When you go online and find Kratom in the various marketplaces you will undoubtedly wonder what the different terms actually mean. You will find liquids, oils, tinctures and resins. These are various forms of Kratom extracts and are usually followed by a number and an “x”, like 1x, 8x, 5x up to 50x. Extracts have a higher potency and thus are often more expensive. They are the result of the Kratom leaves or powder being boiled down or somehow purified which means that a smaller dose would be needed to get the desired effect.
There’s a lot of discussion going on regarding the use of Kratom extract powders. Some users like them because of the increased potency and others say that the stronger potency is what might cause a tolerance to develop and believe extracts should not be tried by new users.
What is Kratom Extract?
By boiling the crushed raw leaves or the powdered leaves from Mitrogyna Speciosa trees and gathering the evaporated liquid that results you can extract or remove the alkaloid content. This extracted product is then formulated and sold in a stronger, more concentrated form.
Once the water has evaporated and been filtered off and removed a thick, dark colored paste like substance remains containing a more concentrated form of Kratom alkaloids. When this extract or substance solidifies it becomes a blackish resin. This then can be ground down until it’s a powder, formulated into an oil or liquid tincture, or sold in solid resin form.
Alkaloids in Kratom Extracts
Those trying to make a high quality Kratom extract want to preserve as much of the alkaloid content as they possibly can. There are a number of different chemicals that also contribute to the benefits of taking Kratom and these should be preserved as well. The three main alkaloids are:
It is the natural way these ingredients interact with each other that creates the benefits and this is why the Mitrogyna speciosa tree is so special. An extra containing all three alkaloids would be labeled a “Full Spectrum Kratom” or perhaps “Full Spectrum Tinctures” known as “FST”.
Scoring the Strength of Different Extract Products
Kratom extracts are commonly graded as 1x, 5x, 10x or higher for a particular strain of Kratom. These numbers can sometimes be misleading so it’s important to be informed. You may find a Kratom 15x Bali Extract offered for sale online. This does not mean that this product is 15 times stronger than the crushed Kratom leaves or the powder form. It doesn’t even mean that it has 15 times the alkaloid content in a gram.
This multiplication is a measure of the concentration factor per volume. It means that 15x extra powder began as 15 grams of either powdered or crushed leaves. It was then reduced down to just 1 gram. Another confusing thing is that a 15x extract doesn’t mean that it is 15 times stronger than an extract labeled 1x. The reason is that there isn’t a uniform alkaloid content among the various Kratom trees so it’s impossible to have universal extract guidelines.
Look for Full Spectrum Extracts
The other thing everyone needs to know is that a higher number doesn’t mean it’s better for you. A trend has emerged to formulate products with 50x or even 100x labels. The 100x would mean that the extract contained 100% of the alkaloids. But the truth is that any extract labeled a Full Spectrum Extract would never be stronger than 20x because anything otherwise would lose alkaloid content during the purification process.
A normal Kratom leaf contains 1% alkaloid which is mixed with 25 to 40 different chemicals. Using the standard process of extraction for 20x you would get a 20% active ingredient and the remaining 80% would be plant matter. When you go past this number it’s questionable as to how much extract can actually be absorbed and when the total chemical content starts to degrade.
How to Properly Use Extracts – Precautions and Dosages
When you look online for Kratom extracts you will find that they’re a lot more costly than non-concentrated forms of Kratom like raw crushed leaves or the powder form. Make certain that you are actually getting a net savings per dose when you buy an extract. Many suppliers warn new users to avoid extracts as there is that risk of developing a tolerance or having side effects. If you are just now deciding to try Kratom products you should get it in powder form first or at least start with the lowest concentration extract available.
For experienced users they will find that extracts may be more convenient to use. It is extremely important that you determine the correct dosage otherwise you can easily take too much whether you are taking a powdered extract, a Kratom resin or a tincture. As a guideline a person who usually takes 5 grams of powder will receive similar effects by taking 0.33g of a 15x extract.
Be reminded that an extract labeled 20x is not exactly 20 times more potent than the standard powder. These conversions are just loose estimates. You need to figure out the dosage that’s right for you by starting with a tiny amount and waiting for the effects, working your way up to the right amount based on your own unique body chemistry.
Possible Side Effects and Safety Concerns
When experimenting with extracts it’s very easy to take too much and find yourself suffering from side effects like:
• Lack of muscle coordination
• Difficulty thinking
In order to avoid developing a tolerance extracts should be cycled or used infrequently. If the extract you’re taking is not a Full Spectrum Extract there is a higher risk of developing a tolerance and then having withdrawal symptoms. This is because the other alkaloids are not present to balance the effects the alkaloids have on your neural receptors. Due to the higher cost of Kratom extracts plus the added risks some users advise against using extracts at all. Exceptions might be if someone is in severe pain or trying to withdraw from drug addiction. Caution is advised when thinking about using extracts and every precaution mentioned above should be followed.