Kratom, a botanical substance originating from Southeast Asia, has gained significant attention in recent years for its reported pain-relieving properties and potential as an alternative to opioid drugs.
However, understanding what kratom feels like and its effects on the body and mind is essential for users and those considering its use.
In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the experiences and effects of kratom, providing you with a deeper understanding of this intriguing plant.
What is Kratom?
Kratom, scientifically known as Mitragyna speciosa, is a tree native to Southeast Asia. It has been used for centuries by indigenous people in countries like Thailand and Malaysia.
Traditionally, the leaves of the kratom plant were chewed or brewed into a tea to combat fatigue, increase energy levels, alleviate pain, and relieve strained muscles. Today, kratom is gaining popularity in the United States and other countries for its potential therapeutic effects.
Kratom contains a chemical compound called mitragynine, which acts on the same receptors in the brain as opioids like morphine.
This gives kratom its pain-relieving properties. However, it is important to note that kratom has many of the same safety concerns as other opioids and should be used with caution.
Effects of Kratom
When consumed, kratom can produce a range of effects that vary depending on the dosage and the strain of kratom used. The effects of kratom can be broadly classified into two categories: stimulant effects at lower doses and opioid-like effects at higher doses.
At lower doses, kratom acts as a stimulant, providing increased sociability, alertness, and energy. Users may experience a sense of well-being and enhanced focus.
Some individuals compare the effects of the best kratom products to a mild euphoria similar to that of opioids. However, it is important to note that the effects of kratom are generally milder than those of traditional opioids.
At higher doses, kratom can have more pronounced opioid-like effects. These effects include pain relief, sedation, relaxation, and a reduction in anxiety.
Some users have reported experiencing a rush of euphoria similar to the effects of opioid abuse. It is worth mentioning that kratom has the potential to cause dependence and withdrawal symptoms similar to other opioids.
Kratom Strains and Their Effects
- Red Vein Kratom: This strain is known for its calming and relaxing effects. It is commonly used for pain relief and relaxation.
- White Vein Kratom: White vein kratom is often associated with increased energy, focus, and alertness. It is popular among individuals looking for kratom for energy.
- Green Vein Kratom: Green vein kratom is known for providing a balance between the stimulating and sedating effects of kratom. It can enhance mood, increase focus, and relieve pain.
- White Maeng Da Kratom: White Maeng Da is a highly potent strain of kratom known for its strong stimulating effects. It is often used by individuals seeking a boost in energy and productivity.
- Bali Kratom: Bali kratom is known for its relaxing and sedating effects. It is commonly used for pain relief and relaxation.
Factors That Influence the Effects of Kratom
Several factors can influence the effects of kratom. These include:
- Dosage: The effects of kratom can vary depending on the dosage consumed. Lower doses tend to produce more stimulant-like effects, while higher doses can have more sedating effects.
- Strain: Different strains of kratom can have varying effects. Red vein strains are generally more relaxing, while white vein strains are more energizing.
- Tolerance: Regular use of kratom can lead to tolerance, meaning higher doses may be required to achieve the desired effects. It is important to use kratom responsibly to avoid developing tolerance.
- Body Chemistry: Each individual’s body chemistry is unique, and this can influence how they respond to kratom. Factors such as metabolism, weight, and overall health can affect the effects of kratom.
Positive Effects of Kratom
Kratom has gained popularity for its potential positive effects, which can include:
- Pain Relief: One of the most well-known benefits of kratom is its ability to provide pain relief. It can be a natural alternative for individuals seeking relief from chronic pain conditions .
- Mood Enhancement: Kratom has been reported to improve mood and promote a sense of well-being. It may help individuals combat symptoms of anxiety and depression.
- Increased Energy and Focus: Kratom can boost energy levels and improve focus, making it useful for individuals who need an extra mental or physical boost.
- Relaxation and Stress Reduction: Kratom has relaxing properties that can help individuals unwind and reduce stress levels. It may promote a sense of calmness and tranquility.
- Opioid Withdrawal Aid: Some individuals use kratom as a tool to manage opioid withdrawal symptoms. It may help alleviate cravings and ease the transition to sobriety.
Potential Side Effects and Risks
While kratom can provide positive effects, it is essential to be aware of the potential side effects and risks associated with its use. These can include:
- Nausea and Stomach Discomfort: Nausea is a common side effect of kratom, especially at higher doses. Some individuals may experience stomach discomfort or queasiness.
- Sedation and Drowsiness: Higher doses of kratom can induce sedation and drowsiness. It is important to avoid activities that require alertness, such as driving, while under the influence of kratom.
- Dependency and Tolerance: Regular use of kratom can lead to dependence and tolerance. This means that higher doses may be required to achieve the desired effects, and abrupt cessation can result in withdrawal symptoms.
- Interactions with Medications: Kratom can interact with certain medications, including antidepressants, sedatives, and pain relievers. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before using kratom if you are taking any medications.
It is important to approach kratom use with caution and understand the potential risks involved. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions or are taking medications, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before using kratom.
Individual Experiences with Kratom
To gain further insight into the subjective effects of kratom, we turn to user-submitted reports from the website Erowid.org, which serves as an “online encyclopedia of psychoactive substances”. These reports provide firsthand accounts of individuals’ experiences with various drugs, including kratom.
A study published in the journal Psychoactive Drugs analyzed a selection of 161 kratom experience reports from Erowid’s archives. These reports were categorized based on individuals’ overall experiences, both positive and negative.
The study found that the most prominent theme among users was a sense of well-being, with reports of euphoria and positive mood. Users frequently compared these effects to those of opiates.
Some individuals described kratom as creating a pleasant, mellow, and happy effect, similar to lying in a field of poppies. Others reported experiencing body relaxation, mental calmness, and increased clarity of thought.
These subjective experiences highlight the potential positive effects that users have attributed to kratom consumption.
Responsible Use of Kratom
To ensure safe and responsible use of kratom, it is important to follow these guidelines:
- Start with a Low Dosage: Begin with a low dosage of kratom and gradually increase as needed. This will help minimize the risk of adverse effects and allow you to find your optimal dosage.
- Use a Reputable Source: Purchase kratom from reputable kratom vendors who adhere to quality control standards and ensure the purity and safety of their products.
- Avoid Combining with Other Substances: Do not mix kratom capsules with alcohol, opioids, or other substances that can potentially interact and increase the risk of adverse effects.
- Practice Moderation: Use kratom in moderation and avoid excessive or frequent use to prevent the development of tolerance and dependence.
- Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to how your body responds to kratom and adjust your dosage accordingly. If you experience any adverse effects, reduce or discontinue use.
- Seek Professional Advice: Consult with a healthcare professional if you have any pre-existing medical conditions, are taking medications, or have concerns about kratom use.
What Does Kratom Feel Like: Final Words
Kratom offers a range of potential effects, from euphoria and pain relief to increased energy and focus. Users have reported positive experiences with kratom, emphasizing its potential benefits for various conditions.
As with any substance, moderation, responsible use, and informed decision-making are key. Understanding the effects and risks associated with kratom can help individuals make informed choices about their well-being and overall health.
Consulting with healthcare professionals and addiction specialists is always recommended to ensure safe and responsible use of kratom or any other substance.
- Müller E, Hillemacher T, Müller CP. Kratom instrumentalization for severe pain self-treatment resulting in addiction – A case report of acute and chronic subjective effects. Heliyon. 2020 Jul 21;6(7):e04507. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2020.e04507. PMID: 32715144; PMCID: PMC7378692.