Kratom, known scientifically as Mitragyna Speciosa, has been gaining in popularity over the last five years.
Perhaps you know a person who has tried kratom, or maybe you have seen it at a store and wondered what it was all about. However you ended up wanting to try kratom, there are three tips you should follow when making your first purchase. Follow this process to ensure you give yourself the best experience.
1. Educate Yourself on the Kratom Plant
The kratom plant is generally misunderstood. There is a lot of misinformation out there, so it is important to educate yourself by getting your information from trusted sources that cite facts and data. Speciosa.org and Americankratom.org are two of the most trusted sources for scientific information about kratom.
With that being said, let’s cover some basic information about mitragyna speciosa. It is technically classified as an evergreen tree and is in the same family as the coffee tree. Kratom is native to Southeast Asia, with a majority of the world’s commercial kratom supply coming from the islands of Indonesia. It can grow to heights of 82 feet, with a trunk that can have a circumference up to three feet. The wide leaves have a distinctive shape that is easily recognizable.
Ancient cultures of the region, as well as those in modernity who maintain traditional rituals, harvested the leaves of the kratom tree and chewed them for energy as they worked the fields. It was also used to relax and facilitate a stronger connection with spirits in religious ceremonies.
In modern western society, kratom is used to either provide a stimulant effect or a relaxing effect. One of the most intriguing aspects of kratom is how the effects change depending on when in the maturity cycle the leaves were harvested. This is where the “color” of kratom comes from.
Red kratom is harvested the latest in the maturity cycle and white kratom is harvested earliest in the cycle. Green kratom is harvested between red and white, which makes it the hardest to harvest since the timing window is shorter. This means each kratom strain can come in red, green, and white vein varieties.
Most kratom strains are named for where they are grown. Red Bali is grown on the Bali Islands of Indonesia, for example. Good kratom vendors will always mention where a strain is sourced from on their product pages – you can find an example here.
Each of these colors supposedly producers a different user experience. It should be noted that there has been no government-sanctioned research that approves of any medical claims regarding kratom. It is not classified as a supplement for human consumption by the FDA.
2. Learn About Kratom Laws
The reason for the disclaimer above is because kratom occupies a complex legal gray area. It is technically legal on the federal level, but that is because there is no law on the books that specifically addresses kratom. This is different than if the government had a law on the books that legalized and regulated kratom.
The DEA has tried to get kratom classified as a schedule one substance, which means it would legally have no medical value. The American Kratom Association, which is the strongest kratom advocacy in the country, fought the DEA efforts and ultimately won thanks to the testimonials of thousands of kratom enthusiasts.
The goal of that organization is to pass the Kratom Consumer Protection Act (KCPA) on the federal level, as well as the state level for all 50 states. So far it has passed in four states. It legalizes and regulates the kratom industry, making vendors comply with strict testing and labeling standards.
If you want to try kratom, you need to make sure you know both your state and local kratom laws.
3. Understand how to Evaluate Kratom Vendors
The third and final step to having a good first experience with kratom is to buy from a trusted kratom vendor.
The best rule of thumb to follow is to only purchase from a vendor that is part of the American Kratom Association’s good manufacturing process standards program. There are only a couple of dozen vendors out of thousands who have passed the AKA’s extremely arduous audit process.
Read the reviews of all of the companies on the AKA’s list of approved vendors. Get a feel for what each company does well. Pick a favorite and then order a small batch to give it a try. At this point, your choice will come down to personal preference.
Follow these three tips and you are guaranteed to have a positive first-time experience with kratom.