It’s difficult to definitively say how much kratom someone should take, given that it affects each person differently depending on their weight, sex, metabolism, and even the food they have consumed earlier in the day. We recommend that you start at a lower dose of powdered kratom (1-2 grams) to let your body adjust to the new substance without being overwhelmed.
But First, What is Kratom?
Also known as Mitragyna Speciosa, this plant is native to Southeast Asia and indigenous to Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia. In Thailand and Malaysia, kratom is also called ketum, biak-biak, ithang, thom, and kakuam.
Available in many forms, kratom contains opioid properties and offers stimulant-like effects. To be ingested, the Mitragyna Speciosa leaf is either chewed dried or fresh, smoked, or powdered and brewed as a tea or swallowed as a capsule.
Although kratom is legal in the United States, it is currently illegal in Thailand, Australia, Malaysia, and multiple European Union countries.
History and Uses of Kratom
Kratom, a tropical tree from the coffee family, has been used in traditional medicine since the nineteenth century to manage chronic pain, combat fatigue, improve productivity, and enhance one’s mood. Moreover, it is often used recreationally in many regions.
Although more research on kratom’s efficacy is needed, its place in traditional medicine has been evident since the nineteenth century. Kratom has been used by many to:
- Manage chronic pain
- Treat opioid withdrawal symptoms
- Relieve musculoskeletal pain
- Increase energy, appetite, and sex drive
- Treat cough, diarrhea, and intestinal infections
- To heal wounds as a local anesthetic
Strains and Doses
While low doses of kratom create a euphoric and energizing effect, higher doses generate sedative and opioid-like effects. These effects typically begin within five to ten minutes and can last for two to five hours.
There are three varying types of kratom: green, red, and white. Green strains deliver an energizing effect, red strains produce a relaxing, pain-relieving effect, and white strains offer a mix of both red and green strains. Here we’ll discuss a few of the more popular strains, their qualities, and how you can use them.
- Bali is best known for its pain relief and energy boost. Experts often recommended Bali as a starting point because of its pain relief and gentle energy boost.
- Red Bali is similar to Bali with strong red characteristics. Red Bali is a stronger alternative to the original Bali.
- Red Indo has classic red characteristics and is known for its pain-relieving and relaxing qualities.
- Red Vein Kali offers pain relief and relaxation. It is known for its sedation and classic opiate-like effects.
- Green Malay is the original variation of Malaysian kratom. It is known for increasing energy and heightening moods.
- Green Sumatra is a mix of Bali and Green Malay and delivers an elevating energy boost and long-lasting, relaxing effects.
- Green Vein Kali provides a boost of energy and blends pain relief and relaxation.
- Green Indo is a milder strain that balances pain-relief and energy-boosting benefits.
- Maeng Da has a stimulant-effect and is known to produce a euphoric feeling, as well as reduce pain and increase energy.
- White Borneo is a high-quality white strain that is known for its long-lasting, energizing effect.
- White Vein Thai is the most stimulating of the white strains but offers the least pain-relieving qualities than other kratom strains.
- White Vein Indo produces an energy boost and a sense of euphoria but is milder than those qualities found in the Bali strain.
- White Vein Kali is a milder white strain but still delivers a good energy boost and relaxation effect.
Forms of Kratom
Kratom is available in many different forms, with each state varying in potency. Experts recommend starting with a low dose, as you can never be sure how you may react to its effects.
Powder is the most common form of kratom and is usually pressed into tablets or capsules or brewed as a tea.
Recommended dose: 1-5 grams, will experience increased energy and focus
High dose: 5-15 grams, will experience pain-relief, an opioid-like high, and increased risk of side effects
Hazardous dose: 15+ grams, will experience sedation and an increased risk of severe side effects
Extracts and Tinctures are made by extracting key alkaloids (like mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine) and infusing them into a final product. They are 15x more concentrated than traditional ground leaves and therefore don’t require as much product to reach the desired effect.
Recommended dose: 5ml, 1 gram, or less
Leaves are often eaten fresh or dried or brewed as a tea.
Recommended dose: 1-5 grams
Capsules or Tablets are usually available for purchase in .5g pills.
Recommended dose: 2-10(.5g) capsules or tablets
Gum is a less common form of kratom with varying degrees of potency. Be sure to follow any instructions that accompany the product to get the recommended dose.
As with any supplement, it’s essential to be aware of adverse side effects that may occur (no matter how rare) and talk to your doctor before making any changes to your diet. Kratom can interact with alcohol and other medications, so make sure you learn about the risks and take the proper precautions before starting it.
Most side effects are rare, mild, and well-tolerated; however, some severe side effects can manifest. Adverse side effects of kratom may include:
- decreased appetite
- weight loss
- temporary erectile dysfunction
- hair loss
- high blood pressure
- heart palpitations
- kidney problems
- liver problems
- memory problems
The Last Word on Kratom Dosage
With the popularity of kratom in the United States growing, more people are turning to natural ways to treat their pain, depression, anxiety, withdrawal symptoms, and more. Kratom powder, tea, extract, and capsules are becoming common supplements because of their ability to produce a gentle energy boost without causing jitters, in combination with their pain-relieving capabilities.
As always, talk to your doctor before adding any supplements to your current diet. Make sure to learn about the risks involved before making any decisions that may affect your health!