The 101 Kratom Guide — What Is It, Benefits, Side Effects, and More


Kratom can be found in many forms — leaves, capsules, and powders. It’s claimed to relieve pain, boost energy, and fight depression. But what are kratom effects and how can you use it? Below, we answer these questions and more.

What Is Kratom?

Naturally grown in Southeast Asia, Kratom (Mitragyna Speciosa) is a natural opioid that’s used as a supplement for energy and pain relief. The plant is actually part of the coffee family and the leaves can be chewed but usually, they are dried, crushed, and processed into a fine powder. The powder can then be ingested, usually with tea or juice.

People have been using it as medicine since the 19th century to help laborers fight fatigue and boost their productivity. The global popularity of Kratom grew in recent years, especially because of its effects on psychological healing. 

What Are the Types of Kratom?

There are different kratom varieties depending on how the leaves are processed. There are three basic kratom strains, all of which are known for providing different benefits. They are all unique and versatile so taking the time to see which kratom strain type is the best for your need can work wonders.

The white vein strain is the most common kratom type Known for its mild stimulant effect, white vein kratom can cause an energy uplift and get you more focused and alert.

The yellow vein strain differs from the white vein strain by its drying process. The yellow strain is dried naturally without any extra additions. It’s very potent and gives intense effects. Enhanced mood, pain relief, greater focus, and anxiety relief are some of the benefits attributed to this vein strain.

Red vein kratom strain is stronger in hydroxy mitragynine alkaloids. It has a sedative effect and helps you stay calm, relaxed, and feel pleasant. It’s also used for pain relief.

Green Vein Kratom can give you a mild boost in energy but also improve mental clarity and give you the strength to focus on tasks that require greater endurance. Other effects include mild euphoria and overall positivity.

What Does Kratom Do?

The psychoactive compounds of Kratom are found in the tree’s leaves which are dried in the sun. Kratom is essentially a natural opioid. Kratom effects include anxiety reduction, improved sleep, increased motivation and productivity, and a sense of well-being.

Pain Relief

The most common condition Kratom can treat is pain. Although it has proved to be working for all types of pain, it excels in curing neuropathic pains or pains induced by chronic conditions. This can include diabetes, arthritis, cancer, and others. People with chronic pain can use it to make their everyday life more bearable without being chained to prescription medications.

Mood Boost

Elevating the mood is another health benefit that kratom consumers experience. Kratom leaves produce opioid-like effects which incite positive feelings and more optimistic attitudes. People looking to fight anxiety and relieve depression more naturally are often using kratom.

Energy Lift

Kratom has great metabolic effects that positively influence the consumer’s energy levels. By inducing the metabolic processes, the body can generate more energy. Additionally, kratom leaves boost blood circulation which means more oxygen is transported to the body cells. As a result, the cell metabolizes food faster and produces more energy.

Improved Focus

Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter found in kratom. It’s important for improving focus and regulation of the endocrine system. Acetylcholine increases the ability of cortical circuits to respond to sensory stimuli, thus enhancing memory and focus.

Relief Symptoms from Withdrawal

Kratom can successfully relief symptoms caused by drug withdrawal, including nausea, sleeplessness, and mood swings. In fact, many think of it as a methadone replacement. When dosed properly, Kratom interacts with opiate receptors without causing addiction after a long period of use. 

Management of Diabetes

Probably the least known of the kratom benefits is its positive effects on blood sugar levels. Thanks to the alkaloids contained in kratom leaves, the plant can regulate the levels of insulin and glucose in the blood. By keeping them in check, kratom directly influences and prevents the peaks and drops of the blood pressure, preventing diabetes. For those who already deal with diabetes, kratom can help manage the condition.

Libido Improvement

Although there aren’t scientific studies that confirm this, Kratom has been associated with libido enhancement. It can be used as a supplement for better sexual performance.

What Are the Side Effects of Kratom?

Kratom’s side effects have been a topic of debate for a long time. The reason behind this is the strong effects alkaloids tend to have on humans. While these effects can be largely positive, they are also a cause for concern. There isn’t enough research into kratom’s long-term effects.

The most commonly reported kratom side effects are nausea and constipation. Some less common side effects include itching, sweating, dry mouth, dizziness, and hallucination. Some consumers have reported seizures after using kratom with different drugs. Long-term usage of kratom can affect the liver and kidney. Chronic usage of kratom is also associated with cardiotoxicity. Due to the overstimulation of melanocytes, heavy users have experienced darkening of the cheeks.

It is advised to avoid kratom when pregnant or breastfeeding. Although limited, some studies show infants could potentially become addicted by intaking it passively and then experience kratom withdrawal symptoms. 

Additionally, driving should be avoided when taking kratom. Some studies point out the potential change of effects from stimulant to sedative which could cause danger in such situations.

How Long Does It take for Kratom to Kick In?

You can feel its effects after 5-10 minutes and its effects can last up to five hours. Kratom effects depend on the quantity you take. As with pain medications and other recreational drugs, a kratom overdose it’s possible when taken without precaution. The secret lies in the right kratom dosage.

How to Take Kratom?

Kratom can be intaken in several ways. The most popular ones are listed below.

Kratom Tea

Kratom powder is the most popular method for kratom intake. You can make Kratom tea by boiling the powder with water for approximately 20 minutes and letting it sit. After the residue falls to the bottom, you can strain off the liquid. The effect is quite strong because the hot water activates the alkaloids. However, it’s very tasty and there are multiple kratom tea recipe variations so you can enjoy a more diverse taste. 

Green Maeng Da kratom or Malay kratom is a great match with peppermint leaves and maple syrup. In Red Bali kratom or Yellow Trainwreck kratom, you can add honey or molasses and if you consume White Maeng Da kratom, you can consider spicing it up with ginger and lemon juice.

Toss and Wash

Another popular kratom use is called toss and wash. You should scoop some powder into your mouth, swill it around, and rinse it with water. However, you might not like the strong earthy flavor which is very highlighted when using it this way.

Kratom Capsules

For those that don’t like the kratom flavor, the capsules are a great alternative. It’s a very simple and effective method. The kratom capsules come prepackaged in different counts so you can choose the one that is most convenient for your needs.

Same as with the powder, different strains will have different effects. So, if you want to relieve the pain, go for Green Maeng Da kratom capsules. Choose Red Bali kratom capsules if you want to improve your mood and feel energized. If you’re looking for deeper relaxation, Trainwreck kratom capsules will do the charm.

Kratom Tincture

Kratom tincture is high-concentrated, higher than kratom powder so you’ll need only a small dosage. Additionally, the body absorbs the tincture faster so you will kick in faster. The tincture is also very easy to use and highly portable, as well as convenient for storing it for a longer period. 

There are several ways to intake kratom tincture. You can simply swallow it and the body will absorb it, enhancing the kratom effects.

Another way is to hold it under your tongue for less than a minute and swallow the rest. This way, kratom has increased effectiveness as there are highly-absorbent blood vessels under the tongue.

Another method is to add the tincture to your food or drink. Many users prefer yogurt, but you can add it to any food or drink you enjoy. The absorption speed and effectiveness might be reduced when intaking Kratom this way but it’s one idea on how to make kratom taste better.

Kratom Dosage

Knowing how much kratom to take can make all the difference. The answer to this question depends on your tolerance, psychology, and numerous other factors.

Generally speaking, the low dose ranges from 1 to 5 grams and a moderate from 5 to 15 grams. If you’re a beginner, you can take 3-6 grams of kratom powder. However, if you determine this is too much for you, you should immediately lower the dose.

Kratom pills usually contain anywhere between 350 and 750 mg kratom so the starting dosage would be 1-3 capsules per day.

If you’re using a kratom tincture, you can divide the number of grams used to make the tincture by the volume of the prepared tincture and you’ll know how to do it properly.

Pro Tip: Start Slowly

Even a small dose of kratom can be very potent. You should start with a very small dose and wait for approximately 45 minutes and see how your body responds. If you’re taking kratom on an empty stomach, you’ll feel its effects faster, in about 20 minutes.

If you feel kratom high, you should lower your dosage but if you feel you need more, you can add one more gram and then increase the dose the next day. Make sure to modify your dosage with small increments.

If you’re trying kratom for the very first time, you should make sure to choose a trusted kratom supplier. Also, be aware of the strain variation as it will largely impact the benefits you get from the kratom. You can purchase a few kratom extracts and see which one works best for you. Try the different strains on their own.

How Long to Wait Between Kratom Doses?

As said before, Kratom effects can last up to 5 hours. So it’s advisable to wait at least that much between doses. Make sure to not take more than 8 grams of kratom in a given day.

Accidental Kratom Overdose

People with tolerance for opioids who are taking Kratom might accidentally overdose because they might not be able to do it properly. Additionally, Kratom overdose symptoms aren’t as obvious as other drug or alcohol symptoms as the plant act as a stimulant and sedative. Some common symptoms of Kratom overdose include chills, vomiting and nausea, drowsiness, confusion, and slowed and difficult breathing.

Is Kratom Legal?

Kratom isn’t illegal in the US, but it’s considered to be a drug of concern. Individual states, however, have banned kratom. Arkansas, Vermont, Alabama, Indiana, and Rhode Island are some of the states where Kratom is illegal.

The plant is listed under the Psychoactive Substances Act and criminalized in the United Kingdom. Australia and New Zealand also consider kratom as illegal. Kratom is controlled by numerous measures in several EU states including Sweden, Denmark, and Poland.

In Malaysia, the use of kratom leaves is prohibited by statute but still, kratom is widely used as the tree grows in that region. In Thailand, the use of kratom wash was prohibited up until 2018 when it became the first Southeast Asia country to legalize kratom use for medical purposes. However, it’s still illegal to use it for recreational purposes. 


How to Grow Kratom Indoors?

Kratom growing for aesthetic purposes is allowed even in the countries and states where the plant is banned for use. 

To grow Kratom you need to obtain fresh seed. Usually, you need to find a vendor or, if you get to travel in Southeast Asia, you can get it for yourself. Keep in mind, though, that seeds would lose their tree producing potential after three days of harvesting. The kratom tree thrives in soil with high humus levels and a pH range of 5.5-6.5. Additionally, the plant requires controlled light and temperature so it’s best if you don’t grow it outdoors. Growing kratom is quite a difficult process. For more tips, you can check Kratom Reddit pages.

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