Citation: Fer. "In Praise of Kratom Leaf: An Experience with Kratom (exp107787)". Erowid.org. Jan 20, 2016. erowid.org/exp/107787
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[ This experience report first appeared as an article in Erowid Extracts issue #27
For the last year and a half or so, I've gone on fairly regular kratom jags. When I'm enjoying kratom, I take it 2-3 times a day in raw powder form, washed down with juice. I've learned to be careful not to breathe in the powder! If I do, it sticks in my throat for hours, like an awful-tasting post-nasal drip. I mete out my dosage pretty loosely, just a regular household teaspoon, maybe level or maybe rounded, if not quite heaping. Since you're all good drug geeks, I actually measured for the sake of this article. It seems I take between 2 and 2.5 grams at a time, an amount Erowid calls a light dose.
My daily kratom usage generally lasts a couple of weeks, maybe three. I never increase the dosage.
Over the course of a few weeks, a teaspoonful ceases to be sufficient (the effects are much lighter) and I stop using it. Then I kind of forget about it for another month or two--maybe more, maybe less; there's no rhythm to it--and then I remember, 'Mmmm! Kratom!'.
As for effect, kratom adds a pleasant but not super pushy layer of alternating euphoria, trippiness, and work motivation to my mood.
kratom adds a pleasant but not super pushy layer of alternating euphoria, trippiness, and work motivation to my mood.
I can easily forget it's in my system, and then I'll realize I've been working intently for a long time...or the light through a leafless tree canopy will undulate slightly...or the moment of appreciating the light will provide me a wave of deep aesthetic pleasure beyond normal sensation.
I've shared kratom with a few friends. Some appreciate the effects as fully as I do. For others, it's too subtle to even be noticed.
Most kratom is sourced from Thailand, Indonesia, or Malaysia. Some vendors and information sources further distinguish strains by the leaf vein coloration: red, green, or white.
However, there are dozens of different varieties from each country or of each vein, of ten identified by purported regional names (Bali, Borneo, etc.). Vein color is said to be associated with more or less stimulation, sedation, or pain killing effects, but since all of the leaf powders are visually indistinguishable once processed, it's hard to tell what's real and what's marketing hype. The kratom available online or in your local herb store might not name a region or strain, but may instead have a fancy brand name, like 'Velvet Worm' or 'Durga Fusion'.
For those experimenting with kratom, it's important to know that some types are more stimulating and others are more euphoric. I don't pay much attention to the exotic brands and strain names and just use powdered, non-enhanced leaf. Personally, I have a preference for the more euphoric varieties, which have a stronger pain-killer/opiate-like effect (supposedly due to higher mitragynine content). But I sometimes use a more stimulating type when I have writing to get done.
Besides being pleasant simply for its own sake, kratom has a good reputation as both an antidepressant and mood regulator and also as a means of mitigating opiate withdrawal. Given my experience of effects, it's easy to believe the stories of people switching from opiates to kratom for pain management.
Reports also often claim that kratom is addictive. This has not been my experience. In my year and a half of on-and-off usage, I have not yet experienced either hangover or withdrawal. The reason I was motivated to write about kratom is that I felt that the dependence, withdrawal, and addiction sometimes attributed to it are exaggerated. Some of the articles and summaries published by Erowid seem to overstate the problem, given my experience and those of my friends. The friend who first gave me kratom, whose plant knowledge is world class, agrees that addictiveness is sometimes overstated. Of course, we are both mindful users; it may well be that increasing dosage when effects taper off leads to different results. It's also possible that people react differently enough that they experience a withdrawal that neither I nor my expert friend do.
At the dose I take, Mitragyna speciosa
will not blow off your doors of perception, but it may enhance your day. Perhaps the biggest problem with kratom is that its popularity has lead to increasingly over-the-top marketing hype and ridiculous product names, all of which overshadow its natural qualities. Finding a good, reliable organic powdered kratom leaf can be trickier than in past years. But if you and leaf get along, say hi from Fer.
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Some of the activities described are dangerous and/or illegal and none are recommended by Erowid Center.