratom powder into a cup and mix together. That’s pretty much it.
A lot of people like to add lemon to it. This does improve the taste somewhat.
I’m going to warn you guys, the taste of Kratom is not pleasant. It’s pretty nasty because it’s very grainy, and you can just taste all the little particles as they stick to the back of your throat and your teeth. Usually, I like to have something to wash it down afterward with.
That’s pretty much it for preparing and consuming kratom…
Alternative ways to consume kratom powder…
A friend of mine likes to take kratom with chocolate milk. She said that the chocolate milk just completely covers up the taste.
I have yet to try it with chocolate milk. Some other options are you can actually make a tea out of it, although you want to make sure that you do use lemon if you’re doing that so the lemon can help pull the alkaloids out of the Kratom and into the water.
If you have any other ways to consume kratom powder then let us know in the comments below.
Using Kratom capsules
Other people like to capsulate their Kratom, but when you’re taking four to five grams and you can hardly fit a gram into a capsule. that means the capsules are really large. The bioavailability when consuming kratom in capsule form is lower than when you drink it. This means that you are better drinking kratom than making and taking kratom capsules.
How long does it take to work?
The effects of kratom will usually begin to start within 30 minutes.
Within the hour, most people feel the full effects. The speed at which kratom’s going to affect you, and even the intensity of the experience is fully up to what’s in your stomach. If you just ate a big meal, then it’s going to take longer to absorb and it may not be as intense.
If you take Kratom on an empty stomach then it normally kicks in quicker and is stronger.
Different strains of Kratom
The physical effects of Kratom are dependent on which strain you have. There are three primary strains. There’s red vein, white vein, and green vein. The names literally come from the colour of the veins that you can see on the bottom of the kratom leaves.
Red Vien Kratom – main benefits
Red vein is the closest you can get to an actual opiate. People find it very sedating, relaxing, and they find it has usually the most euphoria. Red kratom is by far the best selling and most widely available strain of kratom on the market. It’s more popular than white and green kratom combined.
Red vein kratom is great for beginners because it produces a pleasant calming effect. It gives peace of mind and it gives you a feeling of well-being and optimism. In addition, red kratom is suitable as a sleep aid for people with insomnia.
Physically, the red vein is known to relax the body and relieve pain. It relaxes the muscles and can be used as a supplement or replacement of pharmaceutical painkillers. The strongest red kratom extracts are used to prevent withdrawal symptoms of opiate addicts.
White Vien Kratom – main benefits
White vein acts more like a stimulant. People get a boost of energy, increased concentration. White vein is commonly used as a nootropic substance.
Nootropics are smart drugs. White kratom is increasingly taken instead of coffee (caffeine) for alertness, concentration and cheerfulness. Many people take white kratom for increased concentration, motivation and stamina during long working days.
Green Vien Kratom – main benefits
Green vein behaves like a mix of red and white, offering stimulation and also an adequate amount of euphoria. Due to the balanced functioning green vein kratom is often used against social fears. You will be less afraid and more able to disregard the importance of other people’s impressions and opinions.
Green vein kratom is popular during recreational activities such as a night out in town. Green vein kratom makes you more talkative, friendly and cheerful.
Differences between kratom types
Does the vein colour actually make that much of a difference? Many people report that it actually does. The different veins indicate what concentration of what alkaloids that strain of Kratom has. However, personally speaking, I have found the biggest difference between different veins of Kratom, well different strains of Kratom, isn’t necessarily in the strain itself. It’s where that Kratom originated from.
When you search Kratom online, you’ll see many different names for it. One might be called red maeng da or maybe green malay. Maeng da means it’s harvested from Thailand, whereas Malay means it’s harvested from Malaysia. Kratom that originates in these different geographic locations is known to have different concentrations of alkaloids depending on where it’s from, as well as the vein.
Maeng da’s are known more for their stimulation and increased ability to focus whereas the Malaysia strains, the Malays, are known to be more relaxing. Out of the strains that I’ve tried, one of my favourites so far is one called Green Hulu Kapuas. This strain is thought to be a mix of the green and white, and personally, I find it very euphoric and it feels like social lubricant. It just felt so much cleaner than, say, having a few beers. It goes without saying that mixing Kratom and alcohol is a pretty big no, no.
What is the legal status?
Kratom is legal and pretty much all countries. Before you buy any though, check your local laws and regulations. Currently, the DEA has added Kratom to their watch list of dangerous chemicals in the United States. They claim that it’s a substance of concern and a drug of potential abuse. Of course, there is abuse potential, as with any substance, but overall, Kratom has proved itself to not only be safe, but to save people’s lives.
Former opiate addicts, people who are addicted to oxies or heroin, can thank their recovery to Kratom.
I am not aware of a single person dying directly as a result of Kratom. There have been about three deaths were within the toxicity reports, Kratom was noted as a substance, but these were combination cases where the people took a combo of drugs, and the drug that they said ultimately resulted in their death in all three of these cases was not Kratom.
In my opinion, kratom is much safer than alcohol which is used every single day.
Is kratom addictive?
Kratom can be addictive. This all depends a lot on your personality too. If you have an addictive personality, and you’re not using it to win yourself off opiates, it may be in your best interest to stay away from it.
The withdrawals aren’t terrible, but there are definite opiate-like withdrawals. People report having a runny nose, irritability. It is good to get yourself off opiates like heroin though.
That all being said, it’s not half as addictive as a lot of the substances that big pharma pushes on people, which is probably why it would appear that big pharma is the one that’s trying to criminalise this substance.
They don’t like the notion of a safe and legal natural substance coming along and taking their sales away regardless of the fact that it’s been saving lives. This is the same as CBD oil for pain relief.
What is my personal experience?
Sometimes I’ll have writer’s block or I can’t think of a new article to write about. It’s been during those periods of making myself a Kratom tea that my thoughts start moving a lot smoother. I find it has a lot of anti-anxiety effects. That’s a huge one that I haven’t even mentioned yet. I have personally discovered that kratom helps reduce my anxiety.
I could personally see kratom being a fantastic option for people to use it when, say, they get hit with an anxiety attack. I think it’s much more healthy and safe than, say, using a benzodiazepine. Now onto the negative effects that I’ve personally noticed. I personally can’t see the substance being very addicting. I find that I’m a lot more happy and calm when I’m on it. It can be very easy to get addicted to being in this state of being in a perpetual, really good mood.
Unfortunately, frequent use will give you a tolerance, meaning you’re going to have to take more and more to get the same effects, and with needing to take more and more, the potential for negative side effects increases.
Personally, I wouldn’t advise using kratom any more than, say, once every couple of days. So for example, you would take it day one, take two days off in between, and then consume it again. What you also want to do is alternate strains. That way, your brain doesn’t get a tolerance to any one particular strain.
So say on the first day you would take, I don’t know, a white vein kratom drink. Then on the fourth day, you’re going to take a green vein kratom drink, and then a red vein kratom drink, and then so on and so forth.
In conclusion, I would recommend Kratom to anyone who’s struggling with an opiate addiction. I strongly believe in its potential to help people crush life-threatening addictions.
I would also recommend Kratom to anyone who needs a boost in focus.
I’d even recommend Kratom as a replacement for Adderall in people who are struggling with the nasty come down effects that Adderall has.
I’d also recommend Kratom as an alternative to drinking. Going out and socialising on a dose of four to five grammes of some maeng da puts me in a much more euphoric and just fluid state than a few beers does. I also feel a lot more friendly and just positive. It makes my conversations much easier and more fluid.
I could never recommend Kratom to anyone who has an addictive personality. The only people that I’m suggesting try Kratom are those who have a serious opiate addiction that they need to kick or people who are currently using things like Adderall to focus. I think Kratom is a fantastic alternative to that, but I wouldn’t recommend Kratom to someone who plans to take it as a daily escape from reality and as a way to get high. It’s kind of just good to have in your arsenal for those days when you just feel really stuck and like you can’t get yourself going.
Anyway, that includes this article. I hope you guys enjoyed my Kratom introduction and please leave a comment if you found this useful. I know I usually talk about psychedelics, but Kratom being a natural plant and just because it’s such a fascinating nootropic substance to me, I really wanted to cover this.
I hope you learned something about the various types of kratom and that you’re experience is as positive as mine.