The opioid overdose crisis is continuing to rattle the world, as health experts and researchers scramble to figure out how best to protect the general public. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), roughly 115,000 people have died in 2017. In the U.S. alone, a 120% hike has been witnessed between 2010 and 2018. Similarly, trends in Canada have only been climbing ever since COVID-19 took form [1,2]. As a result, one solution quickly rose to fame the moment it was linked to overcoming opioid withdrawal symptoms. This herb is none other than kratom.
Kratom is a medicinal herb home to Southeast Asia. Traditionally speaking, it was not only quested for alleviating opioid withdrawal, but also easing conditions ranging from coughs and diarrhea to treating anxiety and depression among others . Ever since discussions on kratom surfaced, consumers have been doing everything in their will to get their hands on it. Matter-of-factly, in 2021 alone, several products are symbolizing the alleged power of kratom on the mind, body and soul, of which 17 attracted our editorial team. Want in on the details? The following comprehensive guide will provide a complete picture of kratom and the impact it may/may not have on human health.
Our 2021 List of Top Online Kratom Vendors
Accessibility should be the last thought on one’s mind, seeing how easy it is to purchase kratom online. Whether individuals are interested in versatile strains and/or strengths or simply want something that fits their financial capacities, special takes on kratom are available in some form or another. After thoroughly analyzing what the entire market has in store, our editorial team settled on 17 of the best kratom brands. As randomly as possible, we summarized facets inimitable to each one. Let’s get started:
Based in Austin, Texas, Craving Kratom carries kratom in powder, capsules, blends, and extract forms. By the looks of it, this company aims to help individuals regain their energy levels, sleep quality, and mental and physical health. What drew us to this brand is the attestation that the only lab-tested kratom from American Kratom Association (AKA) verified sources are being offered. To add to that, Craving Kratom prides itself in partnering with Wonderland Labs to bring a series of analyses to the table. The latter proves their dedication to being transparent with the Kratom community.
Another worthwhile facet is Craving Kratom’s ongoing mission to educate people of all experience levels. To our surprise, we were able to go over the FAQs and their Kratom Dosage Guide without feeling lost. Clearly, this team is doing everything in its might to ensure safe uses and is hoping that individuals attain relief. For a limited time only, new customers will receive 40% off their first purchase (excluding promotional items). In addition, the team at Craving Kratom will be offering a free 4-capsule sample as well.
The Golden Monk is a kratom retailer that claims to deliver high-quality kratom products at affordable prices. Being part of the American Kratom Association GMP Program gives this brand a competitive advantage, as such a recognition implies that their products have high standards. In fact, the team affirms to have conducted six different lab tests on every ton of kratom powder for purity and quality. At the time of writing, individuals can choose from kratom capsules, Maeng Da Kratom, Red Vein Kratom, Green Vein Kratom, and White Vein Kratom.
Based in Las Vegas, individuals can either place an order and receive it within the same day or spend up to $49.99 to be eligible for free shipping. The moment one visits the official website, a spinning wheel will pop up, where individuals can either get a free spin or one of 3%-, 6%-, 8%- or 10%-off discounts on their first purchase.
Happy Hippo Herbals
Happy Hippo Herbals maintains that it has the “Best Kratom on Planet Earth.” With over 20 years of combined experience in using kratom, this team affirms to have tried countless different Indonesian farmers, vigorous pathogen sterilization, and independent lab testing before settling on their picks. That said, its goal is to deliver the bare minimum with the greatest of benefits. Unlike the above two brands, the selection at Happy Hippo Herbals is quite extensive. Precisely, individuals can browse through six categories filled with kratom capsules, slow kratom, moderate kratom, fast kratom, alt herbs, and those devoted to newbies.
Whether one’s aim is to find a solution that supports peace of mind, well-being, restful sleep, and/or something that simply relieves general discomfort, Happy Hippo Herbals can allegedly provide it. To get started, it might be a good idea to look over the Kratom Effects Chart found on the official website.
As suggested in the company’s name, Just Kratom offers nothing but kratom. Deemed a leader in the Kratom industry, this brand is a trusted one across the United States with the ability to induce desirable benefits on the human mind and body. Each serving is believed to produce pleasure while decreasing pain. Consequently, individuals may feel an increase in energy levels and outgoingness. Of course, we picked a brand that affirms to have conducted several third-party lab testings to safeguard one’s health. However, unlike the previously mentioned brands, this one does not seem to have the analyses readily available. Hence, we ask everyone to contact customer service prior to placing an order. Presently, no promotions are available, but this might be because of how low their starting price is compared to the rest.
Kats Botanicals is a retailer of kratom, botanicals, and CBD-infused products. Each offering apparently embodies the significance of the buying experience, quality, and affordability. Moreover, they have stressed the importance of third-party lab testing, where results can either be accessed through a QR code on each product’s packaging (i.e., mobile phone) or by searching the included lot number. As for Kats Botanicals’ selection, individuals are encouraged to shop by specialty blends or strains, i.e., Maeng Da Kratom, Bali Kratom, Green Vein Kratom, Yellow Kratom, Red Vein Kratom, and White Vein Kratom. Finally, exclusive discounts can be gathered by adding one’s email to Kats Botanicals’ email list!
Krabot is a kratom provider that allegedly uses ethically sourced ingredients from the very jungles of Southeast Asia. By far deemed the highest-rated vendor of kratom goods (with over 12,000 reviews), Krabot carries some products quite unique to them. To be more specific, in addition to the usual powder and capsules delivery method, the team is also offering teas and extracts. This provides an option for every individual, making it a rather inclusive brand. Matter-of-factly, even their prices are listed at a wide enough range to allow everyone to give it a shot.
As for the exact strains offered, the likes of Mitragynine, White Maeng Da Kratom, Green Maeng Da Kratom, Red Bali Kratom, Gold Bali Kratom, and an array of specialty blends are existing. Fortunately, with Krabot’s rewards and loyalty program, members can earn 5% cashback on every purchase. The process is as straightforward as creating an account, earning 5 points for every dollar spent, and redeem them for cash. For people who have had any experience at all with Krabot products, writing a review can earn them 250 points right off the bat.
Kraken Kratom insists that it carries the highest quality, thoroughly tested kratom powders, extracts, and capsules. All their products are GMP compliant and are trusted to meet extensive quality control standards. Captivatingly, this brand is said to be the first American Kratom Association GMP Qualified Kratom Vendor ever, which evidently gives them a competitive edge. Once again, lab-testing has been highlighted but the results are nowhere in sight, and so, individuals will have to consult customer service before proceeding. Having said that, their offers cover all possible Kratom strains and colors with purported health benefits. Another feature likely to draw people to this brand is its educational resources, currently ranging from the how-to’s and strains and colors explained to the ultimate buyer’s guide.
Kratom Crazy is a kratom provider that took a different approach to deliver kratom. Previously, we introduced companies that focused on strains by location and colors, but in this case, the team avows to go by the alkaloid percentage. Exclusively, alkaloid percentage is the primary determining factor as to what Kratom Crazy will sell and won’t. To add to the latter, the team guarantees to include products that have a minimum baseline of 1.4% Mitragynine, making strains secondary on their list.
Like many of the companies that made the cut, Kratom Crazy also conducted multiple lab tests for microbial toxins, heavy metals, and 2 kratom-specific alkaloids in every round of testing. Unfortunately, Kratom Crazy recently announced that they will be ceasing operations effective immediately. The reasons have not been disclosed yet based on what they have been sharing on the official website, they seem to have had a great ride.
Kratom Krates is a kratom vendor that values quality and purity. To our surprise, the team highlighted that they underwent 50 farmer screening processes before settling on their picks. Consequently, the selected herbs are deemed 100% natural and organically sourced. As for their offerings, they are quite standard in terms of the strains, colors, and delivery methods, most of which have appeared more than once on this list.
That said, we did learn that Kratom Krates is part of the Kratom Consumer Protection Act (KCPA), a legal framework that all vendors typically must abide by. Some examples include defining kratom, meeting label requirements, regulating all stages (i.e., preparation, distribution, and sales), etc. Together, these factors are believed to increase the safety and security of all consumers.
On that note, if individuals are just getting started, skimming through Kratom Krates’ educational material would be a great first step. Not only have they mastered the basics compared to the rest, but the team is also divided into matters that most vendors have yet to. Finally, points can be earned either through spending or by referring friends.
Kratom Life is dedicated to offering products that have been harvested ethically and are free from any chemical exposure. Their processes are believed to not only protect consumers but also rainforests. The reason why this brand stemmed into existence is because of the continuing rise in inferior quality kratom products found online. Seeing that online vendors are the only ways through which this herb can be purchased, Kratom Life hopes to set the standards for future businesses in this respective market.
One more time, the choices are limited to kratom powders, capsules, and extracts, with common strains and colors housed within them. That said, the option to purchase kilos is one facet that sets this brand’s offerings apart. All things considered, Kratom Life has discussed very little about lab-testing, with almost nothing provided on the analyses. And so, interested parties are asked to clarify this aspect with customer service beforehand.
Kratom Spot appears to have garnered the bragging rights for delivering the highest quality, fair-trade Kratom from around the world, including red, white, and green strains. With emphasis placed on Maeng Da Kratom, this vendor insists that every harvest has been tested through independent laboratories for purity and concentration like none other. In addition to educating the masses on the ins and outs of kratom, this brand also keeps everyone posted on news regarding its legalization, FDA crackdown, and the latest innovations among others. Talk about keeping everyone in the loop, right? For those of you who would much rather see the lab results before placing an order, the Kratom Spot customer support team avows to aid as needed.
Left Coast Kratom
Left Coast Kratom is a family-owned herbal company based in Portland, Oregon. Established in 2017, this family decided to take matters into their own hands when they discovered several poor-quality products and services within the Kratom industry. For people wondering, why Left Coast Kratom? The team stands by their consistent and quality products, double laboratory testing for alkaloids, heavy metals, and other contaminants, commitment to advocacy, and their long-lasting loyalty program. Speaking of products, they include Kratom powders, extracts, and capsules. In fact, the team is also willing to add free kratom samples for people who would like a test run beforehand.
Not sure where to start? No problem, Left Coast Kratom is all about introducing, educating, and recommending products that best-fit one’s needs. Finally, by joining the mailing list, individuals will gain VIP access, and newcomers will get 10% off their first order.
Mitragaia is a kratom powder, capsules, and extracts provider with emphasis placed on high-quality products, consumer safety, and wellness all around. As stated on their official website, the source of kratom used is harvested for both maturity and potency. In addition, each strain is said to have undergone multiple lab testing for cleanliness and strength. Most of all, they are on a mission to provide endless options, whether it be regarding strains, colors, and/or concentration. For people who are just getting started, there’s an entire section on the website devoted to educating consumers, from the basics to the more advanced tips.
Organic Kratom USA
Yet another company to offer organic kratom with a desirable alkaloid percentage is Organic Kratom USA. As explained by the team, the glue that holds this company together is the yearning of wanting to offer premium quality products to each customer at great prices. With inconsistencies and low-quality ingredient uses on the rise, Organic Kratom USA made sure not to follow these same methods, which is supposedly what sets them apart from the rest.
As this is being written, individuals can choose between powders, capsules, and variety packs. If CBD is of interest, this brand has flower buds, joints, and blunts as well. Regarding lab testing, all products were tested for salmonella, E. coli, staph, yeast, mold and to confirm that 100% of the picked strain is found in each bag.
Science.bio is a kratom vendor dedicated to backing each of their solutions with reference materials and research. On a mission to drive innovation radically, the team doesn’t simply rely on tradition, but also on scientific rigor, sustainable operations, public advocacy, and employee satisfaction. Quite the package deal, isn’t it? Well, these factors are what supposedly allow Science.bio to deliver quality, consistent, transparent, and highly concentrated products. What lured us into investigating this company is that their kratom solutions are also categorized by health benefits.
So far, individuals can seek support for longevity, metabolic, and nootropic needs. In all truth, kratom isn’t the only herb being delivered, as individuals can get hold of mushrooms, proteins, CBD, and racetams among several others. With science as its foundation, lab testing is unavoidable, and the results can be easily retrieved from the official website, which is uplifting to see.
Super Speciosa is a vendor of kratom and CBD. Speaking of kratom, their current offerings include powders, capsules, tablets, and tea bags. In addition, the team insists that the learning curve is nowhere near steep because of their blogs and educational material. Who can forget their rewards program, where five points can be earned for every $1 spent excluding tax and shipping costs? What is fascinating about Super Speciosa that we didn’t catch on with other brands is their level of transparency.
For instance, their testing processes entail pasteurizing kratom powder with a gentle enough heat that is strong enough to destroy bacteria, but weak enough to preserve the integrity of the alkaloids. This process is conducted before taking a sample so that all batches are uniform and do not contain hot spots. To ensure optimal comfort, this team has gone as far as using the criteria for dietary supplements set forth by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF), while also abiding by the Kratom GMP Standards Program introduced by the American Kratom Association (AKA).
A member of both the American Kratom Association (AKA) and the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), Top Extracts is a kratom vendor serving customers since 2014. By sourcing natural herbs directly from the likes of Indonesia, the Amazon, and Africa, the team quickly grew to fame because of the quality they were able to achieve. Founder Jim Sourek shared that this company started as a small business, and evidently developed to operate within the health and wellness industry. As for their offerings, individuals can choose from blended and green, red, white, and yellow kratoms.
Regarding testing, the team is believed to have completely randomized their process by including the entire supply chain. This is trusted to ensure that no pathogens have been introduced. So far, Top Extracts takes the lead for thorough testing, as all kratom sources are protected against the likes of yeast, enterobacteria, staph, E. coli, heavy metals, low potency, molds, TPC and/or APC, salmonella, and shigella. In fact, every test also provides a verification of the herb’s DNA and moisture level. By signing up today, a 15% discount can be added to everyone’s first purchase.
The Ranking Process: What Scores Most Points for Effectiveness
With several kratom vendors online, we could have simply introduced all of them. However, we can’t assume that all companies operate with a well-intentioned mind. For these reasons, brands that met the following criteria were the only ones to have made the cut. The more boxes they checked off, the likely the product’s effectiveness and safety. Let’s begin:
Emphasis on Growing Processes
Getting hold of kratom is no transparent task, and if companies failed to provide us a picture of where it comes from, they were immediately disregarded. This factor is important seeing that kratom is largely grown in Southeast Asia, where their regulations might drastically differ from that of Western countries. We made sure to review companies that avow to have included high-quality growers, mentioned locations and suppliers involved, etc. In other words, the more transparent they are, the better for us all!
Third-Party Lab Testing
Given that kratom remains quite a novice, third-party lab testing is a must. All of the listed companies affirm to have conducted formal testing, whether it be on a batch-by-batch basis or the entire production line. In addition to purity and quality, these testings confirm the alkaloid content in a product. If the latter is lower than the bare minimum, it defeats the purpose of even taking kratom, to begin with.
American Kratom Association (AKA) Approval
Established in 2014, the American Kratom Association (AKA) is committed to restoring full consumer access to kratom, while ensuring that the products they receive are safe for consumption. The five main goals that govern the AKA not only include supporting consumers, but also educating everyone on the all-natural alternative, ensuring that the public’s voices are heard, bringing global awareness, and highlighting sustainable harvesting techniques and reforestation efforts . As for a company that is AKA-compliant, this suggests that the necessary cleaning and testing procedures have been fulfilled.
In addition to choosing companies that are AKA compliant, we took things up a notch by ensuring that they were also cGMP compliant, signifying yet another layer of heightened manufacturing standards. Unlike those imposed by the AKA, these are broad recommendations made by the FDA (not specifically for kratom).
Knowing how a company took shape and the processes that it underwent gives everyone a clearer picture of the contents of their kratom product. These are typically companies that are transparent, open to help, and consequently, are preferred with a time-honored reputation. Of course, this doesn’t mean that companies were rejected on how good a storyteller they were. As long as they exhibited a high level of transparency and clearly work in the best interests of the consumer, they were included on our list.
Listed Health Benefits
Like most herbs and plants making waves today, kratom appears to be largely founded on tradition than on science. At the time of writing, very little research has been considered on the herb. The few that do exist appear to have listed some harsh side effects. How can anyone neglect the FDA’s disapproval of the plant? Taking everything into account, if a company lists unrealistic health benefits as a means of luring in consumers, they were immediately removed. This only reflects their greed over consumer wellness, which our editorial team cannot and will not support.
Varieties in Offerings
Varieties in offerings are an important one since different kratom strains possess different effects on the mind and body. Hence, the more strains available the better. Similarly, we were hoping to discover companies that offered more than just raw and dried herbs. If their collections included capsules, teas, and extracts (which most do possess), we were generally pleased. The main reason for this rests in the simple fact that kratom does not taste good and needs to be masked for consumption.
What do tradition and science suggest about Kratom’s uses?
Interest in kratom stemmed from its traditional uses. As reported by a team of researchers in a 2015 review , this plant is normally chopped fresh or dried, then either chewed or made into tea by manual laborers to overcome fatigue and to increase productivity levels.
For as long as history can recount, this plant has been front and center at socioreligious ceremonies to treat morphine dependence (in Thailand) and serves as an alternative to opium uses (in Malaya). Moreover, its effects are said to be dose-dependent, where small doses are trusted to elicit effects like that of cocaine and amphetamines, and large doses have been linked to sedative-narcotic effects (i.e., opiates). To our surprise, these workers – either regular or addicted users – would chew kratom 3 to 10 times a day!
Nonetheless, when investigating what science suggests about kratom uses, there is scarce information available. Based on what we gathered, there are many instances of concern that have been voiced over its supposed benefits. One case study  that investigated kratom as a self-treatment for chronic pain noted that the 43-year-old man managed opioid withdrawal using the plant for three years. As someone who had to get off hydromorphone, he claims to have found comfort in kratom because it not only contributed to substantial pain relief but also improved alertness. Unfortunately, the individual combined kratom with 100mg of modafinil, only to experience a generalized tonic-clonic seizure that lasted 5 minutes from time to time.
Based on this case alone, the researchers thought it was striking to see that kratom may attenuate severe opioid withdrawal, conversely, kratom uses appear to have led to abstinence symptoms. Likewise, details on the exact adverse effects have been omitted, limiting researchers from commenting any further. In the end, they reported that “further research into the natural history of kratom ingestion, its neuropsychiatric effects [and] its clinical pharmacology and toxicology, will place the risks and benefits of kratom administration into clearer perspective.”
After some more digging, we stumbled upon a 2020 review  that looked at the impact that COVID-19 had on kratom supply and use. In it, the researchers explained that the pandemic led to a demanding hike in kratom products as a way of self-treating acute and chronic pain, psychological distress, mitigation of dependence, and/or withdrawal symptoms of prescription drugs. In general, the researchers expressed concern about kratom’s risk of fatalities/toxicities, noting that clinical awareness is needed on the plant’s uses.
In a piece compiled by the Mayo Clinic , complete contempt for the plant was conveyed. Specifically, it was noted that kratom does not necessarily treat addiction and/or withdrawal, instead, it leads consumers to those conditions. A study that looked at kratom uses over six months reported that participants “developed cravings for it and need the same medications that are used to treat opioid addiction.” Additionally, the Mayo Clinic highlighted that it is possible to overdose on kratom, resulting in symptoms like an opioid overdose. Although kratom continues to deliver pleasant outcomes, evidence of its effectiveness in treating opioid withdrawal is lacking.
Finally, a Forbes piece  that shed light on kratom uses noted that people generally found comfort in kratom, namely, because it eased depression and social anxiety, grief and addiction, genetic pain disorder, Crohn’s disease, complex PTSD, and so on. Mind you that the latter benefits stem from individual experiences and may/may not be replicated. It is important to note that issues only arise when higher concentrations are ingested because this is when the risk of addiction is greatest. After delving into the pharmacology of the kratom alkaloids, Forbes said:
“Physical dependence is obviously a possibility, especially in people with a history of substance dependence. The relative addictive potential of kratom should obviously be studied as well, especially with concentrated kratom extracts.”
What to look out for when it comes to Kratom Strains and Colors?
Strains and colors are trusted to varying stories of the types of benefits one might experience. Individuals need to have a foundational understanding of what the two suggest before placing an order. Let’s begin with the strains.
In one piece, HealthLine  justified that the strain name comes from the location where the kratom plant is grown. In this sense, the seven main types that one is likely to encounter are:
Maeng Da is a strain that initially originated in Thailand, but now can also be found in places such as Indonesia and Malaysia. The name refers to the “different types of purportedly strong and long-lasting kratom,” affirms HealthLine. As this is being written, the strain is reckoned to induce energy levels and feelings of well-being, all while easing physical discomfort. Another interesting point is that Maeng Da might awaken the social butterfly within everyone.
The Indo kratom strain undoubtedly comes from Indonesia and is considered less stimulant among all the strains. It may have mild energizing effects, but nothing as compared to Maeng Da. That said, it is widely known for its ability to induce a sense of calmness, both mentally and physically, helping to lessen any burden one might be feeling.
Another strain from Indonesia is the Bali kratom, which has been crowned the most effective pain reliever of the bunch. HealthLine attests that this strain is generally called the “most opioid-like” of all the kratom strains,” with benefits ranging from easing depression symptoms to helping individuals overcome chronic pain.
Up next, we have the Malaysian, Green Malay kratom strain, one that is believed to go miles on end at the lowest possible doses. Matter-of-factly, this strain may increase energy and focus levels and alleviate pain. For a more sedative effect, individuals might want to consider a higher, yet safe dose.
Coming straight from Thailand is the Thai kratom strain, which is said to create “a euphoric high”. Other possible benefits that stem from taking this strain include increased stimulation and pain relief.
As the name suggests, the Borneo kratom strain comes from the third largest island in the world, i.e., Borneo. Of all the strains, this one is liked for its potent sedating effect, which implies possible healing for those who are accustomed to anxiety and stress.
Indisputably, the Malaysian kratom strain comes from Malaysia and is trusted to provide a balance between stimulating and sedative effects. In particular, HealthLine wrote that on average, users tend to report an increase in mood, pain relief, energy, and focus levels.
When browsing through many of our preferred, listed online vendors, you are likely to stumble upon four main colors of strains and wonder, what role might color possibly play? Well, the color signifies the leaves’ growth cycle. Below is a brief explanation provided by Organic Kratom USA :
Red Vein Kratom
Leaves belonging to the red vein strains are directly harvested from Mitragyna speciosa trees. The red color reflects a particular stage in the maturity cycle. Hence, if a company offers any one of Red Bali, Red Bentuangie, Red Borneo, Red Chocolate, Red Indo, Red Dragon, Red Vietnam, Red Thai, or Red Maeng Da, they should scream high maturity.
Green Vein Kratom
Up next, we have green vein kratom, which are leaves that are midway on the maturity scale. Out of all the leaves, the green vein kratoms are the easiest to acquire, which is one of the main reasons why many companies tend to offer them. Examples include Green Bali, Green Emerald, Green JongKong, Green Hulu, Green KetaPang, Green Borneo, Green Horn, Green Sumatra, Green Malay, and Green Bali.
White Vein Kratom
White vein kratom is harvested early in the leaves’ life cycle. At this point, their veins are still anywhere between pale and white. Examples of white vein kratom include Super White Borneo, White Bali, White Chocolate, White Hulu, White Elephant, White Indo, White Maeng Da, White Sumatra, White Thai, and White Borneo.
Yellow Vein Kratom
Last, but not least, we have the rarest of the bunch: the yellow vein kratom. As per the claims made, it is unclear how such a color takes form as it is rarely reflected in the kratom leaves’ lifespan. Normally, the yellow vein kratom leaves are combined with other colors to form gold vein kratom products, possibly inducing a healthy effect on the mind and body. That said, yellow/gold products found online include Yellow Borneo, Yellow Hulu Kapuas, Yellow Sunda, Yellow Vietnam, Gold Bali, Yellow Maeng Da Kratom, and Yellow Vietnam.
When consumers think color, they tend to associate its maturity level with potency. As per Crazy Kratom , such associations should not be made. During their testing phases, the team did not see any consistent relationship between vein color and potency or the probable types of effects. As explained:
“We do see variations in potency between different batches of leaves, but those differences do not correlate with any color in any consistent way. Since the effects of kratom do vary based on dosage, differences in potency will cause a weak batch of leaves to seem like it has different effects than a stronger batch, when the same amount of both are compared.”
Dosing depends on a series of factors including age, gender, body composition, tolerance level, and health among others. That said, there aren’t any specific guidelines that are set in stone, but there is a consensus of what constitutes mild versus extreme effects.
According to a piece dubbed, “A Kratom Primer: Miracle Medicine or Herb of Abuse?” , the researchers noted that low doses between 1 and 5 grams are likely to elicit stimulant effects such as “increased alertness, energy, and restlessness.” Anything greater than the aforesaid threshold can have opioid-like effects such as “analgesia, sedation, and possible euphoria.”
Another dosing guideline we found is based on the strength of the kratom ingested. Specifically, Crazy Kratom  advises its customers based on whether the selected kratom product is of premium quality, ultra-potent quality, or kratom extract. In the premium-quality case, a very strong concentration ranges between 12 and 25 grams, whereas 2 to 4 grams, 3 to 5 grams, 4 to 10 grams, and 8 to 15 grams constitute threshold, mild, moderate, and strong effects respectively.
Similarly, ultra-potent kratom doses of 8 to 16 grams are deemed very strong, while in the case of kratom extract, very strong is anywhere between 5 and 8 grams. Extracts generally house more alkaloids, which might explain why a small dose (compared to the former two) has a large effect. Finally, we have a dosage guideline provided by HealthLine , where doses between 1 and 5 grams are said to have a low to moderate effect (i.e., increased energy and focus levels), 5 to 15 grams are deemed of high effect (i.e., pain relief, opioid-high, and increased risk of developing side effects) and anything greater than 15 grams is perceived as being simply too risky (i.e., sedation and serious side effects).
Clearly, there is some agreement in terms of what a dose of 1 to 5 grams does to the body, and for this reason, we encourage interested parties to give this a go first. If the concentrations feel too weak, the doses should be increased by increments of half a gram for utmost safety.
Where does the FDA stand on Kratom’s uses?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is far from happy with kratom uses, matter-of-factly, they are warning consumers not to use it . Their main argument is that the plant has been found to mimic the effects of morphine on opioid receptors, potentially leading consumers to develop addictions and dependence.
They further noted that at present, no kratom products have been approved by the agency, emphasizing that they “received concerning reports about the safety of kratom.” In the meantime, the FDA is actively evaluating all available scientific material and is encouraging more research to fully understand kratom’s safety, especially when combined with other drugs.
Back in June 2019, the FDA issued warning letters to both Cali Botanicals and Kratom NC for illegally selling “unapproved, misbranded kratom-containing drug products with unproven claims about their ability to treat or cure opioid addiction and withdrawal symptoms .” Individuals need to be extra careful when buying kratom products because not all vendors are truthful. In fact, with the two companies mentioned above, the FDA claims to have “found high levels of heavy metals,” adding that despite the warnings, the duo continued onwards with their sales.
Here are some examples of unproven health claims that companies of the latter nature are likely to instill in consumers that should be ignored altogether:
- “Kratom acts as a µ-opioid receptor-like morphine.”
- “In fact, many people use kratom to overcome opiate addiction.”
- “Of course, people who are using kratom to overcome a pre-existing opiate addiction may need to use kratom daily to avoid opiate withdrawal.”
- “Usage: It is for the management of chronic pain, as well as recreationally.”
- “Kratom has been reported to have taken the place of […] drugs like Hydrocodone or Oxycodone.”
- “Some researchers have even claimed that kratom can protect you against cancer!”
- “Here is just some of what our customers have used kratom to treat […] Chronic Pain, Migraines, Opiate Addiction, ADHD/ADD, Anxiety, Depression, Arthritis, Insomnia, and much more!”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
Q: What is Kratom?
A: Kratom is a tropical tree, i.e., Mitragyna speciosa native to Southeast Asian countries. Its leaves are believed to contain mind-altering effects that may tend to one’s mental and physical health. At present, kratom products aren’t entirely illegal and can be purchased off the internet as hinted in the entirety of our analysis .
Q: What are the two main psychoactive alkaloids in Kratom?
A: The two main mind-altering alkaloids found in kratom include mitragynine and 7-a-hydroxy mitragynine. These components are believed to interact with opioid receptors in the brain, giving rise to a mixture of feelings (i.e., sedation, pleasure, and decreased pain). The National Institute of Drug Abuse also highlighted that the mitragynine might interact with other receptor systems capable of producing stimulant effects. Dosing is important here, namely, small amounts can induce positive effects (i.e., increased energy, sociability, and alertness), whereas taking anything in excess might lead to discomfort, and even dangerous side effects .
Q: How is Kratom usually consumed?
A: To date, kratom has been delivered in capsules, powdered, extract, and loose forms. The leaves can either be directly chewed or consumed as a tea. Other options include smoking the dried herbs or adding it to any meal.
Q: What does Kratom taste and smell like?
A: Kratom is extremely bitter, which is why most consumers tend to lean towards capsules and/or powders that can be added to any beverage base. As for its scent, it is mild and may resemble the aroma of fresh lawn clippings/grass .
Q: Does Kratom go bad?
A: Yes, kratom can go bad, but it depends on the product itself. Just like any natural product, when it is not 100% pure, contains preservatives, and has been poorly packaged it will evidently go bad. Some immediate indicators include loss of smell and color and clear mold presence. The main factors that negatively impact kratom include poor lighting, exposure to air and moisture, and high temperatures .
Q: How long will it take for kratom effects to kick in?
A: When taken on an empty stomach, the onset of effects is said to be felt anywhere between 30 and 40 minutes after ingestion to up to 90 minutes on food. The method of delivery also influences how quickly the effects take form. That said, once started, it might last up to six hours before consumers can come off it .
Q: Are there any side effects to taking Kratom?
A: At the time of writing, kratom has been linked to nausea, itching, sweating, dry mouth, constipation, increased urination, loss of appetite, seizures, and hallucinations. In some cases, symptoms of psychosis have been reported as well .
Q: How safe is Kratom?
A: Safety appears to be a concern when it comes to using kratom. In the end, it really boils down to the type of user. For instance, short-time uses might lead to nausea, constipation, sleep problems, temporary erectile dysfunction, itching, and/or sweating, whereas long-term uses are believed to give rise to anorexia, dry mouth, problems in diuresis, darker skin, and hair loss. Safety will be officially compromised when kratom is taken alongside other substances (i.e., O-desmethyl tramadol, propylhexedrine, OTC cold medications, benzodiazepines, venlafaxine, etc.), leading to fatalities .
Q: Are there any withdrawal symptoms linked to halting Kratom?
A: Yes, stopping kratom can give rise to a series of withdrawal symptoms including hostility, aggression, muscle, joint, and bone pains, jerky movements of the limbs, anorexia, weight loss, and insomnia among others .
Q: Will Kratom uses lead to addiction?
A: Yes, kratom might lead to the development of dependence and addiction. This is because some of its chemicals have the potential to activate opiate signaling in the brain, helping mitigate the withdrawal symptoms that stem from opioid and heroin uses. That said, these features supposedly imply kratom as being addictive. This doesn’t mean that addiction is immediate, but, long-term users may develop compulsive drug-taking behavior, eventually triggering them to become addicted .
Q: Will Kratom appear on a drug test?
A: Presently, saliva tests, blood tests, and hair follicle tests to detect components belonging to kratom are not of common practice. Therefore, it is highly unlikely for the active ingredients to be detected in a drug test. Whether this still holds true remains unanswered .
Q: Is Kratom Legal in the U.S.?
A:At the time of writing, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has yet to confirm its status. We do know that kratom is not federally regulated, meaning that the final say may vary from state to state. Individuals outside of the United States are urged to investigate their respective country’s regulations, as many places have imposed bans on kratom uses such as Australia, Denmark, Finland, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Myanmar, Malaysia, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Romania, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Our 2021 List of Top Online Kratom Vendors Final Thoughts
Kratom has a long history of alleviating certain symptoms linked to drug abuse and may tend to both mental and physical health. While tradition strongly stands by its uses, the same cannot be said about the scientific community. At present, very little clinical testing is available, as most remarks stem from individual cases. As a result, symptoms experienced by one individual alone do not suffice to generalize about the entire population.
For now, certain states and countries are completely against the idea of taking kratom, while others are somewhat open to it. Our editorial team advises everyone to make the right choices and to respect the suggested dose guidelines to avoid any possible health risks. We are in no position to give medical recommendations, as our team only focuses on summarizing what available research has to share. This means that by no means do we affirm that kratom will treat, cure, or reverse any diseases.
Similarly, none of these products have been approved by the FDA, hence, individuals will need to assess the risks and rewards before giving this plant a try. For people who are prone to addiction and dependence, it might be best to refrain from its uses altogether. The same applies to pregnant and/or nursing mothers, children under the age of 18, and people with a medical history requiring prescription drugs.
Ultimately, we cannot guarantee support or disapproval for kratom now nor in the future, however, our listed picks of the top online kratom vendors appear to take the necessary steps to protect consumers and are actively doing their part in limiting damaging effects to one’s health. Please be sure to conduct your own research before testing the waters!
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Please understand that any advice or guidelines revealed here are not even remotely a substitute for sound medical advice from a licensed healthcare provider. Make sure to consult with a professional physician before making any purchasing decision if you use medications or have concerns following the review details shared above. Individual results may vary as the statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.