Beginners Guide on How to Use Kratom
Move over, marijuana. There’s a new plant taking the health and wellness industry by storm.
We’re talking about kratom! This tropical evergreen species is native to Southeast Asia and it’s impossible to talk about new and exciting supplements without mentioning it.
If you’re new to this plant, don’t worry. Today, we’re sharing the ultimate kratom beginner’s guide. We’ll cover all of the important topics including how to use kratom, how to measure your dosage, and more.
If you’ve been on the fence about trying it, read on. There’s a reason for the hype, so let’s check it out.
What is Kratom?
Kratom, or Mitragyna speciosa, is a tropical tree that’s actually part of the coffee family. It is indigenous to several Southeast Asia countries, including:
- Papua New Guinea
For centuries, natives in these countries have turned to kratom to help them relieve a variety of physical and psychological ailments. In fact, farmers there often chew the leaves of the kratom tree to help give them a natural energy boost while they work in the fields.
More recently, it has made its way to the Western world. What sets it apart from other plants and gives it such a valued reputation?
The leaves of the kratom plant contain two powerful alkaloids: Mitragynine and 7-Hydroxymitragynine. These alkaloids are what give the plant its therapeutic benefits. From stomachaches to depressions, people who ingest kratom claim it can powerful relief from a range of ailments.
In addition, due to its opioid-like effects, some people also turn to kratom to help detox from opioid use. They claim it can help minimize painful withdrawal symptoms, though more research is required to verify the effectiveness of that self-treatment approach.
Is Kratom Legal?
Currently, kratom is not considered an illegal substance in most of the United States. However, that doesn’t mean it will be freely available anywhere you go.
Certain states and jurisdictions have deemed kratom a banned substance, including:
- Rhode Island
- Jerseyville, IL
- San Diego, CA
- Sarasota County, Florida
- Union County, MS
Moreover, some cities have placed age restrictions on kratom use, making it illegal for anyone under the age of 18 or 21 to possess.
Understanding Kratom Strains
To get a clear understanding of kratom’s use and benefits, it helps to break it down by strain.
As you shop for kratom, you’ll find that there are four main vein colors that you can choose from. These colors represent the shade of the kratom leaf.
Within each color, there are different variations. This means that while each color produces its own distinct effects, you can reap different benefits depending on the variation you select. The same holds true with potency.
Next, let’s review the four main strains and the high-level benefits that each one provides.
Red Vein Kratom
Are you considering kratom for its sedating, pain-relieving effects? If so, you’ll want to begin your search at Red Vein Kratom.
One of the most popular strains of kratom, Red Vein varieties are ideal for anyone suffering from chronic pain, as well as sleep disorders such as insomnia. If pain is keeping you up at night, consider Red Bali Kratom, which can help gently lure you into a more relaxed, calm state.
If anxiety is lurking underneath your restlessness, look for a strain that’s more closely related to quelling negative feelings and producing a state of euphoria. Red Maeng Da is especially powerful in this regard. Another popular variety of Red Vein Kratom is Red Borneo, which is calming in its own right, but not quite as robust as the other two top strains.
White Vein Kratom
While some people turn to kratom to help them wind down, others use the plant to help bolster their energy levels! The potency of the leaves helps to determine which effect it has.
If you’re in need of a naturally stimulating supplement, White Vein Kratom is your new go-to.
The varieties in this strain help increase your energy levels so you can power through your day. In addition, they can also improve your mood and even help you focus better! If you’re used to multi-tasking and always feel a little scatterbrained, this type of kratom can help you cut through the mental clutter and find better clarity.
If you’re having trouble concentrating due to anxiety, try White Thai Kratom. Not only will it help quiet your racing mind, but this euphoric strain can also give you the energy to be more productive and motivated at work!
Similar to Red Borneo, you can also find White Borneo, which also features pain-relieving properties. This strain is ideal for anyone who suffers from any form of chronic pain and seeks immediate relief without any sedative effects.
Yellow Vein Kratom
Yellow Vein Kratom is a hybrid blend of White Vein Kratom and Red Vein Kratom, with more prominently displayed white vein characteristics. You may also hear the varieties within this strain referred to as Gold Vein Kratom.
Need more energy during the day, but aren’t necessarily looking for excess stimulation? If so, Yellow vein varieties can help you focus and stay on task without spiking your energy levels beyond what you require. Start with a morning mug of Gold Maeng Da tea and wind down with Yellow Thai, which isn’t quite as euphoric.
Green Vein Kratom
What if you want a mix of both calming and energy-boosting capabilities? For instance, you want to calm your nerves and feel more relaxed, but you don’t exactly need a sleep aid.
In this case, Green Vein Kratom can make a world of difference, but it’s best to stick to smaller doses. This is because this is another hybrid strain that features the euphoric and energizing effects of white kratom, blended with the depressant qualities of red vein kratom.
If taken in large doses, you can feel a sudden jolt of energy, followed by an equally powerful, drowsy crash once that feeling wears off.
If you do decide to take Green Vein Kratom, start with Green Maeng Da. This strain delivers a solid dose of euphoria and can even help with mild to moderate pain. You can also try Green Malay Kratom to achieve a similar effect.
Once you start trying different veins of kratom, it won’t be long before you land on your favorite variety. Yet, try to resist ingesting that specific strain every single time. Doing so can fatigue your system and over time, it can lessen the effects that you feel from it.
How to Use Kratom
Curious about trying it yourself?
As mentioned, farmers and workers in Asia have been chewing kratom leaves directly for hundreds if not thousands of years. Of course, you’re free to try it that way yourself, but most people find the tastes of the leaves alone to be bitter and a little off-putting.
In the United States, most people prefer to ingest crushed and dried kratom leaves in the following forms:
In general, most kratom effects will last between three and four hours, regardless of how you initially ingest it. However, there are some methods of ingestion that deliver more powerful and noticeable effects than others. Let’s review which ones to try and why.
Do you love waking up to a fresh cup of coffee every morning? If so, consider swapping it with a warm cup of kratom tea a few times each week.
You can make this tea the same way that you make any other loose-leaf tea. Simply pour the dried and crushed leaves into your mug or glass, and fill it with hot water, making sure to stir thoroughly. While this can be a great any-time treat, keep in mind that the powerful alkaloids in kratom become weaker when they come into contact with ultra-high temperatures.
This means that while it’s fun to prepare and indulge in kratom tea, the effects might not be as potent as those you’d feel by ingesting it a different way. One easy workaround? If you don’t mind your tea a little less hot, try simply simmering the water, rather than heating it until it boils.
Of course, if you’re already a cold brew coffee fanatic, you can also amplify the effects of kratom tea by drinking the blend over ice!
Need a little help chugging it down? We told you kratom can be a little bitter! To that end, you’re free to flavor it up the way that you’d normally sweeten your coffee. Try adding a little honey, sweetener, milk, or even a splash of juice!
Have you ever heard of someone taking kratom via the “toss and wash” method? This is a type of ingestion that involves consuming the kratom powder directly, rather than blending it into a tea.
As you can imagine, this isn’t the most delicious experience in the world, but it does have its benefits.
When the kratom powder enters your mouth without being diluted by water or encased in a capsule, it gets to work quicker, delivering some pretty potent effects.
To perform this method, you’ll simply measure out your dose of kratom (more on that later), put it in your mouth and take a swig of water. Then, just slosh the powder/water mixture around in your mouth for a few seconds and swallow. Any way you do it, the taste can be unpleasant, but chilling your water beforehand can help.
Kratom capsules are handy, convenient and travel well. You don’t have to heat up water or prepare tea. All you have to do is take your capsules with a sip of water, and you’re done.
This is an ideal way to take the supplement, as it avoids the mess of powders.
In most cases, the kratom is encapsulated inside vegetable capsules. Safe inside, the powder retains all of its alkaloid properties, which is a major benefit for you. However, be prepared to wait at least half an hour for your body to break down the capsule, after which you’ll really start feeling the effects.
What’s Your Kratom Dose?
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all kratom dose.
In fact, experts are still determining the ideal dosing amounts to follow. Most recommendations err on the side of caution and suggest starting with a small dose, first. Once you’ve established that you can handle that amount, you can slowly inch your way upward, always paying attention to your body along the way.
Your body weight will play a factor in how much kratom you can safely take, as will your gender, lifestyle and overall level of health. A small dose is usually considered to be between one and two grams of kratom. A medium dose is around two to four grams, and a large dose is four to five grams.
Rather than immediately upping your dose right away, wait until at least the next day to give your body time to adjust. Then, add one more gram until you reach a level that you feel comfortable maintaining.
Learn More About Kratom Today
Now that you know a little more about how to use kratom, as well as its background, strains and uses, are you ready to try it yourself?
If so, remember to start with a small dose. You can also experiment to find which form of ingestion you prefer the best. Some people swear by a mug of kratom tea a few times per week, while others prefer a capsule or two before bedtime.
As you learn more about this supplement, you’re sure to discover more about its health benefits. If you’re interested in trying other supplements and vitamins, be sure to check out our Supplements page. As always, you can count on us to bring you the latest workouts, health news and more.
If you’re eyeing kratom for post-workout aches, check out our other tips on how to heal your sore muscles!