Kratom Explained

Kratom Explained


If you are new to kratom, this is the best place to learn and get the newest information. There is a lot of information out there and the majority of it is confusing. For one, you have all these options in front of you and it is hard to choose a strain if you have no idea what to expect or what each strain helps you with.  The color indicated in the name is given from the color of the vein of the leaf before being de-veined and powdered, either green, red, white, or yellow.

Kratom, also known as Mitragyna Speciosa is a relative to the coffee plant.  It is a leafy tree that can grow up to 15 meters in height and is found in the rainforests of Southeast Asia, where it has long been used in traditional herbal medicine to treat pain, boost energy, alleviate anxiety and depression symptoms, and promote feelings of wellness and happiness.

Kratom is not a “legal high”, and if you are hoping to get high from kratom, you will end up being disappointed. This is the most common misconception about kratom. It is a gentle herb which can provide a mood lift and stimulation and sedation.  Stimulating kratom is not unlike caffeine, but it is much different feeling and smoother than caffeine.  The duration usually lasts between 2-5 hours.  Smaller doses (between 2 and 7 grams usually) provide energy and stimulation and focus.  The more kratom you take, the more sedating it becomes.  Kratom is high in antioxidants and a healthy alternative to caffeine.

 Leaf Strains

There are different varieties of Mitragyna Speciosa strains available for purchase. The different names of the Mitragyna Speciosa leaves consist of:

  1. The country where the Mitragyna Speciosa tree is from.
  2. The region the kratom was picked.
  3. The color of the leaf veins, red or green or white.

For example: Green Vein Indo would tell the user that the product is from a green veined leaf from a tree in Indonesia.

Red Vein, Green Vein, White Vein or Yellowed?  What’s the difference?

Green and White Vein Kratom: These are your energetic strains, with white (in general) being slightly higher in energy.  These leaves produce more stimulating effects than red vein varieties. Green vein leaves are known for providing clearer thinking as well as extra endurance, and is preferred by athletes and labor workers. Some users have reported that green vein leaves have been useful for anxiety and depression symptoms.

Red Vein Kratom: These are your sedating strains. After the initial rush of energy, the calming effects take over. Red vein is often used for pain relief and as a substitute for opiate detoxing.  Some users report that it gives them a euphoric feeling.

  Yellow vein is from young leaves of white vein. Its effects are similar to white with energizing effects. Yellows are whites that have been sun bleached on the trees. The entire leaf is yellow but it can be any color vein. They are usually stimulating but not nearly as much as whites and some are even considered mellow.



Some Popular Kratom Strains

Horned leaf means it's been on the plant longer, fully developed. They tend to have higher alkaloid content.  


Strains of Red

Red Horn, Red MD, Red Bali, Super Red.  These Strains of Mitragyna Speciosa are also known for its balanced alkaloid content. It has a unique taste and is a bit more sedating.  Red Veined is often used for pain relief due to its sedating effects.  It is also effective for detoxification from opium.  RED vein kratom effects are both relaxing as well as energizing. Higher doses of red kratom tend to be more relaxing, while lower doses produce stimulating effects. For a new user, the kratom effects can last around 5-6 hours. Experienced users may feel the effects for around 3 hours.

Strains of Green   

Green Bali, Super Green, Happy Green, Green MD, Green Riau, Green Malaysian. This is a very popular strain. These strains are found in Borneo and Sumatra. Green has a high alkaloid level that resembles Maeng Da. This Mitragyna Speciosa strain is becoming popular do to its balanced level of alkaloids. The kratom effects are said to be both relaxing and slightly stimulating with waves of euphoria.  A perfect balance of energy and sedation.

Green Veins are a long lasting energizing strain.  It is easier than some other strains to take due to i’s more pleasant taste. Green is considered on the more euphoric side of the effect scale. When taken, the kratom effects can last up to 8 hours for a beginner and around 3-4 hours for an experienced user.

Strains of White

White Horn, White MD, White Kali, White Energy, Thai. White kratom is known for energizing effects and as a sexual stimulant. It lasts for about 4-6 hours.  Because Mitragyna Speciosa trees were banned in Thailand in 1943, These strains are grown in other countries, such as Malaysia and Indonesia.

Kratom effects

The stimulant level: At the stimulant level, the mind is more alert, physical energy (and sometimes sexual energy) is increased, one feels more motivated to get things done, ability to do hard, monotonous physical work may be improved, there is an elevation of mood (it has an antidepressant effect), one is more talkative, friendly, and sociable. The stimulant effects of kratom are different from typical CNS stimulants, such as caffeine or amphetamine drugs. Kratom is more of a cognitive stimulant than a physical stimulant.

The sedative-euphoric-analgesic level: At this dosage you will be less sensitive to physical or emotional pain, feel and look calm, have a general feeling of comfortable pleasure, and may enter a pleasant dreamy reverie. You may experience some itching or sweating. Your pupils may be constricted (small). It is possible you may feel nauseated, but if you lie down and relax the nausea should quickly subside. You may find your appreciation of music is increased. It will be very pleasant to lie down on your back in a semi-darkened room, with eyes closed, and just listen to your favorite music. If you do this you may be fortunate enough to enter the delightful mixed-state of ‘waking-dreaming’ where you have one foot in dreamland and the other foot in the real world. This state was much prized by the 19th century Romantic writers, who, lacking knowledge of kratom, resorted to the much more habit-forming narcotic, opium, to achieve it.

Threshold = The effects are clearly apparent, but subtle.
 Mild = Typically the effects are stimulant-like.
 Moderate = The effects can be stimulant-like or sedative-euphoric-analgesic.
 Strong = Sedative-euphoric-analgesic effects; too strong for highly sensitive people.
Very Strong = Sedative-euphoric-analgesic effects (TOO STRONG FOR MOST PEOPLE)

Caution: People vary in sensitivity to kratom, and kratom from different sources can vary in potency (sometimes quite a lot), so these dosage estimates should be regarded as loose approximations. One should always start with a low dose when experimenting with a new batch of kratom. One can then increase the dose gradually with subsequent experiments until one obtains the desired level of effects. DO NOT take a strong, or very strong dose, the first time you are sampling a new batch of kratom. Most people experience nausea when using very strong doses. Sensitive individuals may experience nausea at lower doses. For this reason, it is best to take kratom on an empty stomach when using strong doses (i.e. wait about 3 hours after eating). Some people are hypersensitive to kratom, and may experience adverse reactions (such as severe and prolonged vomiting) when using very strong doses.

What is duration of kratoms effects

The effects of kratom usually last 5-6 hours. When taken on an empty stomach, the onset of effects is typically felt 30-40 minutes after ingestion. If there is much food in the stomach, it may take 60-90 minutes before it begins to take effect. When taken in capsules (gelatin or vegetarian), the onset of effects may be delayed a little because it takes time for the capsules to dissolve in the stomach.


What are the risks? How safe is it

When kratom is taken by itself (without mixing it with other drugs), the greatest risk is falling asleep while engaged in hazardous activities. NEVER drive while under the influence of kratom, even if you feel stimulated, rather than sleepy, for sleepiness may come on you without warning. Use common sense. Do not use power tools or climb ladders while under the influence of kratom. Be careful not to leave a pot on a lit stove and then fall asleep.

Pregnant women should not take any drug or medication except on medical advice. Since there have been no studies of the risks of kratom use by pregnant women, it is not known whether it could cause birth defects or fetal death. We strongly recommend that any woman who could possibly be pregnant NOT use kratom.

Is Kratom an effective pain medication

Yes, kratom is an effective pain medication (analgesic). In fact, except for opium, kratom is probably the most effective herbal analgesic available. Many people use kratom to alleviate aches and pains, and to help manage painful conditions such as arthritis and fibromyalgia.

Is Kratom an effective treatment for opiate addiction

One of the traditional uses of kratom in Thailand is as a treatment opiate addiction. Opiate addiction is a widespread problem. Not just for people who use opiate drugs illegally, but also for people who are prescribed opiate pain medications. Unfortunately, people who use opiate drugs daily often become addicted. Understandably, many people do not like being addicted to these drugs and are looking for ways to overcome their addiction. Many people report that kratom is effective for this purpose. Because it contains alkaloids that act as opiate receptor agonists it can be used as a substitute for opiate drugs, both as a pain medication and to avoid opiate withdrawals. After switching to kratom for a while, people say that they are able to reduce and then end their kratom use completely without suffering through difficult opiate withdrawal. This suggests that although it contains opiate receptor agonists, the pharmacology of kratom differs from opiate drugs in an important and potentially useful way. Before using kratom to overcome opiate addiction, it is obviously a good idea to discuss this with an open-minded physician.

Is Kratom habit forming

Kratom is not habit forming when it is used responsibly. If used occasionally as a recreational drug, rather than daily, there is virtually no risk of becoming dependent on it. But it is very important not to get into the habit of using it every day. For kratom, like many drugs [e.g. alcohol, coffee, tobacco, etc.] if used on a daily basis for a prolonged period of time, could become a habit hard to break. Before starting to experiment with it set yourself usage guidelines. If you ever find it is hard to stay within your usage guidelines immediately quit using kratom. Of course, people who are using kratom to overcome a preexisting opiate addiction may need to use kratom daily to avoid opiate withdrawal. People suffering from chronic pain may need to take pain medications on a daily basis, and some people choose to use kratom instead of pharmaceutical pain killers. Interestingly, studies have found that opiate drugs (morphine and its relatives) are rarely addictive for pain sufferers except among people with a history of substance abuse. This is probably also true for kratom, because like opiate drugs, the effects of kratom are due to opiate receptor agonist activity.


 Kratom Tolerance
Yes. Like many drugs, if kratom is used on a daily basis one will eventually develop some tolerance to its effects and will gradually need to take increasingly larger doses to obtain the same level of effects. Tolerance does not develop when kratom is taken occasionally (no more than twice a week). Since the active constituents in kratom are opioid receptor agonists, there is likely to be cross-tolerance with other opioid drugs. This means that people who have developed tolerance to other opioid drugs will probably need to use higher doses of kratom than people who have not. Tolerance is not permanent. Normal sensitivity resumes after a few weeks of abstinence.


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