Kratom is a unique new herbal extract that has been attracting hype all over the world. It’s been described as a “trendy new internet drug” and it seems to have vastly different effects on everyone who consumes it.
Find out everything you need to know about Kratom today in our review.
What is Kratom?
Kratom is a member of the coffee plant family native to Southeast Asia. It’s a tropical evergreen tree that has long been used for its medicinal properties.
Scientifically speaking, the kratom tree is called the Mitragyna speciosa. But most people know it as kratom or kratom. The leaves of the tree appear to have psychoactive effects: chewing the leaves can boost your mood or help you relax, for example.
Today, countries in Southeast Asia have begun exporting kratom all over the world. Kratom is commonly sold online as an extract or in powdered form.
How Does Kratom Work?
Kratom is believed to have effects similar to opium or morphine. It acts as an agonist on the mu-opioid receptor. This can reduce levels of chronic pain and soothe anxiety, among other effects.
Ultimately, we don’t definitively know how kratom works, if it’s safe, or what its effects may be. The plant has not been well-studied in any major clinical or scientific studies. As its popularity grows, however, more and more high-quality studies will likely take place.
Effects of Kratom
Overall, the effects of kratom are best described as “mild”. The plant targets the same receptors as opium, although it seems to have a much less powerful effect.
Some of the primary effects reported by kratom users include:
— Anti-anxiety And Relaxation Effects
— Better Libido
— Preworkout-Like Effects, Where You Can Exercise For Long Periods Of Time Without Fatigue
— Better Motivation, Concentration, And Focus
Of course, part of what makes kratom so controversial is that many people report the opposite of all of the above effects. Some people who have taken kratom claim that it leads to these effects:
— Anxiety and nervousness (this user even reported getting a stutter every time she uses kratom)
— Poor Libido And “The Worst Sex” Of Your Life
— Extreme Fatigue And Sleepiness
— Numbness In The Body
— Worse Concentration And Focus
— Headaches, Nausea, And Other Unwanted Side Effects
Read through a few kratom reviews online to see what I mean: people have all different types of experiences with the herbal extract. You might have a totally different experience than everyone else.
How to Use Kratom
Kratom can be used in a few different ways:
— In Thailand and other parts of Southeast Asia, you’ll see people chewing the kratom leaves fresh. Users will remove the stringy central vein before munching on the leaves. Some people prefer the leaves fresh, but they can also be chewed dry (which makes them tougher and harder to chew).
— If you’re buying kratom online, you’re most likely going to be buying powdered kratom. Powdered kratom is usually made from dried kratom leaves. These leaves are condensed and purified, turning them into a powder. The powder doesn’t taste very good. It’s really bitter. Many people mix it with water and chug it. Others add it to a smoothie to mask the taste. Some people like the bitter taste so much they use the powder as a tea.
— Finally, you can also smoke kratom. This is the least practical way to consume kratom because you need to consume large doses of kratom in order to experience the effects. If you really like smoking herbs and don’t mind a little roughness, however, then you may prefer smoking kratom. But most people will not prefer it.
How Much Kratom Can I Take?
As mentioned above, you have to take large amounts of kratom in order to experience the effects. Here are some of the basic guidelines for taking kratom:
Premium-Quality Kratom (taken orally):
— Threshold: 2 to 4 grams
— Mild: 3 to 5 grams
— Moderate: 4 to 10 grams
— Strong: 8 to 15 grams
— Very Strong: 12 to 25 grams
Extra-Potent Kratom (taken orally):
— Threshold: 1 to 3 grams
— Mild: 2 to 4 grams
— Moderate: 3 to 7 grams
— Strong: 6 to 10 grams
— Very Strong: 8 to 16 grams
Kratom Extract (taken orally):
— Threshold: 1 gram
— Mild: 1 to 2 grams
— Moderate: 2 to 4 grams
— Strong: 3 to 6 grams
— Very Strong: 5 to 8 grams
As a general guideline, here’s what each effect feels like:
— Threshold: You’ll begin to feel the effects of kratom, although they’ll be very subtle.
— Mild: You should start to experience stimulant-like effects.
— Moderate: You may begin to feel stimulant-like effects along with sedative-like, pain-reducing effects.
— Strong: This dose is too strong for highly sensitive people and will result in strong sedative effects, euphoric effects, and analgesic effects.
— Very Strong: This dose is too strong for all but the most experienced kratom users. You will experience extremely potent sedative-euphoric-analgesic effects.
As you can see, if you’re taking kratom as a stimulant, then you’ll want to stick to small to medium-sized doses. If you’re taking it for its sedative effects or as a pain reliever, then you may prefer higher doses.
How to Buy Kratom
More and more kratom retailers are appearing online every day. Every kratom retailer seems to make similar promises: they all promise to provide the highest-quality, freshest kratom available.
Ideally, your kratom will be packaged in vacuum sealed, dark bags to maintain freshness. Remember: your kratom has to travel a long ways around the world to get to its destination.
You typically buy kratom as a powdered extract.
In terms of pricing, retailers like Happy Hippo Herbals sell kratom for between $14 and $20 for a one ounce package. You can buy larger 4 ounce packages for $50 to $65.
Most retailers also offer different strains of kratom. There are common kratom varieties which have weaker, less potent effects, and there are more powerful strains of kratom which have been selectively bred over the years for maximum potency.
Depending on how close you are to Southeast Asia, you may also be able to buy fresh leaves from street vendors or from local herbal retailers, medicine shops, and pharmacies. You usually won’t see this in Thailand because kratom is illegal, but you may see it in neighboring countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.
Frequently Asked Questions About Kratom
Just like most exciting new drugs, people have a lot of questions to ask about kratom.
Here’s what you need to know before trying kratom:
Is Kratom Legal?
Kratom is not legal everywhere. It’s illegal in Australia, Denmark, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Thailand.
Kratom is legal in most countries, however, including most of Europe, the United States (not all states), and Canada.
In America, kratom is legal everywhere except for four states: Wisconsin, Indiana, Tennessee and Vermont, all of which have totally banned the drug. Some states are also actively passing laws trying to ban kratom. Those states include Michigan, New Jersey, and Iowa, all of which will likely ban kratom within the next 1-2 years. Other states that have announced plans to ban substances like kratom include Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, and Oklahoma.
Many people are surprised to discover the kratom is illegal in Thailand. Thai officials banned kratom 70 years ago because it was cutting into opium export profits. Seriously!
Like most new drugs, kratom’s legality is changing on a near-daily basis. Before you order kratom online, make sure you check the news for any kratom legislation in your area. Depending on the strictness of your country’s customs, your kratom may be rejected at the border.
Will Kratom Appear on a Drug Test?
Kratom functions like a drug because it binds to opiate receptors in the brain. Nevertheless, the fundamental structure of kratom is different from opium and other opiates, which means it will not appear as an opiate on your drug test. Some drug tests can detect the alkaloids in kratom, but since kratom is a legal herbal drug in most countries, it normally is not tested.
Long story short: kratom will not appear on a drug test.
Can I Grow Kratom at Home?
Kratom is grown primarily in Southeast Asia because the plant requires a tropical climate. If you’re going to grow kratom at home, then there are two important things to keep in mind:
— You’ll Need To Maintain A Humid Environment
— You’ll Need To Trim The Plant Frequently, Because They Can Grow To Be Quite Tall
The plants will die when exposed to cold temperatures and are intolerant of frost. Kratom can be grown outdoors year round in tropical climates and throughout the summer in colder climates.
Will I Get Addicted to Kratom?
Kratom is often advertised as a non-habit-forming drug. That appears to be true because the drug is fundamentally different from other opiates. Nevertheless, you can get addicted to virtually anything, so it’s still important to use kratom responsibly.
Are There Any Potential Health Problems?
Short-term recreational use of small to medium doses of kratom appears to be safe. Kratom is well-tolerated by most people. However, prolonged use of high doses of kratom can lead to some serious health effects. Some people have physical withdrawal symptoms if they quit abruptly, including muscle problems, irritability, crying, runny nose, and diarrhea.
Some kratom addicts in Thailand are also distinguishable by their unnatural weight loss or dark pigmentation on their face.
Who Should Use Kratom?
2015 is fast becoming the year everyone heard about kratom. If it doesn’t reach a critical mass of popularity this year, then it probably will hit it next year. The fast-growing drug is becoming a popular alternative to other recreational drugs. At this point, it also appears to be mostly safe to use (as long as you’re consuming small to medium-sized doses).
One of the most worrying – and most interesting – things about kratom is that it has different effects on everyone who consumes it. Some people get freaked out, paranoid, and anxious. Other people become relaxed and creative. Some people just get tired. Others feel nothing. You won’t know how kratom affects you until you try it yourself.
Check the legality of kratom in your country before you order anything online because kratom laws are changing on a near-daily basis.