If you’re reading this, then you’re probably curious to know more about the plant that many refer to as Kratom. What does it do and why do people use it? If one thing’s clear, it’s the fact that Kratom is in high demand all over the world. But the plant is also plagued by misconceptions and controversy that has led certain US states and countries to ban it altogether.
If you live in a territory where Kratom is still legal, then you’re one of the lucky few, and you should take advantage of that if you have an ailment that this plant can treat or heal. But, while Kratom is easy to find online and at head shops, its dosage is a bit of a mystery.
Currently, there’s no single consensus on the correct Kratom dosage because it depends on the situation. To determine the right Kratom dosage, it’s important to consider factors like your particular ailment, your tolerance levels and the strain that you’re taking.
Nevertheless, Kratom is a very potent plant that has been evolving in the Southeast Asian jungles for centuries. Natives of this region have been taking the plant for generations to manage pain and reduce the intensity of opioid withdrawal symptoms.
In scientific circles, Kratom is known as Mitragyna Speciosa, and it’s mostly found in the vibrant green leaves of the tree. This is where the beneficial alkaloids are located, and they have an almost opioid-like effect. Evidence shows that these alkaloids bind themselves onto the brain’s opioid receptors to reduce pain.
In a sense, Kratom functions similarly to opiates which is why it’s considered to be an effective treatment for opioid withdrawal. Other reported benefits of Kratom include boosting energy, elevating mood, managing pain and even improving the libido. It’s important to note here that the effect that you get from taking Kratom depends on the particular strain and vein color that you buy.
In this article, we’re going to outline some of the most well-known benefits of Kratom, how it works and how to take it to experience desired effects.
Before we go into Kratom dosage, let’s start by taking a look at the different strains of the plant and how they work. For instance, there’s a famous strain known as Maeng Da which is a genetically improved Kratom strain that’s powerful and rich in alkaloids.
Some Kratom strains are very useful at increasing energy levels while others have more of a sedative effect. Some have stimulant properties that are similar to coffee while others act as potent painkillers. A good example of the latter effect is the Red Vein Indo which is very effective at eliminating pain.
The key is to learn more about the different strains so that you know what you’re taking and what to expect from it. However, Kratom dosage becomes a critical issue when you’re taking the plant for recreational purposes because it’s easy to overdose in situations like that.
Kratom has been associated with quite a few side effects, most of which only happen when the herb is taken in higher quantities than recommended. Some of these adverse side effects include dizziness, vomiting, and nausea. You don’t want to experience any of them, so it’s wise only to take Kratom in the recommended dosage to avoid overdoing it.
The Right Kratom Dosage to Take
It’s very important to stick to the recommended or lowest Kratom dosage to get the best results. For beginners, the recommended dose is between 2 to 3 grams. It’s always best to take Kratom on an empty stomach, which means you should consume it first thing in the morning or at least several hours after a light breakfast.
It usually takes about 40 minutes for the effects of setting in. If nothing happens after that, it’s alright to take an extra 1 or 2 grams, but anything more than that can be dangerous for a new user. If nothing happens after 4 or 5 grams of Kratom, that means you probably have a bad batch on your hands, and you should consider looking for another supplier.
Another pro tip you should consider is to take a Kratom dosage that corresponds to your weight. This means that if you weigh below 68kgs, then you should opt for a low dose of 1.5 grams at first and build up as you go along.
Understanding the Different Ways of Taking Kratom
The method of consumption will also play a role in the dosage you take. For instance, taking Kratom in the form of tea can significantly reduce its efficacy, which means you’ll have to take a larger dose than you would if you were consuming it in powder form through the “toss and wash” method.
The method through which you take your Kratom will also determine whether or not you experience any side effects. That means if you experience adverse side effects from taking Kratom then you should consider trying another method until you find one that works for you. Most beginners find Kratom tea to be the mildest method and the easiest to manage.
If you’re going to consume Kratom in powder form, 2 grams is enough for a mild effect in the beginning. To experience a moderate impact, try 4 grams, while 8 grams will deliver the most potent effect.
Most of the Kratom capsules they sell online start at 1 gram. These are usually difficult to swallow because they’re huge, so they could take some time to get used to. Plus, you may have to wait longer to experience the effects because your body has to break down the gelatin capsules first before the powder is released into your bloodstream.
The extract is usually reserved for experienced Kratom users who’ve already built up a bit of a tolerance for the plant. That’s because it’s the most powerful form of this herb, which means you’ll have to take a lower dose of it to get the same effect. For instance, the Kratom dosage for an extract would be just 1 gram for mild effects, 2 grams for moderate effects and 4 grams for heavy effects.
How to Take Kratom?
There are some ways for you to take Kratom powder, and the consumption method always depends on the user’s unique circumstances.
The easiest and least fussy method is to put the right dosage of Kratom powder into your mouth followed by a swig of water. Beware that the powder might have an unbearable bitter taste at first so you might have to separate the dosage into two.
Alternatively, you can take Kratom pills instead. Just keep in mind that it’ll take a while to feel the effects with this method and you might need a higher dose as well.
However, the easiest way to consume Kratom powder is by sprinkling it onto your food or beverage of choice. This will help to mask the bitter taste while delivering the Kratom straight to your system for fast-acting relief. Just remember to take it on an empty stomach for the best results.
Kratom’s Mechanism of Action
According to experts, a Kratom extract could contain over 25 different compounds, including the active ingredients 7-hydroxymitragynine and mitragynine.
The mitragynine alkaloid is the most prevalent, and it can activate opiate receptors as an agonist. Its effects have been compared to morphine because it activates a part of the brain that responds to opioids. 7-hydroxymitragynine is the secondary alkaloid, and it’s even stronger.
Both of these alkaloids are very effective at fighting pain because they trigger opioid receptors known as kappa (KOR), delta (DOR), and mu (MOR). When that happens, the patient experiences feelings of euphoria and a massive relief from pain.
There’s also evidence to suggest that Kratom extract can reduce anxiety and lift mood by activating dopamine receptors known as DRD1.
When these alkaloids are introduced into the body, your system will most likely react by secreting stomach acid while preventing the small intestine from contracting.
User Experiences with Kratom
A qualitative study of Kratom use accounts showed a few recurring themes. Some of the most common effects that were observed include reduced anxiety, improved mood, pain relief and a respite from opioid withdrawal symptoms. On the other hand, there have also been reports of users experiencing side-effects like vomiting and developing a mild dependency.
But the most common experiences reported by users show that Kratom is a fantastic pain relief method whose effects can last for some hours. Problems with Kratom arise when users take large dosages, and this can lead to lethargy, vomiting, nausea, etc.
Kratom Tolerance – Can You Develop It?
It’s an undeniable fact that the body will develop a tolerance for Kratom over time no matter how careful the user is with dosage. The body will eventually start to experience fewer effects, as it would with any other psychoactive substance or nootropic.
Experts on Kratom say that the best way to avoid building up a tolerance on Kratom is to cycle your intake. This means staying off it now and then to build up your tolerance levels again. Of course, it will be tough to do this for someone that’s taking Kratom for pain relief, but not all is lost.
Just keep in mind the following tips when using Kratom, and you should be able to prevent tolerance and dependency:
- Take the lowest dosage possible for the desired effect.
- If you notice that your body is developing a tolerance, take a break from Kratom for about three weeks or so.
- Use different strains and rotate them.
- A bit of magnesium, agmatine sulfate and cat’s claw might help.
- Try to avoid extracts and tinctures. Since they contain a higher dosage of Kratom’s potent alkaloids, they’ll cause your body to build up tolerance faster.
When followed diligently, the preceding steps will help you maintain pretty much the same Kratom dosage without developing a tolerance over time.
Response to the Kratom Bell Curve
It’s important to mention here that Kratom dosage is closely linked to the body’s physiological response. Kratom effects tend to take on a bell curve response trajectory, which is the same thing that happens when you take nootropics like cannabidiol (CBD).
What does this mean for you? That it’s best to take a little than a lot. Small dosages will usually have the most desired effect than higher doses. This doesn’t mean that you should take a super small dose because then you won’t feel anything either.
Your best bet is to take a dosage that’s somewhere in the middle. This will be different for everyone so try to find a sweet spot that works for you.
When taken together with other drugs, the alkaloids 7-hydroxymitragynine and mitragynine can cause certain undesirable effects. This is known as “drug interaction,” and it could mess with your body’s ability to process other over-the-counter medications or prescription drugs.
Over time, these drug interactions could lead to liver damage due to an accumulation of the active compounds found in Kratom and other drugs.
Kratom can be consumed in a variety of different methods. You can chew the fresh leaves and stems, or you can dry and brew them as a tea. Otherwise, you may also consume Kratom in powder form and take it as you would any other supplement.
The most popular varieties of Kratom available include white vein and red vein Kratom.
Red vein Kratom comes from Bali, and it’s known for its analgesic effects. White vein Kratom comes from Malaysia, and it acts mostly as a stimulant.
Since there’s very little to no scientific research on Kratom, there are no data available to determine the exact chemical potency of these different variants. Plus, as an undocumented compound, Kratom is not regulated by the FDA.
Is It Possible to Overdose on Kratom?
The DEA has added Kratom to its list of “drugs of concern.” That’s because Kratom comes with an overdosing risk and there have been rumors of toxicity.
Some of the most common symptoms of a Kratom overdose to look out for include:
- Rapid heart rate
The potential for overdose is higher in individuals who take Kratom with alcohol and other substances.
Reports show that Kratom users who had problems with also had other substances present in their bloodstream. Meanwhile, an animal study that was conducted to determine the toxicity of mitragynine showed that the compound has low toxicity levels.
Another study that was conducted on rats showed that a Kratom dosage of 200 mg/kg could lead to death.
As you can see, a lot goes into determining the right Kratom dosage. You must consider different factors such as your weight, the type of strain that you’re taking and why you’re taking it, as well as ensuring strain rotation.
This means you’ll need to have at least three different Kratom strains available so you can switch things up regularly