Despite the consistent legal battle between natural substances and pain relievers like kratom, there seems to be stable anecdotal evidence in support of the compound. This naturally occurring plant comes from southeast Asia and has been implicated in a number of positive health outcomes including pain management and support for depression and anxiety. There is also evidence it can be used for addiction treatment .
The challenging part about kratom, especially for beginners is best understanding the right kratom dosage.
In this article, we'll cover the correct kratom dosage, why each individual needs to find their own perfect kratom powder dosage, and a few ways to get started.[WARNING: Please read until the end of this piece. If you see a dosage and immediately take it, you might miss out on later clarification.]
Introductory Kratom Dosage
A great place to start for new kratom users is 1 gram. For sensitive individuals (myself included), it's best to start with 0.5 grams.
However, for the first time you ever take kratom, it is best to follow the Shulgin method to provide the greatest context for safety.
The Shulgin method was designed by Alexander Shulgin as he tested new (mostly psychedelic) compounds. He followed this method:
- Fraction of a dose – The first step is to take a fraction of a whole dose to rule out allergies. Given the starter kratom dosage, this might look like microdosing kratom at 50 – 100 mg
- Half a dose – The next step once your body doesn't react negatively to kratom is to take half a dose. This will range from 0.25 grams (250 mg) to 0.5 grams (500 mg)
- Full beginner dose – Finally, take a full beginner dose. Don't think that because you have used it before you can go full-steam ahead. Still start with a beginner dose given how new you are to kratom. This ranges from 0.5 – 1 gram.
Kratom Bell Curve Response
An important aside is the relationship between the kratom dosage and the physiological response. Like many other nootropics, notably rhodiola rosea or cannabidiol (such as in a CBD tincture), kratom effects are related on a bell curve response.
This means that less is more.
If you consume higher doses, the effect is less strong than small doses.
At very small doses, there is little or no effect. At extremely high doses, there is little or no effect.
This seems counterintuitive, but is very important because chasing pleasant sensations using kratom can lead to side effects with no real “gain”.
A Brief Primer on Kratom Dosage by Strain
While the basic dosage recommendations for kratom are stable based on the above-mentioned information, it's valuable to be mindful of different strains and how they might effect you. For example, if you find that you are sensitive to stimulation and alertness you might take a lower starting dose for that purpose than you would for anxiety or pain management. This chart speaks for itself:
Everyone is Unique: Finding the Right Kratom Dosage
Each person is unique and the amount of kratom required to provide adequate benefits will differ. Understanding your own limitations and prior experience with psychoactive compounds is imperative to utilize kratom correctly.
Kratom can take at least 45 minutes to take effect, which means taking a beginner dose and then consuming more before that period can be dangerous (or at least ineffective).
Following this protocol, you should be able to identify the perfect kratom dosage for you:
- Take the beginner dose
- Add 0.5 grams after 45 minutes
- Wait 45 minutes to assess each additional 0.5 gram dosage
- Stop at 2 – 3 doses before trying again the next time
When you have found a kratom dosage that works well for you through this method, you can start with 80-90% of that dosage at one time the next day.
For example, if you find that 4 grams is your “sweet spot” doing the above mentioned method, start the next day with 3.2 – 3.6 grams on the day after.
Eventually you will find the dose (of that strain) that works for you at that time in your life. So long as you can avoid kratom tolerance issues, this will be a relatively consistent (and personal!) dosage.
Keep in mind there is a wide variance in the way people react to kratom and the dosage required. The lowest effective dose for some people is 3.8 grams while the next needs only 2.5 grams . It is a highly individualized compound.
Like many nootropics and psychoactive substances, kratom can develop a tolerance. The saying “homeostatic equilibrium will not be denied” comes to mind. Our body will find a way to see less effects of kratom over time.
One way to deal with this is to simply cycle on and off kratom to avoid using it too often. Some people with pain management issues cannot afford this, but it is a good starting point to avoid tolerance altogether.
Prevention is the best bulwark against tolerance as reversing it can be much harder. Here are some basic tips to keep in mind:
- Use the minimum dosage to get the desired effect.
- If the current dosage isn't working for you, take a 2 – 4 week break
- Rotate strains (this can help, but will not solve everything)
- Magnesium (and to a lesser extent cat's claw and agmatine sulfate) can help
- Avoid tinctures and extracts (concentrated doses acquire tolerance quicker)
If you follow these regularly, there is solid hope that you will be able to overcome issues with kratom tolerance over the long-term.
The MED Kratom Dosage and Long-Term Sustainability
As Tim Ferriss likes to say, it's worth looking at the minimum effective dose (MED). Kratom is a powerful compound and the best dosage is the one that is safe and long-term. Even if it is helpful and pleasant to use kratom, it does nothing for you if tolerance builds or (worse) addiction.