I’m always on the search for mind-altering substances that can help me focus on my work, and kratom is a very interesting and enjoyable one so far, provided that you know and understand it well enough to handle it.
Here’s what I learned from taking it back-to-back for 5 days in a row. Some of these things I knew from reading, some I did not know, and others I confirmed from my experience after reading again later.
Notice: This post describes ingestion of kratom, which is not the recommended use by many vendors who may label their product as “Not for human consumption” and the like.
The opinions expressed herein are my own, and may not reflect the opinions or recommended use of kratom by any of my affiliates.
- 1 When used properly, kratom can reduce anxiety and uplift your mood
- 2 Tolerance may build, but you can prevent it
- 3 “Toss and washing” the powder will hit you harder than tea but seems to be less consistent
- 4 Redosing may be useless, diminishing returns
- 5 If you aren’t eating enough fiber, it may make it hard for you to poop
- 6 No withdrawals unless you are a heavy, daily user
- 7 Higher doses, certain strains are sedating
- 8 Excellent for aches from physical work and the gym
- 9 Nausea can happen, take ginger
- 10 Conclusion
When used properly, kratom can reduce anxiety and uplift your mood
This is the number one reason I took an interest in kratom, particularly for its effects on the mood.
Used properly and judiciously, kratom can be highly effective at cutting down your anxiety and making you feel more cheerful and ready to get down to business, whether you are working or studying. The anxiolytic effects make it easier to socialize and just be open to communicate with people without feeling guarded.
What’s more, at a modest dose, it doesn’t cause cognitive impairment like alcohol or higher doses of cannabis. Though it has a little bit of a learning curve, kratom is a very versatile and effective substance.
Tolerance may build, but you can prevent it
Before I began taking kratom again, I ordered a few different strains and blends and learned that you can delay a buildup of sensitivity when you rotate which ones you take.
There’s no hard science behind it at the moment, mainly anecdote and speculation. I found that I didn’t really have to take much more than what I had started with as long as I rotated my strains. This is also the recommendation of kratom guru Chris from GLL.
Also, I actually started by making the “kratom tea” that Victor Pride described here. The tea had a very subtle and uplifting effect, I believe this happens because the water titrates the dosage better than taking the straight powder, such as with the “toss and wash” method as I’ll describe below.
“Toss and washing” the powder will hit you harder than tea but seems to be less consistent
Toss-and-wash is what they call it when you dump the powder in your mouth and choke it down with some water. It doesn’t taste good at all and the powder is uncomfortable. But you gotta do what you gotta do.
I toss and washed a little 5 gram dose, seeing as I usually make this dose into tea. With my virgin receptors and my low tolerance to just about everything, this dose hit me hard and made me feel sedated, like how I imagine an opioid drug would (I never take opioid pills or drugs). Then an hour or two later I felt very sleepy. (Not good for work in this case.)
I suppose that when making the tea, the water doesn’t fully extract all of the alkaloids in the powdered leaf. I did not know nor did I account for this before I took the dose that I did.
Lesson learned: less is more. This is extremely true with kratom.
A modified version of toss-and-wash comes from my days of drinking cocoa powder; I warm up a little water in my electric kettle and pour it into the powder. The powder takes readily to the water this way instead of clumping up as it tends to do in cold water. So far however, I find that boiling the tea is the best method.
Redosing may be useless, diminishing returns
This is based mainly on the toss-and-wash method. It seems that you will become used to the initial effects, whether drinking tea or toss-and-wash if you take too big of a dose early in the day. When you do this, the redose is nowhere near as strong as the initial dose on some fresh receptors.
With toss and wash, trying to take more to feel the same initial hit just seems to me to be a waste, and you’re better off saving your kratom for another day, or at least making it into a tea to spread out the ose.
Upon scanning various kratom discussion forums, it seems that you should start with the lowest dose possible, (maybe 1 or 2 grams) then build your way up if you intend to use it multiple times in a day, taking 1 to 2 gram doses at a time. I have confirmed this myself.
If you aren’t eating enough fiber, it may make it hard for you to poop
Kratom is an opioid, and opioids tend to make it harder for you to poop in general. I found this out the hard way on kratom.
If you’re going to be taking kratom more than just occasionally, or you’re going to take the actual powder rather than the tea, you really need to be eating some fiber. Maybe take a fiber supplement like psyllium husk. This particular fiber supplement will get things moving, as will something like Metamucil that you can find in drug stores or supermarkets.
I have no experience with laxatives, but nothing says they won’t work either. In a pinch, a big cup of coffee, some flaxseed meal, a small cup of salt water, a couple tablespoons of olive oil or a hefty serving of some steel-cut oats each morning might help you too.
Regardless of whichever aid you choose, make sure you’re drinking plenty of fresh clean water at all times and that you have access to a toilet if you’re waiting for the dam to break.
I should also note that this pooping predicament only started when I began using toss-and-wash instead of the tea method. It didn’t delay me more than a day at a time if I wasn’t getting my fiber, but I prefer to be safe than sorry and have some extra fiber in my diet naturally.
You have been warned!
No withdrawals unless you are a heavy, daily user
For some reason, my paranoid mind was worried that I would get withdrawals after not dosing on the 6th day.
This was silly and unwarranted, as nothing bad happened to me when I ceased taking it after the 5th day. The only thing is that I would have welcomed an additional kratom dose, but realized that it would be unnecessary, expensive, and would keep me from maintaining a low tolerance to it. So I took a break for a couple of days. My tolerance was as normal as ever.
Based on some precursory reading online, people who wind up having withdrawals from kratom were usually taking far too much of it to begin with, or they started using extracts which contain the concentrated alkaloids of the kratom plant. They weren’t really rotating their strains either.
Chris from Good Looking Loser, the proprietor of Happy Hippo Herbals (another recommended kratom vendor) has always spoken out against kratom extracts for this reason. In fact, he’s written several extensive guides on kratom — namely this one about avoiding withdrawals and tolerance. If you are worried about tolerance and withdrawals, this is the piece to read.
Higher doses, certain strains are sedating
Some people use kratom because it has an uplifting, mood-enhancing feel to it. I will say that this is only ever the case with lower doses, and with certain strains. Even the reportedly “uplifting” strains will be sedating at a higher dose.
I also find that the kratom sedation overwhelms the power of caffeine. It made for some very vivid naps. Again, avoid taking a high dose if you do not want to take a nap. Stay at the lowest dose possible.
Excellent for aches from physical work and the gym
For those of you who do actual physical labor to earn your money, kratom is a godsend. It helps dull aches and pains you’ll get from work. On tough days, my hands, arms and back might feel tired and sore the following day — I just take some kratom and I feel ready to work again.
For the gym rats, kratom’s uplifting effects may complement many preworkout combinations out there in my opinion. Any feelings of post-workout soreness in the following day will be diminished by kratom.
Nausea can happen, take ginger
Nausea has only hit me once with kratom, but as I covered in this reader mailbag, it is possible to get nausea from kratom.
Taking ginger or adding ginger chunks to your kratom tea boil will help to prevent nausea. I once got nausea from taking too much kratom tea at once on a somewhat empty stomach, and some fresh ginger juice cleared it right up.
(I honestly can’t explain how great ginger is for almost everything)
As stated before, this is what I’ve learned largely from my own experiences of kratom over the better part of a week. There’s still a lot I have to learn, but I’ll be sure to experiment, read up more and report on it back here.
The kratom vendor I went with again is Island Lion Herbals, and is also a new affiliation of mine. I received my most recent kratom order from them, and I’m pleased with the packaging and how promptly it arrived.
Happy Hippo Herbals is another recommended and respected vendor, run by our own Chris / Good Looking Loser. I am not currently affiliated, but they have enough clout for me to recommend as well.