Substance Abuse

Frequently Asked Questions About Kratom

kratom ban DEA

So much has been discussed about kratom that people have been confused about its uses and legality. Kratom is commonly grown in Southeast Asian countries, and its medicinal use has become popular for years because of its opioid-like effects. It acts as stimulant, depressant and intoxicant.

Kratom is characterized by its alkaloid content, namely mitragynine and 7-hydroxymytraginine, which are the major contributors of the effects the plant. Kratom has been used as an alternative to opiates to people who are suffering from chronic pain.

In this article, we will discuss some of the frequently asked questions about kratom, and the answers that will hopefully give you an informed decision about using this controversial drug.

Is Kratom legal?

Kratom is legal in the United States, after the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has withdrawn its notice of intent to put the drug under Schedule I classification. These days, kratom may be purchased in several key places within the U.S., and even over the internet.

However, there are certain states that have implemented restrictions with regards to shipping. Meanwhile, some other countries have banned kratom because of the potential risk on individuals who take the substance.

Why did the Drug Enforcement Agency want to ban Kratom?

DEA cited kratom as an “imminent hazard to the public” because of its potential for abuse. Back in August 2016, the agency announced that it would make kratom a Schedule 1 substance, the same as LSD, marijuana, heroin and ecstasy.

The decision has been recanted by the DEA in November 2016.

Why is Kratom banned in Thailand despite the popular Maend Da strain?

In the 1940’s, the opium was very popularly shipped from Thailand to other countries. But since Kratom was inexpensive than opium, people have opted buying opium instead. When opium sales fell, this alarmed the local businesses involved with opium, which then became the reason for banning kratom.

Kratom was not banned because of its effect but because of it being in competition with opium.

What are the different forms of Kratom?

Kratom can be sold in the form of loose chopped leaves, capsules and compressed tablets.

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What makes Kratom popular?

Although there is no legitimate use for kratom, it has become very popular as a recreational drug. It is said to help improve mood, relieves pain and can be an alternative treatment for those with opiate addiction.

What are the traditional uses of Kratom?

Kratom has been widely used in Southeast Asian countries. People in this part of the world have been using it in traditional medicine.

Leaves are chewed to help enhance appetite, improve energy, relieve musculoskeletal pain, and increase libido. Its leaf extracts are used to heal cuts and wounds, and as a local anesthetic.

Its prominent positive effects include:

  • Anxiety relief
  • Pain relief
  • Mood enhancer
  • Depression relief
  • Motivation
  • Increased focus
  • Opiate maintenance/transitional substance
  • Insomnia relief
  • Immune System Stimulation
  • Anti-malarial
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Lowers blood sugar
  • Nootropic

Extract from boiled kratom leaves can be used to treat cough, diarrhea and intestinal infections. People exposed to strenuous activities also take them to increase their energy, enhance mood, and alleviate pain.

How long does Kratom take effect?

An individual taking kratom may feel its effect right after 10-15 minutes of ingestion. The effect may last up to 2 hours if taken in smaller doses. If large doses have been consumed, the effect may last up to 8 hours.

What is 4×100?

4×100 is the name referring to a kratom-base concoction which became popular in 2010. It is a mixture of cough syrup, kratom leaves, cola, and ice. Drinking the concoction may produce undesirable effects.

What is Kratom tea?

Kratom tea is an ancient method of preparation to administer the substance to individuals who seek to be treated or relieved with certain illnesses.

What are the adverse effects of using Kratom?

The undesirable effects of using kratom depend on the amount of kratom used.

  • 1-5 mg dose would exhibit the following symptoms: anxiety and agitation, contracted pupils, itching, nausea, loss of appetite and increased urination.
  • Doses above 5 mg can cause the following symptoms: rapid heart rate, constipation, dizziness, hypotension, dry mouth and sweating.

Is Kratom addictive?

Kratom can trigger a person’s “happy center”, which may produce an unusual high. Some reports say that kratom is taken by some athletes as performance-enhancing drug.

According to, kratom has an increased risk of dependence by individuals who take the drug. In fact, one study discovered that roughly 80 percent of kratom users find it difficult to stop.


What happens to the individual who becomes addicted to Kratom?

Despite its positive use to some individuals, there is a risk of being addicted to the substance. Frequent use of high doses of kratom may cause weight loss, seizures, tremors and psychosis.

How is kratom used?

Kratom may be taken orally, inhaled or injected. The powder may also be mixed with water to form a solution and injected intravenously.

Why are there different kinds of kratom being sold?

Kratom is grown in different parts of Southeast Asia. Kratom is being sold under different names based on the location where the plant extract came from.

Which regions in Southeast Asia are kratoms grown?

Kratoms are grown from the following regions:

  • Thailand
  • Borneo
  • Bali
  • Sumatra
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • The Sunda Isles

How are kratoms classified?

Kratoms can be classified according to the location where it was grown or to the color of the veins and stems.

What are the classifications of kratom according to the color of the veins and stems?

All kratom leaves bear the same green color. However, there are three varieties of kratom based on the color of the veins and stems, and these are:

  • White vein
  • Green vein
  • Red vein

How do kratom strains differ from one another?

Each color strain has different effects:

  • White and Green strains help increase energy and productivity. The leaves from white stem kratom produce more stimulating effects than the red vein variety. The green leaves aid clearer thinking and endurance, and help in treating depression and anxiety.
  • Red strains promote calmness, sedation and relaxation. The effect is the opposite of the two other strains. As soon as an individual takes this strain, a calming effect takes place. This variety is often used to provide pain relief. This can also serve as a substitute for opiate detoxification. Users claim to experience a sense of euphoria.


What is the most popular Kratom strain?

Maeng Da is the most popular strain because it is believed to be “genetically modified” to provide its effect. It is commonly used by laborers who deal with heavy tasks for longer hours. It is considered to be the “powerhouse” of strong effects. The effect of this kratom strain can last for hours.

Which strain is best in providing analgesia?

Among all strains, Bali, Borneo, Maeng Da, Indo and Malaysian strain can provide the best pain relief without having to suffer with any negative effects, according to kratom advocates.

The pain relief is possible through its two components mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine.

Which strains provide a sedative effect?

Kratom can act as either stimulant and depressant, depending on the strain. Kratom strains that can produce a relaxing effect are Bali, Borneo, and Indo.

Which among the kratom strains has mood-enhancing properties?

The euphoric effect is one of the primary reasons why people take kratom as a replacement for the more expensive drugs such as heroin and cocaine.

  • Maeng Da: This strain is said to have the perfect combination of the pain killing effect and stimulating alkaloids.
  • Bali & Borneo
  • Indo & Malaysian

The effect of each strain depends on the quality of how the kratom tree has been grown. For low quality kratom leaves, the effect may not be as potent as those with high quality kratom leaves.

Which strains are used to help ease opiate withdrawal?

Individuals suffering from withdrawal symptoms are given medications to counteract the undesirable effects. Kratom has been used as a substitute because of it being inexpensive and legal (for now).

  • Borneo
  • Bali
  • Indo
  • Maeng Da

The preferred vein color strain is red and should be given in moderate to high doses.

What are the psychological effects of taking Kratom?

The effects differ depending on the type of strain and one’s own personal chemistry. Kratom may be used in treating depression, but not all strains are fit for this purpose.

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Strains that are effective in treating depression are:

  • Thai
  • Maeng Da
  • Green Malaysian

Kratom is also known to treat anxiety and insomnia. Strains that can be used for such conditions are:

  • Borneo
  • Thai
  • Bali

Can Kratom be used to treat immune system conditions?

Kratom is said to be effective in immune system stimulation due to the immunostimulant alkaloids found in kratom such as:

  • Mitraphyline
  • Isomitraphyline
  • Isopteropodine
  • Isorhynchophyline

These alkaloids help in suppressing cough and cold and other serious conditions that may compromise the immune system. The preferred strains are:

  • Green Malaysian
  • Borneo

The preferred strain is the green vein kratom.

How strong is the Thai Kratom compared to other strains?

The Red Vein Thai Kratom is the most popular among all varieties of Thai Kratom because of its very potent analgesic properties. Rating it from 1-10, stimulation can be rated from 8-9.5.

Which among the vein colors is the most popularly used?

Each color strain provides different effects. The Red Vein Kratom is the most popular strain because of its high level of potency for the relief of pain, sedation as well as in treating anxiety and stress.

What is an enhanced leaf?

Enhanced kratom leaf has become very popular among kratom users because of its high potency and lack of side effects. Enhanced leaf is used by taking a highly potent kratom extract. It is dissolved in a solution where the kratom powder or leaves are soaked and left to dry.

One of the most popular enhanced leaf blends is known as Ultra Enhanced Indo. Taking this may provide some positive effects like having highly analgesic effect and does not have any side effects.

However, there is a rapid tolerance for this substance. When the individual stops taking the substance, the user may experience unfavorable withdrawal symptoms. The cost for enhanced leaf is more expensive compared to the usual forms of kratom.

What are the average dosages in grams?

  • Mild – 1 to 2 grams
  • Moderate – 2-4.5 grams
  • High – 4.5-8 grams

How can you avoid having tolerance to Kratom if you use it for medical purposes?

Kratom supporters mention “strain rotation” as a way to allow users to continue using kratom as the desired potency for medical purposes without developing dependence and tolerance.

Using one strain for a long period of time may lead to tolerance to kratom. By switching strains on a daily basis, the alkaloid levels do not become stable enough to develop tolerance to the drug’s effects.

What are “wobbles”?

Wobbles is the term often used by kratom users referring to the difficulty to focus the eyes at a certain point without strain. This may lead to headache and nausea.


How can you avoid experiencing the “wobbles”?

According to kratom users, the only way to prevent from having the “wobbles” is to keep the dosage low.

Which strain can cause severe episodes of “wobbles”?

The Bali strain has the highest “wobble” factor, while the True Borneo strain has the least.


We hope this comprehensive Kratom FAQ can help you understand the substance and whether it would work for you. Before taking kratom for medicinal purposes, it is advisable to ask your doctor about it, especially if you have existing health conditions. Always remember that self-medication is never a good option, regardless of the drug that you’re planning to take.


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