Between 10 and 15 million Americans use kratom. It’s available everywhere from gas stations to boutique kratom bars – but what is kratom? And what’s all the hype about?
The M. speciosa plant, related to coffee, has been enjoyed medicinally in Southeast Asia for thousands of years. It can relieve pain and inflammation, improve your mood, and help you focus.
If you know how to use kratom responsibly, the mental and physical benefits can outweigh the risks. But there’s an abundance of conflicting information on the internet, and it can be hard to separate fact from fiction.
Read on for more information about the dangers and advantages of this popular herbal supplement. We’ll also share a few tips to help you safely partake in the trend.
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The Pros and Cons
The two active chemicals found in kratom interact with your body’s opioid receptors, which are also stimulated by heroin and oxycodone. This might sound alarming, but kratom is all-natural and much less concentrated than these dangerous drugs.
Saying that, kratom can have unpleasant effects in large doses. Some users have reported irritability, vomiting, tiredness, increased heart rate, and confusion. More severe side effects like seizures and cardiac arrest are rare.
Most people who take kratom do so because it relieves pain, soothes anxiety, and boosts productivity.
Studies have also found that it can ease opioid withdrawal symptoms for individuals who are trying to get sober.
How to Use Kratom
Kratom can be taken in so many different ways. The leaves can be chewed or smoked, or it can be ground into a powder. The powder can be swallowed plain, used in smoothies, swallowed in capsules, or enjoyed as a tea with some honey and a squeeze of lemon.
Tips for Safe Kratom Enjoyment
The best way to take kratom is to start with a small dose, because the plant’s side effects depend on the amount taken. Most people begin with a 1-2 gram kratom dosage, then increase slowly until they experience the desired kratom effects.
Keep in mind that kratom can be habit forming if taken in very large amounts, so take it easy to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
Different kratom strains have different effects, so choose wisely. Some will be energizing, while others will help you relax. According to the botanical experts at Etanicals, White Kapuas Kratom is the best strain if you’re in need of extra energy.
Always buy kratom from a reputable, health-centered source. There is no oversight of the processing or labeling of kratom in the US, so consumers have to rely on companies to provide a high-quality, safe product.
Drink plenty of water when you take kratom, since it can cause mild dehydration. Don’t mix it with alcohol or other drugs. Also, never take kratom if you are pregnant or nursing, unless you have the go ahead from your doctor.
Chew, Powder, or Brew Responsibly
No matter how you choose to prepare your kratom, keep these basic safety tips in mind to reduce the likelihood that you’ll experience negative side effects.
Now that you know how to use kratom, you can shop and experiment with confidence until you find your favorite variety.
If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out our other health and wellness articles.