-Understanding the timing of the effects of Kratom
We live in a quick-fast world. News moves with more speed than the events seem to occur. Motorcycles roar in the distance, like a visage of a supercharged clock. Hell, the difference of a few seconds in our internet speeds is enough to drive a man mad. Everyday, we are reminded of the temporal reality which binds us so.
It stands to reason, then, that something that does not become known or felt instantly can cause confusion, consternation, even. As with anything beholden to the human digestive system, kratom in its powdered form does not activate immediately. When one wishes to enjoy kratom, how can they plan out the timing of the onset of its effects, and the duration they can expect it to last?
The Onset of Kratom
The first consideration is the form in which kratom is consumed, and the method of consumption. Powdered kratom, taken raw, can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours to be fully felt. The contents of the stomach can impact this, with a full stomach often delaying effects, but also sometimes stretching out their duration. Kratom taken in capsule form can take even longer, as first the capsules must be dissolved before the kratom is released and begins to be processed by the body. Kratom tea, on the other hand, can have a more sudden onset, due to the liquified form and the catalyzation of the compounds within the kratom via heat. But still more variables exist.
The presence of kratom potentiates, as we’ve previously detailed, can also impact the onset and duration of kratom. Whereas some users report that grapefruit not only increases the impact of kratom, the acidity of the citrus fruit quickens its impact, as the enzymes are thought to increase the efficiency with which kratom is processed by the body. And, furthermore, the types of food consumed can also modulate the impact of kraton consumed from when the user has last eaten. Some users claim that greasy food can alter the duration or effects, though these mechanisms are not well understood.
This is why it is commonly suggested to consume kratom while at some distance from the consumption of a full meal. A minority of users have reported mild stomach discomfort if a large dose is taken on an empty stomach, so I’d always advise taking a small snack – a piece of toast, or granola bar – if you are taking kratom early in the day. So too is it advisable, to best enjoy the effects of kratom, that one does not take kratom immediately after a large meal. This can sometimes drastically alter the onset time of kratom, stretching it to hours. This can be bothersome as then some users feel compelled to take additional kratom; this can lead to an early bedtime.
Keeping in mind these factors, a first time kratom attempting to figure out their ideal dosage of kratom should consume anywhere from 1-3 capsules (1-2 grams) and then wait at least two hours, if they feel that such a dose is insufficient for their desired effects. Even when taken on a consistent schedule, at times the body has different priorities in the speed with which kratom can be processed, every user will have to be patient in learning the onset time, which can even vary with the strain taken, or the time of day, and all the aforementioned factors. This will ensure that the user can best learn about how their body reacts to kratom.
The duration that kratom lasts can vary widely. Some of the factors involved co-occur with onset time, like time since the last meal, or the mode of consumption. In general, a rule of thumb is that the faster effects are felt, the shorter the duration; but this is not always the case. Many users also report there being different stages to the effects of kratom. There is an early phase, where the onset of effects become apparent; this gives way to the full impact; and then a tapering reduction of the effects, which with some strains, often coincides with falling asleep. One of the many benefits of kratom, as reported by a majority of users, is that the effects do not ‘Fall off a cliff’ or instigate a ‘crash’. Whereas some substances, like coffee, leave a rebound effect of sorts – where the absence of the imbued substance is noticed strongly once it is gone(Especially if the root cause still exists, i.e fatigue with coffee) – kratom generally seems to taper off smoothly.
This can make pinpointing the exact duration of the effects difficult. And, considering the additional factors which impact kratom’s duration, it can be hard to precisely denote a time when the kratom ‘stops working’. Those who take kratom to treat symptoms such as inflammation may notice more acutely, as they may feel the return of pain, as these users report feeling analgesic effects from strains like Red Bali. But, as a strain like Red Bali is also often reported to aid users in sleep, the onset of drowsiness may seem to prolong the effects of kratom.
Potentiates also play a role. Some users have reported that watercress, for example, can prolong the duration of kratom’s effects, though the mechanisms behind this are not fully understood. Of course, the consumption of the potentiate itself, if it is a solid food, further impacts onset and duration. And, of course, the strain itself taken has significant impact on the temporal aspects of kratom consumption. As mentioned, Red Vein strains can seem to last the longest due to their oft-noted transition to feeling sleepy. Alternatively, a White Vein strain may seem to have shorter effects as its similarities to coffee may leave a user who took a White Vein for an energy boost notice the absence of said boost; this may leave them to conclude that White Vein has a shorter duration.
All of these combined with the unique individual physiology of the user can make for inexact estimations of the length and timing of kratom consumption. However, most users, after say a half dozen or so experiences between different strains taken at different times of day etc… can often begin to understand how kratom affects them. While projecting and articulating it can be difficult, intuitively, most users can quickly grasp the nuanced aspects of kratom use.
Time for Kratom
If the idea is to take kratom and feel it instantly, you may want to tap on the brakes; the body just simply doesn’t work like that. Much how anything taken in through the stomach takes time to work, kratom consumption is at the behest of human systems of absorption. Patience and observation will guide you through.
These factors will probably play a large part in which strain a user ends up favoring. In fact, some users may take two strains at once; they may find a White Sumatran impacts them quickly, while a Red Indo lasts deep into the night. Paired together, it may be perfectly suited to one individual’s expectations and desires.
It’s important to remember not to get frustrated when figuring out the dosage and timing. I remember ye days of yore; For a variety of reasons, I didn’t feel the initial impact of a kratom dose I had taken and thought adequate for nearly 3 hours. I stuffed down some more at about the 2:45 mark, thinking I hadn’t done enough, or that I hadn’t gotten a good strain. (In the old days, finding a consistent, quality source could be an adventure!) Just a few minutes later, the first dose I had taken kicked in. The combination of the doses left me rather tired, and instead of going out with my friends, I ended up falling asleep to some netflix a few hours earlier than I had planned. Not exactly a disastrous scenario, true, but an alteration of plans due to my inexperience and impatience. I also had not kept good track of all the factors that can impact the onset and duration.
So how’s one to handle this?
Be mindful. Consider all the factors involved. Keep track of the strains you take, how they’re different, what juice you drank in the morning and how it may have impacted the White Vein but not the Maeng Da you took, etc…
It may seem like a lot to consider, but it’ll sort itself out.
All good things come with time, as they say.