What is Kratom? The Special Leaf Revealed

If you’re a newbie to kratom, or one who’s looking for a good place to buy it, there’s a lot to consider. What exactly is kratom, how does it work, what kind of effects can I expect from it, where can I get it, and which strain is right for me? You may find that the answer to these questions depends on your personal experience with this herb.

To help you get the most out of your purchase, we’ve compiled this detailed guide to kratom, which covers everything you need to know about this herb. This includes everything from its history to what exactly is contained inside each capsule, as well as an explanation of all the different types of kratom currently available.

We also go into detail about how to properly use kratom, including dosage recommendations, how often you should take it, and how to avoid any potential side effects. To top it off, we’ll give you some expert advice on how to buy kratom safely.

History of Kratom

The word “kratom” comes from the Malay language, and means “to beat”. In Thailand, Kratom has been used for centuries by indigenous tribes to treat pain and other physical ailments. It was introduced to the West in the early 1900s when sailors began using it to ease the symptoms of malaria and dysentery, but it didn’t become commonly known until the 1960s, when Thai farmers started growing it to boost crop yields.

In the 1970s, researchers found that the alkaloids in Kratom produce similar results to those produced by morphine. Since then, various strains of Kratom have been developed that contain specific ratios of the alkaloids, resulting in varying levels of effectiveness. The main alkaloid found in most forms of Kratom is Mitragynine, which is responsible for many of the stimulating effects users report.


Kratom has been used since ancient times in Southeast Asia to treat a variety of ailments, including pain, fever, anxiety, and depression. Today, people use kratom for a wide range of reasons, including treating opioid addiction, boosting energy, improving mood, and preventing withdrawal symptoms. Some even say that they’ve successfully quit smoking through the usage of kratom.

One study published in JAMA Internal Medicine reported that patients who had previously tried a number of treatments for chronic pain, including antidepressants and prescription opioids, were able to reduce their use of these medications after trying kratom. A survey conducted by the American Kratom Association (AKA) found that more than half of Americans who responded said they had used kratom at least once in their lifetime, while another third had used it within the past year.


When you’re first starting out with kratom, it’s best to start small. Take 1-3 grams of powder and then wait at least an hour before attempting more. Don’t repeat this more than once in a given four hour period. As you start getting used to the effects of kratom, you may need to increase the amount consumed in order to get the same effects. This is a sign that you should take a break. If you want to take it before bedtime, you may take a higher dose than during the day as larger amounts tend to be more sedative.

You shouldn’t take too much kratom, because it can cause dizziness, nausea, vomiting, confusion, and diarrhea if you do. Most experts agree that taking anywhere between 50 and 100 milligrams of pure mitragynine per day is safe. However, don’t be surprised if you feel a little nauseous or sick after taking it if you don’t heed the directions on the package or on the retailer’s website.


As mentioned above, the primary active ingredient in kratom is called mitragynine, and it produces a number of effects depending on the type of kratom you consume. There are several different ways that users can obtain kratom, and each form will produce various effects. Here are some of the common ones:

  • Kratom tea – This is the traditional way to take kratom and involves steeping kratom powder or leaves in water for a period of time before straining the mixture and consuming. As long as the water is within the right temperature and pH range, all of the leaf’s desirable chemicals will make it into the final product. The effects should be well rounded and include a bit of euphoria, tension relief, and potentially a bit of stimulation.
  • Powder – Powdered kratom is easy to ingest and can be taken either straight up with a chaser or mixed with any beverage. Many people enjoy drinking powdered kratom on its own to counteract drowsiness. On the flip side, some users report feeling anxious after consuming it if they go overboard with their dose. Just like with tea, consuming powder means you’re getting all of the chemicals necessarily for evenly balanced effects.
  • Capsules – Capsules come in red, white, green, and yellow or gold versions and contain usually around a half gram of traditional kratom powder. This means the effects will be the same. The only difference is capsules don’t expose a person to the sometimes unpleasant taste and consistency of the powder and they’re far more portable for people who need their kratom on the go.
  • Liquid – Liquid kratom is usually sold in syrups and extracts, and can be taken straight or mixed with juice, soda, or alcohol. The liquid form is sometimes referred to as “white lightning.” Some liquids contain multiple kratom alkaloids while others focus solely on mitragynine. These tend to be a bit more energetic.
  • Extracts – The effects felt after taking extracts can vary based on whether they’re full-spectrum or mitragynine only. Full-spectrum extracts provide a very balanced mixture of relaxation, energy, and contentment, while mitragynine extracts tend to lean more towards stimulation. Only at high dosages are these considered sedating.

Kratom Strains

There are dozens of different kinds of kratom available today, and no two brands are the same. Each brand processes and blends its products differently, so the effects you get depend on the exact formulation of the product. Two of the most popular kinds of kratom today are Maeng Da (all colors) and Super Green, both of which are derived from the leaves of Mitragyna speciosa.

They are generally considered the strongest of the kratom varieties, and are therefore ideal for people who want to experience the full spectrum of the plant’s effects. In total, there are over a hundred commercially available varieties, many of which are essentially the same.

The differences between them are usually how the leaf was dried and processed or how the final product was blended. Some of the other more popular strains include Borneo, Malaysian, Thai, and Elephant. These names do not indicate where the leaf came from, but are instead used to designate a particular process or mixture.

Where to Buy

Although kratom is legal in many states across the country, some localities still ban it due to false information and manipulated data spread by the FDA. For this reason, you’ll typically see it sold legally online but with restrictions. Also, you may occasionally run into it in your local smoke shop or even gas station.

Buyers should use caution when shopping for kratom because products have been found to be adulterated with harmful substances in the past. Always make sure that you read reviews for the company you’re purchasing from, ask friends who have used the product for feedback, and never send money to anyone who asks for payment upfront.

Another thing to keep in mind is that not all kratom is created equal. As mentioned above, different brands manufacture their products differently, so it’s important to read user reviews, talk to other customers, and, when possible, try a sample of the product before making a big purchase. You can check with popular kratom websites like Kratomaton or ILoveKratom to see if they have approved a given vendor.

That said, just because a vendor isn’t listed doesn’t mean they are illegitimate, but an approval could give you peace of mind. Choose a vendor who has their products tested at a third-party lab and actually publishes the results for shoppers to see before purchase. You may have to go through a few different vendors before you find someone who has consistent products at a decent price.