You’ve probably recently found out about kratom and are now wondering how it can help you. Well, today’s your lucky day. Using the knowledge I’ve acquired from years of experience and research, I’ve put together this beginner’s guide so you can get started using kratom today.
Kratom is a plant native to Southeast Asia commonly used to relieve pain, anxiety, depression, increase concentration, boost mood, and help with sleep. Kratom leaves are dried and crushed into a powder to make tea or capsules. Kratom is categorized into four different colors, red, white, green, and yellow, and each produces a unique set of effects.
Kratom is unique to other natural remedies because the size of the dose and the way you consume it will dictate the type of effects you will experience. There are also multiple variations within each color that differ in potency.
What is Kratom?
Kratom, also known as Mitragyna Sepciosa, is not new to Southeast Asia, it has been used for hundreds if not thousands of years by the natives. It’s now only catching on to the Western world.
The alkaloids, Mitragynine and 7-Hydroxymitragynine contained in kratom leaves are responsible for its medicinal benefits. It’s very common for natives of Southeast Asia to chew on kratom leaves to obtain its effects, but here in the West, kratom is more commonly consumed as a tea, capsule, or powder.
It’s popularity in the West can be attributed to its ability to replace opioid drugs. As you probably already guess, Big Pharma is not a big fan of kratom and neither is the FDA.
However, kratom remains legal in the majority of the US with the exception of the following locations:
- San Diego, California
- Sarasota County, Florida
- Illinois with the exception of Jerseyville
Kratom Strains and Effects
Kratom is categorized into four different colors. Each colo contains multiple variations, such as White Horn or White Thai. The color is determined by the color of the vein on the kratom leaves.
Each color produces its own unique set of effects, but each variation within a color can vary. For example, White Horn and White Thai produce roughly the same effects. However, White Thai produces more potent effects and will therefore acquire more popularity.
You can expect kratom’s effects to last anywhere from 3 to 5 hours.
Let’s go over the medicinal benefits of each color.
Red Vein Kratom
Red veins are more sedative, relaxing, and produce stronger pain relief than other strains. Hence, why the are also the most popular. If you suffer from chronic pain or insomnia you should use red strains.
The following are the most potent and popular red strains.
- Red Bali: the best for chronic pain and sleep
- Red Maeng Da: great for chronic pain but also anxiety relief because of its euphoric properties
- Red Borneo: great for pain but not as sedative as the other two.
White Vein Kratom
White veins are stimulant strains. They provide energy and mood boosts as well as increased focus. They are great for relieving anxiety, staying productive, and ideal for people who suffer from attention disorders such as ADHD.
The following are the best white strains:
- White Thai: my personal favorite. This strain is extremely euphoric. It helps me eliminate my anxiety as well as increase my productivity for tasks such as writing this post.
- White Borneo: Unique among white strains because it also provides pain relief. If you need to be productive and boost your mood but don’t want sedative effects this strain is for you.
Green Vein Kratom
Green strains are a blend of red and white strains. They can produce euphoric and energizing effects followed by extreme drowsiness. They can also help with chronic pain, but not to the same extent as a red strain.
The following are the best green strains:
- Green Maeng Da: recognized around the world as one of the best, this hybrid is extremely euphoric and energizing. It’s perfect for people who suffer from anxiety or depression. Helps with moderate pain.
- Green Malay: on par with Green Maeng Da, but from personal experience Green Malay is slightly more energizing. I like to alternate between the two to avoid stagnant strain, a term used to describe high tolerance to one specific strain.
Yellow Vein Kratom
Yellow strains are also a blend of white and red strains. However, they tend to lean more towards white strains. They are a great way to obtain a steady dose of energy without the high stimulation of white strains.
The following are the best yellow strains:
- Gold Maeng Da: a variant of Green Maeng Da but more energetic and less sedative. Perfect for productivity and ideal as a morning beverage.
- Yellow Thai: Slightly less euphoric than its relative White Thai, but provides the same level of energy without the huge upward spike.
How to Take Kratom
There are a few ways you can take kratom. Some ways will produce stronger effects than others. Allow me to explain.
If you enjoy making teas or drinking coffee in the morning, you’re going to enjoy drinking kratom tea. Unfortunately, this form of drinking kratom produces the weakest results because the alkaloids in the powder are lost when exposed to extreme heat.
To minimize the amount of alkaloids lost simmer your water instead of boiling. You can also make kratom sun tea, which requires using the sun to extract the alkaloids, or you could enjoy a delicious cold brew.
If you don’t enjoy kratom’s bitter taste, you can add the following ingredients:
- Almond Milk
- Juice (Citric to boost kratom’s effects)
To learn more about kratom tea click the link here.
If you value conveniency over taste, kratom capsules are perfect for you. You don’t need anything except a glass of water. You avoid the bitter taste of kratom along with the powdery messes and accidental spills.
Kratom capsules are made by encapsulating kratom powder in a vegetable capsules containing hypromellose, cellulose, and purified water. They are 100% vegan.
Capsules retain all of their alkaloid concentration. Therefore, providing potent effects. The only downside to using capsules is the amount of time it takes your body to break the down the capsules, which is roughly 30 to 45 minutes.
Kratom Powder AKA The Toss and Wash
The toss and wash method involves taking the powder directly in your mouth. No preparing, no capsules, nothing. I’ll be the first to admit, this way of taking kratom isn’t for everyone.
Depending on the strain, the taste can be extremely bitter and the texture tough to swallow. However, this is my favorite way of using kratom because it produces really potent effects.
To perform the toss and wash follow the directions below:
- Take the powder in your mouth
- Drink water
- Swirl the powder and water in your mouth
That’s it! Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to reduce the bitter taste. Cold water or juice helps, but it’s a very minimal difference.
Finding Your Personal Kratom Dose
There’s a lot of misinformation on the internet about kratom and dosing. Many sites are quick to provide you with the “perfect” dose, but since I believe it’s my obligation to be honest with you, I’ll tell you right now these sites are not being sincere.
Due to a number of factors, everyone is going to require a different dose, and the only way to find your ideal dose is to experiment. To begin experimenting take your recommended dose shown in the table below.
|Dose (grams)||1 – 2||2 – 4||4 – 5|
If you don’t have a weight scale you can use the image below to estimate your serving. The image shows a tablespoon containing 2 grams of kratom powder.
If you didn’t feel the effects you wanted, don’t double up on the same day. Wait until the next day and add a gram to your starting dose. Keep adding a gram a day until you feel like you obtained the benefits you were looking for.
I always advice against using kratom on a daily basis regardless of wether you’re experimenting or not to avoid building a high tolerance.