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Many people have heard that kratom products can be beneficial. However, you may be wondering “exactly how does kratom work” or even “does kratom really work?”. Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a tropical tree that’s native to Southeast Asia, where kratom leaves have been used for hundreds of years in traditional medicine. Traditionally, the leaves were chewed whole. Now, it’s more common to find kratom leaves ground into a powder and sold either as a raw powder or put into capsules.

Kratom trees are part of the coffee family. The alkaloids within kratom leaves allow kratom to have a range of effects on the body, from relaxing to energizing, depending on the type of kratom used. The two alkaloids that seem to be most important in giving kratom its effects are mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine.

How Does Kratom Work?

Now that you’re clear on what kratom is, let’s answer the question of “how does kratom work?”. Kratom is able to have an effect on the body because of alkaloids present in the leaves. The active alkaloids are believed to interact with mu-opioid receptors in the brain which are responsible for sensing pain. Opiates, a class of drugs that includes pain relievers like Oxycontin, also interact with mu-opioid receptors, but much more intensely. 

Because kratom has a more mild interaction with the same receptors, it is able to have a similar but much less powerful effect. To be clear, kratom is not an opiate nor does it contain opiates. It is merely known for providing similar effects.

There haven’t been very many studies on kratom and how it works and until further research is completed, there is a distinct lack of information on the exact mechanics by which organic kratom capsules and other kratom products affect the body.

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Kratom is divided into three major groups: White Vein kratom, Green Vein kratom, and Red Vein kratom, with many different strains within those categories. Let us walk you through the difference between kratom strains.

Recently, Gold Vein and Yellow Vein kratom have appeared on the market, but they tend to be less abundant than the three major kinds of kratom. 

You may be wondering, what do the different colors of kratom mean? We’ll go over that here. 

The difference between kratom strains’ colors and effects has to do with the age of the plant. 

White Vein kratom is the young plant, Green Vein kratom is the plant as it’s maturing, and Red Vein kratom is the fully matured plant. 

There are different effects of different kratom strains. As a kratom plant matures, different levels of alkaloids build within the leaves. The different alkaloids present impact what effect the kratom will have, giving the veins their unique properties. 

The way that kratom leaves are harvested and dried can also impact how the final product turns out. More or less exposure to light is just one of the things that can impact the final color & alkaloid content of kratom leaves, thereby changing their effect. 

As with all farmed plants, genetics play a very important role in the outcome of crops. Kratom plants can be bred to display the traits of one vein throughout their entire life cycle, for example, you can breed kratom to act like a Red Vein even as a young plant. 

When it comes to the different effects of different kratom strains, you can expect the following:

Within each kratom vein, there are many different strains available.
Here are some examples of white kratom strains: White Sumatra; White Thai; White Borneo; White Maeng Da; etc. 

As you can see, the difference between kratom strains relates to where the plant is from- White Sumatra would be a white vein grown in Sumatra, whereas White Thai would be a white vein grown in Thailand. This is true for many strains of White, Green, and Red vein kratom. 

Each singular strain tends to have its own distinct attributes, but these can vary slightly between harvests and growers. 

When buying kratom, check to see if the company you’re purchasing from has descriptions of each of their strains. This is the best way to get an accurate idea of what a strain’s effects may be like before purchasing, although you won’t know for sure how a strain of kratom will make you feel until you try it out for yourself. 

At Grassroots Harvest Kratom, we provide written descriptions for each of the kratom strains we sell. We also guide our consumers about the difference between kratom strains. We have been as accurate as possible when describing the effects we’ve experienced each strain such as white, green, and red kratom strains. We hope our experiences hold true for you. 

What is Maeng Da?

Maeng Da is a kind of kratom, and you can find Red Maeng DaGreen Maeng Da, or White Maeng Da. Maeng Da kratom was originally grown in Thailand, but nowadays you can find Maeng Da kratom sourced from a variety of places.

Essentially, ‘Maeng Da’ is a term that refers to quality. In Thai, the term translates literally to ‘pimp grade’, denoting high quality. As kratom has spread outside of Southeast Asia, the term is still used to refer to kratom with a high alkaloid content. We hope this guide helped you to have a better understanding about the difference between kratom strains.

The effects of kratom vary depending on a few different things: the kind of Kratom taken and the amount of kratom taken.  

In general, White Veins are energizing, Green Veins are euphoric, and Red Veins are sedating and relaxing. 

That being said, the amount of kratom that you take can also impact what effects you feel. Low doses tend to be more energizing and focusing, while larger doses tend to be a bit sedating. 

If you’re looking for a specific effect from kratom, it’s important to use a strain and an amount that will provide the desired properties. For example, if you’re hoping to take kratom for energy, be sure to use a White Vein or a Green Vein and take a low to moderate dose. If you’re hoping to take kratom for relaxation, be sure to use a Red Vein and take a moderate to high dose (but be sure not to overdo it!). 

What to expect from…

Energizing Kratom- Feel more alert, awake, and energized. Increased motivation and desire to accomplish tasks. 

Euphoric Kratom- Feel positive, talkative, and sociable. 

Sedating Kratom- Feel very relaxed and calm. Most people describe sedating kratom as highly pleasant. You may notice less pain and increased sleepiness. 

How Long Do the Effects Last?

Typically, the effects of kratom last roughly 4-6 hours. This could be different based on metabolism, the way you took kratom, or if you had an empty stomach. 

How Long Until Kratom Kicks In?

When taking kratom on an empty stomach, effects are typically noticeable in 20-30 minutes. If you have food in your stomach, it could take 45-60 minutes for kratom to kick in fully.

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Most users want to know what is the most effective way to take kratom. Kratom is a natural botanical ingredient that can be ingested in a number of ways. However, it is almost never smoked since many believe that smoking is not an effective way of taking kratom. 

The best way to use kratom varies from individual to individual. Powder is the most common form of kratom available and it’s attractive because of its low cost. However, the strong flavor is off-putting for some. Capsules are also popular because they’re easy to take and don’t have much taste but they may take longer to work and are a bit more pricey. 

Looking for the easiest way to take kratom? Here are some of the most popular methods:

  1. Toss ‘n’ wash. This is one of the most common ways of taking kratom powder as it’s fast, simple, and requires no prep time. The basic idea of a toss ‘n’ wash is to measure out how much powder you’d like to take, toss it into your mouth, and wash it down with a lot of water. You’ll feel the effects really quickly when taking kratom this way, but the downside is it tastes horrible. Those who like this method say it gets easier over time, but fair warning: it’s not the most palatable flavor in the world. 
  2. Capsules. For many people, capsules are the best way to take kratom since there’s no need to taste the powder. Many kratom companies sell pre-filled capsules with a set amount in each cap, making dosing easy. Simply select how many capsules you’d like to take, count ‘em out, and swallow them with water. 
  3. Make a tea. This is another popular way of taking kratom powder as it lessens the undesirable flavor a bit. Make kratom tea by boiling the powder in water for 30 minutes, letting it sit, and then straining the liquid to create the final product. 

Add to a smoothie or protein shake. This is another great method when it comes to masking the flavor of kratom. Pour the dose of powder you want to take into an already-made smoothie or shake, and stir to mix. Super easy! If you want to avoid the taste but you’d rather not take a capsule, this is the best way to take kratom.

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While kratom alkaloids bind to the same brain receptors as an opiate, the alkaloids present in kratom are structurally different from opiates and will not cause you to test positive on an opiate drug test. 

It is possible to test for kratom alkaloids, but due to kratom’s legal status, it is hardly ever tested for. That may change if kratom’s legal status were to change, but for now, it is highly unlikely that you will be tested for kratom. 

What makes it even less likely is that testing for the presence of kratom is currently a very expensive undertaking. Kratom drug tests cost a lot of money to run, so they hardly ever happen as they’re seen as an unnecessary cost. 

Standard drug tests will not look for kratom. 

Could Kratom Cause a False Positive?

A false positive is when you test positive for a drug you didn’t take. There are many different reasons you could falsely test positive, but kratom probably isn’t one of them. It’s highly, highly unlikely that you’ll have a false positive from taking kratom, as the alkaloids in kratom aren’t present in any drugs that are often tested for.

Some prescription medications can cause a false positive though, so it’s important to be clear with drug testing administrators what you have in your system before you take the test.  

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There are several things that make it challenging to create a conclusive guide on kratom dosing. For one, different people’s kratom dosage for their first time works differently. Metabolism rates and levels of tolerance to kratom will both impact how kratom is processed by the body. On top of that, different kinds of kratom have varying levels of potency. So if you are thinking about “how much kratom should I take?”, it can be hard to say with certainty what effects will be like from one strain to the next. Even having food in your stomach or not can impact how kratom will affect you. 

If you’re taking a kratom dosage for the first time on an empty stomach, stick to a low dose, as you’ll feel the effects more strongly. 

Take It Easy

Keep in mind that some Kratom will act differently at a high dose, so mild to moderate doses are typically favored. In general with the concern “how much kratom should I take?”, it’s better to take too little than too much- 

  • If you’ve taken kratom and after 20-30 minutes don’t feel the effects, it’s okay to take another gram or two to amplify the results. 
  • If you take too much from the start, you may be left with some uncomfortable side effects that you have to wait out.

Our General Guide to Kratom Dosage for Energy, Discomfort Relief, and Relaxation:
Mild Dose: 2 grams

Moderate Dose: 4 grams

High Dose: 8 grams

When taking a kratom dosage for the first time in powdered form, be aware that one teaspoon is roughly 3-4 grams. 

When taking Grassroots Harvest kratom capsules, each capsule will contain .5 grams of kratom. For example, if you’re hoping to take 4 grams of kratom capsules, you would need to take 8 capsules. If you’re hoping to take 4 grams of kratom powder, you would need to take 1 teaspoon of kratom powder.

Still thinking about “how much kratom should I take?” Well, if you’re taking your kratom dosage for the first time, it’s typically best to start with mild or moderate doses and work up from there. This way, your system isn’t overloaded with an unfamiliar substance and can adjust accordingly.

Always stay hydrated when taking kratom. Like coffee, kratom tends to be dehydrating- if you want to have the best results when kratom, staying hydrated will be hugely beneficial to you and will prevent you from feeling any nasty side effects. 

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Can You Develop a Kratom Tolerance?

Yes. Kratom is a member of the coffee family, and like coffee, daily kratom will cause you to develop a tolerance and potentially cravings for kratom. If you develop a tolerance to kratom, you will need to take a higher kratom dosage for energy in order to feel the same effects. You will not develop a tolerance to kratom if you take it infrequently, so we recommend taking kratom no more than 2-3 times a week.

Depending on who you ask, the answer to the question ‘is kratom dangerous’ could be vastly different. 

According to advocates, kratom is beneficial and natural, providing relief for pain, stress, sleeping problems, and more. Rather than dangerous, kratom is safe. It’s advocates sing about the overall safety of the plant, saying that it’s able to accomplish a lot of the things prescription drugs can, but with less risk.

According to those who think that kratom isn’t safe, they believe the plant’s ability to act similarly to a prescription drug isn’t a good thing and means it could easily be abused. Those against the use of kratom will also point to a CDC report of 91 drug overdose deaths in which kratom was detected from July 2016-December 2017. 

While this may sound alarming, several things should be noted that put this figure into perspective. The CDC looked into 27,000 drug overdose cases that happened over a year and a half and found 91 cases of drug overdose deaths where kratom was involved. 91 out of 27,000. Even though this posed the question ‘is kratom dangerous?’. It should be noted that in comparison, opioids caused roughly 48,000 deaths in 2017, according to federal data. 

On top of that, this same report states that in “almost all” of the 91 deaths, kratom was not the only substance present in the system- fentanyl, heroin, benzodiazepines, and cocaine were also found in 84 out of the 91 kratom-related deaths. 

More research is needed to determine the true safety profile of kratom and determine if kratom is safe or not. However, it may be hasty to label kratom ‘dangerous’ or ‘deadly’. Especially when most of the evidence against it could have been caused by something else and lead people to question kratom’s safety.

Side Effects 

Kratom is a relative of the coffee plant and like coffee, daily use will eventually cause cravings. However, usage must be heavy and frequent in order for cravings to arise. 

If an extremely large amount of kratom is ingested at once, the user might experience side effects. In our experience of determining kratom’s safety and when speaking to customers, the most common side effects are sweating, nausea or vomiting, drowsiness, and rapid heart rate. 

In order to keep kratom a safe part of your life, always stay hydrated when taking it. Like coffee, kratom tends to be dehydrating- if you want the best results when taking kratom, staying hydrated will be hugely beneficial to you. 

No Regulation

Kratom manufacturing and kratom products are not regulated, meaning there is no set standard for making and selling these products. The lack of regulation makes it extremely important to buy your kratom from a reputable source. Unscrupulous businesses have sold tainted kratom products in the past, spiked with other substances to cheaply strengthen the effects while compromising the kratom’s safety.

Kratom is safe if purchased from a company that can be trusted, like Grassroots Harvest. We source our kratom directly from farms in Southeast Asia and have it shipped straight to our lab in Austin, Texas where we craft our products with care in small batches. 

We regularly test our products to ensure kratom safety and prioritize that the material has not been adulterated or tampered with in any way.

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Kratom is federally legal in the U.S., however, some states, counties, and municipalities have banned kratom. Read on to find out states where kratom is legal.

In 2016, the DEA announced a plan to list kratom as a schedule 1 substance, which would have effectively banned it completely. Instead, the government agency gave the public a chance to speak in favor of kratom legality, and the response was overwhelming. So many people came forward that eventually, the DEA called off their plan to schedule kratom. Since then, kratom has not been banned and it remains federally legal.
Kratom is legal across the vast majority of the United States; however, some places have decided to ban it. Many states have reversed previous bans after being educated about the plant by scientists, doctors, and their constituents. We expect this trend will continue. 

Kratom Legality State-by-State

as of 2021

While kratom remains federally legal, some states and municipalities have passed legislation of their own banning its sale and possession. The kratom legal status by law changes quickly, so we’re providing a list of kratom laws in every state to keep you updated and informed on the legality of kratom where you live! This will tell you of the states where kratom is legal!

Alabama- Kratom is illegal in Alabama. In 2016, Alabama made mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, the two most abundant alkaloids in kratom, illegal. 

Alaska- Kratom is legal.

Arizona- Kratom is legal.

Arkansas- Kratom is illegal in Arkansas. In 2016, Arkansas made kratom and its alkaloids illegal. 

California- Kratom is legal, except within the San Diego and Oceanside city limits where kratom legality is still a big question.  

Colorado- Kratom is legal, except within the towns of Monument and Parker, and there are special restrictions on the labeling of kratom products in Denver.

Connecticut- Kratom is legal.

Delaware- Kratom is legal.

Florida- Kratom is legal, except within Sarasota County. 

Georgia- Kratom is legal and is regulated by the Kratom Consumer Protection Act, which sets an age requirement and labeling requirements.  

Hawaii- Kratom is legal. 

Idaho- Kratom is legal.

Illinois- Kratom is legal for those over the age of 18, except in the cities of Jerseyville and Alton.

Indiana- Kratom is illegal in Indiana. In 2014, Indiana passed a bill that made kratom a Schedule 1 substance in the state. 

Iowa- Kratom is legal. 

Kansas- Kratom is legal.

Kentucky- Kratom is legal.

Louisiana- Kratom is legal.

Maine- Kratom is legal.

Maryland- Kratom is legal.

Massachusetts- Kratom is legal.

Michigan- Kratom is legal.

Minnesota- Kratom is legal.

Mississippi- Kratom is illegal in a number of counties.

Missouri- Kratom is legal.

Montana- Kratom is legal.

Nebraska- Kratom is legal.

Nevada- Kratom is legal.

New Hampshire- Kratom is legal for those over the age of 18, except in Franklin City. 

New Jersey- Kratom is legal.

New Mexico- Kratom is legal.

New York- Kratom is legal.

North Carolina- Kratom is legal for those over the age of 18.

North Dakota- Kratom is legal.

Ohio- Kratom is legal.

Oklahoma- Kratom is legal.

Oregon- Kratom is legal.

Pennsylvania- Kratom is legal.

Rhode Island- Kratom is illegal in Rhode Island.

South Carolina- Kratom is legal.

South Dakota- Kratom is legal.

Tennessee- Kratom is legal for those over the age of 21. 

Texas- Kratom is legal.

Utah- Kratom is legal.

Vermont- Kratom is illegal in Vermont, as the two main alkaloids present in kratom have been banned. 

Virginia- Kratom is legal.

Washington- Kratom is legal.

West Virginia- Kratom is legal.

Wisconsin- Kratom is illegal in Wisconsin. 

Wyoming- Kratom is legal.  

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