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Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) has gained recent popularity in the wellness community, but this medicinal plant has ancient cultural roots in Southeast Asia where it was used for religious and healing ceremonies. During these ceremonies, it was primarily consumed either raw, in tea, or smoked. However, many consumers are concerned about the safety of smoking Kratom as a way to take their daily dose.
Is Smoking Kratom Safe?
Despite its lack of regulation by the FDA, Kratom is widely considered safe for human consumption. However, the way you take Kratom can alter how it affects your system.
Smoking any substance comes with substantial risks. For example, if you smoke tobacco, you often are not just absorbing the powerful active nicotine compounds, but also other harmful chemicals including carcinogens by-products in the smoke.
Kratom smoke may contain other potentially harmful substances that can limit the benefits of Kratom, including reduced irritability and a calmer state of mind.
The Risks of Smoking Kratom
Kratom contains a wide variety of alkaloids. These are the active components of the plants made up of organic compounds with nitrogen molecules that have a basic pH.
The primary alkaloid found in Kratom is mitragynine. It makes up approximately 66% of the alkaloid content and is responsible for producing most of Kratom’s powerful effects. However, there are more than 25 other alkaloids present in Kratom in varying ratios due to variable geographical locations and harvesting times. This means that different strains possess different levels of these alkaloids, giving them unique properties and benefits.
Heating Kratom can change the potency of the alkaloids present in the strain, while smoking delivers the active compounds to your bloodstream faster due to the dense network of blood vessels surrounding the alveoli in your lungs. This combination makes it difficult to properly gauge the correct dosage and anticipate the effects Kratom might have on your body.
The benefits of Kratom are dose-dependent. Low doses are associated with benefits of optimism and motivation, while larger doses may help to induce a sense of calm. The serving for Kratom is 2.4g. Do not exceed two servings in 24 hours. Users who choose to smoke Kratom find that more crushed leaf is required to obtain the correct dosage.
Unfortunately, as the heat of smoking Kratom may destroy many of the active alkaloids, users may find they need more dried Kratom leaf than if they use other methods such as encapsulated powder or tea.
Smoking also delivers other unwanted compounds to your lungs including the by-products of combustion such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and soot particles. This can have a negative impact on your respiratory health and limit the effectiveness of your Kratom dose.
Safe Ways to Consume Kratom
While smoking dried Kratom leaf is not recommended and should never be done, there are numerous ways you can get your daily dose of Kratom safely.
The simplest and most popular technique for consuming Kratom is using the toss-and-wash technique to help minimize the bitter herbal aftertaste. Tossing with water can also reduce the dehydrating effects of Kratom, as the plant is a close botanical relative of the coffee plant which has a diuretic effect on the body.
There are two techniques to toss-and-wash. The first involves measuring a dose of raw Kratom powder on a spoon and placing it directly into your mouth. Immediately follow with a glass of water or juice to wash it down. This method can cause some minor discomfort and gagging for new users not used to the experience.
The second toss-and-wash technique involves stirring your dose of Kratom into a small glass of water, juice, or milk, or shaking it in a jar, to create a Kratom suspension. You then drink the entire amount and use more liquid swirled in the bottom of the glass to take the remainder. This method limits any nausea and allows the Kratom to go down more smoothly.
A tasty and refreshing way to get your Kratom dose is by brewing Kratom tea. There are various methods for making Kratom tea, depending on whether you prefer to use Kratom powder or crushed, dried leaves.
Simply boil your water or use your Keurig to fill a cup of hot water. You can pour the Kratom powder directly into the water, or use a steeping device. Stir until the Kratom is fully incorporated into the water, and serve with a slice of lemon or grapefruit. Citrus juice is a potentiator for Kratom, boosting its benefits for longer.
If you want to make a big batch of Kratom tea to keep in the refrigerator for a few days, or to serve to likeminded health-conscious guests, mix up a batch of sun tea.
To make Kratom sun tea, take a half-gallon jar and place 1 teaspoon of your favorite dried Kratom leaf strain for every cup of water. This equates to approximately 8 teaspoons of Kratom and 8 cups of water. Leave the sealed jar in a warm, sunny spot for at least 5 hours. Strain out the Kratom leaf and add a ¼ cup of lemon juice. Serve over ice or bring to the boil and serve hot.
Kratom Powder in Beverages
Similar to the toss-and-wash technique, mixing Kratom into a flavored beverage can help to mask the bitter taste. However, unlike the toss-and-wash, Kratom beverages are meant to be consumed slowly.
Popular combinations including Kratom Coffee, Kratom Chocolate Milk, and Kratom Smoothies. Simply add your dose of Kratom powder to your favorite smoothie recipe and blend. Add an acidic component such as citrus juice to activate the alkaloid compounds and make them more bioavailable.
Kickstart your morning with Kratom iced coffee. In a blender combine 1 cup of milk, a shot of espresso, your dose of Kratom, and a sweetener. Add ice and blend until smooth.
Encapsulated Kratom powder can be a great way to take your dose discreetly and quickly during your busy day. You can buy bio-friendly empty capsules and measure out your precise dose of Kratom powder into each. This allows you to have Kratom available whenever you need it and lets you take it on-the-go, if necessary.
Kratom capsules also eliminate the unpleasant aftertaste associated with powdered Kratom, making it a suitable method for beginner users. Be aware that Kratom capsules may slightly delay benefits due to digestion. Avoid immediately taking additional capsules in order to boost the benefits, and wait 30-45 minutes.
Is Vaping Kratom a Safe Alternative to Smoking?
Many people consider vaping to be a safer way to smoke. Vaping consists of inhaling an aerosol product created using a handheld electronic atomizer fed by a cartridge containing water, flavorings, and propylene glycol solvent.
The safety of vaping is still in question and many researchers believe that it may be more harmful than smoking nicotine or herbal products directly. Some studies have found that fine particulate matter from vape pens can find its way into the lungs causing respiratory distress. Other research suggests that contaminants in e-liquids, particularly Vitamin E acetate, are responsible for the surge in lung injuries seen in people between 30-55 years old due to vape pen use.
Kratom leaf, powder, and extract are unsuitable for vaping even with specially designed herbal vaporizers. Just as with smoking, the heat can damage the delicate alkaloid structure, making it less effective.
Compared with other methods of consumption, smoking Kratom is an ineffective and extremely dangerous way to get your daily dose. It also poses greater risks to your health and well-being because smoking is associated with respiratory and cardiovascular issues, and increases the potential for accidental overdose. To be crystal clear, we do NOT suggest ever smoking kratom.
Kratom can be used to provide feelings of mental clarity and motivation, as well as induce a sense of calm that can help you navigate everyday stress. However, to enjoy the benefits of Kratom you need to find the correct dose for your body and the right method of consumption.
At Kats Botanicals, we believe that our customers deserve the best quality Kratom available, so we carry a wide variety of strains, and all our Kratom powders are tested for safety, purity, and potency. Explore the huge range of white, green, and red Kratom we have to offer online and find the perfect strain for your daily wellness regimen.