In recent times, kratom has been put under the spotlight due to news and rumors spreading misinformation about the plant. For this reason, many people wonder if Mitragyna speciosa (kratom’s scientific name) is a safe plant to use. Like any other plant, kratom can provoke side effects. However, you can avoid these negative effects by following some simple tips. In this article, we’ll focus on this topic and we’ll give you advice on how to use kratom safely. So, keep reading below to find out more.
What Is Kratom?
Kratom is an evergreen tree that grows in the jungle areas of many islands of the South Pacific. It belongs to the Rubiaceae family, which is the same genus as the coffee tree. For this reason, kratom and coffee have some common properties, including energizing and stimulating. In its regions of origin, the population used to chew the leaves of the plant to enjoy its effects.
In recent years, the plant has crossed the ocean and has arrived in the Western countries, where it’s typically sold in powder form both online and in headshops. This powder is obtained by drying and crushing the leaves of the plant. Typically, to feel the effects of the plant, kratom users ingest this powder directly, by using the so-called toss and wash method. Or they simply infuse the powder to prepare a tea.
Properties of Kratom
The native people of Thailand, Indonesia, and other regions have used the plant for different purposes for many generations. Many times, they used kratom for endurance, to get more energy for long working days. But kratom has been used for its analgesic and relaxing properties too.
The main kratom properties and effects include:
- Energizing and stimulating
- Calming and relaxing
- Analgesic and soothing
Additionally, since kratom acts on the opioid receptors of the brain many users take kratom to help them ease the symptoms of opiate withdrawal.
How to Use Kratom Safely?
Although kratom is fairly safe to use, like any other plants, there are some considerations that you should take into account to avoid negative effects. Below we’ll give you some tips on how to use kratom safely.
Choose the Right Type
Although there are only one kratom tree species, you can find a large number of varieties and strains in the market, each with different properties and effects. But, how is this possible?
After kratom’s leaves are harvested they are put to dry before they are processed and ground into a fine powder. Depending on the drying and processing conditions, the powder will have different properties. So, it is important to know the properties of each variety and strain before purchasing your kratom powder.
As a rule of thumb, you must know that typically the red varieties are more relaxing and soothing, whilst the white varieties are more energizing and stimulating. On the other hand, the green strains are some sort of a middle ground between the other two, and it holds properties of the white and red varieties.
For this reason, if you want to use kratom to ease anxiety, you should stay away from the white varieties. But if you want to achieve energy and motivation, the red types shouldn’t be your choice.
Always Measure Your Dose
One of the most important things to consider before taking kratom is the dosage. It is highly recommended that you always measure your dose before taking kratom. One of the reasons for this is that kratom’s effects are dose-related. As such, low kratom doses are more energizing and stimulating, and moderate to high doses are typically more soothing and relaxing.
So, once you find the dosage that works for you, always measure it properly to avoid experiencing any undesired effects.
Don’t Overdo It
Since there is no general recommendation on how to dose kratom, finding the right kratom dose might seem difficult, especially for kratom newbies. For this reason, it is recommended to start on the lowest dose possible and start building up until you find your desired effects.
Although there is no general rule regarding dosage, a low dose would be around 1-3 grams, a moderate dose will be 4-6 grams and 7-8 grams can be considered a high dose. Also, you should consider that kratom’s effects typically kick in after 45 minutes.
So, a good point to start would be around 0.5 grams, then wait 45 minutes and take another 0.5 grams. Do it 2 or 3 times, and if you don’t find your desired dose this time, start on 1 gram the following day. Keep doing this until you find your desired dose. Try not to go above 8-10 grams even if you are a kratom experienced user, as these doses are considered too high.
On the other hand, be careful with extracts and enhanced kratom, especially if you are a newbie. Remember that extracts are more potent than regular kratom powder, so you should adjust the dosage accordingly.
Choose the Right Method of Consumption
There is no correct kratom consumption method, and the right way of taking it will depend on the user’s preference. However, if you are prone to nausea or stomach problems, you should avoid using the toss and wash method. In this case, preparing a tea with the kratom powder can help you digest it better.
On the other hand, preparing a kratom tea is the best kratom preparation method, as the heat can help get rid of contaminants that might be present in the leaves.
Don’t Mix Kratom With Dangerous Substances
Although this is obvious, you should never mix kratom and dangerous substances, including the following:
- prescription medicines
- over-the-counter medicines
Moreover, you might have heard that people mix kratom with substances such as dextromethorphan, which is a common ingredient in cough medication. We strongly recommend you avoid this mix, as it can have dangerous consequences.
Be Careful with Potentiators
Although you may have heard that some substances can potentiate kratom’s effects, it is recommended to be careful with them, as you can experience undesired effects.
For instance, grapefruit is a well-known kratom potentiator. In fact, grapefruit can potentiate the effects of many drugs and medicines, and its use with them can be dangerous. So, the general recommendation is to stay away from potentiators.
Store Your Kratom Properly
Like any other plant or herb, kratom can also suffer from poor storage conditions. Storing kratom properly can help you keep your kratom fresh and potent for a long time. Also, proper storage will help it stay away from contaminants.
Some tips to store kratom properly include:
- Keep it in a fresh place away from heat
- Keep it away from strong odors
- Don’t store your kratom in humid places
- Try keeping it away from oxygen to minimize oxidation
- Keep kratom away from light
Always Buy Your Kratom From Reliable Vendors
Finally, you should always buy your kratom powder from reliable vendors. So, it is strongly recommended to avoid buying it from individuals on eBay and similar places, as they don’t offer any kind of guaranty, and you never know where their kratom comes from.
If you are buying kratom online, you may want to pay attention to things such as:
- Is the site https? A site with an https protocol is more secure than an HTTP site.
- Do they have a refund policy?
- Does the design of the site look suspicious?
- Are there online reviews for the vendor?
- Do they have a customer service or contact details?
Following the above tips, you’ll be able to determine whether the vendor is or not legit.