Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) comes in several different forms. Each has its pros and cons, but all offer the same general benefits. The kratom plant is revered as one of the best herbs for chronic pain and depression.
It’s essential to understand the nuances of taking kratom because the effects it provides depend on the dosage.
In lower doses, kratom energizes like a cup of coffee, but it’s sedative and analgesic in higher doses.
The type of kratom you’re using also makes a difference. This includes the format (caps, powder, or extracts) and the strain selection (red, green, or white).
There are four main types of kratom products to consider:
- Kratom powder: Loose powder is the most common and widely used form of kratom. Farmers dry the fresh leaves and then crush or grind them to obtain the powder.
- Kratom capsules: These are gelatin caps filled with a pre-measured amount of powder. The capsules enable the user to avoid the flavor while still taking the same dosage.
- Kratom extracts: Available as tinctures, gummies, oils, and shots, these are highly concentrated. That makes them more potent than any other form of kratom.
- Fresh kratom leaf: Traditionally, laborers would chew fresh leaves directly, but the fresh leaves are difficult to find if you don’t live in a country where kratom trees grow freely.
What Dose of Kratom Should I Take?
The kratom dosage is the most crucial factor to consider when using this herb. Kratom is unique because the effects flip after a certain dosage level is reached.
I’ll keep this nice and simple, but it’s important to note that everybody is different and may react differently to the doses listed below. If you’re using kratom for the first time, it’s important to start with a lower dose and increase slowly over time.
If you take too much kratom, you may feel nauseous and fatigued for a few hours. If this happens, drink plenty of water, get some sleep, and reduce your dose next time.
Now on to dosage information!
If you’re looking to get the energizing effects of kratom (coffee alternative), start with about 2 grams of kratom powder. The energizing effects usually cease around the 5 or 6-gram mark.
If you want kratom’s euphoric and mood-enhancing effects, you’ll probably need to take a dose of around 5 grams or higher.
If your goal is to leverage the powerful painkilling effects of kratom, you’ll likely need to take a dose of around 6 to 12 grams of dried kratom powder.
Do not exceed 12 grams unless you’re very familiar with how your body reacts to kratom. Exceeding this limit carries a high risk of experiencing uncomfortable side effects, including nausea, vomiting, loss of coordination, and sedation.
How to Take Kratom Powder
Kratom’s natural flavor can be very off-putting. For this reason, people new to the plant sometimes find it tricky to take. It has an earthy and bitter taste, similar to strongly brewed green tea. The powder doesn’t dissolve well, so the brew tends to have a “chalky” sensation.
The dosage for kratom powder depends on several factors, such as the strain you are using, the results you want to obtain, and your weight and tolerance.
For most people, the effects of kratom powder kick in around 20 minutes after they take it.
Here are the four most common methods people use to take kratom powder today.
Toss ‘N’ Wash (Most Popular)
This is the preferred method of many users, thanks to its convenience and effectiveness. It consists of scooping a measured dose of kratom into your mouth and then following it with a gulp of water or juice.
You can also mix the powder into a glass of water and drink it like that.
Although this method will not spare you the unpleasant taste of kratom, it’s quick and does not require extra steps or ingredients. This method is akin to ripping off a bandaid quickly. It’s unpleasant, but it’s already over in just a few seconds.
Parachuting is very similar to the toss ‘n’ wash method, but it’s more appropriate for people with sensitive tastebuds.
To parachute your kratom, place the powder into thin or edible paper, such as rice paper, and twist it closed. Then, you swallow it like you would a pill.
Parachuting will give you the fast-acting effects of the toss ‘n’ wash method while avoiding the herb’s bitter taste. Still, we recommend this method for users with experience, as there is a risk of choking or breathing in some of the powder.
Prepare a Kratom Tea
Making tea is a simple and beginner-friendly way of taking kratom. You can even flavor the tea with some lemon juice or another sweet-tasting tea to help hide the bitter, grassy flavor of kratom leaf.
To prepare kratom tea, place a dose of 1–6 grams of powder into a tea bag and steep it in hot water. Alternatively, you can simmer the teabag for around 15 minutes and then strain it for even stronger effects.
The result will be a warm drink with fast-acting effects. This method of preparation carries the lowest risk of upsetting your stomach or making you nauseous.
Mix It With Food or Drinks
Combining kratom powder with food or drinks is an easy and effective way of masking the herb’s unpleasant taste. You can use many things for this, like fruit juices, coffee, yogurt, milkshakes, oatmeal, and almost anything else you can think of.
If you’re good in the kitchen, you can even make kratom-infused baked goods such as cookies or muffins. Just make sure to pay attention to how much kratom is in the final product.
How to Take Kratom Capsules
Kratom capsules are ideal for new users, as they come pre-measured, and you can take them anywhere. You can carry them in your backpack or purse and easily travel with them.
Many users will appreciate the discretion aspect they provide. Despite kratom being legal, most people prefer to avoid explaining themselves to others.
Several capsule sizes contain different amounts of kratom. The smallest ones contain around 0.1 grams of powder (100 mg), while the biggest capsules can carry up to 0.8 mg or 1 gram.
However, some downsides to capsules lead some people to choose powder over them.
The main one is that they can be inconvenient for high doses because, although they might save you a bit of time, you’ll most likely have to take several caps at once to get an effective dose.
Additionally, it’s difficult to control the exact amount you are taking. If your capsules contain 0.5 grams, for example, you won’t be able to take 4.8 grams. This will often lead to inaccurate doses, which aren’t ideal.
Capsules are also frequently more expensive than loose powder. This is due to the extra steps needed to make them, but it can discourage those users who prefer to buy in bulk and save money.
Taking Kratom Extracts or Tinctures
There are two types of kratom extracts to consider. There are kratom tinctures, which you can make yourself at home, and concentrated kratom extracts, which usually require high-tech equipment to produce.
Extracts are much more potent than loose powder or capsules, so you must be precise when taking kratom this way. Using a dropper or syringe will give you the best precision.
Some companies sell kratom extract tablets that make dosing much more convenient. One tab contains anywhere from 50 to 100 mg of mitragynine and/or 7-hydroxymitragynine (the active ingredients in kratom).
For the energizing effects, start with either a quarter or half an extract tablet (25–50 mg). For painkilling or mood-supportive effects, start with half or one full tablet (50–100 mg).
Here’s how to use kratom extract once you’ve determined the dose.
Mix it With Food or Drinks
You can mix kratom extracts into teas, juices, smoothies, or other drinks. Using them alongside meals or snacks is also a good idea since you will mask the bitter flavor of the extract.
Liquid extracts make this super easy — just drop a few drops into some water, tea, or juice and knock it back. Make sure to follow the instructions on the label for this, as the potency of liquid extracts can vary widely.
For extract tablets, you’ll need to first crush it up using the back of a spoon or knife and then stir it into your beverage. It can take some serious stirring to get this stuff to dissolve, so be patient. A blender or electric hand mixer helps a lot.
Hold It Under Your Tongue
If you want fast results, you can also take the extract sublingually (under the tongue).
There are a series of tiny blood vessels under the tongue. By holding your kratom extract here for a few minutes, some of the active ingredients will cross into these blood vessels directly — producing a rapid onset of effects.
Once you’re done, simply swallow whatever is left in your mouth. This will absorb the usual route through your digestive tract.
Using this method, you should start to feel the effects of your kratom extract in 15 minutes or less.
What Kratom Strain Should I Choose?
The kratom plant comes in many different strains. There are three main categories of strains, which are used to determine the general focus of effects.
- Red vein kratom — this kratom has the strongest painkilling and sedative effects
- White vein kratom — these strains have a much higher affinity for the energizing effects of kratom
- Green vein kratom — the middle ground between red and white kratom
Each category hosts dozens of unique strains. These strains are usually named according to the region they came from, such as Green Malay, Red Sumatra, or White Thai kratom. The color comes from how the plants were processed after they were harvested.
This is similar to how green, black, and white tea all come from the same plant (Camellia sinensis) but the way they’re processed post-harvest changes the way they look and taste.
There are a few other strain types, such as a yellow vein or gold vein, but these aren’t considered true kratom strains. Yellow and gold kratom refer to brand-specific blends of kratom powders. Companies will mix kratom powders together to help them dial in specific effect profiles or to balance inconsistencies between different harvests of kratom.
Let’s cover each category in a little more detail to help you decide which strain is best for you.
Red Vein Strains
Red varieties are great if you are struggling with insomnia or anxiety. These strains are relaxing and very potent due to the direct way in which they interact with the mu-opioid receptors.
Because they are abundant and in high demand, red strains are available in almost every form. You can even find candies and other edibles infused with them.
We do not recommend red strains to people who seek euphoric effects or even some mild relaxation, as they might be too strong.
The best uses for red vein strains are:
- Helping to manage intense or chronic pain
- Alleviating anxiety and stress
- Supporting better and deeper sleep
Popular red vein strains include:
- Red Borneo
- Red Bali
- Red Maeng Da
White Vein Strains
Although they can provide relaxation to a certain degree, white strains are mainly known for their stimulating effects. You can use them to replace coffee when in need of a productivity boost throughout a hard day’s work or a long study session.
It is common to find white strains as concentrates, but it is still widely available in many other forms. You can even find some products which only contain the primary alkaloid in white strains—mitragynine.
You should choose white strains if you are looking for energizing effects or if you work in a creative field. If you are looking for more calming properties, these strains are probably not the right choice.
The best uses for white vein strains include:
- Uplifting your mood
- Enhancing cognitive functions
- Reducing feelings of lethargy
Popular white vein strains include:
- White Borneo
- White Indo
- White Maeng Da
Green Vein Strains
Green-veined strains are the most balanced and, therefore, the most popular. These strains provide the full effect range of kratom, going from euphoric and energizing to relaxing.
You can find green strains in every possible presentation, and any innovative kratom product is more likely to be available in green options.
These strains are best for beginners as they are gentle and less likely to cause side effects. However, experienced users usually find them too mild and prefer to have more control over the specific effects they get from their kratom.
The best uses for green vein strains include:
- Relieving mild to moderate pain
- Boosting your mental energy
- Reducing stress
Popular green vein strains include:
- Green Indo
- Green Sumatra
- Green Thai
Yellow Vein Strains
Technically, yellow varieties are not an actual strain, as you can’t find them in nature. Yellow strains come from white strains, and they are the result of a particular way of processing them. Their effects are well-rounded and potent.
Not every kratom vendor commercializes yellow strains, making them more challenging to find. You will probably find these strains as powder and capsules, but any type of extract is rare.
Yellow strains are similar to green varieties, making them beginner-friendly. If white strains are too potent for you, but you still want the nootropic benefits, you should try yellow kratom.
The best uses for yellow vein strains are:
- Improving your focus
- Relieving pain
- Getting long-lasting effects
Popular yellow vein strains include:
- Yellow Sumatra
- Yellow Vietnam
- Yellow Maeng Da
Can I Snort Kratom?
Although it’s technically possible to snort kratom, we advise against it. Snorting kratom will have the same effects as any other method but may damage your respiratory system.
It has no significant benefits, so there is never a scenario where it would be a more enjoyable experience.
Moreover, kratom doses can usually be as high as 9 or 10 grams. Snorting that much powder in one go is almost impossible without causing damage.
Snorting kratom can cause nose bleeds, infections, and even lung blood clots. Not only that, but it also places you at a higher risk of an overdose — resulting in significant nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, and a terrible taste in your mouth.
Do not snort kratom.
Can I Smoke Kratom?
Yes, kratom can be smoked — but this method of consumption is also not recommended.
The flame’s heat will destroy most of the active alkaloids in kratom before they even enter the body. Smoking kratom is an inefficient way of using the plant, but it certainly works. It also has an awful taste even in smoked form, so you’ll need to mix it with some other smokeable herbs to help improve the taste and reduce some of the harshnesses.
People who smoke kratom generally do so for the energizing effects. It isn’t easy to get a strong enough dose to take advantage of the painkilling qualities of the plant.
Conclusion: What’s The Best Way to Take Kratom
Every kratom user has different needs and expectations regarding their dose. Likewise, everybody has a different tolerance to the bitter, grassy taste of the plant.
Some people prefer to get it over with quickly using the toss-and-wash method; others like to dilute the taste with tea or eliminate it entirely with kratom capsules.
Luckily, there are many ways to use kratom so users can tailor their experience to their own personal preferences.
Still, there’s a reason why kratom powder is the most popular option. It’s versatile, convenient, and the most affordable option. It’s also the most natural way to take it besides chewing the leaves directly.
Extracts are also popular, but they cost more and carry a higher risk of side effects — most of which can be quite uncomfortable.
If you’re unsure about what kratom product you should use, the powder is a great place to start. Start with a green vein if you’ve never used kratom before and want to experience all this plant has to offer. Alternatively, you can dial in the effects more accurately by going for a white vein if your goal is the energizing effects of kratom or a red vein if you prefer a strain with maximum painkilling benefit.
Once you’ve gotten a feel for the plant and how it affects you, start checking out other methods and exploring the many ways to consume this beautiful plant.