Detailed Article I wrote about kratom - any thoughts?
Hi folks. This morning, I took some time to write up this article about kratom, which will be published on another website.
This article was written by my alter ego, @catboy_herbals (tiktok username), so it contains some of my personal opinions
on topics such as powder vs extract, and the safety of buying kratom from Indonesia vs an American vendor.
It's kinda long, so bear with me. 😉
I know it goes without saying, but please do not copy this article and put it on your own website. I do not give permission for that.
Looking for your thoughts, so here it goes:
Kratom – an Introduction
What is Kratom?
Kratom (also known as “Mitragyna Speciosa”) originates from the leaves of trees native to southeast Asia, especially Indonesia, though it can be found in Vietnam and Thailand as well. We most often see it in its processed form, as powder that looks a lot like Matcha. Kratom trees are in the coffee family.
When ingested, kratom powder can have various psychoactive effects.
Traditionally, it has been brewed as tea, though many people have taken to ingesting it in capsules or starch bags to avoid the bitter taste. For the sake of convenience, there are many people who use the “toss n’ wash” method, taking a spoonful of dry powder and downing it with a beverage of choice, though this method can be rather unpleasant.
Much like cannabis, the effects of kratom vary by the strain. While there are dozens of different strains of kratom, there are only three main categories that cover the over-arching affects: White Vein, Green Vein, and Red Vein. If you’re familiar with cannabis, then you can compare White, Green, and Red vein kratom with Sativa, Hybrid, and Indica strains, respectively.
What are the differences between White, Green, and Red kratom?
The following descriptions are based on my own personal experience as a kratom connoisseur.
- White = “up all night”
- Stimulating, helps with focusing/productivity
- No caffeine, but pairs well with caffeine
- Does not have the jittery, anxiety-inducing effects of coffee or energy drinks
- Best for the morning
- Green = “in-between”
- Euphoric, anxiety-reducing, creativity-enhancing
- Helps with social situations, articulation, charisma, and diplomacy
- Great for going out in public, or dealing with tough office politics
- Can help dull muscle pain, but not as much as the red
- Good for any time from morning to mid-afternoon
- Red = “for bed”
- Sedative, relaxing, anxiety-reducing
- Most similar effect to benzos and opiates, but far less addictive and harmful
- Best for pain and insomnia
- Perfect for winding down at the end of long day – best taken in the evening, after work
What are kratom’s active ingredients?
Kratom can contain anywhere from 20 to 40 different alkaloids, but the ones we know most about are Mitragynine and 7-OH (7-Hydroxymitragynine). These alkaloids are kratom’s active compounds. While kratom itself is not an opioid, these compounds activate the same receptors in the brain that opioids do. When people refer to kratom as an opioid, they are misinformed. It should be emphasized that “opioid” is a descriptive term only. None of kratom’s alkaloids are scheduled as opioids by the DEA as of 2021. They are federally legal in the USA.
Is kratom dangerous?
Good quality kratom powder should only have one ingredient; 100% pure, lab-tested Mitragyna Speciosa powder. It’s important to find kratom that is lab-tested, so you can be assured that it is safe to consume, and doesn’t contain any additives. In every case I’ve seen where kratom, taken alone, has had an adverse effect on the consumer, it has been found that the kratom they consumed either contained unsafe amounts of heavy metals or bacteria contaminants, or the kratom has been adulterated.
While adding anything to kratom powder without disclosing it is unethical, in my opinion, most of the time it is as simple as a vendor adding dye to their kratom to make the colors stand out more. So I am always suspicious of kratom powder that is too brightly colored. However, there are some nefarious vendors have been found to add substances like Fentanyl to their kratom to enhance the opioid effects and make it more addictive.
For these reasons, it’s important to find a trustworthy, lab-tested brand, based in a first-world nation with high testing standards, like the United States. Buying kratom straight from Indonesia is very risky and a good way to get scammed. There are a lot of ways to get scammed, but that’s a story for another time.
What is kratom extract?
Kratom doesn’t always come in powdered form. Most of the kratom sold at smoke shops is actually extract. Personally, I tend to avoid extract. Extract poses additional risks. For example, because it is more processed than powder, it inherently contains added compounds and can no longer be considered 100% pure Mitragyna speciosa. It’s also easier for vendors to get away with adding other substances to extract.
But even if your extract is not adulterated, because extract is concentrated Mitragynine - up to five times stronger than powder - it is also five times more addictive, and its convenience makes it much easier to abuse. Personally, I’ve found the effects of extract to be more depressing and less motivating than standard powder. While a small amount of extract can act as a great potentiator for powder, and can help enhance the effectiveness for people trying to use kratom to ween off harder drugs, I would avoid taking it alone. And if you’re not using kratom to ween off drugs, I would avoid extract in general.
How much kratom should I take?
The suggested dose of kratom powder varies widely, based on the weight of the person taking it, their tolerance to opioids, the strength of the kratom itself, and how much food they have in their stomach. That being said, the average dose is 3.5g.
I seriously recommend investing in a gram-scale to weigh out your kratom in a dixie cup. It’s much easier to manage tolerance and keep an addiction under control when you can measure dose up to the tenth of a gram.
My first time taking kratom was an interesting experience. I spent $16 on eight pre-filled 1-gram capsules from a local smoke shop and took two on an empty stomach the next morning. I waited 30 minutes, and decided to take two more, since I wasn’t feeling much. Twenty minutes later, I was feeling nauseous and dizzy, but the feeling went away after having a small amount of food. After that, I felt amazing for the next six hours.
The lesson I learned was that four grams is too much for a first time, especially on an empty stomach. While I still recommend taking it either on an empty stomach, or with very little food, I will say you should start with two grams, wait, then take a third gram if you think you need more. When people tell horror stories about kratom making them sick, don’t let that scare you away. Just keep a small snack nearby just in case.
If you’re frugal, I would also avoid buying pre-capsulated kratom powder. It is a much better deal to just buy the powder. Instead of spending $2/g for capsules, you could be spending $10 for a 30g starter bag, at 33 cents a gram. It’s a no-brainer.
Great article for the kratom community at any level of the journey. Thanks for posting it here!
Have a wee bit better day!
Good article brotherman! Covers some good ground , beneficial for those curious about kratom, your article encompasses many key points !
Mentioning tolerance might be a good thing to put in there as well . And the mantra “less is more with kratom” … which I’m relearning all the time lol
Thank you so much for posting this 🙏🍂
Life is better with Kratom
😎🍃kratom saves lives 🍃😎
Thanks for the compliments 😀
I did mention tolerance, but maybe not enough.
In the last section, I said, "It’s much easier to manage tolerance
and keep an addiction under control when you can measure dose up to the tenth of a gram."
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