Kratom tea is a popular, natural drink enjoyed for multiple therapeutic purposes. Kratom (mitragyna speciosa) is most commonly used for pain relief, and to reduce opioid dependence and tackle withdrawal symptoms, but it may also be effective for anxiety, stress and low mood. High doses of certain kratom tea strains even produce euphoric effects.
This kratom tea guide is perfect if you’re yet to experience kratom, and is packed with tips that even regular users may find helpful. We’re going to cover the following:
- How kratom tea can be used for stimulating and relaxing effects
- The different ways of brewing kratom tea
- How kratom tea compares to other kratom products
- The legal status of kratom tea in the United States
But first, let’s learn a little more about kratom, and why it’s growing in stature as an alternative, plant-based remedy in the Western world.
Getting to know kratom
Kratom hails from Southeast Asia, and has a long history of recorded use in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and other nations in the region. The mitragyna speciosa plant is an evergreen tree that grows in tropical conditions. Intriguingly, it’s part of the coffee family. Depending on the strain and dosage used, kratom tea can be stimulating or relaxing.
Indeed, in Southeast Asia, kratom has long been taken for its powerful stimulating effects, which help laborers deal with fatigue in physically demanding working conditions.
Kratom’s unique therapeutic effects come from the alkaloids, compounds that interact with various receptors in the body, including opioid receptors. The two most dominant alkaloids in kratom, mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine (7-HMG) are agonists of mu-opioid receptors, hence why kratom has pain-killing effects. However, these alkaloids don’t bind as strongly to the receptors as the compounds in synthetic, pharmaceutical opioid painkillers.
Therefore, many consider kratom a safer alternative to opioids, and the weaker interactions explain why kratom tea and other kratom products may be effective at alleviating opioid dependence and withdrawal.
The specific effects of kratom tea
The exact effects you’ll get from kratom tea are determined by the strain you choose, the color of that strain (or its vein), and the dosage. Kratom tea tends to last for longer than some other kratom products, as the alkaloids are consumed orally. This extended relief helps when combatting chronic pain, and when you need deep and lasting sedative effects for a better night’s sleep.
Kratom tea side effects
Kratom tea comes with a few potential side effects, especially in higher doses. While not as potent as opioids, the alkaloids in kratom still could cause dependence in those who use heavily and often. Other symptoms associated with kratom use include nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, hallucinations and seizures.
Purchasing quality kratom tea products from respected sellers will reduce the risks of a bad experience with kratom. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate kratom products, so seek out brands who are transparent about how they source and manufacture kratom tea.
What kratom tea is best for me?
Finding the perfect kratom tea product will likely take a little experimentation. Firstly, establish whether you want predominantly stimulating or sedating effects, or a blend of both, and choose either red, white or green vein strains accordingly. This section will detail what you can expect from each of these strain colors.
Red vein kratom
Red Bali Kratom, Red Borneo Kratom and other red strains are brilliant for tackling chronic pain, bringing opiate-style relief. The effects are especially powerful with higher doses. In general, low amounts are also sedative to a degree, although Red Maeng Da kratom seems to buck the trend, providing more stimulating effects, and mild pain relief.
In addition to reducing pain, red kratom strains are mood-enhancers, promote sleep, help to lower anxiety and in big doses produce euphoric effects. The strong relaxation to mind and body is enjoyable at the end of the day, when you want to get into a calm state. Because of the physically sedating effects, red strains are not so good in the morning and early afternoon.
White vein kratom
The likes of White Sumatra Kratom and White Bali Kratom are incredibly energizing, and superb at reducing fatigue. The effects are perhaps similar to caffeine, although the alkaloids in kratom are decidedly more potent. White vein kratom is also associated with improved stamina, mood and focus levels.
White Borneo Kratom and other white strains are best taken in the first half of the day, when you need a stimulating boost. Take these strains too late in the day and you may find it harder to wind down in the evenings and get to sleep. The intense effects of white kratom tea may be unsuitable if you have anxiety.
Green vein kratom
Green Malay kratom and other green strains are essentially hybrids of their respective red and white strains, and offer a mixture of relaxation and energy. For example, Green Maeng Da kratom will help fight fatigue, but at the same time combat pain and anxiety. Vice versa, green kratom tea is soothing at night, but won’t completely switch your brain off.
Brewing kratom tea
There are a few ways to brew kratom tea, some of which are more complicated and time-consuming than others. Old-school kratom users may prefer brewing the beverage from scratch, with kratom leaves. But kratom powder and kratom tea bags are effective at streamlining the process, and convenient if you want to consume kratom at work.
Kratom has a naturally bitter taste, and many tea drinkers like to add a sweetener – such as honey or sugar – to make the brew more enjoyable. This isn’t necessary, but a trick worth having up your sleeve if you struggle with drinking kratom tea.
Brewing with kratom leaves
Get your kratom leaves and steep them in boiling water for around 20 minutes. The longer you let the leaves soak, the more alkaloids are released into the water. Strain the tea into a cup when ready to drink, and feel free to add sweeteners.
Brewing with kratom powder
Kratom powder offers an instant coffee-like experience with kratom tea. Simply add the desired amount of powder to hot water, and stir it in until all clumps have been removed. Wait a couple of minutes for the brew to cool down, and enjoy!
Brewing with kratom tea bags
This method is just like brewing any other cup of tea. Place the tea bag into a cup of hot water, give the alkaloids a few minutes to release into the water, and then drink! Kratom tea bags are perfect if you want to consume kratom tea when outside of the home, and haven’t got time to spend measuring out a precise dose with leaves or powder.
Comparing kratom tea with kratom capsules
Kratom hits more quickly from tea than it does with capsules, as with the latter, the alkaloids cannot become effective until the body has first broken down the capsule. This puts capsules at a disadvantage for treating acute pain symptoms and delivering a quick burst of energy. Moreover, kratom tea is typically more affordable than capsules, and easier to consume – some find having to take several, big kratom capsules unpleasant.
That considered, the bitter flavor of kratom tea is off-putting for some users. Sure, you can remedy this with a sweetener, but capsules are completely flavorless, giving them unique appeal. In a nutshell, kratom tea and capsules both have pros and cons, and your preferred product will depend on what you’re seeking from kratom.
Where to buy kratom tea
Kratom tea can be purchased legally online and in-person. Kratom tea, capsules, powder, paste, tea bags and more have all become more popular in recent years.
Kratom’s legal status
Kratom is federally legal in the United States as of November 2019. Previous efforts from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to ban the drug have failed following effective organization from kratom users. The Trump administration is not currently attempting to ban kratom, but policy could potentially change in the future if new scientific evidence comes to light.
Various states, counties and cities take a different view toward kratom. At present, kratom products are banned in Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin. Other states, such as Colorado, have declared that kratom should not be used for human consumption. According to kratom activists, many of the laws banning kratom have misrepresented the drug – for instance, some class it as a “designer drug.”
If planning to buy kratom, we suggest checking the laws in your state and county to confirm it’s legal where you are.
citizens across the country attribute kratom products to changing their lives
for the better. With the opioid crisis claiming more than 200,000 lives from
just prescription drugs since the 1990s, many Americans are saying no more.
Kratom’s ability to relieve
pain and deal with opioid dependence and withdrawal symptoms is a welcome
combination. Not to mention, kratom’s potential for other conditions, including
anxiety, depression and insomnia is intriguing and warrants further scientific
research. Keen to try kratom? Pick up some kratom tea today, and start your
journey towards a healthier life!