Citation: Mr. Yukk. "Notes As A Work Aid: An Experience with Kratom (ID 93424)". Erowid.org. Jul 17, 2013. erowid.org/exp/93424
I would like to offer some (I hope) helpful observations on kratom, having recently been evaluating its effects, especially as a work aid (which is in keeping with its traditional use in Asia). Kratom is not an opiate, but does stimulate some opiate receptors in the brain, so I think it's relevant to mention that I have experience with virtually every opiate/opioid out there except for propoxyphene (Darvon) and oxymorphone (Opana).
I've used oxycodone in the past at work, at a job that often requires fairly strenuous manual labor, in small doses (3 to 5 mg orally or insufflated every two to four hours). It is (obviously) effective at dulling aches and pains, providing increased levels of energy, and improving mood and motivation when performing tedious or repetitive tasks. At these low levels (at least for me) it's not really euphoric, but by the end of the day I can feel a little 'high.'
However, oxycodone comes with a whole host of problems. Without a prescription it is expensive. Acquiring it can be a hassle or even dangerous. And it is terribly addictive! I know enough not to take it in increasing amounts or for more than a few days in a row, and even so it can quickly produce a tolerance and withdrawal symptoms. I purchased kratom from an online vendor, intrigued by what I read here and elsewhere, as a potential substitute.
PREPARATION: I've used both crushed leaf and powder. I've found that a 'French press' style coffee pot is the best method for brewing the leaves; I add green and herbal teabags and honey to improve the flavor. It is not
necessary to boil it for hours as some reports here suggest; simply adding boiling water and steeping for a few minutes is fine. The same pot of leaves can be brewed two or three times and by the third pressing almost all the active components will be extracted, especially if I let a little of the first pressing sit with the leaves for a while.
The powder is best consumed mixed with a little hot water or tea and some fruit juice. This will keep it in suspension long enough for me to chug it down, and makes the taste and consistency not so bad. It can also be encapsulated, but honestly it's too much of a pain in the ass. I need to fill and swallow a bunch of horsepills and it's much easier to just mix and swig.
DOSAGE AND EFFECTS: I haven't ever weighed it out; since I buy it in one oz. bags I just estimate. About an eighth oz. of leaves will make enough tea to fill up a large thermos which I can consume throughout the day. I've found that while this smallish dose doesn't produce any analgesic effect, it does provide a physical and mental energy boost similar to low-dose oxycodone. It also helps curb my coffee consumption! It's not as mood-altering as a true opiate, but it does have a 'happy' sort of feel to it which makes conversation and interaction more enjoyable. A similar dose with powder is about 1 gram every couple hours.
This dosage is also good for social situations where one doesn't wish to consume alcohol yet still wants social interaction to be 'lubricated' a little bit.
A side effect is that it alleviates - almost eliminates - hunger much like chewed coca leaves to the point that I have to remind myself to eat lunch or find myself crashing in the afternoon.
In larger doses, such as around seven grams consumed in a short time period, kratom can have a sedative/euphoric/analgesic effect somewhat similar to a moderate dose of an opiate like codeine or hydrocodone. It's nowhere near the effect of a stronger substance like oxy or morphine, but still can be enjoyable and provides an appreciable level of pain relief (and even the familiar warm-and-itchy feeling which some don't enjoy but I certainly do).
A side effect at this dosage is a mild 'hangover' of sorts the next morning, or when it wears off - slight headache and fatigue.
Kratom synergizes very well with small amounts of cannabis; this combination can make tedious work much more enjoyable. The kratom keeps one motivated to work and the cannabis allows one's mind to amuse itself a little more freely.
I have never enjoyed mixing opiates with alcohol, and I find that mixing kratom with alcohol can produce the same 'sick' feeling. However, as kratom is not a central-nervous-system depressant, it is at least not physically dangerous.
I've tried combining kratom with opium poppy pods in a tea and found that the effects of the opium were boosted considerably; I haven't tried combining it with any other opiate/opioid.
In summary, this substance is an interesting one and I'm glad to have made its acquaintance. While it's not really comparable to a true opiate, it can serve some of the same purposes in its own way, and in my experience thus far doesn't seem to be anywhere near as habit-forming. Of course, I am still being cautious and not consuming it on a daily basis. It's affordable, legal, and easily available. As long as it is treated with respect, it will almost certainly remain that way.
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Some of the activities described are dangerous and/or illegal and none are recommended by Erowid Center.