Kratom comes from the kratom tree native to southeast Asia. It contains two active alkaloids, mitragynine and 5-hydroxymitragynine (5-HMG), which give it a wide range of effects and potential use cases. While not a panacea and it does come with many risks, in the right circumstances and doses kratom can be used effectively to improve sleep, heighten focus, relieve stubborn pain, and even support opioid withdrawal.
In the manufacturing process, the leaves are crushed into a powder. This can then be mixed into any beverage and ingested. Although it does have a bitter taste, so it’s commonly mixed with smoothies or other sweetened beverages. Often, the powder is put into capsules which can be even more convenient and easier to dose.
The other common method is to take the powder and make it into a tea, usually mixed with other herbal teas for bonus health benefits and to improve the taste. These methods work perfectly well.
The technical answer is yes. The practical answer is no. And the real question here is “should you smoke kratom?” And the answer to that is unequivocally no. You should NOT smoke kratom. Look, it’s a leaf, so technically you can smoke it. However, there are no scenarios in which it makes sense to and lots of downsides to doing so.
Even traditionally in Southeast Asia, the common form of consumption was to simply chew on the leaves, rather than smoke it.
Firstly, smoking anything exposes it to extreme temperatures which can change the chemical properties of the kratom. If you paid close attention in high school biology, you may remember your teacher explaining to you what it meant to “denature” an organic compound, like an enzyme. Well, the two active alkaloids in kratom can chemically change and render themselves inactive if exposed to extreme heat.
As an analogy, imagine the difference between a lively tree and ash. When exposed to extreme heat, a living tree crumbles into smoke and ash. By the end of the process, the tree is no longer a tree. It can not turn CO2 into oxygen or keep growing anymore. Denatured kratom no longer has the effects of kratom.
To put the temperature in perspective, when you use kratom in tea it, in theory, heats up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Pretty hot. That’s burn-your-tongue hot. Fortunately at this temperature the alkaloids in kratom maintain most of their effects. How hot do you think fire is? I mean, if you had to guess an actual temperature. Whatever number you’re thinking, it’s probably too low. Red fire, like that of a cigarette, reaches temperatures above 1500 degrees Fahrenheit. This exposes the kratom to such high temperatures that it will lose a lot of its effect, rendering the entire experience pointless.
Since it’s a powder, some people have tried baking kratom into other sweets like brownies and cookies. If you bake your brownies at 400 degrees, that’s lower than smoking it, but still hot enough that it will lose some of the effect. So this is not as reckless as smoking, but you’re better off just taking capsules.
Some users report a more mild effect from baking kratom, suggesting that some but not all of the pharmacological effects dissipate at this heat.
Kratom brownies do sound like they would have an interesting taste, so give it a shot I guess.
I don’t think we need to get too much into this. Smoking increases your risk of countless cancers, lung conditions, and throat problems. It’s like inhaling burnt wood. In fact, that’s basically what it is. That is the real danger of smoking kratom. Why add these risks when there is no benefit and only downside?
Kratom, no matter how you take it, is a controversial substance. While legal, it has very few regulations. This means anybody can make powder with all kinds of crap and try to pass it off as kratom. In fact, in recent history several people have gotten sick from “kratom” because of salmonella contamination.
This means you should only buy kratom from trusted sources that are third-party tested. Ideally the companies take it a step further and showcase their manufacturing process step-by-step. That is the case with Viable Kratom. So if you’re interested in trying kratom, keep your life simple and get it from them.
Again, the answer is technically yes, but it makes no sense. Kratom powder is made from a whole leaf, so you’d have to snort a lot of physical powder to get any kind of substantive dose, and that is going to make you miserable to do so. Don’t be stupid, kids, take it the way the bottle tells you to.
You may not light up a vape, but in the process to make kratom a vapor, it has to be heated up, which once again will nullify the alkaloids’ effects. So again, technically you can, but you shouldn’t.
Just as smoking has lots of general health problems, so does vaping. One common ingredient in vapes is vitamin E acetate, which is responsible for all kinds of vape-related illnesses and even deaths. It can also cause nausea, headaches, and a host of other side effects, all with no benefit because you’re ruining the kratom.
For more on kratom and its potential uses, check out our articles on kratom for sleep and kratom for energy. If you’re interested in trying kratom, please do yourself a favor and make sure it’s a trusted source like Viable.