Kratom, scientifically known as Mitragyna speciosa, continues to grow in popularity despite potential bans across the U.S. Millions use the substance for a variety of health conditions, including anxiety and chronic pain. Some take it for the euphoric effects and wonder if any kratom potentiators can enhance the experience.
What exactly is kratom?
A tropical tree that grows in parts of Southeast Asia, kratom belongs to the coffee family. The leaves of the kratom tree are typically dried and then crushed into a powder that can be brewed as tea or encapsulated for easy consumption.
Kratom is known to have both stimulant and sedative effects. The specific effects depend on the dose. Lower doses tend to be more stimulating, while higher doses are more sedating.
Some of the reported effects of kratom include:
Enhanced mood: Kratom enhances the production of serotonin and dopamine, essentially increasing the free flow of mood-enhancing hormones.
Improved focus: Two compounds in kratom — mitragynine and 7 hydroxy mitragynine — work together to help your brain focus on the task at hand. White vein and green vein strains work best for focus.
Increased energy and alertness: Many report kratom helps them feel more awake and ready for any challenge. Confidence and motivation seem to increase as well. Maeng Da kratom seems to have the most energizing effects.
Pain relief: It is said kratom can kill pain in minutes, and millions of people use it specifically for this reason. The red vein and green vein varieties are thought to be the most effective.
How to take kratom
Kratom is typically taken orally in the form of a powder, capsule, or extract. It can also be smoked, although this is less common. The effects can last anywhere from 2-5 hours, depending on the kratom dose.
What is kratom potentiation?
So now that we know a little bit about the plant, let’s talk about kratom potentiators. A potentiator is a substance that enhances the effects of something else. In this case, we’re talking about substances that act as a kratom potentiator, which can help people get more out of their experience.
Best kratom potentiators
Cayenne pepper: Within cayenne pepper is an alkaloid called piperine. Piperine has been shown to increase the absorption of kratom alkaloids into the bloodstream. This means that cayenne pepper can help make an excellent kratom potentiator.
Lemon juice: Another potential kratom potentiator, lemon juice contains a compound called citric acid. Citric acid has also been shown to increase the absorption of kratom alkaloids by breaking down the plant’s cell walls. Grapefruit juice can also be used.
Curcumin: The active ingredient in curcumin is turmeric, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Potentially, curcumin elevates the kratom experience by reducing any side effects.
Caffeine: Caffeine is a stimulant, and it’s often used as a way to enhance the effects of kratom. Caffeine can help make kratom more energizing and increase alertness. Of all the kratom potentiators, this may be the best.
Magnesium: The mineral magnesium can be found in leafy greens, nuts, and seeds. It’s possible that magnesium helps to potentiate kratom by relaxing the muscles and reducing any tension.
Chamomile tea: Adding a spoonful of kratom powder, especially red vein strains, to chamomile tea may produce powerful relaxing effects. The combination of kratom and the herbal tea is ideal before going to sleep.
Blue lotus flower: The blue lotus flower contains two psychoactive alkaloids – apomorphine and nuciferine – which help to induce sleep and relieve anxiety. It has also been referred to as a mild stimulant, meaning that it can intensify the effects of kratom when used together.
As you can see, there are quite a few substances that can be used to potentiate kratom’s effects. Experiment with different potentiators for your desired outcome and find what works best for you. Just remember to start with a low dose and go slow until you know how you’ll react.
Is kratom potentiation safe?
Although kratom use in fatal cases has been reported, there has never been a death linked to kratom alone. In addition, no known deaths have been caused by combining kratom with any of the potentiators listed. In fact, most of the time kratom is combined with prescription medications and illegal drugs, leading to deadly consequences.
Potential kratom ban
Kratom has gotten some attention in the past few years – both good and bad. Many kratom users claim they can’t live without it. On the other side of the aisle, some authorities — government agencies like the FDA mostly — want kratom banned.
There have been efforts throughout the U.S. to keep kratom out of the hands of consumers. The reasons cited are “no medicinal value” and the “potential for addiction.” The DEA has also placed kratom on its “Drugs and Chemicals of Concern” list.
Kratom likely to stay
Kratom has been in the news a lot lately, with some people touting its benefits and others pushing for it to be banned. The debate around this substance is ongoing, but one thing is for sure – kratom has some potential benefits to help people feel better.
Whether you’re fighting pain, anxiety, or depression, kratom may be able to help. We recommend talking to your doctor before taking kratom, especially if you’re taking medication for any of these conditions. And as always, start with a low kratom dosage and go slow until you know how you’ll react.