I had first read about Kratom in 2015 and while I did order a Kratom powder sample package (~25g) online, I didn’t notice any effects during the first use.
I quickly dismissed the compound as ineffective (or simply not working for me).
Table of Contents
- Kratom Didn’t “Work” Initially
- What is Kratom?
- Kratom Illegal in Thailand
- How Do You Take Kratom?
- Tracking Kratom Usage
- How Does Kratom Feel?
- Kratom Strains Explained
- Is Kratom Expensive?
- Kratom Tea VS. Extract VS. Capsules
- Is Kratom dangerous?
- Negative Side Effects of Kratom?
Kratom Didn’t “Work” … Initially
In hindsight, it wasn’t that it didn’t “work” but rather that I was looking for something different based on what I had read online – thereby being completely oblivious to the positive effects I was experiencing.
Strangely enough, the list of substances/drugs that don’t seem to do anything for me keeps getting longer.
The primary reason I very rarely drink alcohol is … because it doesn’t make me feel much different then when I’m sober.
Quite the opposite, alcohol actually works like a downer and while I do get dizzy when pouring down enough of it, no amount seems to positively enhance my mental state.
I am still thinking the exact same thoughts and am not more relaxed then before.
That was the main reason I started looking for alternative solutions that would improve my quality of life or at least certain experiences.
I played around with Phenibut, Modafinil, Hawaiian Baby Woodrose, 1P-LSD … and tested a variety of Kratom strains.
What Is Kratom?
It’s a plant that is native in many parts of Southeast Asia. Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia.
While it’s a scheduled substance in most of those countries, you can legally obtain in many U.S. states and most of Europe.
Kratom Illegal in Thailand
I wish it were legal … would be such a great alternative to alcohol (and perhaps smoking), but as of today, Kratom is a scheduled narcotic drug in Thailand.
Don’t use Kratom in Thailand, or you might end up in jail.
In the Psychoactive Substance Act (and the list of narcotic drugs), you will find Kratom listed under it’s scientific name “Mitragyna speciosa“.
Any Kratom powder I’ve ordered online (I’ve tested 3 vendors) came with the disclaimer “Not for human consumption.” printed on the outside of the package.
This isn’t to say that Kratom is dangerous but merely fine-print vendors add to avoid legal issues since Kratom is not approved for human consumption in most countries.
How Do You Take Kratom?
Kratom is available in pill form, although I have only ever bought it as powder and simply mixed it with a bit of warm water.
It tastes like dirt, very unpleasant so a lot of people mix it with flavored drinks, milk or yogurt.
I put it in a shaker & mix it with warm water.
Many also call this the “Toss & Wash” method. You can also just put the Kratom powder in your mouth and wash it down with water.
For example, I am on Kratom right now as I am writing this article … and it feels great. More about what Kratom does later.
Today, I took
- 4.5g Red Thai Premium
- 200ml warm water
- All taken on an empty stomach
Onset of the effects of Kratom is almost immediate. I feel a slight sensation a few minutes after ingestion and the peak I would say is usually reached after 30-60 minutes.
How long do effects last? It varies, but at least a couple of hours.
Tracking Kratom Usage
I do this with every substance, compound or supplement I use simply to maximize benefits while ideally avoiding side effects.
My goal is to find the minimal effective dose and get the most out of it – as simple as that. No point to using something that doesn’t work as desired.
I keep a log of when I used it (date & time), the circumstances, quantity and anything else that would be relevant.
What an entry looks like:
14:30 – 5g Maeng Da + 200ml warm water
14:50 – Very subtle effects/come up of warm feeling
15:05 – warm fuzzy feeling?
16:50 – still feel that subtle fuzzy feeling
17:20 – eating meal – still felt that feeling up until meal eaten
18:20 – still feel it after meal
20:00 – gone pretty much
21:00 – 4g again cause i’ll go play pool (i actually mixed 2.17g maeng da with 1.83g borneo)
01:00 – Felt it subtly during pool also – on way home got really tired.
How Does Kratom Feel?
How do you describe sensations accurately?
It’s difficult task but perhaps “warm fuzzy feeling” would be a good way of describing what I experience.
Just feeling great in my body, which then leads to being more in the moment, less thinking about useless stuff and being able to focus better.
It’s not like anything else I’ve ever taken.
There is zero impairment of cognitive functions (quite the opposite) – it allows me to do focused work for hours on end.
That “focused” work could be writing an article like this (creative), cleaning up my condo (robotic) or socializing (example above where I went play pool).
Kratom makes me feel like life is almost perfect as it is – there is nothing that needs to be added. Again, hard to describe …
For me, Kratom’s effect consistently last for 4+ hours.
Kratom (I’ve tested Maeng Da) is also a great pre-workout. I’ve used it on my leg day and felt it was even superior to caffeine.
Kratom on an empty stomach? – This is important. Taking Kratom right after ingesting a meal, I feel none of the effects. I tried to space meal & Kratom consumption at least 1 hour apart.
Kratom Strains Explained
Kratom (the plant) is native in a number of countries, so that’s the first way to differentiate different Kratom leaves. Namely, by location.
Then there’s also the color of the stem and vein of the leave, which can be Red, White or Green.
The positive effects I described above are the most pronounced when I take Red-vein Kratom. I prefer Thai Red & Maeng Da because based on my subjective experience, those are the strongest Kratom strains.
Since I didn’t know which strain I would respond to best, I ordered a sample pack of 5 different strains.
It was less than $30 and included the following:
- 25g Pontianak Maeng Da
- 25g Pontianak Red Horn
- 25g Red Sumatra
- 25g Red Thai Premium
- 25g Pontianak White Horn
Package arrived within 1 week and when it did, I “tested” Maeng Da that very day.
Is Kratom Expensive?
I say no – especially if you compare it to, let’s say drinking, or even coffee.
One dosage (4.5g) based on the sample pack order above costs less than $1.5 – I think that’s incredible value especially since the effects last for hours.
Now that I have tested different Kratom strains, I will probably order my preferred one in bulk which lowers the per-dosage-costs even further.
Where can you order Kratom? Online. Simply google it and you should find a reputable vendor that ships to your country.
You can also do a bit of research first to see if the site is reputable by searching for reviews (e.g. “vendor name + reddit”).
Kratom Tea VS. Extract VS. Capsules
Kratom extract is a modified version of the regular Kratom powder that is more potent. It’s also more expensive, so there’s not really any benefit to it.
Using Kratom leaves for tea or swallowing Kratom powder that comes in capsules – it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me because
1.) More difficult to get the dosage right
2.) Less convenient to take (e.g you’d have to swallow 8+ pills to reach 4g of Kratom). Plus, you can only increase/decrease dosage in certain increments.
Is Kratom dangerous?
Who knows … I don’t.
Most of the info you read online isn’t based on scientific studies but rather subjective experiences or perhaps faulty logic, such as,
“It’s natural & has been used for hundreds of years, so it can’t be bad.”
Not using Kratom is probably healthier than using it, but with so many upsides, that’s simply not an option.
So, instead of asking whether it’s “dangerous” or “unhealthy” (both of which are subjective anyway), I simply compare it to other drugs … and when comparing it to alcohol, I can’t imagine it being as harmful.
That’s my current stance.
I get a lot out of it and thus use Kratom in medium doses (4-5g) 2-3 times per week.
I won’t use it daily for concerns of 1.) safety and 2.) tolerance.
Tracking usage (keeping a log) is also important so I know when I have last taken it and whether it’s been a few days already.
Addiction is not a risk (for me anyway), as I have no issues with discipline … whether that’s using such compounds or sticking to a diet plan (almost indefinitely).
Negative Side Effects of Kratom?
I made the following log entry:
20:00 – 3g Pontianak White Horn in 200ml warm water
20:37 – can feel the slight warm/fuzzy feeling – especially in my feet
21:30 – still feeling it
22:26 – still feel a bit of it, that calmness. about to go to bed – great feeling for that!! in bed i had racing thoughts … and also the next morning. coincident or was it the kratom?
Could’ve been random and not related to Kratom … more testing would be required to draw valid conclusions.
Update – June 16, 2017
I’ve just gone through my Kratom notes for the last 2 months & it seems that Red Veins work the best, although there are a number of factors (prior meals, time of the day) that play a role in how well & long the effects last.