Beginners Guide To Kratom

June 28, 2021

Here we go over everything you need to know before you start taking kratom. In it, I will go over the negative and positive effects of kratom, the different types of kratom, and then finally a few different trusted vendors just to give you the full picture of why everyone is talking about kratom. 

The Kratom Plant: Mitragyna Speciosa 

Mitragyna Speciosa, otherwise known as kratom, is a tropical evergreen tree in the coffee family native to southeast Asia. The leaves of this tree have a long history of use both in Buddhist ceremonial activity as well as being used by manual workers to help with fatigue and pain reduction. 

A member of the coffee family, kratom has been used for centuries for its stimulating effects, as well as for pain relief and anti-inflammatory properties. Today many claim that it is a natural solution to the opiate epidemic which has landed kratom in controversy as the FDA and the DEA have suggested to make it illegal as recently as 2016. Currently kratom is legal in most states. See Americankratom.org for more information on the ongoing legal battle around kratom in the USA. 

Traditionally pronounced “kra-tóm” it is considered to be mostly an opiate, but also has mild psychostimulant-like effects that start about 10 to 20 min after ingestion and then lasts about 3-6 hours. The stimulating effects happen more at low dosages (less than 5g) and the opiate/sedative-like effects happen more in the 5g-15g range. For anyone that does not take kratom regularly, taking over 15g at one time will usually make one sick and vomit. There is a sort of natural safety mechanism built into the plant to stop anyone from overdosing. Many have reported their experiences on erwid.org and here are some of the things people have said.

Kratom Experience Reports

“I felt relaxed and sedated and free of my normal back and thumb pain. I also felt a nice fuzzy feeling all over which I get from smoking pot sometimes.” -Tommy B

“I start to feel this intense warmth come over my entire body. It feels like a combination of my first MDMA-high combined with an intense Oxicoton like twist, along with social aspects like cocaine.” -Ambiguous

On a personal note, I often take kratom before a social event to simulate the social effects of alcohol, but without the hangover. It also gives me energy and makes me sharp whereas alcohol tends to make me sloppy and tired.

Kratom is nature’s version of an opiate and it comes with all the potential danger of opiates just to a much lesser degree. Addiction is the one that kratom users should be most aware of.

Kratom Dosage Effects

In order to be a responsible user we should be aware of the negative effects. At lower dosages >5g, there are mostly stimulant effects, so negative side effects would include anxiety, agitation; and then on the opiate side of things you get itching, nausea, loss of appetite, and then you may need to pee a lot.

I knew a guy that would take 20g or more per day and then he said that sometimes he would even take 30g or more and said that whenever he would get to that high of a dosage that he would always puke up a bunch of green slime and then pass out. So like I said, there is a natural safety mechanism to kratom.

Long-term use of kratom can lead to tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal symptoms, which can get really bad if unmoderated. Loss of appetite, decreased sex drive, trouble sleeping, muscle spasms, bone pain, jerky movement, fever, diarrhea, massive mood swing, and more. The guy that I mentioned said he would take about 20g of kratom every day for about 3 years and when it came time to quit he said that he would still get withdrawal symptoms even 3 months after stopping. He said it was like lying in a very uncomfortable position but not being able to move to something more comfortable. He was able to quiet, but only with extensive effort and support. 

The Three Main Strains Of Kratom Powder

The three main types are red-veined, white-veined, and green-veined. As the name would indicate the type of kratom has to do with what color the vein in the leaf is. 

  • Red-Veined Kratom

Red vein kratom has red veins on the leaf and is the most popular type of kratom. It is valued for its sedative-like effects and users generally report the effects to be calming and pleasant. Selling far more than the other two kratoms combined, red-veined is great for anyone looking to get off opiates or as a starting point for anyone looking to explore the plant and its uses.

  • White-Veined Kratom

Next up we have white veined kratom. Generally considered to be the most stimulating of all the strains, white-veined kratom is used for mood enhancement as well as for euphoria. More and more it is being used to replace things like coffee for alertness, concentration, and cheerfulness. Recommended for people who experience gloomy periods of the day and sometimes need a pick me up, also good for people looking for a pre-workout powder; white-veined kratom can give you that extra boost desired.

  • Green-Veined Kratom

Finally, we have green-veined kratom which is right in the middle of both red and white. It is known for its mild stimulating properties as well as its sedative-like effects. The biggest advantage for the Green-veined is that its effects do not lead to drowsiness which is something that is often caused by the red-veined variety making green-veined kratom the ideal kratom to combat pain while being still able to stay awake and alert. Some people mixed green-veined with either red or white to prevent over-numbing from the red, and too much overstimulation from the white with an end result of a more balanced, sophisticated effect.

  • Maeng Da Kratom

Other honorable mentions are Maeng Da which is considered to be the strongest strain. Although because of the unregulated nature of the Borneo kratom industry “Maeng Da Kratom” usually means nothing more than the batch of kratom that the farmer is most proud of. Check here for the truth about kratom strains for more information on strains.

There is also a yellow veined kratom variety which offers unique combinations of effects from any of the red, green, or white.

  • Kratom Extracts

Another honorable mention is kratom extracts, which are often as much as 80x as potent as kratom powder. This means you need to take less in order to get the same results. Click here for our top kratom extract vendors.

Where To Get The Best Kratom Powder Online

Most important is that you get high-quality kratom. We have other valuable information on where to get the top online kratom vendors which I conclude with The Golden Monk because they for sure have high quality, but their pricing sets them far and above the rest of the online vendors as they sometimes have pricing that is half of what their competitors are offering. 

#1- The Golden Monk

#2- Kraken Kratom

#3- Phytoextractum

Kratom Recipes

The guy who ate 20g kratom per day, the one that I have been referencing in this article, is the one that first introduced me to kratom back in 2014. What he would do to inject kratom is what is called a parachute, which is a method by which you take your dose of kratom and wrap it in toilet paper and then swallow it with water. This would basically be the poor man’s gel capsules and is not my recommendation.

Next, we have capsules. You can get empty dietary capsules at any health food store and then you just need to fill the capsules up with kratom. Generally, 1g capsules are about as big as they come and you would need to take a few to get the desired effects. This is probably the most popular way of ingesting kratom just because it avoids the bitter taste.

Finally, we have my preferred method which is kratom tea. With tea you can measure your dosage extremely accurately and what I like to do is make a slightly large batch of tea, drink it slowly and stop when I am feeling like I have had enough. Be sure to use something acidic like lemon juice or vinegar to make your kratom stronger, healthier, and tastier.

For my video on how to make kratom tea, click here.

About the author: Chris Gustafson is a traveler that found a passion for kratom early in its American history. Taking an active stance against the Colorado kratom ban of 2016, Chris has been an active kratom awareness advocate ever since. 

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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