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What Is Kratom? Here is What You Should Know

What Is Kratom

As noted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), kratom is not currently approved for human consumption, and therefore restrictions are defined for the sale of kratom as a human consumable product. Kratom is sold as an unapproved dietary ingredient, for external use only.

We can’t offer advice on taking it orally as this would be considered a violation of the current U.S. laws.

You ask “What is Kratom”? Kratom is a relatively new drug to the US and Europe. It has been used for many years in Southeast Asia as an anti-diarrheal medicine, a painkiller and a recreational drug. Kratom is the popular name for the tree, and the drug comes from its leaves.

The drug may be bought in leaf form but in this country, it is more likely to be purchased as a capsule filled with powdered leaf material or a chopped up form of the leaf that can be used for tea or smoking. Most people ingest the drug. The effects of kratom come on rather quickly and last between five and seven hours, although high doses can last longer.

Kratom is heavily promoted as a legal, undetectable, safe drug that can be used to come off stronger drugs. It is not yet illegal in the US but the breakdown products of kratom can be detected with some drug tests. Because of its legality, the drug tends to be more popular among young people who cannot yet buy alcohol and who may be concerned about being arrested with weed or other drugs.

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What Is Kratom’s Effects at Low Doses

At a low dose (1-5 g) of kratom, stimulant-like effects predominate. These are felt within 10 minutes and last for 60 to 90 minutes. While reports by kratom users indicate that most people find these effects pleasant, some users experience an uncomfortable sense of anxiety and agitation. The primary stimulant-like effects of kratom are similar to amphetamine, though less intense, and include:

  • Increased energy and alertness.
  • Decreased appetite.
  • Increased sociability.
  • Heightened libido.

kratom effects
What Is Kratom’s Effects at Moderate to High Doses

Moderate to high doses (5-15 g) of kratom have primarily opioid-like effects that last for several hours. The euphoric “high” induced by kratom is reportedly less intense than other opioid drugs, and some users describe the experience as unpleasant, or dysphoric. Other opiate-like effects include:

  • Analgesia (pain reduction).
  • Drowsiness.
  • Calm, dreamlike mental state.
  • Cough suppression.
  • Reduction in symptoms of opioid withdrawal.

Doses of kratom greater that 15 g have effects similar to high doses of opioids, including extreme sedation and a loss of consciousness in some cases.

Remember that kratom extracts are more concentrated. It’s generally best to start with a smaller quantity of kratom when seeking a specific “aroma”. Remember you can always add more kratom to the mix if you decide you’d prefer a larger quantity, whereas if you accidentally utilize too much kratom, you may encounter challenges (i.e. it’s impossible to remove excess kratom from a soap mix or incense blend).

Which Kratom Variety Do I Choose?

Each strain is slightly different in terms of the “aroma”, but generally speaking:

  • Red vein kratom varieties tend to have the most relaxing and soothing “aroma”.
  • White vein kratom varieties tend to have the most stimulating and invigorating “aroma”.
  • Green vein kratom tends to be a middle ground. Its “aroma” is both stimulating and invigorating in smaller quantities and more relaxing and soothing in larger quantities.

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