Kratom can be addictive if abused. Most who use it for prolonged periods do develop a tolerance towards it. That kratom tolerance forces them to increase their dosage, which often results in negative side effects. So how quickly do you build a tolerance to kratom? Does it depend upon the strain or are there other factors involved in this?
Tolerance towards kratom is no surprise. It does exhibit addictive properties since it binds to the mu-opioid receptor. That receptor is responsible for physical dependence as one of its traits. While it does activate that receptor, it doesn’t tap into the brain and body’s true pleasure centers, which are its serotonin.
However, there is a euphoric sensation associated with kratom. That means that dopamine is released somewhere in the brain. That pleasure center does help to provide a euphoric sensation, although not as intense as you’d see with the serotonin activation found in drugs like heroin.
Still, kratom tolerance can evolve quickly when it comes to certain strains, and not so quickly with other strains. It really all depends on a variety of factors including your body’s susceptibility to the drug along with the dosage taken. But to properly answer this question, let’s take a closer look at kratom and its effects on the body.
What Is Kratom?
Kratom is the street name for Mitragyna Speciosa, an evergreen tree from the coffee family that grows in parts of Southeast Asia that exhibit a tropical and humid climate. Countries like Thailand and Indonesia and Myanmar are a few examples of countries where kratom grows in the wild.
Kratom’s popularity has increased significantly in recent years as people have found this organic “drug” to help remedy all types of ailments from anxiety and depression to chronic pain and opioid withdrawal. However, kratom does have side effects and it can become addictive as your kratom tolerance evolves and you increase your dosage over time.
One of the biggest reasons why people increase their dosage to kratom is to chase a so-called high. However, the kratom high is not sustainable since there are severe side effects when you up the dosage too much. While chasing the high, the body develops a real tolerance towards kratom over time.
In some countries, this is more prevalent than others. In America, for example, 4 to 5 million people use kratom regularly. That makes kratom tolerance a reality for a large portion of that population. If they’re not careful, a tolerance can turn into an addiction very quickly. And there are withdrawal effects when you quit using kratom.
Still, some people rely heavily on this drug. Kratom has been changing lives left and right. But its opioid-like properties has the government up in arms. Both the DEA and the FDA have been campaigning against kratom for that particular reason. Still, kratom is very safe and its never been solely responsible for a death, and it’s virtually impossible to overdose on.
Since kratom is organic, unless its combined with other toxic substances, overdosing on kratom simply isn’t something you can do, even if you take a substantial amount of it. Instead, you’ll end up getting very sick. You’ll vomit, feel nausea, dizziness and other adverse effects. This is effectively like a built-in safety mechanism.
How Quick Does Kratom Tolerance Develop?
How quickly you build a tolerance towards kratom really depends on the following three things:
- The strain of kratom you use
- The amount you use per day
- The frequency of use (i.e. every day or every other day, etc.)
Like any other drug (i.e. nicotine or caffeine), a physical dependence can occur because it alters your body’s neurochemistry (nicotine more than caffeine). However, it doesn’t matter what drug you put in your body, if you use it often enough, you develop both a tolerance and an addiction towards it.
For example, when I stop drinking coffee, I get severe headaches. That’s because I have both a tolerance towards caffeine and an addiction. I am physically dependent on that caffeine being delivered to my body every single day. When I don’t have it, I feel the effects of that withdrawal.
This is certainly not as pronounced as other drugs would be (say heroin or other opiates), but it’s still there nonetheless. If you don’t want your kratom tolerance to increase, or to develop an addiction towards it, be wary of how much you use it. Don’t use it every single day. And don’t use excessive amounts of it when you do use it.
Avoiding Kratom Tolerance
Tolerance to kratom occurs when there’s a presence of one or more of the alkaloids over a prolonged period. For example, different strains have different alkaloid profiles. It’s a variation between the two primary alkaloids, which are mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine.
For instance, white-vein kratom is rich in mitragynine while red-vein kratom is rich in 7-hydroxymitragynine. The former addresses opioid withdrawals while the latter addresses pain. However, some strains are rich in both such as the Maeng Da kratom strain, which was grafted to achieve a rich profile in both of the prominent alkaloids.
Cycling through strains
To avoid developing a kratom tolerance, you have to mix up the strains that you use. For example, instead of using the same strain every single day, numerous times per day, vary the strains. You can call this “strain rotation” if you will. In essence, it means that you’re not using the same kratom strain every single day.
You can start with a red-vein kratom on Monday, then switch to a white-vein kratom on Tuesday. Then, maybe take Wednesday off. And on Thursday, you can use Maeng Da, and so on. This also depends on what you’re using kratom for. If it’s recreation, this is a must. If it’s something more serious like opioid withdrawal, then you have to find a good balance.
Altering dosage amounts
Another way to avoid kratom tolerance is to alter dosage amounts. Don’t chase a high and use too much and too often. Change it up. Use a small amount one day then a different amount the other day. When you cycle through strains, also cycle through dosage amounts. Don’t try to get high from kratom. That’s the surest way you’ll develop a tolerance for it.
By alerting dosage amounts (and strains), you’ll avoid reaching a stable concentration of the alkaloids in your system. This way, you’ll be less likely to get too used to having kratom around. It’s really the alkaloid profile that counts here. So be careful and use kratom with caution and restraint.
Slowing kratom tolerance
There are supplements you can use to slow your tolerance towards kratom such as magnesium or dextromethorphan. What you’re looking for is an NMDA antagonist as opposed to an agonist. You need something that inhibits the activation rather than promotes it.
Also, you should stay away from kratom extracts. Extracts are incredibly potent and can quickly result in a tolerance being built up. And very fast. This includes kratom in its liquid form and other pastes that are formed from distilling kratom down to a highly concentrated state.