Kratom is an herbal supplement derived from a tropical tree bearing the same name. The kratom tree, known scientifically as Mitragyna speciosa, is native to Southeast Asia. Although kratom has only recently gained popularity in the Western world, natives of countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and others have used kratom medicinally for centuries. Kratom comes in various forms, each with its own benefits and method(s) of consumption. In addition, different forms of kratom will vary by potency, dosage and the type(s) (strain) of kratom the product contains. Regardless of type or form, kratom generally provides stimulating effects at lower doses and sedating effects at higher doses.
Although the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has sought to schedule kratom as a Schedule I substance, it has failed to provide the evidence necessary for an official designation. For instance, deaths reported to be due to kratom were actually the result of polydrug use or underlying health conditions of users. In addition, no scientific evidence exists proving that the active alkaloids in kratom are dangerously addictive or produce the same effects as classic opioids.
Kratom is legal in the majority of US states, excluding:
● Rhode Island
● Banned in San Diego (legal in the rest of California)
● Banned in Sarasota County, Florida (legal in the rest of Florida)
The best place to buy kratom is online through a company that specializes in kratom products. Although it can be tempting to choose a local vendor like a head shop, the quality of their products will be spotty at best. Unlike trustworthy kratom experts, owners of head shops typically aren’t knowledgeable concerning the important factors that consumers should be aware of when buying kratom. These include the proportion of alkaloids, dosage and what extraneous ingredients the kratom contains.
When taking kratom, users should be aware of the effects produced by different formulations and strains. However, many forms and strains can provide either stimulating effects at low dosage and sedating effects at high doses. In addition, different forms of kratom will determine possible consumption methods, including:
● Chewing crushed leaves
● Toss n wash (placing powder on the tongue and washing down with a beverage)
● Mixing powder with food or beverages
● Drinking tea
● Swallowing capsules or tablets
● Placing liquid kratom on your tongue
Kratom can have numerous effects on the body and is used worldwide for multiple ailments. It can work similar to an opioid by binding to opiate receptors in the brain. In this case, kratom will produce effects like euphoria, pain relief and relaxation. Kratom can also interact with other brain receptors to provide stimulating effects, such as increased focus, alertness and sociability. Ailments for which users report positive results include:
● Chronic or acute pain
● Poor cognitive function
● Lack of energy
● Low libido
● Opiate withdrawal
It’s important to note that there are several factors that will determine which symptoms will be relieved. These include the form and type of kratom, dosage and potency.
When ingesting kratom, there are multiple factors that will determine how long the effects last, as well as potency of these effects. These factors include:
● Form and type of kratom
● Body weight of user
● Metabolism of user
● Interaction with medications
However, the peak of the effects typically lasts about 1 to 2 hours, with a come down period of about 3 to 6 hours. That makes the typical total duration of the effects averaging between 2 to 5 hours.
No, kratom is not an opiate. However, it can provide similar effects like pain relief, euphoria, and sedation. This is due to it interacting with the same brain receptors that opiates do. However, kratom doesn’t come with the negative side effects associated with opiates, nor does it carry the same risk of addiction. The use of opiates has caused an epidemic of addiction and overdoses in a relatively short time. On the other hand, kratom has been around for hundreds of years without the same tragic results. Although there are similarities between kratom and opiates, the two are extremely different.
Kratom powder is the result of grinding dried leaves of the kratom tree into a form that can be easily consumed by simply washing it down with a beverage, brewing it into tea or mixing it into food or smoothies. This form of kratom is especially beneficial to new users because they can start with very small doses and work their way up to a dose that is ideal for their symptoms. This allows them to test out their body’s sensitivity to kratom and helps them avoid building up an unnecessarily high tolerance. Kratom is also sold in capsule form for those who want to avoid its bitter taste and pungent odor. This form also makes dosing more straightforward and less time-consuming compared to using a scale for measurement.
The existing data shows that kratom’s half-life is approximately 24 hours. This means that 50 percent of kratom’s active alkaloids (mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine) are eliminated in about a day, with full disposal taking about 2 days. However, kratom’s half-life is dependent on dosage, frequency of use and the shelf life of the form of kratom taken. Other factors include age, weight and interaction with medications.
There are different ways to brew kratom tea. However, the basics remain the same:
For larger batches: Heat water to a gentle boil. Then, reduce the heat to simmer and add the desired amount of kratom leaves or powder. Simmer for 10 to 20 minutes. (The longer the kratom steeps, the more bitter it becomes). Next, pour the solution through a strainer into a storage vessel. If using crushed leaves, consider saving them for 1 or 2 more batches.
For a single cup: Pour hot water from a teapot directly into your cup containing a tea ball with your desired amount of kratom.
Tips: Allowing the kratom to soak in lemon juice prior to heating will counteract the degeneration of active alkaloids. To further cancel out the bitterness, sweeten your tea with maple syrup, honey or agave juice.