Understanding How Kratom Works, Its Effects

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Kratom, a tree native to Southeast Asia (Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Borneo, etc.) has the botanical name of Mitragyna speciosa. It’s in the same family as the coffee tree (Rubiaceae). The leaves of kratom have been used as an herbal drug in Southeast Asia for hundreds of years.

In Western civilization, it was first written about in 1836. It is used in folk medicine as a stimulant (at low doses), sedative (at high doses), treatment for opiate addiction, recreational drug, pain killer, and medicine for diarrhea.

Kratom is a unique drug in that a low to moderate dose will usually be stimulating, but not always. On the other hand, a high dose is almost always quite sedating.

Which of these effects takes precedence for you is most likely dependent on dosage, strain, and individual differences between users.

Many people report that the effects are very similar to opiate drugs. This is not surprising from a pharmacological perspective because kratom contains alkaloids. These alkaloids act as opiate receptor agonists.

You might be interested to know that although kratom has a similar mechanism of action as many opiate pain medications, it does not appear to be nearly as addictive.

In fact, many people use kratom to overcome opiate addiction. Here’s where the dosage becomes highly important.

If you use kratom at the stimulant level, you may feel your mind is more alert. At times, the ability to work on physically demanding jobs may increase and your sexual energy may be high. Often kratom makes a person more talkative, pleasant, and sociable.

(Tired of being a total introvert, try this. LOL!) However, this level also makes some people feel edgy.

If you use the sedative-euphoric-analgesic level dosage, you will be less sensitive to physical or emotional pain. You may feel like you are in a dreamy state. Calmness and a general feeling of ease or comfort may surround you. Be careful not to drive if you are in this state.

On a different note, it’s possible to experience some itching or sweating. Your pupils can get smaller. Nausea is a distinct possibility, but it should ease up fairly quickly if you lie down.

Someone has suggested that your appreciation of music may increase. It will be very pleasant to go into a semi-darkened room and lie down on your back  with eyes closed, and simply listen to your favorite playlist.

If you do this you may be actually entering a mixed-state of ‘waking-dreaming’ or semi-consciousness. This state was much prized by the 19th-century Romantic writers, who resorted to the much more habit-forming narcotic, opium, to achieve it. They didn’t know about kratom.

Here are some charts, which define dosage guidelines. As Kratom is not regulated, different doses of diverse strains may bring about varying results. The potency of the kratom makes all the difference.

The following dosage-guideline charts are typical for the kratom varieties offered by Sage Wisdom Botanicals

Premium Quality Kratom

(oral dosage)

Threshold 2-4 grams
Mild 3-5 grams
Moderate 4-10 grams
Strong 8-15 grams
Very Strong 12-25 grams
Ultra-Potent Kratom

(oral dosage)

Threshold 1-3 grams
Mild 2-4 grams
Moderate 3-7 grams
Strong 6-10 grams
Very Strong 8-16 grams
Kratom Extract

(oral dosage)

Threshold 1 gram
Mild 1-2 grams
Moderate 2-4 grams
Strong 3-6 grams
Very Strong 5-8 grams
Threshold = The effects are clearly apparent, but subtle.

Mild = Typically the effects are stimulant-like.

Moderate = The effects can be stimulant-like or sedative-euphoric-analgesic.

Strong = Sedative-euphoric-analgesic effects; too strong for highly sensitive people.

Very Strong = Sedative-euphoric-analgesic effects (TOO STRONG FOR MOST PEOPLE)

Caution: People vary in sensitivity to kratom, and kratom from different sources can vary greatly in potency. For that reason, these dosage estimates should be regarded as loose approximations.

It’s always best to start with a low dose when you receive a new batch of kratom. One can then increase the dose gradually with subsequent experiments until one obtains the desired level of effects. DO NOT take a strong, or very strong dose, the first time you are sampling a new batch of kratom.

Some people are hypersensitive to kratom, and may experience adverse reactions (such as severe and prolonged vomiting) when using very strong doses.

However, the majority of people experience nausea only when using very strong doses. Sensitive individuals may experience nausea even at lower doses. For this reason, it is best to wait at least 3 hours after eating before taking kratom. By that time, your stomach should be empty.

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