If you’re like any one of the other 4 to 5 million Americans who take kratom, you probably have some questions about it. However, if you’ve done any research on your own, you know that most online sources aren’t reliable. In fact, many have outdated information, or simply information that’s downright wrong. That’s why we wanted to put this list of kratom faqs together to help address some of the most common questions and concerns that people have about using or buying kratom.
Now, this list contains a comprehensive set of frequently asked questions. But we might not have covered every single question you have. If that’s the case, just drop us a comment on this post and we’ll include it on future updates to this page. Keep in mind that this industry is changing and evolving rapidly. New rules and regulations and standards are sprouting up almost on a daily basis.
So, if you find some information here that might be wrong, it’s likely because that information just changed. For that reason, you should do your own research. Never rely on a single source of data. Now, this only applies to information that has a shelf-life. For example, on what states ban kratom. That information can change on a daily basis.
However, the kratom questions that relate to its pharmacology, the strains, side effects and benefits, are less likely to change unless further studies develop that help to illuminate more insight into this controversial drug.
Kratom Frequently Asked Questions
The following questions users ask about kratom again and again. If you’re new to the world of kratom, or you’re conducting more in-depth research before you buy it, check out some of the answers below. Now, keep in mind that no one should use kratom without first consulting with their physician. Make sure that there are no conflicts with other drugs currently being taken.
The truth is that kratom is safe. But, with any drug, you risk harmful interactions by mixing drugs that should not be mixed. So be wary and be careful. It’s also best to understand the proper dosage amount before taking kratom. Don’t try to take too much because you won’t be able to chase a high. Instead, you’ll end up getting very sick because of the serious side effects that are beckoned when you take too much.
1. What is kratom?
Kratom (Mitragyna Speciosa) is an evergreen tree that comes from Southeast Asia. Indigenous tribes have been using kratom for hundreds of year by chewing on the leaves. Depending on the vein color or the strain, there’s a varying effect (or “kratom high“) that comes in the form of a euphoric sensation or an analgesic effect.
Kratom works by binding to the mu-opioid receptors in the brain, spinal cord and sensory neurons. It acts as a selective agonist, meaning it only partially activates these opioid receptors. However, it does not release serotonin, which makes it unique to other drugs that bind to these receptors.
2. Is kratom safe?
Kratom is safe and harmless when taking it in moderate doses. Like anything else, you can use too much of it. In fact, when you do, you’ll feel some harmful side effects. Nothing lethal. But definitely uncomfortable. If you’re just starting out, be wary of how much you use. Acclimate your body to the kratom. Don’t overuse it or try to chase some kind of high.
Also, be careful of the medium you use. Some mediums are more powerful than others. For example, extracts are highly distilled variants of kratom. Often, most people start with kratom tea. That’s likely the best place to start. But overall, kratom is safe and harmless as long as it’s used responsibly.
3. Where does kratom come from?
Kratom comes from Southeast Asia. It grows naturally in the wild in countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar and Papua New Guinea, for example. Kratom trees have grey barks that are smooth in appearance and can grow in excess of 80 feet (over 24 meters) in length. Kratom comes from the leaves, which is harvested directly from the trees and sun-dried.
Kratom’s alkaloid profile degrades rapidly if not stored properly or dried right away. Plus, those who try to grow kratom with seeds that are not fresh from the parent tree will face serious difficulties. Historically, local tribes have chewed on the leaves for numerous benefits such as alertness, sedation, relaxation and a euphoric sensation. It’s also a great vasodilator and lowers your blood pressure. It even has some cancer-fighting
4. How do you use kratom?
You use kratom by either ingesting it or drinking it as a tea. While some people think that you can smoke kratom, it’s not suggested and won’t give you the same effects as if you were to ingest it as a powder or drink it as a tea. Depending on the medium that you buy your kratom in, it can be used in different way.s However, for the most part, kratom users either take it as a capsule or they’ll use the toss-and-wash method for ingesting kratom (swallowing the powder then washing it down with a drink).
Kratom is not suggested to be used on a full stomach or to be ingested with calories. You should use it on an empty stomach. Still, that doesn’t stop people from making kratom smoothies, protein shakes or mixing it into soups or other beverages.
5. What are the types of kratom you can buy?
Kratom comes in different forms. Some are not that different than others. In total, thee are 3 total forms of kratom:
- Kratom powder – The most common form is kratom powder. Powder is simply ground down from dried kratom leaves. However, kratom powder has to be stored properly if you want to keep it potent and not let it degrade out in the open.
- Kratom capsules – Capsules are simply gel caps filled with kratom powder. You can cap kratom yourself. It’s much cheaper. But it’s also messy and takes time. If you don’t want to do that, just order the capsules and be done with it.
- Dried leaf kratom – Dried leaf is sun-dried quickly after its removed from the parent tree and is then crushed down a bit before it’s sold. It’s harder to get dried leaves that are not crushed. And even harder to get fresh kratom leaves from the tree unless you live in one of the regions where kratom grows.
- Kratom extract – Extract is a highly potent variant of kratom. It’s created by distilling kratom down through water and ethanol, and allowing that mixture to evaporate until it becomes very potent. You can make extract on your own, but most people prefer to purchase it ready to use.
6. What do the kratom vein colors mean?
There are varying vein colors in kratom. They often mean different things. Now, kratom leaves do change as the trees mature. However, the vein colors offer a glimpse into the alkaloid profile of the kratom tree. Different vein colors have different effects. In fact, some swear by certain vein colors over others. And, it’s a fact that red-veined kratom outsells both the other variants (white and green vein kratom) combined. That’s a pretty significant difference.
That just goes to show you that many people prefer red-veined kratom over the others. And there’s definitely a reason for that. The alkaloid profiles are different amongst varying vein colors. They vary further when it comes to different strains within those vein colors. Yes, there are a lot of variations that can be found when you buy kratom, but the vein colors are relatively uniform in their effects, for the most part.
- Red-vein kratom – This variant is rich in 7-hydroxymitragynine, an alkaloid that appears at up to 2% concentration. This alkaloid is incredibly powerful. In fact, it’s been estimated that it’s 13 times more potent than morphine and 46 times more potent than its mitragynine counterpart (the other primary alkaloid present in kratom). This vein color is known for its analgesic effects (pain killing) but also for its euphoric effects. With a high sedation and an attractive price, it’s no wonder why this variation of kratom outsells the other two combined.
- White-vein kratom – This vein color has more mitragynine than 7-hydroxymitragynine. It’s less sedative. That means, it can be used more so while doing other things such as working. It helps with alertness and mood elevation as well. This variant is also used heavily by those looking to quell withdrawal symptoms from opioids like heroine. While not as popular as red-vein kratom, it’s a variant that some swear by.
- Green-vein kratom – This is a more balanced variant of kratom. Green-vein kratom is not too sedative nor it is too euphoric. Most liken it to drinking a strong cup of coffee. There are nootropic benefits along with alertness. It’s a very functional variant of kratom.
7. Is there a difference between kratom strains?
The short answer is yes. There is a difference between kratom strains. However, the vein colors offer a more significant difference. Strains within vein colors will vary a bit, but often not a great deal. There are plenty of strains. The variations are associated to the country where the kratom originates from. For example, Green Veined Thai versus Green Veined Borneo. Both are green-veined kratom, but are sourced from different countries.
8. What is Maeng Da kratom?
Maeng Da kratom is an incredibly potent variant of kratom created through a process known as grafting, or selective breeding. In creating Maeng Da, an alkaloid-rich variant was born. That’s because Maeng Da is potent in both primary alkaloids. Both mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine are present in abundance. That makes Maeng Da ideal for people who want kratom that packs a powerful punch.
9. Can you grow kratom at home?
The short answer is no. You can’t grow kratom at home. Unless of course you’re a skilled botanist with a green house with ideal climate conditions to Southeast Asia. Of course, if you live in Southeast Asia that’s an entirely different thing. Yes, you can easily grow kratom in tropical climates. But most who opt to grow kratom do not live in Southeast Asia. You can do it. But it’s difficult. It takes a lot of care and attention to get it just right.
The difficult part for those who are are trying to grow kratom is actually getting fresh seeds. Those seeds only stay fresh for a couple of days once they’re separated from the parent tree. And the longer they go away from that parent tree, the less likely they are to germinate. So you’ll need a lot of them to increase your chances of growing it.
10. Is kratom addictive?
Yes. But not highly addictive. Studies have determined that it’s less addictive than a regular opiate such as heroin. That’s because it’s only a selective agonist of the mu-opioid receptor. That means it only partially activates it. So you only get some of the good feelings associated with a traditional high. The reason? It doesn’t release serotonin into the system. In fact, it tends to block it. Thus, you won’t get the rush from kratom that most addicts associate with getting high, but you will get some euphoric sensations.
That might also be why many people turn to kratom to ween themselves off of opioids like heroin. The truth is that it works. It tricks the brain into thinking that an opioid is there. It’s opioid-like behavior. Not an opioid. Still, there’s a large amount of controversy surrounding it, possibly for this reason, possibly for others.