Kratom in its many forms has grown in popularity over recent years, with users worldwide reporting positive results for the treatment of various ailments. In addition, users report that these health benefits come without the side effects of prescription drugs that treat the same conditions. Kratom products are available in several forms. Each form affects the mode of consumption, as well as the proper dosage. Two of these forms are liquid kratom and kratom powder.
Before we get into a comparative study of these two forms of kratom however, let’s be clear on what kratom is generally all about.
Kratom is the name of both a tree and the herbal supplement derived from it. The botanical name of this tropical tree is Mitragyna speciosa, which is native to Southeast Asia. In countries like Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, natives have used kratom as a medicinal herb for centuries.
What Does Kratom Treat?
The most extraordinary virtue of kratom is its effectiveness in treating such a vast number of conditions of both the mind and body. These include:
- Chronic pain
- Poor cognitive function (lack of focus and concentration, memory loss)
- Lack of energy
- Low libido
- Opioid withdrawal/cessation
In addition to these ailments, kratom also contains antioxidants to protect against damage from free radicals. This benefit helps to delay or prevent certain types of cell damage that cause disease.
How Does Kratom Work?
Out of the 25+ alkaloids that kratom leaves contain, mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine are the most active. These compounds bind to opioid receptors in the brain to provide analgesic (pain relief) effects, as well as euphoria due to the subsequent release of dopamine.
However, kratom is not an opiate, nor does it cause the negative side effects associated with prescription opiates. Users will experience opiate-like effects when they take kratom in higher doses. At lower doses, the active compounds in kratom bind to different receptors in the brain to cause stimulating effects. Therefore, smaller doses are effective for those wanting to know how to increase focus and alertness.
Forms of Kratom
Kratom is available in the following forms, each with its own consumption method(s):
- Crushed leaf
- Raw (non-extract) powder or capsules
- Extract powder or capsules
- Liquid extract (such as liquid kratom tincture or alkaloid suspension)
- Resin extract
- Tablets (such as pure isolate tablets)
Depending on the targeted symptoms and dosage, each form of kratom has its unique benefits.
Types of Kratom
Kratom is available in different veins and strains. Vein refers to the color of the veins in the leaves of certain varieties of the kratom tree. The three main veins of kratom are red, green and white. There is also a rare yellow vein kratom, which is a form of white vein kratom that changes color due to different drying techniques. Strains of kratom are typically designated by geographic origin. Common strains include Borneo, Indo (Indonesian), Malay (Malaysia), Thai and Bali.
Different strains are effective for different symptoms. For instance, those who want to know how to improve sex drive with kratom should go for Bali or Hulu strains. To improve sleep quality, users will likely benefit from red vein kratom strains.
Kratom Liquid Extract vs Kratom Powder
These two forms of kratom differ in 3 main ways:
- Methods of ingestion
- Convenience (portability and dosage)
- Concentration of active compounds (potency and absorption)
Liquid kratom refers to multiple kratom products, including kratom tincture and alkaloid suspensions. In essence, liquid kratom products are kratom extracts. An herbal extract is a form of any herbal supplement that is more concentrated and potent than a whole herb supplement.
The benefits of choosing liquid kratom over kratom powder include:
Little or No Bitter Taste
You can drop liquid kratom on or below your tongue and wash it down with your favorite beverages. There is no navigating the bitter taste that comes with gulping down a spoonful of kratom powder or drinking kratom tea.
Liquid kratom comes labeled with dosing information, so there’s no need to use a scale to measure out the proper dosage like kratom powder requires. Kratom in liquid form is also more convenient for when you’re on the go.
Liquid kratom is more readily absorbed and provides quick results. This is especially beneficial for those with acute pain after surgery or during chemotherapy treatment who need pain relief fast.
With liquid kratom, it takes less to provide strong results because it contains a higher concentration of active alkaloids. This adds to its convenience and makes it more cost-effective for users who’ve built up a tolerance with kratom in powdered or crushed leaf form.
Although kratom powder may have gotten a bad rap above, it does have its benefits. Namely, it is a great way for new users to experiment with dosage to test their sensitivity to kratom and its effects. In addition, it allows users with milder or more occasional symptoms to avoid building up a tolerance. They can find a mild dose of kratom that works for them when they need it from time to time and stick with that dosage. Finally, raw kratom powder is typically cheaper than liquid extracts.
Where to Buy Kratom Extract
The safest and most reliable way to buy kratom products is online from a vendor who specializes in kratom. These companies will understand the benefits and effects of kratom and will be knowledgeable of industry standards. All too often, local vendors simply stock kratom to boost their sales and aren’t savvy about the differences between poor quality and high-quality products.
NOTE: There is a form of liquid kratom that is most commonly referred to as a kratom shot. Take heed of these products, especially if you see them in a convenience store or head shop. Most of the manufacturers of kratom shots don’t provide the concentration of alkaloids and other important information on their labels. Therefore, you really can’ know what you’re getting and risk adverse reactions.
If you really love the idea of “shooting” kratom, just make sure it is from a trustworthy vendor, which you will most often find online.