Ever since Kratom was first used to enhance wellness—dating back to the early 1800s—people around the world have been experimenting with different ways to get the most out of this incredible plant. Some brew the crushed leaves into a tea. Others mix the pulverized Kratom powder into beverages like coffee or smoothies. Still others rely on the ‘Red Bubble Method’ to extract and condense the powerful plant alkaloids found within Kratom leaves, before adding the final product to baked goods and snacks. One of the most recent developments in Kratom administration methods is extraction on a commercial scale, resulting in a crystalline powder form of pure Kratom alkaloids.
When used responsibly, Kratom extracts can be an outstanding way to enhance your total Kratom experience, but there’s a lot to know about extracts in order to use them safely. Because of the sharp rise in popularity of Kratom extracts, the Kratom professionals at Kats Botanicals are helping to answer some of the most common questions people are asking about extracts. After reading this article, you’ll know everything you need to know to decide if Kratom extracts are right for you and, if they are, how to use them appropriately.
Let’s get started!
History of Botanical Extracts
Before we dive into the specifics about the properties and uses of Kratom extracts, let’s explore the history of extracts derived from plant-based materials. Throughout modern history, humans have been using botanical extracts in some way, shape or form. Some of the earliest documented use of plant extracts dates back to ancient Roman times, when certain plant extracts were used to treat fevers and aches. Since then, extracted plant material has been used to fend off insect infestations in crop yields, protect skin from sun damage, support numerous systems throughout the body, and even provide color for clothing in the form of dyes. So, it’s no surprise that Kratom extracts have made their way into the mainstream. Leading up to modern times, most Kratom extracts were made using hot water and evaporation to produce a kind of alkaloid-rich serum that could be bottled and preserved for later use. Today, however, more sophisticated forms of extraction produce incredibly high concentrations.
Kratom Extraction Methods
There are lots of ways to extract the active molecules from a given organic material. Some of these include:
- Maceration, Infusion, Percolation, and Decoction. This method is the simplest of all Kratom extraction methods. It involves the use of water, a solvent, and some filtering to produce a usable extract which retains more oil-soluble compounds but may not be as stable as other extracts made using other techniques. The ‘Red Bubble Method’ referenced above uses this form of extraction.
- Microwave-Assisted Extraction, or MAE. This is exactly what it sounds like: microwaving a Kratom mixture to release its active compounds. To do this right, advanced processing equipment is needed; this is not something you would want to attempt at home!
- Supercritical Fluid Extraction, or SFE. When certain substances share the properties of both a liquid and a gas, they are said to be supercritical. One such substance is CO2, or carbon dioxide—a readily available substance with very, very low toxicity. CO2 extraction is an incredibly popular method used to extract Kratom alkaloids from the plant matter. To enhance the efficiency of this process, ethanol or methanol can be added as a way to improve the solubility of supercritical CO2.
- Solid Phase Microextraction, or SPME. A newer extraction method, SPME combines the extraction, concentration, and introduction phases together into one integrated process, making for an exceptionally efficient and environmentally sustainable extraction method.
When using these various extraction methods, the resulting Kratom extract can have varying levels of alkaloid concentration. Knowing the concentration of active alkaloids is probably the single most important fact about any Kratom extract you might consider using!
Kratom Extract Concentrations, Explained
It is crucially important to know that not all Kratom extracts are created equal. Some Kratom extracts only contain Mitragynine (also known as ‘Mitragynine isolate’), while other Kratom extracts contain the full suite of naturally occurring Kratom alkaloids (also known as ‘Full-Spectrum’ Kratom extracts). Even though Mitragynine is considered the principal active alkaloid in the Kratom plant, it is generally agreed that using full-spectrum Kratom extract results in the most positive experience for most users. Whether isolated or full-spectrum, all Kratom extracts have an associated concentration, which typically refers to the percentage concentration of Mitragynine.
Here are two examples:
- Kats Botanicals’ Full-Spectrum 10% Kratom Extract will contain 10% pure Mitragynine, with 90% other alkaloids and inactive ingredients. This means that for every gram of 10% Kratom Extract, there will be 100 milligrams of pure Mitragynine.
- Kats Botanicals’ Full-Spectrum 25% Kratom Extract will contain 25% pure Mitragynine, with 75% other alkaloids and inactive ingredients. This means that for every gram of 25% Kratom Extract, there will be 250 milligrams of pure Mitragynine.
If you are completely new to Kratom, it is highly advised that you avoid the use of extracts until you know how standard Kratom powder affects you. For those who are seasoned Kratom users, both 10% and 25% Kratom extracts can either be enjoyed on their own or added to an existing Kratom strain for an enhanced experience. While there are more potent concentrations currently on the market, it’s not entirely clear what their benefits are in comparison to the available 10% and 25% concentration alternatives. For commercial suppliers of Kratom products, an exceptionally high-concentration Kratom extract could be useful in the manufacturing of Kratom-infused products, but the usefulness of such extracts for the everyday consumer is not obvious. In fact, using high amounts of incredibly high-concentration Kratom extracts could result in undesirable effects. This is another reason why it’s so important to start low and go very slow when using Kratom extracts of any potency.
Have Questions about Kratom? Kats Has Answers!
At Kats Botanicals, we are passionate about the informed, responsible use of Kratom. If you have any questions about Kratom powder, capsules, extracts, or any other Kratom-derived products, drop us a line! We look forward to helping you along your Kratom journey with information and education you can use to ensure that your Kratom experience is the best it can possibly be!