Kratom is an herbal supplement that is gaining popularity all over the world for its diverse healing properties. It is derived from the Mitragyna speciosa tree, or kratom tree. This plant has its origins in Southeast Asia, where natives have used kratom leaves for centuries to manage pain and stave off fatigue. Today, thousands of kratom users report that kratom products do both of these things and much more. However, many potential users are probably wondering, “What does kratom do?”
Why Do People Take Kratom?
Users report that they have taken kratom to treat or maintain the following common ailments and conditions:
- Chronic pain
- Chronic fatigue
- Low libido
- Decreased cognitive function
- Addiction withdrawal
As you can see, kratom uses are quite diverse. In addition, users are able to choose from different forms and strains of kratom to fit their symptoms more specifically. Dosage also plays an important role in what effects are gained from kratom use.
What Are the Effects of Kratom?
In general, kratom in low doses will provide stimulating effects, while higher doses provide relaxing effects. However, different forms of kratom offer different methods of consumption. They also offer different potencies that will affect proper dosage. Add to that the numerous strains available, and the possibilities of finding the perfect kratom for your needs increases drastically.
Kratom is available in the following forms:
- Crushed leaf
Each of these forms offers its own benefits, depending on the dosage needs and personal preferences of the user. For instance, many users prefer to take kratom powder using the “toss n wash” method. This involves spooning the product into your mouth and washing it down with a beverage. In addition, both kratom powder and crushed leaf kratom can be brewed into tea.
However, other users want to avoid the bitter taste of kratom and prefer either kratom capsules or a kratom extract product, such as kratom isolate tablets or kratom extract powder. Extracts are the most potent forms of kratom and are typically best for experienced users who have built up a tolerance for smaller doses or for any user needing more potency for more severe symptoms.
How Do Strains of Kratom Affect Results?
As if your choices weren’t varied enough, different strains of kratom will also provide different effects. Typically, a strain’s name consists of a color and a location. The color is known as the vein and designates the color of veins in the leaves of the plant that the kratom came from. The location designates the origin of the kratom product.
Certain veins lean toward either sedation or stimulation, as does kratom from different locations. For instance, users report that red vein kratom is the most sedating and effective for pain relief. In contrast, white vein kratom is better for increasing energy and focus. If you’re looking for both energy and pain relief, Bali and Maeng Da strains are optimal choices. Remember, however, that dosage will always have a degree of influence on results.
Is Kratom an Opioid?
Kratom is not an opioid. However, it acts similarly to one. Its active alkaloids are mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. With higher doses of kratom, these compounds bind to the same brain receptors as opiates do. This creates opioid-like effects, such as euphoria, pain relief and relaxation. In contrast, stimulating effects occur with lower doses. These include increased energy and alertness. In either case, kratom acts as a mood enhancer. This is because it can both elevate mood for depressive users and calm the minds of anxious users.
Is Kratom Legal?
Those of you wondering, “Is kratom an opioid?” might also have asked, “Is kratom legal?”. The answer to the latter is not a simple “yes” or “no”. There are too many governing bodies involved for it to be that easy. Although not officially illegal in the US, kratom is banned in 6 states.
- Rhode Island
In Tennessee, kratom is legal, but only in plain leaf form. In the rest of the country, it is legal to have, use and grow kratom.
International kratom legality varies by country. Therefore, it’s a good idea to do your research before traveling with kratom.
Is Kratom Addictive?
Kratom can cause mood-altering effects. This makes it a psychoactive substance. Therefore, a common question is, “Is kratom addictive?”. Again, we have a question without a simple answer. Kratom in itself is not addictive. Thousands of users worldwide regularly attest to this. Meaning, there are countless reports of effective, non-addictive kratom use.
In contrast, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reported at least 44 deaths related to kratom. Upon further study, however, these deaths were found to be from one of two scenarios:
- Taking kratom products laced with dangerous ingredients
- Using addictive substances along with kratom, such as opiates or alcohol.
Meanwhile, the American Kratom Association (AKA) supports the use of kratom in addiction treatment. Although this may sound ironic, many users take kratom to relieve withdrawal symptoms. Because addicts often relapse during withdrawal, kratom can help them move into a life of sobriety.
Is Kratom Safe?
The simple answer to the question, “Is kratom safe?” is that pure kratom is safe. However, lack of standardized regulations makes it easy for manufacturers to put unsafe products on the market. Therefore, your best bet for finding safe kratom products is to do your research. First, you want to verify the kratom is lab-tested. It’s also important to buy from a company that specializes in kratom. They will be more savvy about industry standards and more likely to provide you with safe products.
Finally, don’t go for the cheapest kratom you find, but also don’t go for the most expensive. Cheaper can mean lack of effectiveness and/or purity, while expensive can mean the vendor isn’t buying straight from the source. This is a good sign that they are paying a middleman. Therefore, your kratom is spending more time in transit and can lose its efficacy.
So, What Does Kratom Do?
Finally, a question to be answered with simplicity and clarity. Kratom does wonders for your health and well-being. Whether you simply need a quick pick-me-up to replace coffee or you need to be pain-free and get a great night’s sleep – and everything in between – there is a kratom product for you.