The popularity of the herbal supplement kratom has its roots in Southeast Asia. Derived from the evergreen Mitragyna speciosa, kratom has been used for centuries by the locals who either chew or smoke the leaves. In many homes in the region, they brew a kratom tea that they enjoy at the end of the day, as a social drink with friends, or for certain festivals. Kratom is not to be used not for its euphoric and stimulating effects as it is best used as a potential health supplement. However, as with all good things, if you continually indulge in the herb then you can develop a kratom tolerance.

Understanding Kratom Tolerance

Kratom powder

Kratom powder

As with all things, your body starts to become immune after constant exposure.  Usually, it’s a gradual progression after extended use. You’ll need a higher and higher dose to achieve the same effects and eventually, you won’t feel anything and be immune to the herb’s alkaloids. You might be worried that you have a kratom addiction because it seems like you need more and more to achieve the same results. However, this is common for many things. If you regularly drink coffee every morning then pretty soon one cup isn’t enough to jump start you, and you’ll need even more for the brew so you graduate to two cups, three cups, four cups, and even five cups to achieve the same result. As with all things, you’ll want to be responsible and avoid overindulging.

What is Stagnant Strain Syndrome?

Kratom users will tell you to spice things up a bit to avoid becoming too tolerant. When they say this, they mean that you should use different strains instead of just one strain. Yes, you might have your favorite but there are a lot of strains to choose between so why not try a few? If you focus only on a single strain, then you run the risk of developing what is referred to as ‘stagnant strain syndrome.’

Harvest, Drying, and Curing

Kratom Harvest

Kratom Drying

Remember, all strains have their own effects and alkaloid balances even if they are classified as the same plant. Many things affect the alkaloid percentage such as maturity at the time of leaf harvest, the drying process, and the curing of the plant. Many speculate that even the region and cultivation practices also have an impact on the plant. Basically, if you take two leaves from the same plant but you dry one outside and the other one indoors then you are altering the compounds. The leaf dried indoors becomes more potent than the one dried outdoors. So, as you can see, there are many variables that are used to create different strains using the same plant.

Can You Avoid Stagnant Strain Syndrome?

If you are wondering if you can avoid Stagnant Strain Syndrome, then the answer is yes. Unfortunately, it’s tempting to just start increasing your dosage when you no longer feel the effects but eventually you are going to top out and then you’ll be unable to gain any advantageous results. The best way to avoid SSS is to mix up your use of strains. You can also buy kratom mixtures that contain more than one strain.

Control Your Usage

Okay, you might not want to hear the suggestion to control your usage, but this is good advice. Don’t overindulge. Instead, use the herb only when you need it. Try not to use it whenever you feel like it. Instead, layout a daily plan so you only use the supplement at certain times of the day. Basically, stick to a schedule.

The Progression

If you are a newbie to kratom use, then you can typically take a single dose and it will last all day. However, eventually, you are going to work your way up to two or three times per day. This is a natural progression that you cannot bypass or ignore because your body just naturally becomes less sensitive. Track which time of day your body can benefit from kratom use and then try to schedule a dose. Basically, a well-laid out plan that spreads the doses out over the day helps to prevent tolerance by ensuring that the alkaloids do not start to concentrate in your brain.

Strain Rotation

Without a doubt, your best bet to avoid kratom tolerance is to focus on strain rotation. Use the schedule talked about above in combination with a viable rotation plan. Yes, this means you will have to purchase more than one strain of kratom, but you will avoid becoming immune to the herbal plant.

Here is an outline of the schedule that you might want to follow:

  • Monday: Red Maeng Da
  • Tuesday: White Borneo
  • Wednesday Yellow Vietnam
  • Thursday: Red Sumatra
  • Friday: Green Borneo
  • Saturday: White Borneo
  • Sunday: Red Bali

As you can see, you just must mix it up a little bit.  Choose whatever strains you like to put into rotation. Just make sure they are all somewhat different, so you are not receiving the exact same level of alkaloids.

Kratom Alkaloids

Yes, as outlined, your body does develop an immunity to the effects of the evergreen plant’s alkaloids. What makes Mitragyna Speciosa so potent and coveted is the wide array of alkaloids found in the plant’s leaves. They render the plant medically potent and very desirable for those who practice holistic medicine. Within the leaves of the evergreen plant are two primary alkaloids that stand out from the rest 7-hydroxymitragynine and Mitragynine. They each perform different functions when ingested. With 7-hydroxymitragynine you’ll enjoy great painkilling perks and even sedation qualities. Mitragynine also helps with painkilling but renders great stimulating effects.

Alkaloids and Usage

It takes the body about 20 minutes after ingesting kratom to start feeling the effects of the plant’s alkaloids. Some people might respond sooner and some later. The alkaloids work with the brains’ receptors. When the alkaloids have started to build up in the brain, you’ll achieve a physical response. The brain’s response to the alkaloid is to downregulate the key receptor sites which leads to ultimate homeostasis and balance. However, if you frequently use kratom then the alkaloids hang around in your brain in varying concentrations depending on how heavy of a dose you ingested. The extended time frame that the alkaloids are in the brain starts to cause it to desensitize to the plant’s effects which is the start of tolerance.

All strains of kratom can cause de-sensitivity but those with high alkaloid concentrations such as Maeng Da appear to lead to it quicker. Therefore, it is imperative that you use different strains to avoid kratom tolerance.

How Long Does Kratom Last in Your System?

How long kratom lasts in your system has not been entirely pinpointed but most believe that the effects will last from seven to 24 hours and then it is gone from your system. However, many say that it can still be detected for two to nine days before the alkaloids are eliminated. Now you might think that just detoxing your system will take care of tolerance, but this isn’t always the case.

Understanding Kratom Tolerance Phases

Typically, there are three accepted phases of kratom tolerance. However, you might fall in between the various phases which can complicate things.

Zero Kratom Tolerance (often called the Honeymoon Phase)

Without a doubt, the Honeymoon Phase is the sweet spot where you want to be. Newbie users experience this. It’s amazing because a little bit of kratom goes a long way. Once you ingest the kratom, the alkaloids hit hard and are exceptionally effective. Unfortunately, this phase doesn’t last forever, and you are going to move on to the next stage. However, how long it lasts depends on your dosage, frequency of use, and if you vary strains. If you’re smart, you can ride this phase for a while but remember to pace yourself and be aware of the strains that you use.

Lifestyle (Happy Phase)

At this point, the effects are very consistent, and you are probably happy with the results. You can try a new strain and still enjoy a brief Honeymoon Phase again.  You can coast along in this phase for a long time by using a low dose and altering strains. Remember, consistency is important.

Reaching Kratom Tolerance

When you reach tolerance, you are using a lot of kratom to gain any results. Sadly, you have entered the tolerance phase. As you progress through this stage, even a large dose of the herb might not render any results. Ideally, you want to do everything you can to avoid this phase. The above tips on keeping the dose low and alternating strains can keep you from becoming tolerant. However, it’s different for everyone.

Yes, kratom tolerance is very real and it’s a stage you want to keep from reaching. Purchasing different strains from the Kratom Club and keeping your dose low is your best bet so your body doesn’t become too used to the alkaloids found in the plant. Basically, keep your body guessing so it is never lulled into tolerating the herb.