Posted on May 20, 2015
Things were so much simpler when we first met kratom nearly five years ago. This is especially true as far varieties go – or strains – as we say in our little circles. Back then you had Bali, and you had Maeng Da. Bali was the most popular kratom strain because it was economically priced, but worked incredibly well. Ma Daeng, also known as the “Pimp Grade”, was the premium stuff that could truly deliver on another level, or fall short of markup expectations – depending on your source, of course. But things gradually changed.
The deeper I delved into the kratom culture, the more names I came to know. Red and Green Vein Thai were among the first of the newcomers. Then there was Green Indo, Red Borneo, and White Sumatran making way for Green Hulu Kapuas, Super Bali, Gold Horn, and all the exotic strains that rule the market today. What’s all this stuff mean and how do you sort through the madness? I’m still trying to figure it out myself, but I’ve learned quite a bit – enough to help novices navigate the modern day kratom landscape.
Countries and Colors
I’m a little slow with things, but when I take a minute to think about them, they usually make sense. It all started to add up when realizing that strains are primarily named based on where they’re from. Green Bali, for example, is cultivated on the volcanic island Bali, Indonesia. Gold Malaysia? Grown in the Southeast Asian country Malaysia. Red Vein Thai? Brought up in Thailand, where kratom is ironically outlawed. However, your new favorite herb is not only country coded, it’s color coded as well.
The colors you hear referenced in kratom names refer to the vein color of the leaf. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of inspecting a kratom plant firsthand, you can actually notice the vein color with the naked eye. We haven’t exactly encountered every shade in the color palette, but the kratom rainbow is expanding. So far we’ve come across Red, Green, White, Gold, and even Pink. If a blue strain hits the market, then my mind will be officially blown!
Once again, you’re probably wondering what’s the difference in kratom vein colors. Here’s what we’ve been able to gather:
Red Kratom. Red vein kratom is generally respected for its strength. In fact, some users save it as a late night snack due to its strong sedative qualities and potential to dial up Mr. Sandman. It’s also a go-to strain for many people seeking an herbal pain management solution.
White Kratom. With white vein kratom, you have would may be considered polar opposite to red. These strains are reputed for their stimulant qualities, and thus popular with peoples looking for a burst of natural energy. Whereas red strains are often used for combating things like pain and insomnia, whites are typically called upon during the day or any time a kick of motivation is needed.
Green Kratom. The best of both worlds can normally be found in green vein kratom. Some varieties, like Green Hulu Kapuas, possess energetic traits that rival the most stimulating whites. Others, like Green Maeng Da, are doubly versatile with a stimulating edge in low doses, and sedating strength on the higher end.
Now you know the basics of kratom strains. Solid information, right? Still, I’m feeling like we’ve barely even scratched the surface. Stay tuned for a follow up post where we take a closer look at specific types of kratom and what you can generally expect from each variety.
Posted on April 27, 2015
The best things in life come with advantages and disadvantages, and kratom is no different in that regard. If you’re new to this incredible and very mysterious plant, you’ve probably been looking for info just like this. Without further ado, here’s our take on the pros and cons of kratom.
1. It Works!
In navigating the botanical spear, you’ll find that a lot of herbs are hit or miss. More often than not, this one is a big hit. Of course everyone’s different, but we’ve personally found that good kratom is good kratom. Buy from a reputable vendor known for their quality, and 9.5 times out of 10 you can count on a product that delivers.
2. It’s Flexible
The true beauty of kratom lies in its versatility. By that I mean its ability to cater to wide a variety of needs. People take kratom for a number of reasons, including to:
- Curb depression
- Boost energy
- Relieve pain
- Eliminate stress and anxiety
- Combat withdrawals
The plant’s versatility may be attributed to the belief that it is generally diverse by nature. Kratom is available in numerous varieties, more commonly known to the community as “strains”. From the People’s Champ Bali to the King of Kings Ma Daeng, there are several strains out there and strangely new ones emerging on a regular basis. What’s the difference you ask? Some say potency and to a degree, effects. We’ll further explore this at another time. Moving right along …
3. It’s Widely Available
When we first discovered kratom five years ago, there were at the most 10 vendors that we knew of. Sure, there were realistically more than that, but things were low-key and the market was much smaller. Now there are probably hundreds of vendors. While having so many options to choose from can make things a bit overwhelming for the newbie, we firmly believe this is actually a good thing. One thing we’ve learned is that it pays to have a couple of quality vendors in your back pocket, and once you’re familiar with the landscape, you’ll have some valuable resources at your fingertips.
4. It’s Kinda New …
Now obviously, kratom has been growing in its native homelands for many many years. On a grand scale, however, it’s still a fairly new phenomenon. We didn’t first hear of kratom until 2010. And though awareness has increased dramatically over these last couple of years, most people still don’t have a clue what it is. On the bright side, our research tells us that this herb has been used safely for hundreds of years, so I wouldn’t worry about turning green, growing a third eye, or anything freaky like that.
5. It’s (sometimes) Tricky
Though kratom is extremely effective, it does help to have a little patience. Several people have had to do some experimenting with dose, ROA, and strains before finding something that worked for them consistently. So if you don’t see results on your first go, don’t fret. Give it some time. She can be a finicky girl, but tends to reward those who take the time to get know her.
6. It’s Under a Microscope
Kratom’s explosive growth has been a double edged sword in and of itself. The more people discover it, the greater the scrutiny by the powers that be – the government, lawmakers, Big Bad Pharma – the forces who seem to be more interested in vilifying this herb rather than taking the time to understand and educate people on the facts. When we first discovered it, kratom was legal in most countries and nationwide in the US. As of this writing, kratom is illegal in four states (according to Speciosa.org), with even more states looking to add it to the list of banned substances.
Are we concerned about the legality of kratom moving forward? Hells yeah! But the fact of the matter is that the good outweighs the bad by far. It’s not even close. Realizing this, all we can do is spread the good word, and hope that fate is on our side!
Posted on April 16, 2015
So those free kratom samples you’ve been waiting on finally showed up. You’re friggin’ stoked! Ecstatic! Ready to try this amazing herb you’ve heard so many good things about. But how do I use it? This is the first question many kratom newbies have. Don’t worry. We’ve got ya covered with Krampus Kratom’s countdown of the top 5 dosing methods.
5. Kratom Tea
If you’re new to the game, kratom tea is a great place to start. After all, it’s where I started – and failed miserably, I might add. The goal is to simply extract the alkaloids using scalding hot water as your solvent. This video can probably show you better than I can explain it. Many people swear by kratom tea and when examining the advantages, it’s easy to see why.
- It’s easy. If you follow a few steps like those listed in the video above, then you can make kratom tea.
- It’s efficient. A good recipe and sound brewing techniques will allow you to get a lot of mileage out of kratom tea.
- It’s not tasty. Drizzle in all the honey and sugar you want, kratom tea will likely still challenge your taste buds.
- It’s not foolproof. While kratom tea is generally easy to make, it also seems to be the most hit or miss of all dosing methods and may take some practice.
4. Kratom Drink
Word on the streets is that kratom tastes awful. I disagree, but that’s me. To make the taste more palatable, many users resort to integrating their powder into a drink of some sort. Everything from OJ to kratom smoothies are fair game. Use your imagination and you might be able to come up with something that hits the spot and doesn’t taste half bad.
- It works fast. Whether it’s a blended smoothie or OJ concoction, mixing the herb in a drink allows you to absorb the goodies directly, resulting in a relatively faster onset that often packs a stronger punch than tea.
- It tastes better. With the right ingredients, this method works pretty well at masking the earthy taste many people have a hard time stomaching.
- It’s tricky. Getting your dosing right can be tough with this method. Failing to optimally proportion your liquid with your powder could result in a case of too little, or too much as far as impact goes.
- It’s gritty. No matter how hot or how wet it gets (settle down pervs), kratom powder will not dissolve. This can make for some horrifically gritty situations when going the drink route.
Capsules offer a simple and straightforward way to dose kratom. While the need for your stomach to break down the gel cap material in addition to the powder causes the onset to be a bit slower than other methods, this was my ROA for at least a year so I can vouch for its effectiveness. “00” sized capsules are perfect for the task at hand.
- It’s simple. An easy peasy alternative to swallowing raw, gritty powder.
- It’s well balanced. Capsules tend to create a smoother, less overwhelming effect that tones down stronger strains.
- It’s lacking. Processing the gel caps not only lengthens the time to take effect, it seems to reduce the impact altogether, making this technique less effective than other methods.
- It’s a job. Preparing capsules can be tedious and time consuming – even with a capsule machine. Swallowing big ass capsules can be a challenge, especially when you’re dosing in the 8 to 10 gram neighborhood.
In Thailand, Indonesia, and other places where kratom grows naturally, the natives get down by chewing the fresh leaf straight off the tree. Place a nice-sized ball in your mouth and let it sit in a corner while slowly absorbing the juices sublingual style. I’m sure fresh leaves are preferred, but some quality dry leaf will work wonders as well. Tingle for wondrous tingle, this may very well be the most effective way to consume kratom. The results are flat out incredible!
- It’s awesome! Chewing kratom is superbly effective with near instant results.
- It’s the traditional way. This method equals undeniable coolness that comes from dosing like the natives and bonding with the plant on an intimate level. (there’s levels to this!)
- It’s addictive! Chewing kratom is extremely pleasurable and you may feel the urge to chew more than you normally would dose.
- It’s kinda gross. You’re chewing leaves and stems people. If you think kratom tastes offensive in a tea, just wait to you get a load of this method.
- It guarantees “kratom mouth”. You’ll spend an extra five minutes mouth washing, brushing and flossing after chomping down on leaf like a cow.
1. Toss and Wash
Finally … toss and wash, another method reserved for the hardest of hardcore kratom enthusiasts. This method is pretty much exactly what it sounds like – open your mouth, toss in a scoop or two of powder, wash it by taking a sip of your beverage, swish swish swish, and swallow. Walla! Toss and wash is one of those methods you either love or hate – and you may still prefer it while loathing it at the same time. There’s very little in between with this one.
- It’s surefire. If this one doesn’t produce astounding results, you’ve got weak kratom or tolerance issues. In terms of effects, it’s a “toss” up between this method and chewing. (pun planned)
- It’s efficient. Like kratom tea, T&W is efficient but in a different way. The results are near instant and very pronounced, so you can significantly reduce your dosing amount once you find your sweet spot.
- It’s foul tasting. If you have a tough time processing the taste of kratom, prepare to struggle. It’s an acquired taste to say the least.
- It’s tough to swallow. Toss and wash is an art form, one that takes time to perfect. Powder lodged in your throat. Missing your mouth and spilling shit everywhere. Doesn’t always go smooth for even the veterans.
There is no right or wrong way to dose kratom. As you can see, there are several methods, each with its own set of pros and cons. Everyone has their favorite. The only question is, which method will you start with?