KEEP KRATOM LEGAL!
Due to constant pressure from regulatory agencies and governments, we have a tough battle to fight.
Native to the Southeast Asia, kratom (Mitragyna Speciosa) is a powerful medicinal plant used by thousands throughout the world. The medicinal potentials of this plant are vast, some of the most prominent include: pain relief, opiate addiction treatment, mood lifting, energy and immune system stimulation.
There are entire forums on the use and benefits of this impressive plant, which speaks for this plant’s virtue more than we ever could.
The use of kratom goes back several thousand years, but it was first formally documented growing abundantly in Thailand by Dutch botanist Pieter Willem Korthals in the early 19th century.
While the birthplace of Mitragyna Speciosa is unknown, it has flourished abundantly in Southeast Asia and Indochina — growing naturally in regions such as:
As a result of adapting to these different climates and regions, this plant has evolved and diverged into a variety of strains and vein types, each of which vary in both in effects and potency; it is these differences that have made kratom such an incredibly versatile plant. Further on, we will cover these strain differences at length to give you a strong understanding of the varied uses, effects, and potential applications of this unique plant.
The medicinal are highly flexible and diverse due to its unique alkaloid profile, which is unlike any other plant known to exist. These effects are:
The medicinal effects of kratom are both highly flexible and broad due to variations in alkaloid profile between plants as well as the unique qualities of the alkaloids themselves, which are largely unlike any others known to exist. These effects are:
In addition to this large range of medicinal applications, this plant also has other positive secondary properties such as high-antioxant and vitamin content, which has made it worthwhile for general health purposes as well. in almost every regard, as there have been no known deaths from this plant, except in combination with other dangerous substances.
In addition to this large range of medicinal applications, this plant also has many other positive secondary properties such as high-antioxant and vitamin and mineral content, which has made it an item of interest for general health purposes as well. Kratom is safe in almost every regard, as there have been no known deaths from this plant, except in combination with other dangerous substances.
Kratom’s pain-killing effects are very pronounced, and are much more effective than OTC substances when dealing with chronic pain. It is these potent pain-killing effects that have allowed many to become entirely pharmaceutical free (an inspiringly common event within the kratom community).
As public awareness increases and fear-mongering and outright disinformation dissipate, you can expect to see this plant as a commonplace alternative to more riskier opiate medication.
Kratom can effectively reduce pain from conditions such as:
This list is far from comprehensive, as kratom’s pain relieving effects occur within the brain, as opposed to OTC pain medications which have to work locally and are largely limited to pain caused by inflammation. For this reason, taking kratom for pain tends to be far more versatile and powerful for pain relief as it can mitigate pain at the perceptual “root”.
The primary reason kratom is so effective for pain are it’s two primary painkilling alkaloids: Mitragynine, and 7-OH-mitragynine. Which both have agonist activity at mu and delta opiod receptors, effectively dampening the body’s perception of pain at the source. As a result, those who are looking for pain relief from kratom have had best effects with strains high in these two alkaloids.
Leaf alkaloid content can vary from plant to plant, and from strain to strain, however, there are a few strains which seem to be the most effective for pain overall. The most popular strains for this purpose are:
Preferred Vein Color
For this purpose, red veined strains tend to be the most reliable for pain relieving effects, although a good green vein can be just as effective. It should be noted, however, that because green veins tend to be more strongly influenced by the effects of the given strain, one should stick to characteristically the pain relieving varieties mentioned above, such as Indo or Borneo.
Because of this plant’s pain-killing and mood-lifting effects (due largely to 7-OH-mitragynine), it has been very effectively used to quit opiates and dampen the withdrawal symptoms of both prescribed pain medication as well as illegal narcotics.
You can find many cases of people using kratom for opiate withdrawal and addiction to both help transition to sobriety, or as a form of maintenance substance to combat cravings and post acute withdrawals syndrome (PAWS)
Preferred Strain Color
As with pain relief, green veins can be used, however, because some green veins tend to be more stimulating (not ideal), it is common practice to stick with with red veins — the same advice holds true for maeng da strains.
The psychological effects of kratom are of a very unique quality in comparison to other plants found in nature, as the plant contains both sedating and stimulating properties; these effects can differ depending on the strain, plant and one’s own personal body chemistry.
Nearly any quality strain can cause general mood-lifting, but the differences in strain can shift the spectrum of effects between stimulating and sedating, which can largely change the qualities of the experience.
According to quite a few anecdotal reports, this plant may also be beneficial for the treatment of depression; however, not every strain is fit for this purpose. The more sedating strains may have some temporary effects on depression, but are likely lacking in effectiveness long term due to more rapid development of tolerance.
Preferred Vein Color
Some green vein strains have been used for well-rounded depression relief, though individual brain-chemistry may come into play.
Because everyone has different brain chemistry and little-to-no clinical research has been done in this regard, it would be wise to gain familiarity with this plant and its effects before using it for this purpose. For most people, the strongest impact of kratom on depression is a temporary mood boost to allow you to push through rough moments, as opposed to a daily supplement (although some have had success with that). If you’re dealing with severe depression, always consult with a physician before pursuing any course of treatment
In order to maximize anxiety relief with kratom, you will likely be best suited to a strong and sedating strain such as an Borneo or Indo, although other sedating strains can work effectively. In our experience, borneo kratom strains have generally been the most effective for destroying anxiety, stress and restlessness without causing excessive tiredness or brain fog that some varieties of strains like Bali can cause.
For those with insomnia in conjunction with anxiety, these strains can also double as a great kratom strain for sleep.
Preferred Vein Color
Due to the immunostimulant alkaloids found in kratom:
Kratom can be effective for boosting the immune system, which can be effective for conditions ranging from the common cold to the flu, and it may have potential to help many more conditions (although little research in this regard has yet been done). Because of this, many have started to take it at the onset of a sickness to reduce its duration (as well as negate some of its symptoms).
Preferred Vein Color
Because the research in this regard is lacking, the strain choices above are only defined by the limited regions that were studied, and so many other varieties of kratom may have similar immunostimulant properties.
Nootropic substances are a relatively new field of interest which shows much promise. Interestingly, some have reported good results by using kratom as a nootropic in areas such as focus, motivation and memory.
Unlike traditional medications for focus (e.g. ADHD medication), the subjective experience of kratom for many is that it doesn’t make your focus “stick” psychologically, rather it seems to dampen psychological background noise resulting from stress, anxiety or excessive excitement/restlessness, promoting natural focus ability. In this way it tends to lend itself to a more meditative quality of focus.
Because strain differences can vary, there is typically no set dose for peak cognition boosting effects — though it typically ranges from low/medium to medium.
Preferred Vein Color
If you choose to try a green vein strain, we would suggest a more stimulating variety, such as those mentioned above, at a low dosage, as large doses can sometimes be counterproductive.
Due to different growth regions and breeding, kratom has evolved into a variety of different strains, which can be very different in effects. There are three primary effect categories one can divide strains into: stimulating, sedating and moderate.
It should be noted that every plant within a strain can vary, so in no way are these analyses set in stone; rather we have taken a more statistical approach, based upon large amounts of individual user experience reports to provide a guide to the general strain characteristics.
Stimulating strains are some of the most desirable strains for those with fatigue or depression, as well as for those who need to sustain energy and focus for long periods of time.
Thai kratom is well-known for its powerful energetic effects. The unique alkaloid profile of Thai kratom often provokes different reactions between different users, and may not be for everyone. However, this strain has a very dedicated following, unlike anything we have seen with other varieties of kratom.
The pain-killing effects of Thai are variable; typically, red vein thai (commonly called RVT) is the most effective in regards to analgesia, whereas white and green vein thai strains, while stimulating and a great kratom strain for depression, are lacking in this area.
Stimulation: 8 to 9.5 / 10
Pain Relief: 4 – 8 / 10
Mood: 6 – 9 / 10
Maeng Da has been widely renowned as one of the most potent strains of kratom, and for good reason — it can provide both high levels of pain relief and stimulation. This strain has been ideal for those with pain who don’t want to sacrifice energy levels, as well as those who are looking for a mood-boost.
Stimulation: 7 – 8.5 / 10
Pain Relief – 7.5 – 10 / 10
Mood: 7.5 – 10 / 10
As a whole, sedating strains are lacking in the more stimulating alkaloids contained in the Thai/Maeng Da strains of kratom; however, they pack a very large punch as far as pain relief is concerned due to their large concentrations of 7-hydroxymitragynine. These strains have been traditionally used for chronic pain, opiate withdrawal relief and mood-lifting.
A high-quality borneo strain, especially a red vein borneo, is one of the most unique and you will find in nature; they are highly sedating, great for pain relief, and unparalleled for anxiety/stress relief.
Borneo strains also tend to have a low side-effect factor in comparison to other strains with similar characteristics. You can often distinguish a borneo by its muscle relaxing qualities, although a few varieties of Indo have been known to have this quality as well.
Stimulation: 1 – 2/10
Pain Relief: 8-10 / 10
Mood: 8 – 10 / 10
Bali kratom is one of the most economical strains due to large leaves and quick growth. Proper dosage for some Bali strains can be difficult, as they are known for their fairly low “wobble” threshold. Though many have found one can minimize this negative by mixing it with another strain.
Stimulation: 2-4 / 10
Pain Relief: 7 – 9.5 / 10
Mood: 7 – 9.5 / 10
Indo strains are very well-rounded for pain and have less side-effects than comparable Balinese strains, and share quite a few qualities in common with strains such as riau and sumatra; borneo as well is a variety of indo, but with unique characteristics. Many have reported delayed effects from many types of Indo kratom, which is likely due to the leaves tough cell-walls, similar to Green Malaysian strains.
While the effects are similar to Borneo kratom strains on paper, regular users may notice some of the subtle but very notable differences experience.
Stimulation: 2-3 / 10
Pain Relief: 8 – 10 / 10
Mood: 8 – 10 / 10
Many prefer a moderate strain as their daily go-to, due to its potent, yet smooth, effects. Currently, one of the most common moderate strains is Green Malaysian; however, it is good to remember that the interplay between strains, vein types, breeding and growing conditions can make an characteristically sedating or stimulating strain moderate.
Green Malaysian has long been known as one of the longest-lasting strains due to leaf cell-wall density.
Some have remarked on this strain’s unique nootropic effects, which many have found to increase mental endurance, allowing longer focus. Interestingly, due to the quality of these effects, they are often only noticed in retrospect due to the strain’s characteristically smooth and even-keel effects.
Stimulation: 4-6 / 10
Pain Relief: 6 – 8 / 10
Mood: 7 – 8.5 / 10
Something unique to this plant, in comparison to many other medicinal plants, is the distinct differences of vein color which result from breeding and growth conditions. These different vein colors often correspond to very reliable differences in effects and can provide strong clues as to what to expect from a given strain.
However, there are some minor exceptions, especially when dealing with strains with a less balanced alkaloid profile such as Thai, or Borneo/Indo strains which on the whole provide a more polarized kratom experience (being more stimulating or sedating, respectively).
Red vein kratom is one of the most popular due to its natural tendency toward higher levels of 7-hydroxymitragynine, which leads to impressive pain-killing effects, sedation, as well as anxiety and stress relief.
Red veins also tends to be less at the mercy of individual brain chemistry; whereas white and green vein strains often effect people variably.
This is one of the reasons red vein thai (RVT) is so popular among kratom users — it combines both strong energy from it’s Thai influences, with the red vein’s painkilling effects — leaving the strain stimulating but very well-rounded.
Pain Relief: 3/3
Despite the lower amount of 7-hydroxymitragynine found in white vein strains, this vein type should not be treated lightly. White vein kratom has a very strong following, and many have found it very effective for conditions such as depression and lack of focus/energy.
Of all the vein types, white vein shows the most potential as a nootropic (cognition enhancing) substance. Many have found that using this vein type first thing in the morning to be a great substitute for coffee due to it’s “clean” effects on alertness and focus.
Pain Relief: 1/3
For those who prefer neither the sedation of red veins, or the stimulation of white veins, green vein kratom may be the best solution. Green vein strains are (on average) much more moderate in their effects than other the other vein varieties and can provide the best of both worlds, making them commonly used as a daily kratom. However, green veins tend to be much more easily influenced by individual strain differences, making them the most variable vein type in regard to effects.
Some green vein strains may also provide nootropic effects, and are generally less at the whim of personal brain chemistry than white vein strains tend to be.
Pain Relief: 2/3
While typically not as well-rounded as the plain leaf in effects, kratom extracts can certainly serve a purpose for those with chronic pain or other debilitating conditions in which the plain leaf will not suffice.
There are a large variety of different types of extracts with varying effects, based upon both the method of extraction as well as the base plant material used to make them. Read below to learn about these different extract types.
Water-based kratom extracts are by far the most common variety. As the name implies, the extract is performed by: dissolving a portion of alkaloids into water, straining the powder, and evaporating the water. This process leaves a brownish, more alkaloid-concentrated version of the plain leaf behind.
Water extracts are commonly referred to with an ‘x’ (e.g. 10x, 25x), which implies how much plain leaf material was used to create the same weight of resulting extract. Sadly, these figures are nearly always incorrect due to vendor dishonesty.
In comparison to water-based extractions, kratom resin extractions have a much more well-rounded profile of effects. These extracts are typically performed by extracting kratom with both a polar solvent and a non-polar solvent; a simple example of this would be water and ethanol. Like the water extract, the powder is strained and the alkaloid saturated non-polar/polar solvent is left to dry.
Unlike the other forms of extracts, kratom tinctures can vary in their method of extraction and their potency; because of this, buying them from an disreputable source can leave one disappointed. On the other hand, when they are done well, they can be quite potent.
Enhanced leaf has become the go-to choice of many extract users due to it’s high potency and lack of side effects. Enhanced leaf is used by taking a highly potent kratom extract, dissolving it in a solution, soaking kratom leaves/powder in this solution and letting it dry. When done correctly, this method can create a highly potent leaf.
One of the most popular enhanced leaf blends of our era is known as UEI (Ultra Enhanced Indo).
The reason for the difference in effects from strain to strain is the variability of kratom’s alkaloids; in fact, there are over 28 identified alkaloids found within the plant with different half-lives and durations. For more information on these alkaloids, their effects, and their content (% of total alkaloid weight, one standard deviation), refer below:
Respected kratom researchers such as Takayama H, Shellard EJ, Raymond-Hamet, Becket AH, Philipson JD and Lee CM, have shown that the alkaloid profiles of the plants from different regions vary heavily; especially in Thai strains, in which case mitragynine content is well above the average. Malaysian strains, on the other hand, have proportionally low levels of mitragynine, suggesting its potency may be due to proportionally higher levels of 7-hydroxymitragynine.
These differences in alkaloid profile are what make each strain unique and effective in quite different ways, but there is still much research to be done until we have a complete understanding of alkaloid effects, and an alkaloid profile of each strain, region and vein color.
Dosage has been a key factor for those looking for specific effects. By dosing too low, the medicinal capabilities are nulled, while dosing too high can often lead to relatively harmless, but potentially unpleasant side-effects, such as the “wobbles” and minor nausea. To learn about kratom dosage, refer below.
Average Dosage by Grams
Average Dosage by Teaspoon
It should be noted that due to varying potency between strains and plants, this estimate is in no way standardized, instead it an estimate based on historical and experiential reports. Doses at the the “high” end of the spectrum are also much more likely to cause side-effects, depending upon the strain.
For best effect, many have found that this plant should not be taken in high doses regularly, as some of the medicinal effects can diminish. However, those who use this plant to combat chronic pain may find this inevitable, as pain doesn’t operate in a convenient time-cycle.
Differences between strains is a factor that can’t be overlooked when calculating a dosage. There are a few primary strains that should be dosed relatively lower than the average, these strains are:
Because of this, it is a good idea to modify dosage with these strains accordingly in order to achieve best results. Some strains, such as Borneo, can be dosed relatively higher, due to their lack of side-effects. Because of this variability in strains, it is advisable to start low with any new or unknown strain.
Something that is frequently encountered with a variety of strains is the difference in effects at differing doses. Although this varies depending upon the strain and where you buy kratom, typically, lower doses are relatively more stimulating than higher doses; while the cause of this is not well known, it likely has to do with the the diminishing returns of stimulating alkaloids in comparison to 7-hydroxymitragynine.
For anyone inexperienced with kratom, it is essential to know about the philosophy, theory and advice regarding kratom dosage in order to get the ideal effects.
The “less is more” theory is very popular among kratom forums, and there is some evidence to back this theory. Almost every strain has an optimal dose for both medicinal and euphoric effects, and dosage above this ideal threshold can have reverse effects, potentially due to mu opiod antagonists such as corynantheidine.
Now, it’s important to note that different strains have differing levels of this alkaloid, so if this common experiences is a result of this alkaloid, it this statement may not apply to all strains — however, the majority of strains seem to be affected.
The “less is more” theory, is also advisable because lower dosage also creates less tolerance to effects, which can help maintain the plant’s medicinal potential over time.
As plain leaf has to be digested in order to have medicinal benefit, many have found it to be best taken on an empty stomach, as this will ensure the effects are delivered quickly and reliably. In addition to taking kratom on an empty stomach, many have found that some foods seem to not only delay the effects of kratom, but nullify them almost entirely.
Because eating is a necessity, it may not always be possible to use it in this manner; for this reason, many have turned to kratom tea to deliver effects more quickly and reliably.
Throughout the thousands of years kratom has been used, preparation methods have remained relatively the same; however, as western society has interacted with this plant, there have been some unique additions — recipes and methods to fit our unique needs.
The quid is the original method of kratom use for Southeast Asian cultures, especially Thailand. The quid method of use involves taking fresh kratom leaves (a rare commodity in the western world), removing the stems and veins in one quick motion, bundling the kratom and chewing it while holding the saliva and chewed leaf material in their mouth.
The quid works through mostly sublingual methods, however, the swallowed portion also has a considerable effect.
One of the most common kratom preparation methods, if it could be called preparation at all, is the toss ‘n’ wash. This method is typically done by:
This is another very common preparation method, both in the west and east. Learning how to make kratom tea is fairly simple:
Tea is considered effective by many because of the quick onset of effects; however, by straining out the powder, one may lose the full alkaloid spectrum of the plain leaf, reducing some medicinal potentials.
Because some are more sensitive to the bitter taste of kratom tea, many tea recipes have been developed. One of the most effective we have seen for masking the taste of kratom is to mix it with a flavoring, or mixture.
One of the most effective kratom recipes we have found is what we have heard called “Speciosa Chai”. This method is very simple and is composed of a few simple steps:
There are a variety of different chai mixtures one can experiment with; however, the Tazo Organic Chai Black Tea mix is the favorite we have seen at an associated kava bar in our area.
Something that we have seen to be surprisingly effective at masking the taste are pump flavorings– especially the fruit-based flavorings. You can find these pump flavorings at local coffee shops or online for a very reasonable cost.
Another common method that has been more recently for those who don’t want to toss ‘n’ wash or make tea, is to mix kratom. Some of the most common mixers we have heard are:
Mixing kratom with these has the added benefit of allowing it to be taken while minimizing the taste, however, with some of these it may take longer to digest.
Another creative method we have heard is to kratom with peanut butter to form little peanut butter balls to swallow. Nearly any decent tasting drink/mixture can be effective.
Additionally, tools such as blender bottles, commonly used for protein shakes, have been suggested for this process.
A common form of kratom preparation is by capping the kratom powder rather than taking it whole, mixed or in tea form. Kratom capsules have the benefit of being easy to use.
Buying capsules can be extremely expensive in comparison to powder, and kratom capsules (especially the variety sold by less reputable companies at shady stores and gas stations) that have had a big part in giving kratom a bad name. Additionally, when buying these capsules you don’t really know what you’re getting, as it isn’t an approved dietary supplement; which could lead to dangers for both the user, and kratom’s legality.
Because of this, anyone who wants to keep kratom legal should avoid buying kratom capsules. There are a large variety of capsule tools, such as “The Capsule Machine” and “Cap m Quick”, which can make capsules in bulk (and save you a tremendous amount of money over time in the process).
Kratom tolerance is the number one impediment when looking to ensure peak medicinal effects. Besides taking this plant less frequently, there are some tricks one can use to keep tolerance low.
Many have found strain rotation is a great way to keep the medicinal effects of kratom fresh. When using a specific strain for a long period, you can develop a tolerance to its specific alkaloid profile; however, by switching strains regularly, the alkaloid levels many not remain stable enough to develop a complete tolerance to the effects.
By using these methods, one can ensure that the alkaloid profiles are as varied as possible on consecutive days or periods, which can keep tolerance at bay for a longer period of time.
Note: Stem and vein kratom is often used as a substitute to further reduce tolerance, as its alkaloid profile is typically very different than the plain leaf.
However, although using this technique to it’s fullest requires 3-5+ different strains, this method of tolerance reduction can still be somewhat beneficial with 2 or 3 varieties.
There are a variety of other ways to supplement tolerance reduction, including:
Magnesium supplementation is a great way to keep kratom tolerance low due to its NMDA antagonist effects, which are the primary opiod tolerance regulators.
There are many studies supporting this, one of which can be found in April 1998’s publication of Anesthesia & Analgesia.
Exercise is a very effective yet under rated method of reducing tolerance. Exercise’s reduction of tolerance is cumulative, meaning the more you exercise, and the more in shape you are, the less tolerance is developed, which potentiates the medicinal effects of kratom.
The “Wobbles” is a term that was coined within kratom communities to describe the most prominent side effect of kratom, especially Bali strains. The wobbles are defined by the difficulty to refocus the eyes at a specific point without strain and annoyance; this effect can lead to headaches and nausea.
While the wobbles are not much more than an annoyance, driving or operating other heavy machinery while experiencing the wobbles is dangerous, and should never be attempted.
The easiest way to avoid the wobbles is to keep dosage below the side effect threshold. This threshold can vary between strains and plants. Typically, doses under 5 grams will generally prevent the wobbles, although there are some exceptions
Strains by Wobble Factor
Note: It is much more to experience the wobbles with strained kratom tea; leading many to believe that it is an effect caused by one of the fat-soluble alkaloids.
While there is not much information available on combating the wobbles, there are a few things that can help in the process.
Maeng Da is very unique among kratom strains, and has generally been considered one of the most potent, but what how did Maeng Da rise to such popularity? The history of the strain is obscure, however, we do have some interesting information regarding it’s origins. According to several kratom fans, there is an very unique story tied to this plant.
The origin of the Maeng Da strain is said to be tied to a specific plantation in Indonesia, known to themselves as the “World’s First Legal Kratom Plantation.” At this point, kratom was legal in nearly all countries besides Thailand, yet for some reason, they stuck with the name.
This plantation heavily marketed their product as “Genetically Grown”, which is why, to this day, some (incorrectly) say that Maeng Da is genetically engineered; yet there is a world of difference between GMO kratom, and “genetically grown” kratom.
From reports, their goal was to create the perfect Thai strain through a process called “grafting”, common in other horticultural trades. Grafting is the process of inserting the vascular tissues of one plant into another in hopes they inosculate — creating a strong, early-maturing kratom tree while combining traits of two individual plants.
The grafting had great effects for the “Worlds First Legal Kratom Plantation,” and they named the potent strain produced from this method, “Maeng Da”, which is the word for a large, edible beetle as well as a derogatory term for a pimp.
Over time, the strain produced from this plant was largely lost, and the term Maeng Da quickly changed to define a highly potent kratom, typically a strong Thai with pain relieving effects, or a strong horned kratom variety. Despite the current speculation as to whether the the original Maeng Da still exists, two very reputable growers have recently confirmed that they are growing the original strain, or at least one extremely similar in plant characteristics, look and effects.
Whether or not the term Maeng Da refers to same strain to, it is still a term used to refer to one of the most potent forms of kratom with very unique characteristics.
Due to constant pressure from regulatory agencies and governments, we have a tough battle to fight.