Kratom has risen in popularity as an herbal supplement. If you have recently visited a vitamin store, vape shop, dispensary, or looked online at health sites then you have probably encountered kratom advertisements and products. Kratom effects are being widely promoted as a mood enhancer, for pain relief, energy booster, and to assist with the symptoms of opioid withdrawal. However, kratom is extremely complicated and it doesn’t work the same for everyone.
What is Kratom?
An herbal extract, kratom is obtained from the dried leaves of the tropical evergreen tree
Mitragyna speciosa. The tree grows throughout much of Southeast Asia. Locals have used the leaves in teas and to chew for centuries for a variety of health conditions, to socialize, and for significant festivals. The leaves of the tree are harvested, cured (dried), and then either pounded into a powder or used as a loose leaf tea. Depending on the brand, you can also purchase kratom capsules and even kratom energy drinks.
Kratom Effects Vary
Kratom effects vary significantly depending on where the tree grows. The evergreen tree Mitragyna can grow to a height of up to 50 feet and a width of 15 feet. Kratom has numerous slang terms such as thang, ketum, biak, kakuam, and thom You’ll encounter many strains. The number of alkaloids vary by strain and appears to depend on where the tree was grown. In Thailand, kratom often contains up to 66 percent Mitragynine but in Malaysia, strains contain only 12 percent. The varying alkaloid strains are what render the effects. Bali is said to have the most opioid-like effects. Malay tends to provide a sedative feeling.
Kratom Effects and Use
The American Kratom Association (AKA) estimates that from 10 to 16 million people use kratom in the United States. In most cases, users tolerate the herb well. However, kratom remains highly controversial and many seek to outlaw the use of kratom because of their fear of its potential to be abused. However, Albert Garcia-Romeu, Ph.D., who is an instructor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine believes “ that kratom doesn’t belong in the category of a Schedule I drug, because there seems to be a relatively low rate of abuse potential, and there may be medical applications to explore, including as a possible treatment for pain and opioid use disorder. There has been a bit of fearmongering because kratom is opioidlike, and because of the toll of our current opioid epidemic.” (1)
How Does Kratom Work?
Kratom effects are a result of the plant’s natural alkaloids. The alkaloids act on the body’s opioid receptors to create a variety of results depending on the dosage. In low doses, kratom usually acts as a stimulant and provides a great deal of energy to the users. However, in high doses, it can ease pain and bring on a sense of euphoria. In Southeast Asia, naturopathic doctors regularly proscribe kratom as a substitute for opium.
Many users seek kratom effects to accentuate their lifestyle during recreational settings. Some believe that the herb helps them relax and others think the herb improves cognitive focus. Depending on the strain, the effects can be strong or mild. At My Kratom Club, we carry a wide range of kratom strains HERE.
The Alkaloids of Kratom
The two main active alkaloids found in kratom are Mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. However, depending on the strain, they can vary widely. You might think that the leaves are loaded with alkaloids but, the foliage contains only about 2 percent Mitragynine and 0 to 0.02 percent 7-hydroxymitragynine.
A fresh leaf weighs around 1.7g and a dried kratom leaf weighs about 0.43g, so 20 leaves contain approximately 17mg of Mitragynine. The leaves go through a drying process and then grinding to compress them into 5kg bricks for easy global shipping.
Kratom Effects and Safety Concerns
As mentioned, the kratom effects vary by strain and user. Most people take kratom with no issues, but others might have certain side effects. Safety issues are rare but in the United States, the Poison Control Center in the United States received about 1,800 calls over a two-year period from users concerned they might have overindulged in the herb. Recently, as the herb’s popularity has increased, there have been more call reports. (2)
Unpleasant kratom effects include:
- Weight loss
- Dry mouth
- Muscle pain
- Breathing suppression
- Liver Damage
- Changes in urine
- Muscle pain
Kratom Effects Timetable
Usually, kratom effects take about five to 10 minutes and will last from two to five hours. The effects become more intense the more kratom that you take. One thing to remember is that kratom effects do vary by user. A small amount might produce intense results in some people.
What to Expect from Kratom Effects?
Kratom for Sleep
Many people believe that one of the most pleasurable aspects of kratom effects is that it boosts alertness and makes them feel more sociable. High levels of kratom cause an opioid-like response.
- Lower anxiety
- Decreased pain perception
- Pinpoint pupils
- Full-body relaxation
A so-called ‘high’ also occurs that produces varying levels of euphoria. Many compared the feeling to that achieved with opioids. Your mood and decision-making impulses might be altered. You’ll feel more mellow and less sensitive to pain.
Kratom Effects: The Various Strains
Kratom’s Energizing Potential
New strains are constantly emerging in the kratom marketplace. Each one has a different level or percentage of alkaloids. Genetic differences and growth factors can alter kratom effects dramatically.
Here are a few of the most popular strains:
- Bali: Bali has very narcotic effects that are relaxing at a high dose or stimulating at a low dose when ingested.
- Malaysia: Malaysia kratom renders about the same effects as Bali.
- Thai: Thai has the reputation of being the longest-lasting of all the kratom strains. It creates a very sedative-like impact on the user. Interestingly, nowadays if you encounter kratom that is said to be ‘Thai’ it probably was not grown in Thailand because the country ban kratom years ago. So-called Thai kratom grows in now cultivated in other regions. The leaves contain about three to five grams of alkaloids.
- Maeng Da: Maeng Da has a reputation for being exceptionally potent and is probably the strongest strain available. It has very energizing effects that can make the user feel a little jittery in some situations. Normally users take from one to two grams and should not exceed the recommended dosage.
Kratom Vein Color
To complicate things further, kratom is divided into categories based on the vein color of the leaves. The strains are divided by vein color.
Red Vein Kratom
Red vein kratom is immensely popular as a stimulant with only mild potency. It has very calming properties and a sedative-like effect. Many users also report slight feelings of euphoria whenever they use red vein kratom. It is favored by sufferers of chronic and persistent pain. The supplement may ease feelings of anxiety and take the nervous edge off the user. Without a doubt, red vein kratom is regularly picked by those who suffer from insomnia and are seeking a few hours of restful sleep after a hard day. Red vein is ideal to use when you want to relax on the couch.
Bentuangie kratom is a type of red vein kratom. Unlike other strains and vein types, Bentuangie depends solely on the fermentation process and produces very sedative-like properties. Individuals who favor Bentuangie often experience severe pain and obtain relief using it.
White Vein Kratom
A very potent strain, novice, and beginners often favor white vein. Early harvesting ensures the potency of white vein. Many users report that it has an extraordinarily strong and bitter taste that some find unpleasant. When used White Vein acts as a stimulant and provides a great deal of energizing properties. Interestingly, some users who suffer from depression proclaim that white vein acts as a mood stabilizer. It also may have the potential to counter the effects of chronic fatigue or tiredness.
Green Vein Kratom
Krato to Handle Social Anxiety
Green vein provides very mild results compared to white or red vein kratom. It does act as a stimulant but is just not as intense. The leaves of the green vein go through harvesting right before peak maturity when they still retain an emerald green hue. In some ways, green vein is a balance between red and white — perhaps that sweet spot for some users. The kratom effects are a balance between energizing and sedative. People who suffer from social anxiety often turn to green vein so they can stay focused and tackle whatever task they are dreading. Also, green vein often takes the edge off anxiety and fear. Those who avoid public speaking often find green vein beneficial.
Yellow Vein Kratom
Yellow vein kratom is a unique strain that is not really considered a major type of kratom, but you will encounter it on the marketplace. It is an interesting blend of green and white or green and red. The yellow usually arises when the strains are combined.
Many things impact kratom effects such as strain type, vein color, and cultivation region. If you would like to learn more about kratom, please contact My Kratom Club.
Natural Herb Kratom May Have Therapeutic Effects and Relatively Low Potential for Abuse or Harm, According to A User Survey
Published February 2, 2020
NEJM Journal Watch
Calls to Poison Control Centers for Kratom Increase
By Kelly Young
Published: February 22, 2019
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