When taking kratom there are several different factors that determine both how long its effects last and take to be felt, as well as the potency of those effects. They include the form the kratom is in, the dosage and whether you’ve eaten anything before taking it. The potency of kratom varies among the different strains available as well as due to the conditions under which it grew. Another important consideration is that everyone reacts differently to different substances, so the proper dosage of kratom and how long the effects last will vary from person to person.
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What Are the Different Ways of Taking Kratom?
One of the more popular ways kratom is taken is via gel capsules, as many herbal supplements are taken. The most common way of getting kratom is to buy the powder by itself, either just as powdered leaves or a concentrated extract. This powder can then be put into your own capsules at a custom dosage, or simply ingested directly. One of the most common of these methods is “toss n’ wash”, where a dose of powder is put into your mouth and quickly swallowed with water. Mixing kratom powder with yogurt or putting it in a milkshake, smoothie or other beverage are other possible methods. Kratom can also be made into a tea, but many opt for the other methods of ingestion to avoid, or at least lessen, kratom’s bitter taste.
Yet another method of taking kratom is with tinctures, a tincture being a liquid extract of a plant or other material in a solution, usually alcohol based. Tinctures can also be made with other solvents, such as vinegar or glycerol. Smoking kratom is also possible, but very much not recommended. It takes a large amount of kratom to feel any effects while smoking it, making it much more cost effective to use than any of the many other methods. And if you are using kratom as a medicinal plant, smoking it is counterproductive as inhaling any kind of smoke can be bad for your lungs, and therefore your overall health.
How Do These Methods Make a Difference?
One of the biggest variances between different methods of taking kratom is how long the effects take to kick in. Kratom capsules are the slowest as the gel has to be dissolved by your stomach before it starts digesting the actual kratom powder. Many report that it usually takes about an hour before they start to feel the effects, but it can take as long as 2 hours depending on the person and capsules. For oral consumption of kratom powder and extracts, the onset of effects is said to take from about 15 to 45 minutes. Tinctures can take about the same amount of time to feel the effects of as kratom powder, but can often be quicker, sometimes as fast as 5 minutes.
The speed at which these effects reach their peak varies from person to person, being as quick as 10 minutes, but possibly taking over an hour after the first onset of effects. The speed of reaching peak effects will likely be the same among the different methods after they first start to be felt, except maybe a bit faster for tinctures and other sublingual methods as the active ingredients don’t have to go through the digestive system. This peak lasts for about 1 to 2 hours and the offset, or coming down period for kratom can take about 3 to 6 hours. Under normal circumstances, the total duration of effects when taking an oral dose of kratom will be anywhere from about 2 to 5 hours.
Dosage and Other Considerations
How much kratom you take will also affect how long you feel it’s effects. It won’t necessarily change how long it’s actually in your system, but the effects of a high dose will likely be felt for longer than a low dose. The proper dosage will, as said before, vary from person to person, but for those new to kratom it’s best to start small. The dosage for extracts, capsules and other methods will depend on the seller and should be provided with the package or on their website. For powdered leaf about 1 gram is the recommended dose for those taking kratom for the first time.
If all goes well you can then try a bit more, such as 2 to 4 grams for a mild experience similar to taking a stimulant. A moderate dose ranges from 3 to 6 grams and can give either stimulating or sedating effects depending on the person. A strong dose ranges from 6 to 10 grams and gives sedating and euphoric effects. A heavy or very strong dose can be from 8 to 15 grams, giving strongly sedating and euphoric effects. These high dose effects can be too strong for some, especially newer kratom users.
How much you’ve eaten can also play a role in the onset of the effects of kratom. On a full stomach the effects will take a long time to be felt and likely be less potent than usual, perhaps barely felt at all depending on the amount of food. While on an empty stomach the effects will kick in faster and stronger. As for the duration of the effects, it’s likely that the effects will not last as long on an empty stomach as it only has kratom to digest. So eating right after you feel the effects, or eating a small amount before taking kratom can be a good idea. For sublingual methods like tinctures, food shouldn’t make much of difference in the onset or length of effects.
Can Kratom Be Addictive?
Kratom is considered to be an opioid, but is thought to be much less addictive than other opioids, such as morphine. As a matter of fact, some have even used kratom to successfully manage the withdrawal symptoms and stop use of other opioids, both prescription and otherwise. As with any psychoactive substance, caution must still be used when taking kratom. Taking kratom regularly can lead to building a tolerance, having a tolerance to kratom can lead to taking more of it, which can lead to dependence on it.
Kratom tolerance can build up quickly, especially when taking high doses. When taking too high of a dose, nausea and other unpleasant side effects can occur as well. It is much easier for this to happen with kratom extracts as it can be easy to take a higher dose than intended. This is why it is recommended to mainly take lower doses of powdered leaf, especially for new users and for long term use of kratom. Whatever the minimum amount of kratom that gives you your desired effects is what should be taken. Alternating between different strains of kratom is thought to help keep from building tolerance, but the best way is low dosages and not taking it every day.
If you do end up developing a tolerance to kratom, it’s important to take a break. It takes about 3 to 7 days of ceasing use for tolerance to reduce by half and from 1 to 2 weeks to reach baseline tolerance, or in other words, to be back at about where you were before starting kratom. If you have difficulty being able to stop on your own your own, you may be addicted. Luckily, there are many resources available for combating dependence and addiction, including the Addiction Center and even online communities dedicated to quitting kratom.
When kratom is used responsibly it can help reduce pain, give energy or induce relaxation with almost no risk. As mentioned before, it can even be used to help fight addictions to other substances. So don’t be worried if you are new to kratom, because as long as proper care is taken, kratom is safe and can provide a wonderful experience for all who use it.
Until next time,