Everything You Need to Know About Kratom — Benefits, Side Effects, and More

 Everything You Need to Know About Kratom — Benefits, Side Effects, and More

Kratom has gained popularity for its amazing benefits. It’s said to be a natural, yet effective substance for pain relief, mood boost, relaxation, diabetes management, and more. However, multiple claims that kratom is illegal surged, causing long debates. We’re answering all burning questions about kratom. What is it, what are its side effects and greatest benefits, how should you use it, and much more.

Kratom — What Is It?

Kratom, or Mitragyna Speciosa, is a tree that is a member of the coffee family that grows in Southeast Asia.  The alkaloids in the kratom leaves (mitragynine and 7-hydroxy mitragynine) make this plant very powerful. Depending on the dosage and use, kratom can have different effects ranging from energizing to relaxing.

Traditionally, kratom has been used in traditional medicine. In the past, people chewed the leaves but now kratom leaves are grounded into powder or put into capsules.

Kratom Strains

Kratom types are mainly differentiated by the color of the stem and vein of the leaf. The color actually determines the effect that the kratom leaves will have on your body and mind. When you buy kratom the product will be green because the stem and vein are removed during the process of grinding. However, the chemical composition is retained. All kratom types are unique and you should take time to see which one would work best for you.

Red vein kratom leaves are usually the top choice for beginners. Red Bali kratom and Red Maeng Da kratom are the best-known types.

Red Vein Kratom

Widely recognized for its pleasant calming effects, this type of kratom successfully helps people with insomnia. It also gives a relaxed sensation and relieves pain. Often, red kratom is used as a muscle relaxant and it can be an efficient replacement for painkillers. Stronger types of red kratom can be used to relieve withdrawal symptoms.

White Vein Kratom

White Vein Kratom has a stimulant effect and can be used to enhance mood. Some consumers take white kratom as a replacement for caffeine as it brings alertness, cheerfulness, and greater focus. It’s especially useful during busy days that require motivation and stamina. More experienced consumers often mix red and white vein strains to get a balanced energy boost. White Maeng Da is one of the top white strain kratom products.

Green Vein Kratom

A mild energy booster, the green vein kratom brings the perfect balance of focus and alertness without the drowsiness typically associated with analgesic supplements. Green Maeng Da or Green Malay can also be used to treat discomfort and pain. A balanced dosage can also help during recreational activities, bringing positive feelings of friendliness and cheerfulness. People with social fear often use this kratom type and report it makes them comfortable in their own skin and more talkative.

What Does Kratom Do?

Kratom has active alkaloids that interact with opioid receptors in the brain responsible for pain feelings. At a lower dose, kratom has energizing effects, whereas at higher doses it can have sedative effects. Here’s what you can expect when taking kratom.

Better Mood

The most-known kratom effect is the energy boost. The leaves produce effects similar to those of opioids, prompting positive feelings such as cheerfulness, friendliness, and overall well-being. People suffering from anxiety and depression often use kratom to relieve the symptoms.

More Energy

Kratom improves the metabolic processes and positively impacts energy levels. It also entices blood circulation which transfers oxygen to the body cells faster, forcing the body to produce more energy. Additionally, kratom stimulates the production of noradrenaline and adrenaline which are also responsible for the energy boost.

Withdrawal Relief

When ceasing to use certain medications and drugs, you’ll experience withdrawal effects like nausea, mood swings, and sleeplessness. Kratom can help relieve these symptoms. Many think of it as an effective replacement for methadone.

Pain Relief

Kratom’s pain relief properties are widely praised. It encourages the release of endorphins which has analgesic effects. It’s often used as a cure for chronic conditions like diabetes and arthritis.

Greater Focus

The acetylcholine which is found in kratom influences the regulation of the endocrine and regulates how cortical circuits respond to sensory stimuli. This means that kratom is great for enhancing memory and focus.

Keep Diabetes at Bay

Kratom balances the blood sugar levels. It regulates the insulin and glucose, preventing the spikes and drops in the blood. This helps prevent diabetes; however, those that already deal with these conditions can use kratom to effectively manage it.

Improved Libido

A less known yet great benefit of kratom is libido improvement. Users have reported the positive influence of kratom on sexual performance; however, there are no scientific studies that confirm this.

How to Take Kratom?

There are different ways of kratom intake. Below, we listed the most popular ones, so you can choose your favorite.

Toss and Wash

This is an easy way to take kratom powder. It’s simple and fast; however, the earthy flavor of kratom is very strong. Basically, you need to toss the powder into your mouth and then wash it down with water. When taken this way, kratom will kick in very fast. 

Take Capsules

Kratom capsules are another easy way to take kratom. The upside is that you won’t feel the kratom flavor and you won’t have to measure how much you should take — the capsules come prepackaged and you will know the exact value of kratom contained. Whether you’ll take White Maeng Da capsules, Green Malay capsules, or Red Bali kratom capsules, would only depend on your need.

Prepare a Tea

Preparing a kratom tea is a popular way of taking kratom. How to make kratom tea? Simple! Just as with regular tea, you need to boil the water and then add kratom powder. Boil it together for about 20 minutes, let it sit a bit, and then strain the liquid.

To improve the taste of the tea, you can add different ingredients like peppermint leaves, maple syrup, ginger, and lemon. Yellow Trainwreck kratom goes best with molasses and honey.

Add it to Smoothie

This is the best option that completely masks the earthy flavor of kratom. Simply add kratom powder in the desired amount into your favorite smoothie or even protein shake and you’ll be set for an excellent day.

Prepare Kratom Tincture

The tincture contains a high concentration of kratom and you’ll only need a small dose to feel the effects. What is more, the body absorbs tincture fast and it’s easier to store it for a longer period which isn’t the case with raw powder. You can hold the tincture under the tongue and swallow the rest for better effectiveness. Also, you can add it to your favorite drink — smoothie, yogurt, or juice. Keep in mind that when mixed with a drink, it will take a bit longer for kratom to kick in.

How to Store Kratom Long-Term?

When stored improperly, the mitragynine can transform and degrade the kratom’s effectiveness.

To preserve the potency of kratom, you need a cool, dark place, away from light, oxygen, and humidity. It’s best if you divide your kratom powder into substantial portions and save them in sealed plastic bags which you would then put into a bing stored away from light, oxygen, and humidity. Some people tend to store their kratom in sealed bags and into the freezer but it’s not determined whether this storage type is more effective than the other.

Is Kratom Dangerous?

The answer to this question can vary depending on who you’re asking. Kratom advocates say kratom is natural and very beneficial especially for pain relief, reducing stress, and helping with sleeping problems. They further say the plant is safe and has very few risks.

According to those against kratom, the plant affects similar effects to prescription drugs which often leads to abuse in usage. They also point out several deaths associated with kratom. However, the overdose cases in which kratom was involved usually included other medications and drugs too.

One thing you should keep in mind is that the production of kratom isn’t regulated which means there aren’t set standards for manufacturing and selling kratom products. This is why it’s of the utmost importance to source kratom from a reputable source. By doing so, you will ensure that the kratom isn’t spiked with additional substances that produce the same effects but are cheaper.

Kratom Side Effects

Alkaloids typically have strong effects; therefore, kratom can have numerous side effects if not taken in the proper dosage. Most commonly, users have reported nausea and constipation, as well as dry mouth, itching, and dizziness. Heavy-users of kratom have reported discoloration of cheeks.

Large kratom doses can cause hallucinations, whereas long-term usage can affect the kidneys and liver. Additionally, kratom long-term usage can cause cardiotoxicity.

Because there isn’t enough research on the long-term kratom effects, women should avoid it during pregnancy and breastfeeding period. Some recent studies have shown that infants can develop kratom addiction by intaking it passively and experience kratom withdrawal symptoms when they don’t intake the substance anymore.

Drivers should also avoid taking kratom as the effects of kratom can change from stimulant to sedative very fast.

How Does Kratom Show on a Drug Test?

The alkaloids in kratom are different from the alkaloids typically found in opiates. Kratom won’t produce a positive result on a standard drug test. Kratom drug tests rarely happen as they are quite expensive.

Could Kratom Cause a False Positive?

Some medications and substances can show a false positive on a drug test. Luckily, kratom isn’t one of them. As we said, the alkaloids found in kratom aren’t the same as the ones in typical drugs.

Kratom Dosage

There isn’t a straightforward answer as to how much kratom to take. It would depend solely on your tolerance. It’s best if you start with a small dosage. It takes about 30-45 minutes for the substance to kick in so wait and see how your body responds. Then, you can adjust the dose accordingly. It’s important to adjust the dosage in small increments.

If you’re trying kratom for the first time, learn a bit about the different kratom strains. They all have different effects so it’s better to choose the one that you need. Refrain yourself from mixing different types of kratom right away. Try them and see which one brings you the best effects. If you’re a more experienced kratom consumer, you can try and mix different types to get a perfect balance.

The low dose means 1-5 grams, whereas a moderate dose ranges from 5-15 grams. Beginners should be good with up to 6 grams of powder depending on the body’s tolerance. Kratom pills contain 350-750 mg kratom so newbies often start with 1-3 capsules.

Accidental Kratom Overdose

Kratom overdose can happen accidentally usually when people with a high tolerance for opioids take it. The symptoms won’t be visible right away because they will be weaker than the typical alcohol and drug overdose symptom. Common overdose symptoms can include vomiting, chills, confusion, drowsiness, and slowed breathing. It’s important to take these symptoms seriously and call for help.

Is Kratom Legal?

Generally speaking, kratom is legal in the US but listed as a “drug of concern”, meaning it has the potential for abuse. There are, however, several US states where kratom is illegal. These include Alabama, Rhode Island, Vermont, Indiana, and Arkansas.

Kratom is considered to be illegal in the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. As far as the EU is concerned, kratom is controlled by various measures.

Malaysia has forbidden the use of kratom with the statute by despite it, people are still using it as the tree grows natively. As of 2018, kratom is banned for recreational use in Thailand but legal for medical purposes.

Elena Ognivtseva
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Elena Ognivtseva


Elena is an avid blogger who enjoys writing articles on fashion, beauty, lifestyle, fitness and recently, CBD niches. Elena has been described as a "delightfully eccentric with a creative take on things" (New York Times) with an ability to "bring you new facts that will make you go WOW!" (Vanity Fair). Elena has been writing since her uni days where she was a regular contributor to the student magazine. After pursuing a career in finance in the heart of London's financial hub, Elena has decided to start blogging in her spare time as an outlet for her creativity and ideas. During her spare time, Elena enjoy horse riding, camping and hiking, interior design and keeping abreast with the latest trends. Elena is in the process of starting up her own beauty cosmetics line in the near future. Elena is also a contributing author to fashion and lifestyle magazines and has been featured in Vice, Country Living, Harrods magazine, Daily Telegraph, Grazia and Women's Health.

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