If you are new to kratom, you will probably have plenty of questions about it: how do I use kratom? Does it have any side effects? Is it dangerous? Don’t panic! This post will explain the basics of kratom for beginners.
What Is Kratom?
Kratom is a tree in the coffee family that grows naturally in Southeast Asia and is native to places like Indonesia, Borneo or Thailand. The scientific name of the kratom tree, Mitragyna speciosa, refers to mitragynine, the most abundant alkaloid of kratom’s leaves. When you buy kratom, you are buying kratom leaves that have been dried and ground.
Mitragynine is not the only alkaloid found in the kratom leaves. In fact, kratom has more than 20 alkaloids, but the most potent ones are mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine.
Main Uses and Effects of Kratom
Kratom acts mainly on the mu and delta receptors in your brain. These receptors are part of the opioid receptors, which get this name because opiates act on them. Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean that kratom is an opiate. In fact, kratom is structurally different from opiates (such as morphine) and, most importantly, it doesn’t have the dangerous side effects of opiates, such as respiratory depression. This is a very important fact that must be pointed out when explaining kratom for beginners.
But although kratom is not an opiate, it has similar effects to some opiates. Kratom’s main effects include:
Furthermore, kratom also has antioxidant properties and is a natural immune system booster. Thanks to its properties and effects, people use kratom for many ailments and conditions:
- Pain relief
- Improve memory and concentration
Different Kratom Types
As you can see, kratom has many different effects and you can use it for many issues. And some of them are even opposite, such as insomnia or fatigue. But why does this happen? There are two reasons for this wide range of effects: the dosage (lower doses are energizing, while high doses are more relaxing) and the kratom variety. But the main reason is the kratom variety.
There are three main types of kratom, depending on the color of the stem and vein of the leaf. Thus, you’ll find white kratom, green kratom, and red kratom. And each of them has many sub-varieties (or strains), such as Borneo, Maeng Da or Indo kratom. In most cases, these names refer to the place of origin of kratom. Each kratom type has a different set of alkaloids. Therefore, their effects will be different.
You will also find kratom extracts or enhanced kratom. These are more potent kratom products that kratom newbies should avoid. If you’re new to kratom, you should only use regular kratom.
If you want to use kratom to get an energy boost, a white kratom strain is what you’re looking for. White kratom strains have a lower amount of the sedative and analgesic alkaloids. As a result, white vein kratom is the best kratom type to fight fatigue, produce euphoria, improve your mood, and enhance your memory and concentration. However, if you want to use kratom for relaxation or pain relief, white kratom strains are not the best choice.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, we find red vein kratom. Red kratom has higher levels of 7-hydroxymitragynine than white and green kratom. 7-hydroxymitragynine (or 7-OHM) is the most sedative and analgesic alkaloid. Because of this, red kratom strains are the best varieties for pain relief, anxiety, and relaxation. Red vein strains are very potent, so if you want to use a red variety make sure you are cautious with the dosage.
The effects of green kratom are somewhere between those of white kratom and red kratom. Green kratom varieties have energizing effects, but at the same time, they’re also effective in relieving pain. Moreover, they are also amazing to achieve euphoria. However, the effects of green kratom are milder than those of white and red kratom. Even so, green kratom strains are a great choice for kratom newbies.
The recommendable dosage of kratom for beginners is 2-3 grams. Wait between 30-40 minutes and add an extra dose of 0.5 grams if you don’t notice any effects or they are too subtle.
This is a recommendable dosage guide:
- Low doses: 2-4 g
- Moderate doses: 4-5 g
- High doses: 5-8 g
- Very high doses: 8-10 g
Doses higher than 8 grams are not recommendable, let alone if you are new to kratom.
Using an inappropriate kratom dosage can result in unpleasant side effects, as we’ll show you below. This is something that kratom newbies must bear in mind when taking kratom.
Kratom Side Effects and Kratom Tolerance
Yes, kratom does have side effects. While most of these side effects are not dangerous, they can be very unpleasant. Most of the times, kratom side effects are due to high doses of kratom. So, the best way to avoid these side effects is by using low to moderate doses:
- Headache and migraines
- Eye wobbles
- Libido loss
But there is another reason to be conservative with your kratom dosages: kratom tolerance. When you start using any medication or natural remedy, your body starts getting accustomed to it. This means that with time you’ll need higher doses of that product in order to feel its effects. It is not easy to establish how quick kratom tolerance builds up, it depends on each individual. But if you use large doses of kratom and consume kratom every day, chances are you’ll soon notice that you need higher doses to feel the effects of kratom. Hence, you should keep your dose low and avoid taking kratom daily. Another way to avoid tolerance is changing your kratom strain regularly, so your body doesn’t get used to the same set of alkaloids.
How to Take Kratom
The most common way of consuming kratom is by brewing it in a tea. There are many kratom tea recipes, but the easiest way is to add your kratom dose to simmering water for 10 – 15 minutes (don’t let the water boil). Since kratom taste is not very nice (and this is an understatement), you can add honey, cinnamon, maple syrup or another sweetener to improve it.
Other kratom users opt for using kratom capsules because they are easier to use and cover the bitter taste of kratom. Nonetheless, kratom capsules are not that easy to find and are more expensive than kratom powder. Furthermore, when boiling kratom you are also sterilizing it, as a result, it is clean of all contaminants. Another disadvantage of kratom capsules is that you cannot guarantee the freshness of kratom.
Toss and wash is another way of consuming kratom. This method is indeed very effective, but it can make you gag, cough, or even vomit if you don’t make it properly.
You can also add kratom to many recipes to cover its taste. Applesauce or smoothies are nice ways of consuming kratom while avoiding its taste.
Where Can I Buy Kratom?
You can find kratom at many head shops, which you can buy locally. However, buying kratom online is usually the best choice, especially when dealing with kratom for beginners.
If you buy kratom online, you’ll find there are many more options than locally. Nonetheless, before making your first kratom purchase it is recommendable you make some research to find out who the best vendors are. There are many kratom vendors selling their products online, but not all of them are equally trustworthy. So, before buying kratom look for vendors reviews and make sure you are buying your kratom from a reliable source.
You may even find very cheap kratom (much cheaper than compared to other vendors) but going for the cheapest products might be a mistake: there are vendors who are offering bad quality products or even fake kratom. Therefore, spend a bit more money is better to guarantee you are getting a high-quality product.
Some kratom vendors offer variety packs that include different kratom strains. This can be a good choice of kratom for beginners.
We expect this guide of kratom for beginners has helped you. Of course, there is much more to kratom than what we explain in this post. You can keep reading this blog to learn more about kratom.
If you want to share your kratom experiences with us, feel free to leave a comment in the section below.