Kratom is a naturally growing herb that many people use to treat conditions like depression and anxiety. Kratom is also commonly taken for pain relief. The thing is, kratom describes a single type of tree, but the substance people call kratom can come in a variety of different strains, and each one is used to treat a different condition. Before you use kratom, it helps to know the names of the types of strains available and how to dose kratom for the sake of supreme safety. Here are how the strains may affect you, and how to use them properly for the desired effects.
What is Kratom?Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa), which is also known as biak, kakum, ketum, thang, and thom in some countries, is a tropical tree that is native to areas of South Asia. The kratom tree is related to the coffee plant and produces leaves that have been used for medicinal purposes for millennia. Farmers in some South Eastern countries chew kratom leaves to alleviate aches and pains and to give them enough energy to work the fields. The active ingredient in kratom leaves is mitragynine. Kratom leaf extract is what is commonly sold in stores. Before taking kratom, you should find out which strain you are dealing with and how to take a proper dose. Kratom is considered a dietary supplement and isn’t regulated by the FDA. The substance can also produce side effects and can be addictive. You should always exercise caution when taking kratom or any other supplement and might want to speak with your doctor if you are already taking one or more medications.
Kratom StrainsMost kratom strains get their name from their places of origin.
Maeng daMaeng da comes from Thailand primarily, but can also describe strains originating from Indonesia and Malaysia. The leaves of this strain can be green, red, or white in color, and the effects are strong and long-lasting. Maeng da was specifically created as a potent red kratom strain, and the tree grows well in the humidity and heat of Indonesia. The strain was created using grafting, whereby two or more plant tissues are combined into one to produce a new strain. Maeng da is specifically bred for alkaloid properties, which means that it takes the pain-relieving properties of kratom red strains and adds an energetic kick. Not only does this strain act as a stimulant, increasing your energy, but it’s also reported to give you feelings of well-being while reducing pain. Maeng da kratom also makes some people quite talkative in social situations.
IndoIndo kratom originates from Indonesia. The leaves from this strain can be green, red, or white in color. Indo kratom isn’t as stimulating as other strains, but users do report mild energizing effects. Most users take Indo kratom to induce relaxation, relieve pain, and promote feelings of general well-being. Many users of Indo also report a decrease in anxiety.
BaliAlso known as red vein kratom, Bali also comes from Indonesia. The extract is reddish in color and is said to help with pain relief. Bali tends to be the most opioid-like out of all the kratom strains we know about. This means that consuming the extract can have similar effects as some opioid medications, and can help with chronic pain-related conditions, as well as depression.
Green MalayThis kratom strain comes from Malaysia. The leaves are dark green in color. When taken at low doses, Green Malay provides an energy and focus boost while also relieving pain. At high doses, this strain of kratom may have more of a sedative effect. Users of Green Malay say that it works great for anxiety, as well.
ThaiOriginating from Thailand, Thai kratom can be red, green, or white, and the effects vary depending on the color you choose. The green and white varieties of the strain give more stimulating qualities and a euphoric “high.” The red vein variety of Thai kratom is said to offer excellent relief from pain.
BorneoBorneo kratom originates from Borneo and can be found in red, green, and white vein varieties. Users of Borneo report a sedation effect, and some take it for anxiety and stress relief.
MalaysianOriginating from Malaysia, this strain can be found in green, red, and white vein varieties. Users who take this kratom strain report a lift in mood, pain relief, boosted energy, and razor-sharp focus.
What Do the Different Kratom Colors Mean?Kratom strains are divided into three primary colors that included red vein, white vein, or green vein. These colors coincide with the color of the stem and vein of the kratom leaf. The color of the stem and vein will determine the effects kratom will have on the mind and body. The disparity of color signifies a different effect and chemical composition. When the kratom is processed, the stem and vein are removed during the grinding process. This makes it so that the leaf is ingested and not the stem and vein.
Red Vein KratomRed kratom is the best selling and most widely available strain of kratom on the market. The red vein kratom plant grows mostly in Southeast Asia and is said to be great for beginners because of the reported pleasant calming effects.
White Vein KratomThis variety produces more of a stimulant effect and works as a positive mood enhancer. The effects largely depend on the quality of the product and the tolerance level of the user. White kratom is increasingly taken instead of coffee for concentration, alertness, and cheerfulness.
Green Vein KratomThe green vein variety of kratom is said to be a mild energy booster than can brighten up your day. Users report more alertness and focus, as well as pain relief. Of the three varieties, green kratom varieties tend to be subtler than the reds and whites.
How to Take the Strains Properly for the Intended EffectsStudies are limited on kratom and in some countries, like Thailand, kratom is illegal to possess and use. Kratom is legal in the U.S., but legislators are eyeing the substance carefully, and we need more studies before true dosage amounts can be determined. The proper dose of kratom for you may be different for someone else. This is because kratom can affect you in various ways depending on the strain, method of ingestion, as well as your age, sex, and health status. It is our general recommendation that you take low doses to start. According to a study conducted in 2018 based on over 8,000 kratom users, a dose of around 5 grams of kratom powder taken three times per day was adequate enough to experience the desired effects. Between one and five grams of kratom powder is a low-to-moderate dose and gives users energizing and focus boosting effects. A high dose of kratom powder is between 5 and 15 grams and can be used for pain relief and an opioid-like high. Be aware that kratom taken at higher doses offers an increased risk of side effects. Taking over 15 grams of kratom powder is considered a risky dose. At this level, kratom tends to produce a feeling of sedation with an even higher risk of serious side effects.
What Does Kratom Feel Like?The reported effects of kratom are only that, user reports. You don’t really know how a strain or dose will affect you until you ingest kratom on your own. Overall, kratom may have the following effects on your mental, emotional, and behavioral states.
- Better Focus: Kratom gives many users tunnel vision, letting them hone in on important tasks with ease.
- Reduced Anxiety: The jitters seem to disappear with some kratom users, even at low doses.
- Enhanced Mood: Users report feeling better and more at ease after ingesting kratom at low and high doses.
- Euphoria: Kratom can give a “high” just like some opioid medications, which can increase its risk for abuse.
- Talkative: Some users like taking kratom as a social lubricant, making them more open to meeting new people.