Citation: complexamino. "Subtle Variations a Conoisseur's Guide: An Experience with Kratom (exp109698)". Erowid.org. Apr 17, 2018. erowid.org/exp/109698
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I began my relationship with kratom when I was probably 21 years old. Since that point I've had the pleasure of sampling numerous strains, developing a taste for each one almost as if they were varying fine wines or strains of hydroponically bred marijuana.
Kratom is frequently touted as being a way for kicking nasty opiate habits the natural way, and I have seen a great many success stories. However, it should be noted that kratom can be addictive in its own right - albeit nowhere near as habit forming as say codeine or heroin. There are many benefits to the substance, such as the lack of constipation probably because of the large amount of fibre ingested with each dose, and the initial bitterness one tastes as an aversion to the plant's taste eventually becomes like an extremely dark (90%+) chocolate - once I aquired the taste, its been quite wonderful.
Anyways, to the point. I'd like to give an account of the common strains I've had the pleasure of trying and describe their nuances and similarities.
For me if I only have under 3 grams it basically isn't even worth taking, unless I simply want a little bit of an energetic boost. 1-3 grams is enough to simply brighten my mood slightly but wears off in about an hour and a half.
1-3 grams is enough to simply brighten my mood slightly but wears off in about an hour and a half.
5-7g's is around threshold for me, enough to stimulate that sort of opiate like warmth maybe a 7.5-10mg hydrocodone pill would. Starting at this point and allowing the dose to settle in for about 45mins to an hour before redosing is usually a good idea, although as little as half an hour may be reasonable. From this point on I increase the dose by 2.5 grams or so every 20mins to half an hour until I achieve the disired effect. The main reason for this, rather than taking on a huge 12 or 15 gram dose really depends on the strain. Kratom is largely 'self regulating'. By this I mean that it is, as far as I've experienced, virtually impossible to OD on. Exceptions to this may be while using the highly concentrated extracts (which are not only a waste of money but do not last long enough). Once I reach a certain point my body will naturally begin to reject the plant, and taking an excessive amount will produce a massive headache and an overall malaise quite opposite to the pleasure it was once generating. This is why I gradually increase dose. The other reason is that taking progressive doses prolongs the experience while compounding and synchronizing the peak experiences.
The first few times I took kratom I made the mistake of buying the 4 gram bags of 20 or 25x extract, which are so concentrated that they will dissolve entirely in hot water, making a kind of kratom tea. These are definitely strong, but short-acting. The same goes with the liquid extracts sold in head shops. An extract is pointless unless looking for something that will hit immediately and feel more like a traditional opiate onset. Like I said before, rapid influx of mytragynine into the body can cause highly uncomfortable and possibly dangerous side effects if combined with other sedatives.
For a long time I stuck primarily with bali strain, mainly because it remained constantly the same price from my botanical distributor and I could get the shredded stuff (as opposed to powdered) for a dollar cheaper and then just shred it myself in a coffee grinder. On top of that bali is a reliable strain, rarely varying in potency and basically always delivering the same bang for your buck. Bali, like most other strains, is energetic at doses between 1-4 or 5 grams and then begins to become more sedative at higher doses. A dose of about 7.5 separated into two doses taken about half an hour apart makes me highly sociable and active. Where most people get the experience of wanting to accomplish a large number of things from amphetamines, kratom has this type of effect on me, at least with this strain. There are apparently two strains of bali, red and white vein. I have never sampled the red vein.
The other most common strain is commonly called 'Maeng Da'. Maeng da is at least 1.5-2x more potent than bali, but is usually around twice as strong. I prefer buying 1/2 ounce to 1 ounce of maeng da and then an ounce or two of bali, then taking a dose of 3-5 grams of maeng da to set the stage, then increasing with bali. Maeng da seems to be slighly longer in duration than bali, but this is probably subjective.
Maeng da seems to be slighly longer in duration than bali, but this is probably subjective.
Borneo - There are two strains of borneo that I have tried, white vein and green vein. This refers to the color of the 'vein' on the leafs. Frankly I have not really been able to tell the difference between the two, though there are apparently subtleties. Another issue is that once they're powdered it is impossible to distinguish which one is which, and it isn't certain whether a company has simply taken the same one and called it two separate things in order to make it appear that they have a wider selection of products. Borneo is a milder form of kratom and is usually less expensive than the above mentioned strains. It is very mood lifting and energetic, but does not seem to have the same sedative properties or the same type of analgesic pleasure.
Malaysian - This strain is the only type of kratom that I did not like at ALL. I experienced a great amount of dysphoria, restlessness, and inability to sleep.
Sumatra - Sumatra is by far my FAVORITE strain of kratom. Of all the types I have ever sampled this one is most akin to a traditional morphinan. It is very powerful coming on, highly sedative, euphoric, and lasts longer than any other strain I've encountered (as much as 8 hours compared to the usual 1.5-3 hour duration of most). This requires less redosing. I would say the only rival to this strain is Kalimantan. This strain reminds me of a fine, rich chocolate. Even the taste of it is wonderful.
Kalimantan - This strain originates in Kalimantan Indonesia. It sits somewhere between sumatra and maeng da, having an energetic and pleasurable start with a potent, highly euphoric finish. My second choice if sumatra isn't available.
As I said before, kratom can be addictive. I take it twice a week at most, or if I binge for 2-3 days, I give it at least a week before taking it again. Luckily tolerance doesn't seem to build too quickly, but frequent use will start to become physically visible quickly.
If I'm using it every day I'll start to notice a sort of rash developing on my face. It doesn't itch, but it's obvious. My co-workers notice it (though no one is going to know why). Kratom addiction can become just as expensive as any other addiction. Luckily the withdrawals aren't as severe as typical opiate's, but the depression can be just as severe.
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