No Effects from Kratom
Most people notice the effects of kratom within half an hour of consumption; kratom is a very interesting plant whose actions on the mind and body can be stimulating or relaxing depending on the dosage consumed, as well as the strain used. However, on rare occasions some people experience no effects from kratom! If you’re one of those people, you know this situation can be more than a little frustrating, especially if you’ve enjoyed kratom in the past with no issues. Yes, it is possible to get no effects from kratom even if it has worked for you before! A number of causes may be at the root of ineffective kratom, so we’ve compiled a handy troubleshooting guide to help you avoid a disappointing experience.
First of all, let’s start with the basics: as you probably know by now, kratom refers to the leaf of Mitragyna speciosa, a Southeast Asian tree that grows in swampy areas of Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Kratom leaves are traditionally chewed as a quid or made into tea or resin and used medicinally for pain relief, anxiety, diarrhea, and to treat the symptoms of opium withdrawal. Many Westerners are beginning to swear by kratom as an alternative pain reliever without the negative side effects and addiction potential of conventional prescription opiates. Plain kratom leaf powder and kratom extract are both effective when taken orally, although with plain leaf you will have to take more because the extract is a concentrated form.
So let’s say you’ve taken your powdered kratom leaf or extract, waited a while, and don’t feel anything. Why might you get no effects from kratom? Here are some things to consider:
Is Your Kratom of Good Quality?
We know this sounds really basic, but the kratom market is a bit like the “Wild West” at the moment. More than a few vendors are just interested in making a quick buck by selling low quality kratom with little or even no mitragynine content. A few truly irresponsible vendors have even been caught selling leaf powder mislabeled as Mitragyna speciosa that is actually a different plant entirely! Kratom might be substituted with an inert filler herb, or a related but inactive species such as Mitragyna parvifolia, which doesn’t produce mitragynine in any significant quantity. This kind of rip off is bad enough, but what’s truly scary about substitution is when the product is adulterated with substances that are actually harmful, such as poisonous plants or synthetic opiates meant to mimic a “high”, even though kratom itself is not an opiate. This is why we have to once again stress the importance of doing research before you buy from a new vendor or one you’re unsure about for any reason. Not only will you avoid disappointing products, you’ll avoid ones that could actually cause you harm.
Are you taking the right dose?
In the United States, kratom is not sold for human consumption, which means many vendors can’t legally put dosage information for kratom on their websites. This can make it tricky to determine the right dosage to ensure some effects from kratom. Your best bet is to look up dosage information from independent sites like us! Also, it’s often easier to find dosage information for plain kratom leaf, so if you have a kratom extract, you’ll need to calculate the amount of extract that would be equivalent to the same dose of fresh leaves.
For example, the lowest effective kratom dose for most people is 3 to 4 grams of leaves; a medium dose is 5 to 7 grams; and a high dose for more experienced users is around 10 grams. A 15X kratom extract means 15 grams of leaves were used to make 1 gram of extract. Thus, a medium dose of 15X extract would be about .5 grams (500 mg), equivalent to about 7.5 grams of dried kratom leaves. The lowest effective dose of 15X kratom extract would be about 200mg, equivalent to 3 grams of dried leaf. We highly recommend purchasing a digital scale that can measure in milligrams so you can work with precise amounts of kratom extract.
The timing of your dose will also affect the effects of kratom. Kratom is most effective when taken on an empty stomach, usually about an hour before a meal. If you take kratom after eating, you will likely have to take more. Also, most people get no effects from kratom in capsules: the gel caps prevent the stomach from absorbing enough kratom powder to pass the minimum effective dose. You’ll get better results if you take the kratom powder out of the capsules, and simply think of the capsules as a handy measurement tool for working with precise amounts of the powder.
Do you have a tolerance to kratom?
A very few people have stomach enzymes that break down the alkaloids in kratom before they can reach the bloodstream, preventing them from feeling any effect. However, this kind of natural tolerance to kratom is very rare. Most tolerances that cause no effects from kratom are going to be cross-tolerances caused by the regular use of painkillers or opiates. While kratom is not an opiate, it does exhibit cross-binding activity to some of the same brain receptors (the mu-opioid receptors). If this might be the case for you, you can try temporarily reducing your dose of opiates when you take kratom, if it is safe to do so. You can also try taking kratom in between your scheduled dose of painkillers to see if you perceive any effects.
Tolerance can also build up to kratom itself after regular long-term use. If you think you’re getting no effects from kratom due to habituation, resist the impulse to increase your dosage: while you’ll experience renewed effects for a short time, your body will quickly get used to the higher dose, requiring you to use even more kratom in a vicious cycle that increases the risk of dependence. Instead, take a break from kratom. Even a few days of abstinence will do wonders to decrease and even eliminate your tolerance. Varying the strain of kratom you use—trying different leaf colors and origins—can also reduce tolerance because different strains contain different balances of alkaloids.
Is your kratom properly stored?
Dried kratom leaves and extract last a while, but if improperly stored, their alkaloid content will degrade, resulting in a less effective product. Researchers have discovered that when exposed to oxygen, UV light, or moisture, mitragynine degrades over time into mitragynine pseudoindoxyl, which has little to none of mitragynine’s painkilling properties. You can protect your kratom from degradation by storing it in the fridge or freezer in an airtight, light-blocking container.
Are you in good health?
The quality of your kratom extract is only one side of the equation. If you’re getting no effects from kratom, it’s important to reflect on your own health as well. Health factors such as illness, fever, fatigue, and lack of sleep can also mean your body doesn’t have the resources to metabolize kratom effectively. Finally, some people find that combining kratom and alcohol can actually cancel out kratom’s effects, or make them impossible to notice under the alcohol intoxication. While a little alcohol has also been said to enhance the effects of kratom, too much will overshadow them and/or cause unpleasant side effects.
It’s always disappointing when you take a new herb (or even an old herbal ally) and get no effects from it. We hope this handy troubleshooting guide will help you find the problem so you can get back to enjoying kratom again!