Kratom (scientific name: Mitragyna Speciosa) is a tropical evergreen tree native to Southeast Asia. The large trees grow up to 100 feet tall in countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Papua New Guinea where M. Speciosa has been used in traditional medicine for at least the last +/- 150 years. Kratom farming and exports support large numbers of rural citizens in these areas.
The use of Kratom is well documented as a stimulant (at low doses), sedative (at high doses), recreational drug, pain killer, medicine for diarrhea, and treatment for opiate addiction. Chewing the raw leaves is the preferred method of consumption among natives and is regularly used by local farmers and laborers to increase work productivity.
In recent years Kratom has grown in popularity in Western Countries for it’s psychoactive properties. Kratom is currently legal for sale and consumption in the USA under federal law and is available online or at select retail locations. It can typically be found in smoke shops, tobacco stores, gift shops and even some gas stations or liquor stores.
Kratom is generally available as a powder, capsule (filled with powder), dried whole leaves or concentrate. The powder is by far the most popular and made by drying the fresh leaves, after removing the rough central vein, and grinding it into a fine powder. The powder is then sold loose or packaged into convenient capsules. Concentrates are made from a variety of methods and forms and is sometimes mixed with other additives to produce specific effects.
Kratom is taken orally and effects are generally noticed anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes after consumption. The exact amount per dose varies wildly among users(anywhere from 1 - 10+ grams) and the general approach is to start low and experiment until you find the right amount for you.
If you are curious about Kratom you will quickly notice a variety of different strains available typically categorized as a white, green or red veins which refers to the color of the vein running through the plant when it is alive. There are a huge variety of specific common names associated with the different strains and often refer to where it comes from; Bali, White Vein, Red Vein, Maeng Da, Indo, Malay, and Bornea are the most common.
All of the strains will provide the basic stimulant and opiate type effects of Kratom. The difference between them is often defined by being more potent or having different severity of effects. This is because the different strains contain different types and levels of alkaloids which are the chemicals that create these effects. Some are stronger than others and to learn more, check out our article about the different types of Kratom.
All natural Kratom plant leaf