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Article Summary


What is Kratom?

Kratom is a native tree found in Southeast Asia. Kratom has a very similar appearance to a coffee tree. The most important part of the kratom tree is the leaves because they are have been used to make herbal medicine since time immemorial. The leaves produce an extract which acts as a stimulant and a sedative. The extract can also be used as a pain killer, a recreational drug, diarrhea medicine and medicine for treating opiate addiction.

Kratom administration

In South East Asia i.e. Thailand, kratom leaves are chewed while fresh after removing the central leaf vein. It is also possible to chew dry kratom leaves but since dry kratom leaves are usually tough, most people crush or grind them into powder before swallowing them. Powdered kratom is usually taken by swallowing or mixing it with apple sauce or fruit juice. This usually masks the bitter taste. It also allows kratom administration to be quicker. Dried kratom leaves can also make tea. It is also possible to smoke kratom. It is however important to note that this method of administration is not as effective as the other methods mentioned above.

Kratom effects

Kratom effects are unique. A lower dose of the drug is usually enough to produce a stimulating effect on the body. When taken in high doses kratom becomes more sedative. This can be attributed to the fact that kratom contains active alkaloids which both have stimulating and sedative effects.

It is important to note that the effect kratom has on individuals varies on a number of factors i.e. the blood levels and also the individual taking the drug. Different people react differently towards the drug. For instance, some people experience the stimulating and sedative effects of the drug faster than others.

The stimulant effects of the drug include; increasing alertness, increasing physical and sexual energy and also increasing ability to perform very monotonous and hard physical work. Other effects include; becoming more sociable, talkative and friendly.

The sedative, analgesic and euphoric effects are produced by higher doses of the drug. At this level, you become less sensitive to emotional or physical. You also look and feel calm. The drug also causes you to develop comfortable pleasure feeling. It is possible to experience itching and/or sweating at this level. Kratom users at this level also have constricted pupils. Other effects include nausea especially when performing activities. This effect can be dealt with by resting. Also, kratom users appreciate music more when high on the drug.

Kratom effect typically last for six hours. Higher kratom dosage produces stronger drug effects. The effects are also bound to last longer. It is important to note that dosage guidelines only apply when you take kratom leaves as opposed to extracts. Different individuals are also sensitive to kratom in different ways. Dosage estimates must therefore be treated as loose approximations.

When taking the drug for the first time, start with very low doses. You can then keep on increasing the dose as you continue experimenting till you reach a certain desired level. You shouldn't take very strong kratom doses when experimenting. In most cases, 3-5 grams of kratom is more than enough to produce desired effects. If you are more sensitive to the drug, consider taking lower doses i.e. 2 grams. It is important to note that some people may be hypersensitive to kratom especially when it is taken immediately after food. For this reason, you should take kratom approximately 3 hours after food. The drug works better and produces fewer side effects when it is taken on an empty stomach.

Kratom risks/safety

One of the greatest risks associated with kratom is nausea. Kratom increases the tendency to fall asleep when operating machinery i.e. when driving. You must therefore avoid the drug when driving, operating machinery or doing hazardous tasks i.e. climbing a ladder. It is also important to note that the drug is harmful to pregnant women. Expectant mothers must therefore keep away from the drug. Because there are no studies clearly explaining the effects of the drug on the unborn, it is better to keep off the drug. Nursing mothers should also keep off the drug because the drug has a tendency to pass through breast milk.

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