With the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes becoming more commonplace in many states there has been a renewed interest in the benefits of smoking herbs. Many wondering about smoking kratom. Can you make a kratom joint or load a pipe with kratom?

Learn About Smoking Kratom

time lapse grayscale photography of man blowing smoke from his mouth

Smoking kratom is not without risk.

Theoretically, smoking kratom is possible. However, it is not necessarily advisable. The potent alkaloids in the plant’s fibers could cause long term side effects or potential damage to the lungs. The central nervous system also might be impacted. The delicate capillaries within the lungs would be at the mercy of the inhaled kratom smoke which could cause damage. Ideally, you should abstain from smoking kratom and stick to the conventional ways that people have used kratom throughout history such as:

Why Smoking Kratom Could Render Strong Results?

Have you ever looked at an x-ray of your lungs? They look kind of like upside-down trees. The trunk forms your windpipe and the branches are the many bronchi fanning out. The bronchi leading to the air sacs which could be considered the fruit of the tree on each branch. Within the multitude of air sacs are countless capillaries (blood vessels) that work to transport oxygen to the heart, brain, and vital organs. Your respiratory system is an amazing part of your body.

People smoke cannabis because the cannabinoid-rich smoke quickly reaches the capillaries in the lungs and is picked up with the oxygen particles where it is rapidly transported to the brain and central nervous system to create a psychoactive response.

Users usually start to feel the effects of weed within minutes up to 30 minutes after inhaling the smoke which is must faster than if you ingest marijuana which can take up to four hours before you feel any mental changes. Many believe that smoking kratom works in much the same way as smoking a joint. However, research is limited and smoking kratom might not work in the same way. Alkaloids and cannabinoids are vastly different chemicals.

The Alkaloids of Kratom

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Kratom contains very potent alkaloids.

The main alkaloid found in kratom is Mitragynine. It varies by strain but tends to make up about 65 percent of the plant’s alkaloid compounds. It is credited with producing the powerful effects of kratom on users. However, Mitragynine is not the only alkaloid. Depending on the kratom strain, there can be up to 25 other alkaloids present in the herb that vary substantially in ratios and are largely dependent on where the kratom as grown and the time the leaves of the time of the year when the leaves were harvested.

Combined, the various alkaloids have benefits and drawbacks that are unique to each chemical. Most users are familiar with what to expect from the different kratom strains depending on the alkaloids, but the expectations can change dramatically when smoking kratom. In fact, some minor alkaloids could become far more potent and overpowering then they are if you orally ingest the herb.

Heating Kratom

The cannabinoids found in cannabis must be heated to undergo decarboxylation which activates them. Although alkaloids are different then cannabinoids, heating them also might alter them. More studies need to be performed. However, many theorize that it could make them more potent or render many completely useless. Other problems are the byproducts that re-created by heating kratom such as carbon monoxide and soot which the smoker will also inhale when they are smoking kratom. All those things can potentially have harmful side effects that cannot be overlooked.

Smoking Kratom in Southeast Asia

Kratom obtained by harvesting the leaves of the Mitragyna speciosa tree. A tropical tree, it grows throughout much of Southeast Asia and is a member of the coffee family. In its native homeland, kratom leaves are either chewed or brewed into a robust and bitter tea. Smoking kratom is exceedingly rare. However, when it is smoked, they use dried leaves from the tree.

In the United States, it is hard to obtain dried, unprocessed kratom leaves because kratom trees do not grow naturally. Some users have been known to smoke kratom powder. When smoking kratom, the user will take the kratom powder and sprinkle it on top of either marijuana or tobacco before lighting it up.

Potential Dangers of Smoking Kratom

Currently, there is just not a lot of research available about smoking kratom. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does state that smoke inhalation does have the potential to damage the lungs, “Smoking can cause lung disease by damaging your airways and the small air sacs (alveoli) found in your lungs.”   (1)

The inhalation of smoke often leads to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Symptoms can include:

  • Cough
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Weakened immune system
  • Shortness of breath
  • Inability to perform physical activities

Smokers have been found to be 12 to 13 times more likely to develop and die from COPD than non-smokers. (2)  It stands to reason that smoking kratom may have similar effects as tobacco on the lungs. Over time, damage or scar tissue could develop in the air sacs of the lungs.

Dosage and Smoking Kratom

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Unlike with capsules and powders, it is difficult to calculate dosage when smoking kratom.

One of the main problems with smoking kratom is that there is no way to correctly calculate the dosage that you will receive the potent alkaloids. In fact,  you could ingest too much of the alkaloids, so dosing becomes very tricky.

As with all substances, in moderation everything is okay but if you take an excessive amount then you could suffer from physical problems. The side effects of kratom are very dependent on the dose that you take. This is quite common with stimulants and opiates too which is why it is important to make sure you take the correct dosage of kratom, so you do not experience any unpleasant side effects.

Possible side effects of too much kratom include:

  • Facial flushing
  • Constipation
  • Tremors
  • Pupillary ocular constriction
  • Nausea
  • Itching
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Hallucinations
  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of motor coordination

Potential Waste of Kratom

Using kratom powder sprinkled on cannabis or tobacco is often considered a waste of the herb. Ingesting the kratom in traditional ways tends to be a better option for most people and will ultimately save you money because you will use far less power than burning it.

Best Ways to Ingest Kratom

Capsules are a popular way to ingest kratom.

There are so many unknowns surrounding smoking kratom. Clearly, we can learn from history too. Kratom has been used for centuries in parts of Southeast Asia and it was rarely smoked so there must be some reason why the naturopathic doctors in the region avoided suggesting that kratom users smoke the herb. With other ingestion methods that are considered ‘safer’ maybe you should abstain from smoking kratom until more research is carried out to examine the safety of the method.

The best ways to ingest kratom include:

Kratom Powder

Kratom powder is a great way to ingest the herb. You can opt to use the ‘toss and wash’ method which includes putting a mouthful of kratom in your mouth and then drinking water to wash down the powder. This is a quick and effective way to ingest kratom but some people object to the herb’s bitter taste. In such a situation, you can always sprinkle kratom powder in your morning coffee or add it to a delicious smoothie to mask the alkaloids unpleasant flavor.

Kratom Capsules

Kratom is available in capsule form which is very quick and convenient. You can effortlessly swallow a capsule with your other supplements. One of the best things about kratom capsules is that they are an effective way to know exactly how much kratom you are ingesting. Each capsule has a pre-measured amount of kratom, so you don’t have to worry about taking too much of the herb or too little. Also, you can carry kratom capsules in your purse or pocket just like you do other supplemental pills and medications.

Kratom Tea

Many people mistakenly believe that they must have dried kratom leaves to brew tea s they do in Southeast Asia. Without a doubt, it is nice to have dried leaves to make the tea, but you can also use kratom powder mixed with conventional tea leaves to create a tasty beverage.

Enjoy kratom tea either iced or hot. Add sugar or honey to the brew to mask its bitterness and enjoy it in a traditional way. Kratom tea is one of the pleasurable ways to ingest kratom and it is very similar to the way that the locals of Southeast Asia have used the herb for centuries which makes it an ideal option for many and is far better than smoking kratom.

At My Kratom Club, we carry a wide array of kratom strains. Please contact us today to learn more.