Kratom, or Mitragyna speciosa, is an herb that comes from a tropical evergreen tree native to several countries in Southeast Asia. There are many different strains that consumers can choose from, and the type of strain (as well as the dosage) can cause different effects. Individuals consume kratom for a variety of reasons; although research into the full spectrum of effects and possible uses is ongoing, it has a long history of use both recreationally as well as to relieve physical discomfort, support a relaxed mentality, provide a mild stimulant for energy and focus, and even relieve feelings of unease.
Kratom capsules are one of the most common ways that consumers use kratom. Capsules are arguably the most convenient, simple method used to consume kratom since it requires no further preparation. The capsules generally come pre-measured in individual casings, making it easy for you to accurately measure dosage, and they can be found at almost any kratom retailer. Alternatively, you can also purchase empty capsules online, buy kratom powder in bulk, and fill the capsules yourself. However, packaging your own capsules can make it more challenging to precisely measure kratom and get an accurate, consistent dosage per capsule.
Kratom capsules can also be filled with a liquid kratom extract (more on making extracts below), rather than the powdered form, which generally allows for a smaller capsule, as the extract tends to carry a more concentrated dose.
You can choose between 00 capsules, and 000 capsules if you choose to package the powder yourself. It should be noted that 00 capsules are better for kratom extract, while 000 capsules are better for kratom powder. 000 capsules are larger, and generally, kratom powder requires more for regular dosage.
Preparing Kratom Extracts
Technically, making kratom tea may also be considered a form of kratom extract, though this term is more commonly associated with a tincture (an alcohol or vinegar suspension, which allows for a greater concentration of the active components of an herb). Kratom in tincture form can be taken directly from a dropper, or added into food or drink, similar to other herbal concentrates. There are many methods for making kratom tinctures, and it is important to note that regulating dosage varies by recipe, and can be difficult to duplicate at home.
Making a kratom extract requires:
- Careful selection of the many varieties or strains
- Purchasing the strain in a powder
- A scale for dosage measurement
- A mason jar or sealable container
- 80-100 proof ethanol or ethyl alcohol
- Citric acid
- Tincture bottles
- A funnel
- Time to allow the tincture to mature
While tinctures can be an effective way to enjoy kratom, it may be easier for beginners to purchase premade extract, or stick to capsules and powders in order to ensure proper dosage.
Toss and Wash
“Toss and wash” is consuming kratom powder directly into your mouth, then simply washing the powder down with some form of liquid. This method is similar to what many weightlifters do with supplements in order to forego the use of capsules, as well as avoiding the additional steps of preparing a tea or other medium.
This method can be more difficult than other methods because kratom is known for being bitter, and ingesting the pure powder may be intense or off-putting for newer users. Even after you try and wash it down with water, there may be some lingering residue on the roof of your mouth, teeth, gums, tongue, and throat that keeps the flavor present and noticeable. The dryness of the powder can cause people to gag, or cough, which may result in the person blowing dry powder out of their mouth — potentially wasting it.
Most individuals use this method in a pinch, or as a last resort, but some consumers prefer this method because you may feel the effects quickly.
Since the toss-and-wash method is considered fairly difficult, below are some helpful tips for this specific method:
- Break the amount you are taking into smaller portions. This can reduce the chance of choking, and it can be easier to get down
- Make sure to control your breathing so that you don’t blow the powder onto the floor before it hits your mouth
- Kratom is a diuretic, so you want to avoid trying to skip past the wash part. Drink plenty of fluid before, during, and after consumption
Making kratom tea is one of the more popular methods of consumption — it is both convenient and effective. Making kratom tea may also be a more time-consuming method for consumption. You should only use kratom powder, not kratom extract, when making tea. Boiling the extract can destroy the alkaloids found in the kratom. You will need the following items for this method:
- Kratom powder
How you prepare the tea can vary based on preference and the strength or dosage you want to create, but the general process remains the same. Follow the steps below for creating kratom tea:
- Bring water to a boil in your cookware, then allow it to cool briefly so it is no longer boiling
- Place the desired amount of kratom into a cup or mug
- Pour hot (not boiling) water over the kratom, and let the mixture sit for a minute
- Stir the mixture until everything is dissolved
- Let the tea cool, then consume
Kratom is known for leaving a bitter taste in your mouth, so below are some tips for managing this:
- The more kratom you use, the more water you should use. If you are someone who really can’t stand the taste, you can add as much water as you want to dilute the resulting tea, just be sure to drink all of the contents to receive the full effects
- Mix sugar, artificial sweetener, honey, milk, half and half, etc. to help offset the taste
- If you do not like hot drinks, you can add ice to the tea and it will not change the effects of the kratom
One of the oldest and traditional methods of consuming kratom is chewing the leaves of the plant. Plain kratom leaves are not as concentrated or strong as powder or extracts, so you will need to consume a lot of leaves in order to achieve the desired effects. Much like the powder, the leaves are not known for their good taste.
Mix With Food
You can mix kratom powder or extracts into food or drink. As mentioned above, you don’t want to add an extract to hot food, because the heat can eliminate the alkaloids. Measure out the amount of kratom that you desire, and mix it in with whatever food you choose. It should be noted that some foods will not cover up the taste, or pair well with certain foods, so you may have to try a few different concoctions before you find a pairing that you enjoy.
Technically, you can smoke kratom leaves to feel the effects of the plant, though as with smoking any kind of leaf or herb, this carries potential side effects, and inhaling any type of smoke can be a health hazard.
Much like the toss-and-wash method, you can feel the effects of kratom much faster with this consumption method — but the effects are not stronger, or more powerful. When you smoke kratom, the smoke goes into the lungs and the chemical is absorbed by the alveoli and passed to the brain with oxygen.
Like any other herbal supplement, kratom is derived from leaves, and as a result, can be prepared or ingested in a variety of ways. Each method offers different levels of ease and control concerning dosage, while allowing users to enjoy the effects of kratom. Ultimately, there is no definitive best way to use kratom; depending on your tolerance for the flavor, interest in preparing your own extracts or capsules, or desire for simplicity, any of the methods discussed here are a viable option for you.