In the 200+ years that Kratom has been used around the world, people have developed all kinds of imaginative ways to enjoy it. There are Kratom-infused pastries, pies, smoothies, and marinades. Kratom leaves have been chopped up into a loose-leaf tea consistency useful for brewing hot beverages. However you can dream up a way to get the beneficial plant alkaloids from the Kratom leaf into your body, chances are someone, somewhere has tried it. But, what about extraction? As with many other botanicals, the alkaloids contained within Kratom leaves can be extracted from the plant matter to yield an especially potent serum that allows for enhanced absorption and enjoyment of Kratom. Extraction on a commercial scale is in full force within the Kratom industry.
Kratom extracts hit the market 2-3 years ago and since then, they’ve developed a devoted following by Kratom enthusiasts. However, commercial extraction is a very time-consuming process, and the costs to produce the extract need to be passed on to the consumer. This might be just fine for Kratom users who are willing to pay the premium for a great extract, but what if consumers could perform their own extractions at home? The good news is that at-home Kratom extraction is easy, simple, and safe. The Kratom community has developed a method of at-home extraction that doesn’t require the use of high-tech laboratory equipment, and chances are good that you already have the materials you need in your kitchen already! This at-home Kratom extraction method is called the ‘Red Bubble’ method. And, in this article, we’re going to break down the steps you can take to use this method to create high-quality, powerful Kratom extracts within the comfort of your home. So, let’s get started!
What You Will Need
Before you can begin, there are some things you’ll need to effectively extract the wellness-enhancing goodness from Kratom.
Gather together the following items:
- A freezer-friendly glass or Pyrex container. You’ll need a container that is short, sturdy, and sealable. It’s possible to substitute for this using a sandwich-sized Ziploc bag, but we recommend going with a quart-sized (or larger) glass or Pyrex bowl or storage container.
- High-quality, lab-tested Kratom powder. What’s that? You don’t have any Kratom powder? Don’t worry; you’re in luck! Browse Kats Botanicals’ full line of premium Kratom powder to use with your Red Bubble extraction. The Red Bubble method works with Kratom strains of all kinds, including Red Vein, Green Vein, White Vein, and blended Kratom, too. As for how much you will need…start with a few servings (2-3 teaspoons) for starters. You can always add more with future extractions after you’ve gotten the hang of it.
- Lemon juice (or another all-natural, edible solvent). Your extraction solvent needs to be an edible acid that will break down the plant matter and release the desired alkaloids. Lemon juice works best, but you can also use lime juice, pickle juice, apple cider vinegar, or white vinegar. You’ll need roughly the same amount of solvent for every serving of Kratom you’re working with (for 2 teaspoons of Kratom powder, use 2 teaspoons of lemon juice, etc.). Keep in mind that edible solvents with preservatives aren’t necessarily a bad idea here, as food-grade preservatives can actually extend the shelf life of your extract.
- Distilled water. Distilled water is best because it doesn’t contain the same concentration of minerals found in tap or drinking water. While you can still use water from the tap, it’s not ideal.
- A freezer. Yup. You’re going to need to do some freezing!
After you’ve gathered all your materials, it’s time to get bubbling! Prepare your extraction area and get ready to make your own Red Bubble Kratom extract.
Red Bubble Extraction Steps
The first thing you need to do is to place your measured Kratom into your glass or Pyrex container. Then, mix in your lemon juice or the preferred edible solvent of your choice. Remember, use roughly the same amount of lemon juice as Kratom you’re using. When mixing this together, the consistency should be roughly the same as pancake batter. If it’s too thick, continue adding lemon juice until the desired consistency is achieved.
The second thing you need to do is boil your distilled water and let it sit for a minute or two until it is cool enough to work with, but still very hot. While it’s possible to use room-temperature water for this extraction, very hot water seems to do a better job of separating the plant matter from the contained alkaloids. Also, when you use very hot water, you get to see the solution turn red, hence the name ‘Red Bubble’. Very cool!
The third thing you need to do is to pour your hot water into the solvent/Kratom mixture. Slowly stir the solution until your container is mostly full. You’ll want to add at least enough water to thoroughly dissolve the solvent mixture, which should be at least as much hot water volume as the solvent mixture itself. Optional: allow the mixture to cool to room temperature. While it’s possible to proceed without allowing the mixture to cool, we suggest this step as it can make for a more uniform separation.
The fourth thing you need to do is to place the mixture into the freezer for 6-8 hours or as long as it takes for it to freeze completely. You’re almost done! After you remove your frozen mixture, you’ll notice that the plant matter will have settled to the bottom of the container. At this point, you can do one of two things (both work perfectly fine):
- Using a serrated knife, cut off the plant matter layer and discard it. Then, allow the separated layer to thaw.
- Allow the entire mixture to thaw, then use a cheesecloth or coffee filter to strain out and discard the plant matter.
We like option 1, because it’s cleaner. But, feel free to experiment with both to see which you prefer.
…and that’s it! You’ve successfully performed your at-home Kratom extraction. What you’re left with is a (lemon-tasting) Kratom solution that contains a scant amount of plant matter yet retains all the wellness-boosting properties of Mitragynine, 7-Hydroxymitragynine, and the host of other naturally occurring phytochemicals that Kratom is celebrated for. To use your new extract, simply consume it straight or mix it into the beverage of your choice. And, be sure to follow serving suggestions listed on your Kratom packaging! If you used 2-3 servings during your extraction, presume that your final extract contains 2-3 servings of Kratom alkaloids.
The Science Behind the Red Bubble Method
So, what’s the reasoning behind this method, anyway?
Well, the alkaloids contained in Kratom powder are soluble in an acidic solution, which is the lemon juice. Enzymes in your digestive system are also acidic, and using lemon juice to extract your Kratom alkaloids makes it easier for them to be absorbed. By freezing the solution, the plant matter expands and releases the contained alkaloids. This effectively renders the final plant matter useless, which is why it can be discarded or composted after the extraction is complete. Even though a small amount of alkaloids are still contained within the final plant matter, the vast majority have made their way into suspension within the lemon juice/water solution. Now that you’ve learned how to perform the Red Bubble extraction, tell your friends! And, be sure to tell us what you think of the finished product!