What Is Kratom? – Your Friendly Guide to This Amazing Plant

By Nootroholic | Kratom

what is kratom

Kratom is a tall tropical evergreen tree known as Mitragyna Speciosa from Southeast Asia. The leafs consist of plant chemicals called alkaloids. These alkaloids are remarkable painkillers that works on the brain like opioid agonist.

Kratom has been used for centuries in Southeast Asia by farmers. They chew the leaves to get more energy to work efficiently in the field. In Africa, historically, the stem bark has been used as a traditional medicine for wounds, fever, gonorrhea, hypertension, malaria, and leprosy.

Today, it’s widely used to kill pain, reduce anxiety, improve sleep, and boost energy levels.

What makes it unique is that the plant produces leaves with three different vein colors, four with yellow that’s made by ancient grafting technique.

Here’s a great infographics to start with on vein colors:

types of kratom

What Is Kratom Like?

A small dose can boost energy, mental acuity, social skills, and strengthen your immune system.

Higher doses are sedative and recommended for chronic pain and opiate withdrawals. You’ll also feel calm and more in tune with your emotions. Some describe this stage as a dreamy vibe. If you end up here, listen to your favorite music. Be in a dark room with eyes closed and enjoy the peaceful state of mind.

However, the sweet spot is to take a moderate dose. This is where the most wanted effects are.

kratom dosage chart

How much and how you take kratom is the second most important step after you choose the strain and vein color. Many people now live a happier life free from pain and opioid addiction thanks to kratom.

What Is Kratom & What Makes It Unique

First, kratom comes in different colors and strains. Each produces a unique set of benefits. Pain relief, cognitive enhancement, energy, social cognition, and sedation to name a few.

Secondly, for too long it was thought that morphine and other opioids can be derived from only one source. Papaver Somniferum or Opium Poppy.

Kratom is Another Opioid Source

Two well-studied alkaloids in kratom can stimulate the brains opioid receptors like a typical opioid mechanism. These are called mitragynine and 7-hydroxmitragynine.

7-hydroxmitragynine is about ten times more potent than morphine. But it doesn’t work exactly as morphine, which is an advantage. The alkaloid content depends on the origin of kratom, age, and the time of the year its harvested.

Kratom needs a lot of care and nutrients to be effective. Because of the different regions processing methods, kratom has spread itself into different strains and colors. All which produce their unique kratom experiences. Let’s look at the different types of kratom colors.

Types of Kratom – The Strains

what is kratom like

First of all, everyone has unique biochemistry and will have a different experience.

But it’s good to know kratom’s shapes and smells. Based on where the plant is cultivated from, we give it names:

  • Malay (Malaysia)
  • Thai (Thailand)
  • Bali (Combination of Sumatra and Borneo)
  • Borneo (Indonesia)
  • Indo (Indonesia)
  • Maeng Da (Enhanced version of Thai)
  • Vietnam

Many options are good because you can find a type suited for your needs.

You might not need pain-relief as much as energy and an optimistic look. Or you need to kill pain, but don’t need to feel stimulated and overly sedated.

Regardless, here’s what each strain is known for:


Malay kratom is commonly known as Green Malay, which is the best beginner strain. You can use it anytime during the day to enhance mental powers and experience what kratom has to offer

Malay can produce intense euphoria and provide you with a gentle energy kick.  Forget about gentle if you decide to take Super Green Malay.  This exact strain is one of the best of the greens. It offers high-energy, happiness, and pain relief.

Other reported Effects:

  • Relaxes the mind, muscles and loosens up tensions
  • Improved sleep patterns
  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Lowers blood pressure


The famous strain known for producing intense energy and stimulative effects. Not for everyone. But still the most dominant strain. Red Thai is one of the best strain for pain and opioid addiction. Thai kratom, in general, is a dominant energizer. Good for productivity and to replace your morning coffee.

White and green are more stimulating and useful for depression and anxiety. But you won’t get the same pain relief as red.


A budget strain due to quick growth and the size of the leaves. Bali is good for your mood. However, don’t rely on stimulative effects.

Red vein bali is a potent strain that can restore natural sleep patterns. It can silence mind chatter, which makes falling and staying asleep fast and easy. You might find it laborious to get up from the bed in the morning.


Similar to Bali. Red Borneo is one of the most sedative strains. Good for addictions, pains, and to induce euphoria.

Green borneos are good stress and anxiety relievers. Often admired for lacking side effects. The less charming, white vein borneo, has a unique offer. Pain relief, clean energy, and relaxation without making you lazy.


Indo is like borneo. Most people can’t tell the difference between the two, only a fanatic kratom user can. Indo has fewer side effects and recommended for beginners who seek pain relief and improved mood.

Maeng Da

Meng Da is stimulating and popular among people who seek pain relief if the strain is red and energy if it’s white. Probably the best option for you who want a natural painkiller that’s not as sedating as thai.

If you’re merely looking for stimulation in kratom, white maeng da is your best friend. Preferably the ultra enhanced version that’s infused with pure alkaloids.

The Big Takeaway of The Strains

We don’t have much knowledge about the origin of these strains.

Nobody can say for certain what you should pick. Focus on the color first. And then you need to try all to find what your chemistry enjoy. Kratom vendors often offer sample pack for this reason.

Now you might think what does kratom do? What’s all the hype about?

What is Kratom Used For?

Opiate addiction is a global epidemic. Alkaloids in kratom stimulate same brain receptors as opioid drugs. It can help the user go through the periods of opiate withdrawals and ultimately quit for good.

A 43 years old male spend over $15 000 a year on kratom to beat his addiction.

“The withdrawal period was significantly less intense but more sustained than prescription drugs, he said.”

Now, a question that might pop up:

Is Kratom an Opiate?

The simple answer, no. Kratom is a partial agonist of the opioid receptors.

In other words, it works on the same receptors but with partial potency. However, 7-hydroxmitragynine is stronger, but it’s not clear if it works exactly like morphine on the brain, which can be to your advantage.

Kratom is robust enough to block other substances from activating the receptors. The brain is “tricked” to believe it’s on opioids so the user can recover and return to natural state.

Here’s an article in more detail about kratom for opioid addiction.

Pain Management

Kratom is a remarkable pain-killer.

Countless people now use kratom instead of pharmaceuticals. Two alkaloids in kratom are similar to the human body’s endorphins and enkephalins. Kratom wipes out your body’s perception of pain. It can deal with the thoughtest pains, including:

  • Migraines
  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Chest pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Arthritis
  • Torn muscles
  • Sclerosis
  • Carpal tunnel

Is kratom Safe?

Side effects depend on the strains and how you consume kratom. Extracts are stronger compared to raw leafs. And they can induce unpleasant side effects.

High doses can cause constipation because of the diarrhea controlling qualities of kratom. Not common. It can be avoided if you increase your fiber and water intake. Vomiting is also a side effect with high doses.

Some people report they experience upset stomach because they are sensitive to the leaves. If you have a sensitive stomach, you can use a more concentrated form of kratom like tinctures or mild powders.

You can also experience the “kratom hangover” if you take a large dose and then suddenly stop. Be thoughtful with your dose, and you should be okay.

Too much kratom can also throw your sleep cycles off guard, which is Common for people who use a stimulative strain late at night.

Overusing kratom builds up a tolerance, and the positive effects are no longer felt. How much tolerance depends on the potency of the strain and individual biochemistry.

Avoid tolerance by not taking anything from time to time. Let your receptors return to their normal state. Try to change strain, so you don’t get the “single strain syndrome.” People who switch to another strain from the previous one report it’s almost like the first time they tried kratom.

Kratom Withdrawal

Kratom can cause withdrawal similar to opiates.

Symptoms such as muscle cramps, headache, fever, insomnia, diarrhea can occur. This is, however, much easier to conquer compared to opiate withdrawal.

Is Kratom Addictive?

Kratom can be addictive as coffee. But it’s rare and easy to beat.

The plant makes you feel good. The more you take, the more you need to feel good again.

Addictions are common for people who use kratom every day for recreational purposes.

Warnings & Safety Tips

Never drive while you’re on kratom!

The stimulating effects make you more prone to road rage. The euphoric and sedative effects can steal your attention from the road and cause all kinds of harm

Never take kratom if you’re pregnant!

No research on how kratom affects the fetus is available. It’s best for pregnant women to leave it alone for now.

Never mix kratom with prescription drugs!

Mixing drugs sounds like a no-brainer. But it’s worth to know that there’re three death cases when kratom was combined with Tramadol.

Avoid kratom if you have low blood pressure, renal and cardiac problems, ulcers, and schizophrenia.

Under no circumstances should you combine kratom with high doses of caffeine, alcohol, cocaine, or amphetamine-like drugs.

Avoid Benzodiazepines at any cost. It can be deadly because it makes breathing difficult.

In other words, try not to combine kratom with nothing at all besides tea.

How to Use Kratom

What’s the best way to take kratom?

You can consume kratom raw, which is the standard approach in Thailand. Make kratom tea or mix the powder with water.

The marketplace is filled with powder, so that’s what we’ll focus on here. You should pour in orange juice if you want to hide the bitter taste. This will also activate the alkaloids, so the effects are better. Capsules are also sold so no worries if you hate the bitter taste.

When to Take Kratom

There’s no specific time when kratom works best.

However, before you take kratom, make sure you’ve had enough sleep.

Wait at least 3 hours after you’ve had a meal. The alkaloids get digested and enter your bloodstream without effort.

Stay hydrated because dehydration can backfire as a side effect.

Don’t take more than three doses per day. And wait for 4-5 hours until you take your next dose.

So how should you ingest kratom?Let me introduce you to the famous technique:

Toss & Wash

The toss and wash approach is a bulletproof approach.

First, if you want, you can eat a banana before, so you get some carbohydrates and a supply of energy.

Then you take the dose you need and put it in your mouth.

Next, take a glass of water and toss the powder like you’re using mouthwash.

Shortly after, the kratom is free to swallow and work for you.

Reisin Extract

Boil kratom for quite some time, and eventually, it turns into a dark substance that looks like a rock. Kratom resin extract is potent based on how much grams used in the process. You only need to eat a small slice.

These are hard to find. Not recommended for beginners.


Tinctures are dissolved leaves in ethanol. Very concentrated and potent. You only need max two drops under the tongue.

Kratom Tincture isn’t for beginners as they can mess up your tolerance for weeks.

Kratom powder is much better anyway.

Blend & Drink

You can pamper yourself with kratom smoothies.

Take your desired grams for your needs. Add 2-3 grapefruits. Then pour in water until it becomes nicely fluid.

It’s not rocket science. You’ll know how to make it once you got the ingredients in front of you. But don’t get creative and put stuff to the mix. This can interfere with the alkaloids and you won’t get the same effects.


Capsules are also sold online for the simplistic minded. However, pills are more expensive compared to if you make them yourself by using empty capsules.

You simply take how many grams you need and wait for kratom to work for you.


You can use kratom and spice up your sauces, yogurt, pies, brownies, and so much more. The possibilities are endless.

The key is to maintain a balanced ratio so your food still tastes as it should. However, note that the effects will come slower because the alkaloids are “competing” with the food to get digested.


Ideal Kratom Strains

Kratom comes in many forms and smells. Some do a better job to kill pain and enhance your immune system.

Here’re the good ones that perform well for different needs.


Yes, all kratoms can relieve pain to some degree. Then there’s those that hit the spot:

  • Maeng Da (Red)
  • Borneo
  • Bali
  • Indo

Pick the color red and take moderate to high dose depending on how much in pain you are.


Anxiety doesn’t like kratom at all, especially not these strains:

  • Bali
  • Borneo
  • Green Malay

Pick the color green and take a moderate dose. Severe anxiety? No problem. Take the red strain.


Kratom does a great job to uplift your mood. The day after you are still in a good mood. The strains you should pick are:

  • Maeng Da
  • Malay

Pick white and green colors because you need to see what your unique body chemistry responds well too. Green are usualy best mood boosters.

Immune System

The immune system. It keeps away toxins. Fungus. Parasites. Bacteria. Germs. Pollutions. Carcinogens. And virus. All on autopilot so you can enjoy the human experience.

People who use kratom report reduced sickness duration. And how often a sickness occurs.

The immune-enhancing alkaloids of kratom are rich in these strains:

  • Green Malay
  • Borneo
  • Maeng Da

Pick green strains and take a moderate dose when you feel you’re getting sick.

Cognitive Performance

Cognitive enhancement from herbs is not a secret. Kratom improves memory, attention, and mental acuity.

The brain cognitive enhancing effects are found in:

  • Green Malay
  • White Maeng Da

You should get a moderate dose of White Maeng Da if you want the nootropic benefits.

Nootropics is another huge blooming trend. The word nootropic is substances that enhance cognitive function.


A lot of strains can induce sleep.

You should try Red Bali first if you want to sleep like a sheep. This strain promotes a restful sleep and positive dreams.

Where Can I Buy Kratom?

You can now find and buy kratom extracts online. First, make sure your source is reputable and offers you samples.

Some people encounter fishy kratom infused with other herbs. The worst kind of place to end up.

Here’s what to look for in a vendor:

  • Check out the specific vendor reviews
  • Do they have a contact page?
  • How is the kratom harvested? Mature trees only?
  • Avoid vendors that name their kratoms with weird names such as killer-kratom or Super-kratom etc.
  • Refund policy
  • Sample packs


What is kratom?

Kratom (Mitragyna Speciosa) is a tall tree related to the coffee family. The leafs are packed with alkaloids, which produce the many health benefits. Pain relief, relaxation, better mood, and increased mental awareness are the most sought after. Everyone will have unique kratom experiences based on strain and color.

Kratom has cured people from opioid addiction. This is because the chemicals work on the brains opioid receptors as a partial agonist. The plant is psychoactive and can cause side effects if you aren’t careful.

CM Product Recommendations
  • Joy Smith says:

    Loved it! I really appreciate your researched article on Kratom along with great infographics on vein colors. Furthermore, the way you described the dosage guide is tremendous. Thank you so much.

  • >