Monday, July 27, 2015 Article Source: Healing Tree Blog
So, You Are New To Kratom?
The statements below have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Information regarding the use of kratom is provided for educational purposes only, it is not intended as medical advice to diagnose, treat or cure any illness.
If you are a sufferer of chronic pain, anxiety, or addiction to opiates, you may have heard of Kratom through its mention on various groups and message boards. Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a tree native to Southeast Asia that has been consumed by generations of natives as a natural pain reliever, anxiety reducer, and mood lifter. Kratom is also taken to help ease the symptoms of opiate withdrawal. When we talk about taking kratom, we are specifically talking about the leaves of the plant.
The first thing you should know about Kratom is that vein color is important. Kratom leaves come with 3 vein colors: red, white and green. Each vein color typically provides a different effect.
Red is one of the most popular veins. Red vein leaf has higher levels of 7-hydroxymitragynine, which is the pain-killing, sedation, and anxiety alleviating alkaloid. This is also a great vein for people coming off of opiates and dealing with withdrawal issues.
Unlike the other two vein colors, red is reported to be the best tolerated by users, while white and green effects vary among users. Because red is often a sedating vein, you will often hear users say "red for bed". This does not mean that red will make you sleepy, however, it is best to try red when you do not need to drive or operate heavy machinery before you know how it affects you.
Also known as "white for flight", white vein leaf is used for energy and as an anti-depressant. It can also help with mental clarity and focus. White vein is not tolerated by everyone, sometimes causing a “jittery” feeling similar to coffee, especially if used with coffee. While it also offers pain relief, it has the lowest levels of 7-hydroxymitragynine, the pain relieving alkaloid.
There is a reason green vein leaf is known as the “in between” vein. People who don’t want the sedating effects of red veins, or the stimulating effects of white veins, might find that a green vein is the best option for them. Green vein strains are moderate in their effects than other the other veins and can be a great compromise.
There is some debate about the other kratom colors, which range from yellow to gold to brown. From everything I have read and people I have talked to, these colors are created by various drying techniques and not necessarily an actual vein color. Others say it is just a marketing ploy. Regardless, it would not hurt to try some of these other kratom types. For me personally, yellow and gold are two of my favorite types of kratom! I find them to have excellent mood lift while providing great energy and pain relief. I often tell people that yellow and gold are great for late afternoon when you need to get over the 3 o'clock slump, but don't want to have issues falling asleep.
The simplest way to describe kratom strains is by saying that the kratom strain can be the location where it is farmed, where it is used or the type of leaf it is. Examples of some popular strains include:
Malaysian (or Malay)
Indonesian (or Indo)
Maeng Da (aka “Pimps grade” or the best of the best)
How is kratom sold?
Kratom is most commonly sold in powder form. You can buy it by the gram or the ounce or even by the pound. Common amounts you will see are:
10 grams: approx. 4.5 teaspoons (this is a common sample size)
30 grams: approx. 14 teaspoons (this is what you get in a typical sample pack).
100 grams: approx. 3.5 ounces
200 grams: approx. 7 ounces
Kratom is also sold by the 1/2 pound (8 ounces), pound (16 ounces), 1/2 kilo and kilo.
Ok, all this information is great, but where do I start?
The most important thing to know about kratom is that it is a very individualized experience. There will be trial and error involved because what works for me might not work for you. Most consumers, when asked for advice, can really only give generalized information for that reason. Also, understand that the FDA does not approve kratom for human consumption, and up until recently there have been limited studies done on kratom. It is something that is currently being worked on, and an 8-Factor analysis has recently been done and submitted to the FDA (I will provide links below). With that being said, the following is information that people new to kratom should keep in mind.
2. Stick with one vein at a time to start. Most vendors sell sample packs, and those sample packs usually contain a 2-3 day supply of their most popular strains, one of each vein color. Sample packs are perfect because it gives you the opportunity to try all three veins for a reasonable cost. I have seen sample packs as cheap at $10. A search of popular vendors will quickly introduce you to the terms “pure leaf” and ”blends”. Pure leaf is exactly that, the pure leaf. It’s a single vein and strain. That is what you want to start with. Blends are when a vendor takes different veins or strains and combines them into a signature “blend” that they will usually give a unique name, and it will often become something they are known for. Blends are wonderful, but when you are brand new to kratom, you need to know how each vein effects you. Most people find that a white vein is energizing, but a few people find it incredibly sedating. Taking a vein color by itself helps you to know how your body best reacts to each vein; which vein gives you the best pain relief, which vein makes you jittery, or which vein gives you the best mood lift. Once you know this basic information, you can then start mixing vein colors to get the desired results you need or buy pre-made blends from your favorite vendor.
3. With kratom, less is more. Let me repeat that….less is more. Just because you have been on, for example, Oxycontin for years and have a high pain medication tolerance does not mean you will need to take high doses of kratom. Often people find that when they take too much Kratom it opens them up to greater side effects. Because each person's dose is different, starting out small and gradually working your way to where you begin to feel "better" will yield the best results. While some users need very high doses, there have been plenty of people who have overcome long-term heroin or opiate addiction, or found complete pain relief, on just a teaspoon dose. Remember, you can always add, but you cannot take away.
3. Join a good support group. There are many good Facebook groups and forums that can provide information and support to a new Kratom consumer, and taking advantage of other people’s experiences can be incredibly helpful. On Facebook you will find that some groups are vendor supported, meaning that they were created by a vendor of Kratom and hope to earn your business. There are some great vendor groups, and they offer very good information. You will know quickly which groups are vendor supported, and which are not. There are many wonderful vendors out there who have a great product, great prices, host fun contests for free Kratom and have fantastic sales. If you have a question about a vendor, feel free to ask on the Facebook groups as anyone will gladly give you a recommendation.
There are many groups that are not vendor supported, but one of the most important is the American Kratom Association (AKA)
that exists for the sole purpose of protecting our rights to use Kratom and promoting the safe use of this wonderful plant. The AKA runs off donations and because of its efforts Kratom has remained legal in several states. The AKA was also instrumental in preventing the DEA from emergency scheduling kratom back in the fall of 2016. Work to protect Kratom is ongoing as new bills in various states are introduced all the time, and your support is critical. I also recommend joining the Facebook support group Kratom: Pro-Active.
So, I just got my Kratom. Now what?
There are several popular ways to take Kratom. They include
1. Capsules. You can encapsulate Kratom in vegetable capsules. Empty capsules can be purchased online from Amazon, eBay, and through many vendors.
2. Toss and Wash. It is called toss and wash because you toss the Kratom in your mouth and wash it down with a liquid of your choice. This is a popular method but care must be taken to not aspirate powder as you are swallowing.
3. Mixing. Mix Kratom with a liquid or soft food. Popular choices are orange juice, iced tea, water, applesauce, ice cream, pudding. Kratom can even be added to a morning smoothie or protein shake. I also know several people who make kratom honey balls or kratom coconut balls. The balls are then swallowed like a pill.
4. Parachuting. Parachuting is where you take a small amount of Kratom and put it in a piece of one-ply toilet paper or tissue and swallow it like a pill. Another method is to put kratom in a piece of fruit roll up or rice paper. I personally recommend the rice paper to avoid any chemicals from the toilet paper.
5. Tea. Many users make a tea out of their Kratom. To make a tea,
- add water to a cup or teapot (1/4 to 3/4 of a cup)
- Add your Kratom dose
- Simmer for 15 – 45 minutes
- Optional: strain powder
If you are kind of lazy like I am, you can also add Kratom to ready-made, commercial teas for taste. Just open the tea bag, add your Kratom dose and steep per the package instructions. It works like a charm but without the mess and fuss.
Average Dosage by Teaspoon*
- Mild – .5 to .9 tsp
- Moderate – 1 to 2 tsp
- High – 2 to 3.5 tsp
Average Dosage by Grams
- Mild – 1 to 2 grams
- Moderate – 2-4.5 grams
- High – 4.5 – 8 grams
*A good starting dose is 1/2 a teaspoon (tsp). Wait 30-40 minutes and if the desired effects aren’t reached, take 1/2 teaspoon (tsp) more. You can continue this protocol up to 2 teaspoons (tsp).
It should be noted that due to varying potency between strains and plants, this estimate is in no way standardized, instead, it's an estimate based on historical and experiential reports. Doses at the “high” end of the spectrum are also much more likely to cause side-effects, depending on the strain, and is not recommended for a new user of Kratom. Remember, less is more.
A gentle reminder…
Issues with Kratom are unlikely with responsible use. People who consume large quantities of Kratom daily (above the specified guidelines stated above) or use extracts and resins (highly concentrated forms of Kratom) can find themselves experiencing withdrawal if stopping Kratom abruptly. Please understand that anything you take on a regular basis that your body becomes accustomed to can cause withdrawal symptoms when stopped. Withdrawal symptoms may include diarrhea, muscle aches, irritability, muscle spasm, RLS, and runny nose. Long term consumers do best to taper their Kratom doses gradually over several days or a week, similar to how someone might taper coffee, cigarettes, or many medications. This is especially important if you are consuming kratom to ease the withdrawal of opiates. There are other herbs and supplements that you can take that will help you should you need to wean off kratom or stop altogether. Some of those supplements include L-Theanine, Beta-Alanine, L-Tyrosine, skullcap, Kava, Gotu Kola, and mulungu bark, to name a few.
Mixing Kratom with other medications may cause interactions. Please do not take Kratom with other medications if at all possible. If taking Kratom with prescription medications, please keep a buffer of 2 hours between medications.
Again, it should be noted that the statements in this blog have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
Information regarding the use of Kratom in Eastern medicine and by its native people is provided for educational purposes only, it is not intended as medical advice.
Article Source: Healing Tree Blog