Kratom

So if you want to treat depression, if you want to treat opioid pain, if you want to treat sleepiness, this [compound] really puts it all together - Edward Boyer MD

Kratom

image by: ThorPorre
     

 

The two forms of Kratom I experimented with were powder and capsules. I also experimented with a variety of strains and “fusions” of different strains and extracts.  Generally speaking, I took Kratom in the morning, usually mixed with a small amount of orange juice. 

I did not experience a tremendous difference between strains, although the fusions that contained extracts were consistently more potent. Because the extracts lead to quicker tolerance, I spaced out my usage and tried to stick to regular strains most of the time.  I especially liked Bali, Maeng Da and Green Thai. 

Now for the effects.

My overall takeaway is that Kratom has a two-tiered effect. Initially it provides a burst of energy very similar to a strong cup of coffee.  Unlike coffee, however, the energy I derived from Kratom was longer-lasting and level.  My experience with coffee is that the initial burst is strong but it tapers and descends rapidly, leading to the well-known caffeine crash. The energy from Kratom, on the other hand, would often last for three or four hours, but was subtle enough that at no point did I feel like I was jumping out of my skin. I also did not experience an energy crash with any of the Kratom products I sampled. 

The second-tier effect was relaxing, but fell short of being sedating. I never felt sleepy while taking Kratom, but I did experience a level relaxation that was pleasant, and balanced out the initial energy-boosting effects nicely. 

As to side effects, I can’t say that I experienced any worth noting. A few times I noticed that my eyes were bloodshot after I used a fusion containing an extract, but that was not a consistent side effect and it never obscured my vision, nor did it seem related to any other drawbacks. 

As to the difference between capsules and powder, I noticed that the powder worked faster, but the capsules seemed to be generally as effective, though with somewhat delayed effects. That makes perfect sense since it takes the stomach a bit longer to break down the gelatin containing the powder. 

My biggest concern with most of the products I sampled is that it’s not easy to nail down the specific amount to take. I used “bakers spoons” that indicated how many grams a spoonful contained, but I’d strongly recommend anyone who wants to take the product long-term to invest in a decent-quality digital kitchen scale. I am indebted to several people who have sold Kratom for years for offering free advice on how to arrive at the correct amount for my body type (I'm six feet, 225 lbs with an athletic build). 

In my case, about three grams was adequate to induce an effect, but I have been told by several regular Kratom users that amounts vary greatly by person.  I can’t make any recommendations on the “right” amount to use. I simply experimented with amounts (guided by the advice I mentioned) until I found one that worked well for me. 

My overall comment on Kratom is that it’s a lot like good coffee, but with a more even, long-lasting energy effect, and a much more pleasant “finish.” 

As to the results of stopping usage, I can tell you without hyperbole that getting off coffee is a far worse experience than getting off Kratom. I was able to stop taking Kratom for three days and at most I experienced a bit of sluggishness that wore off in a day or so.  Withdrawal from coffee, for me, includes at minimum two days of excruciating headaches that make me want to rip trees from the ground and toss them through store windows (something I've never actually done, mind you). Suffice to say, caffeine withdrawal is significantly worse than Kratom withdrawal, if it can even be called "withdrawal." There's no comparison whatsoever. 

Having now experienced the product myself for a number of weeks, I can see no reason why it should be banned, or on what basis such a product would be banned if people can walk into a typical coffee shop and buy an enormous cup of an addictive substance that’s arguably more potent than any Kratom available anywhere.

Source: David Disalvo, Results of My Kratom Experiment, DavidDisalvo.org, April 5, 2013.

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Last Updated : Friday, April 12, 2019