Kratom is a herb that has been gaining growing popularity among people in western countries. An estimated 5 million Americans take this herb for its wide variety of beneficial properties. If the herb has caught your eye and you are considering giving it a try, there are a few facts you should know to make wise and informed purchase decisions.
7 Essential Kratom Facts for Kratom Lovers
1. Kratom Originates from Southeast Asia
While kratom has been known in America and other western countries only in the past decades, people in its indigenous regions have been benefitting from this herb for centuries.
Native to Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, kratom, or Mitragyna speciosa, is a tall evergreen tree. Nowadays, most kratom found in the west originates from Indonesia, namely the Borneo Island. The hot and humid conditions of the Island provides perfect conditions for the tree to fully mature and develop beneficial properties.
It’s essential to know that kratom is not the only tree in the Mitragyna genus. While other Mitragyna species have similar attributes, none of them has the same content of beneficial compounds. Therefore, they cannot deliver the same effects. Nonetheless, some vendors try to sell other Mitragyna species as alternatives to Mitragyna speciosa or kratom. This, however, is not accurate, buyers need to be cautious, or they risk purchasing the wrong product.
2. Kratom Is Rich in Alkaloids
The beneficial properties of kratom are due to its alkaloids. The existing studies on kratom have identified a minimum of 25 alkaloids and 40 different beneficial compounds in kratom. The University of Florida College of Pharmacy is currently studying kratom and its alkaloids, which will shed more light on what this herb can offer.
Despite the many alkaloids and other compounds, two alkaloids are found in the most abundant quantities and are responsible for the most prominent kratom effects. These are mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine.
Depending on the weather conditions, soil, nutrients, and season, kratom leaves develop a different alkaloid concentration and profile.
For instance, if kratom leaves receive abundant sunlight and humidity, they develop higher levels of 7-hydroxymitragynine, an alkaloid that has pain-relieving properties that are more potent than those of morphine yet does not have the addiction potential and the respiratory depression commonly associated with opioid medications.
3. Kratom Is a Relative of Coffee
Despite being frequently lumped with opioids, kratom isn’t one. In fact, it actually belongs to the Rubiaceae family. Another prominent plant from this plant family is the coffee bush. So, kratom and coffee are actually cousins.
4. Not All Kratom Is the Same
While all forms of kratom are beneficial, they are far from being the same. Naturally, there are there main types of kratom, and they are named after the color of veins and stems of the leaves.
Leaves that get the most sunlight and usually are located at the top of a kratom tree develop bright red veins and stems. Kratom from these leaves is known as red vein kratom. Red Vein Bali Kratom effects include strong pain relief, relaxation, mood boost, and can also improve the quality of sleep.
Leaves at the bottom of a kratom tree usually get less sunlight and lots of humidity. So, they end up developing pale veins and stems and are known as white vein kratom. The properties of white vein kratom are similar to those of coffee. White vein kratom provides energy, improves the mood, and helps one focus and remain productive.
Leaves that are in between them combine the best of two worlds. They develop veins and stems that are green. So, kratom that comes from them is green vein. Its properties are moderate. You can expect mild pain relief, moderate energy boost, and improved mood. Some people take kratom for depression, because it can provide mood support.
Additionally, it is possible to develop yellow kratom. It is not a natural form, but rather a blend of other vein types with a different drying process. The properties of yellow kratom are moderate.
5. There Are Many Ways to Take Kratom
The most popular method is brewing kratom tea from kratom powder. In addition to that, people like mixing it with juice, yogurt, or smoothies. However, some kratom available on the market tends to have a bitter taste. Therefore some people prefer kratom capsules.
There are also kratom extracts. But they are difficult to dose correctly; therefore, it’s best that beginners do not take them.
6. Dosage Needs to Be Precise
If you decide to take kratom, it’s important to make sure that you take an accurate dose that is right for you. Red vein kratom requires a higher dose. Yet, if you take green or white vein kratom, your dose should be lower. Generally, it’s recommended to take 2-4 grams of white vein kratom at a time, 4-6 grams of yellow or green vein kratom, and 6-8 grams of red vein kratom.
If a dose is too small, you may not experience the effects you are looking for. However, if it’s too high, you may go through unpleasant nausea or even throw up.
To avoid that, it’s essential to accurately measure a kratom dose using a sensitive digital scale rather than a spoon.
7. Whom You Buy Kratom from Matters
The FDA does not regulate kratom. While a number of US states have passed legislation called the Kratom Consumer Protection act, which requires proper testing and labeling of kratom products, it is still possible to buy a bad product.
Kratom is a raw botanical, and, without proper testing, it is impossible to detect possibly dangerous pathogens like salmonella, in the same way that may happen to products like lettuce or eggs. Kratom originates from Indonesia, where hygiene standards are not the same. Therefore, it is crucial to purchase quality kratom from a US-based vendor that tests all products they import in 3rd-party independent laboratories. This ensures that any possible contamination is detected and does not reach buyers.