In the jungles of Southeast Asia flourishes a tree whose leaves provide powerful alkaloids with some incredible, seemingly contradictory properties. Known as ‘kratom’ or ‘biak,’ these leaves are a traditional medicine dating back to ancient times, but as their popularity soars across the globe they are increasingly seeped in controversy. Kratom is legal by default in the U.S. (it isn’t classified or listed as a controlled substance) and is sold, usually crushed and dried, in general stores and special “kratom bars” scattered across the country. It produces a euphoric “high” and it’s said to mitigate the effects of opiate withdrawal. However, some warn that it can be addictive. Others call it life-saving.
Brandon Bird from Paradise Valley, Arizona says kratom is what saved him from a deep spiral of addiction to prescription drugs. He says it also helps him manage his PTSD, with which he was diagnosed three years ago, as well as chronic pain from when he broke his back during a bodybuilding competition.
Bird, a 29-year-old blogger for a nonprofit in Scottsdale, Arizona, agreed to meet me at a coffee shop in downtown Phoenix. He told me that with his 2010 back injury came the return of an opiate addiction he’d previously struggled with as a teenager. After more than five years clean, Bird relapsed because of the painkillers he was prescribed — a period he describes as “pretty dark.” After getting clean again, he wanted to remove the rest of the prescription drugs in his life — eight in total.
“I was on three different things for anxiety, I was on a seizure medication, I was on three different medications for pain, I was on something to sleep,” Bird told me. “All in all, I was heavily medicated.”
Bird discovered kratom by accident while shopping. Intrigued, he went home, did some research, and found that many of kratom’s benefits related to his personal health issues. In early 2013, he began to medicate with powdered kratom, and within months, he’d thrown away every medication he was on, a level of freedom he said he hadn’t experienced in years.
Filed in the Rubiaceae family, kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is related to coffee and Psychotria viridis, an Amazonian shrub that is used as a source of dimethyltryptamine (DMT) in ayahuasca preparations. Depending on the strain or dosage, kratom can give a stimulating effect similar to caffeine, or a sedative, pain-relieving feeling not unlike opium.
Kratom reportedly has a wide-range of medicinal applications, including as an antidiarrheal, as an aphrodisiac, as a powerful analgesic (or painkiller), and as an appetite depressant. But most notably, because of its classification as a μ-opioid receptor agonist, kratom is useful in treating morphine and heroin addiction, and is considered a natural alternative to methadone.
Bird isn’t alone — I also spoke to some members of the popular website Reddit, which boasts 4,000 subscribers on its ‘/r/kratom’ forum. One member from New York City, who wished to remain anonymous, told me he uses kratom in various ways, for example, to help recover from a cold or after a sports injury when Advil doesn’t cut it.
“The last way I use it is recreationally,” the Reddit user said. “It’s the most subtly calming and lucid drug I have experienced. It feels very organic and sincere… it really is benign feeling at the same time. I cannot envision a single person having a bad experience on it because it is so gentle, but at the same time it’s been incredibly non-addictive for me. I’ll do it one night or a couple nights in a row, but then won’t think about it for weeks or months.”
Regardless of these promising therapeutic anecdotes, the drug is not yet widely known. When it does pop up in the mainstream, it attracts hyperbolic media labels comparing it to everything from cocaine to “bath salts” to heroin. It’s the same guilt by association game that resulted in cannabis, psilocybin, and DMT being outlawed. However, kratom is far from a new or synthetic drug — and for many people, like Bird, it has provided a second chance at life.
“At a certain point, I just lost faith in that system,” Bird says of the pharmaceutical industry. “It became all of my money, it became more detrimental to my health than beneficial, it caused more addiction problems. In every way conceivable, it went awry. So being able to take back that power and find something that actually worked better than all of those expensive, dangerous pharmaceuticals, it was amazing. It was one of the better things that’s happened to me in my life.”
Showing me the giant bags of kratom he imports from Indonesia and across the Asian-Pacific, Bird tells me he uses very specific kratom strains to manage his conditions — mostly geared toward analgesia and anti-anxiety. When I ask if he’s ever experienced side effects, he says everything, including food, has a side effect.
“As far as normal, nominal use, if you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing with it, I haven’t experienced any side effects,” Bird said. “Actually, one of my favorite things about it [is] it’s self-limiting. Unlike something like a Percodan, where you just take it ad infinitum and you feel better the more you take — that encourages abuse — with kratom, there’s a threshold you don’t want to cross because you start to feel physically ill. It’s hard to cross that level. You have to be intending to abuse it.”
Bird adds, “If you know where that line is, you basically got your medicinal dose [sic]. Because I know what strain I’m supposed to be taking, what doses I’m supposed to be at, no, I don’t really experience any side effects at all.”
Seeing how kratom changed his life, Bird wanted to help others, so he started buying kratom in bulk and selling it under the name Snake Oil Peddlers. Formerly a brewing company, (hence the tongue-in-cheek name), Bird says he sells around twenty different strains for a variety of conditions. While his customer base is still small, it’s been steadily growing.
“I decided to do something with my huge surplus of product and get it to other people who want it for the same reasons,” Bird says. “It started with personal friends, people I knew who had been through a lot of the same stuff as me, a lot of the same issues. From there it branched out and I found more and more people who are looking for something exactly like it.”
He adds, “Every person that I’ve dealt with, that has tried kratom, that has started using it, has seen massive effects in their life that benefit them in ways that previously they had no way of getting.”
But legally available kratom may someday become a thing of the past. Due to worries over its potentially addictive properties earlier this year, Arizona tried to pass a bill outlawing kratom. The bill didn’t go through, but could be a sign of things to come.
What will people like Bird do if suddenly their medication equals handcuffs? Bird says he’ll continue trying to find naturopathic solutions to the problems pharmaceutical companies claim they can cure.
“I am so worried about it becoming another marijuana, something that becomes vilified completely due to misunderstanding,” Bird says. “For me, it’s absolutely essential. I don’t know what I would do without it…It would be heartbreaking to see that go away, because it’s just not necessary. There would be literally no reason but fear. There’s no actual good, technical, health, or legal reason for it to go that direction.”
In most of the United States, kratom is available over-the-counter, but that is rapidly changing. Elmhurst, Illinois recently passed a law which punishes those who distribute the leaf with six months in jail, plus a $500 minimum fine. Labeling it a “synthetic drug,” Tennessee made possession or sale of kratom’s alkaloids, mitragynine and hydroxymitagynine a class A misdemeanor in 2013, following a similar ban in Indiana the year before.
In mid-July 2014, a woman in Boynton Beach, Florida, blamed the plant for her son’s suicide. Linda Mautner says her only child, Ian, jumped off an overpass because of his addiction to kratom. In response, Palm Beach County Commissioner Prescilla Taylor is considering an outright ban of the plant. Already, the drug is being compared to other gray-market substances such as ‘bath salts’ and ‘K2,’ while simultaneously being labeled “the legal form of heroin, with hallucinogenic effects like LSD,” which makes little sense.
Despite being indigenous to Thailand, where it has remained an integral part of Thai culture for centuries, kratom has been illegal in the region since 1943 under the Kratom Act. At the time, Thailand’s government was levying heavy taxes from opium vendors and users. When prices skyrocketed, many users switched to kratom to manage their withdrawal symptoms. Declining revenue and the 1942 Greater East Asia War pushed the government to make the tree illegal, crushing competition for opium.
Like all forms of prohibition, it failed to work.
Following World War II, the Kratom Act was hardly enforced. Kratom trees could be grown in moderation, their leaves openly chewed (the favored method of ingestion), until 1979, when kratom was included in the Thai Narcotics Act, alongside marijuana and psilocybin mushrooms. Because the trees are indigenous to the region, eradication efforts often involve burning down kratom trees, which destroys other plants and wildlife in the area’s delicate rainforest ecosystem.
All of this might appear to be an extreme response, given how kratom seems to have a low threshold for abuse. Side effects commonly include dry mouth, diuresis (excessive production of urine), constipation, loss of appetite and reductions in body weight. When used regularly, kratom can be slightly addictive, but according to a 2011 joint study by the International Drug Policy Consortium and Transnational Institute, withdrawal symptoms appear very weak and include mild joint pains, sweating and insomnia. The study’s author, Pascal Tanguay, wrote, “Recovering users who were dependent on heroin and yaba [a cocktail of methamphetamine and caffeine] compare their withdrawals from kratom as ‘annoying’ or ‘distracting’ rather than painful or debilitating.”
Furthermore, there has never been a single documented legal case of kratom overdose where kratom was the sole culprit. In all cases of death involving kratom, (there are only ahandful in total), other, more dangerous drugs were invariably involved.
Proposed bans, which are sure to increase as more media outlets exaggerate kratom’s risks, are troubling not only for proponents of consciousness freedom, but also for the many people who consider kratom to be a life-saving medicine.
Freshly Imported Kratom (Maeng Da)
Vine EarthMan Eric Kratom
I had heard a lot about Maeng Da. Mostly how it was supposedly the strongest available plain leaf. Ordering from a few sites I was very surprised to be thoroughly disappointed in the effects. I had given up for awhile finding much more enjoyment in my beloved Elephant or Green Malaysian as well as some other surprise varieties. I read how many were packaging anything and labeling it as Maeng Da because as I had rushed out to experience the well know energizing and mood lifting effects so had many others creating the demand. After awhile my curiousity eventually led me to take a second look. Now one of my favorite varieties lets take a minute to understand how Maeng Da came to be.
Commercial Maeng Da is very much like our previous Maeng Da “Spectrum” but with added potency at the same price! It’s a unquie strain that has a prolonged energy phase before moving into relaxation effects.
At high levels this kratom has an interesting sense of warmth and wellbeing. Much like Premium MD this commercial is great quality kratom that comes from mature trees with long lasting effects. Please note this strain is not like standard Premium Grade Maeng Da.
If you have not tried this before, we suggest a smaller purchase to make sure it is for you. We have some of the
Best prices anywhere for quality Maeng Da Kratom
Commercial Maeng Da is know for:
What is Maeng Da “Kratom”
Despite its unsavory monicker, the Maeng Da Kratom is a favorite among many Kratom users because aside from being an effective depressant and stimulant, this drug has a unique kind of “edge.” The reason for this is that this potent strain of Kratom has been modified genetically and contains more mitragynine elements than the other strains sold in market like the Thai Kratom or Rifat Strain. However, this potent strain has lesser mitragynine compared to the ones sold by IAmShamanShop and Shaman’s Garden namely the Private Reserve. Nevertheless, many Kratom users preferred the Maeng Da Kratom for its own brand of potency and stimulating effects.
Be as it may, owners of different Kratom strain chose not compete with the Maeng Da Kratom and concentrated with the finer features of their products. In this way, they came up with their own buyers even if the Maeng Da Kratom was dominating the market. As a testament to this fact, buyers could not distinguish the differences of these strains and many of them thought that they were all similar. The truth is that the extracts have different degrees in potency, but customers chose the varieties that they think were best suited for their needs.
After all that is said and done, the real winners in this trade are I AmShamanShop and Shaman’s Garden that sells these Maeng Da Kratom leaves. Aside from mixing them with tea or smoking them, customers will find that there is an extra thrill of chewing these leaves together with bethel nuts. It is quite interesting to note that Malays and Thais often enjoyed chewing these odd Maeng Da Kratom and betel combination as an alternative to other stimulants that were not really liked by these users. Perhaps the reason is the various alkaloids that are responsible for that certain “feel” that people are looking for.
The Maeng Da Kratom has very few detractors because it works very well as a depressant and stimulant. People will often find themselves more energized and euphoric for an extended period of time. Couples who have boring sex lives find themselves rejuvenated when they take Maeng DaKratom that they make love for hours. It is not surprising that more and more people are embracing this drug nowadays than ever before. For all its potency and health benefits, the Maeng Da Kratom looks similar with other Kratom varieties that people can hardly tell the difference. In the end, the fact cannot be denied that the Maeng Da Kratom will continue to thrive and more users will become more enamored with it.
Historical Use of Maeng Da Kratom
No one will argue that the Maeng Da Kratom is the most potent form of Kratom even if it has an unsavory meaning (coackroach), or (pimp). Be as it may, it is the strongest variety and can be found in Thailand. Plenty of stories abound in regard to the use of Maeng Da Kratom, but a sixteenth century story about a Thai warrior provides an amusing insight on how this potent drug was used. The name of this warrior was “Lek the Coackroach” and for some reason he was not killed or hurt in battle. Nevertheless, he was captured in battle and bought to the Burmese king to become a slave.
During those days, Lek gained a reputation for being the best beetle trainer that no one was able to defeat him, so he won many gambling bets. He had a winning streak going and this did not escape the eye of a Burmese prince, so he challenged Lek to fight his beetles. Unknown to him, Lek had devised a plan for his freedom, so he deliberately let his beetles lose two fights in a row. The Burmese prince who was very pleased with his initial victories became overconfident that he agreed to give Lek his freedom if he is able to beat his best beetle.
This was the opening that Lek needed so he proceeded to feed his beetles with the remaining Maeng Da Kratom and waited for the drug to take effect knowing very well that they would go into frenzy just like what the leaves did to his warrior companions during previous battles. True enough and to the Burmese Prince’s astonishment, Lek’s bugs overwhelmed his beetles, so he had no choice but to give Lek his freedom. Many bug lovers drew inspiration from that tale so they themselves began to use the Maeng Da Kratom to stimulate their beetles. Of course, people tried the other variations of Kratom leaves, but they conceded that the Maeng Da Kratom is the most potent.
Adding credence to the story is the fact that a Thai province named Kanchanaburi is indeed home to the Maeng Da Kratom, and the legendary warrior, Lek the Cockroach. Some people may think that the word cockroach is an ugly name, but to historians and those fond of stories Lek the Cockroach will always be remembered for his street-smart approach on how he won his freedom.
Is the Maeng Da Kratom the Most Powerful Strain?
Among the strains of Kratom perhaps the most controversial is the Maeng Da Kratom. This mysterious variety has its share of critics because they do not agree that it is the most powerful form of Kratom in the market. To them there are other strains that give a more forceful effect, but to Maeng Da Kratom lovers, this drug is enough for them. The reason Maeng Da Kratom became mysterious and controversial is the fact that it became a powerful strain that few people understood. Its critics believe that it was simply genetically modified, but this is not really the case for this plant.
Most users of the Maeng Da Kratom noted that this drug made them feel more energized and mellow compared to other stains that are sold in the market. Another factor for their preference is that the Maeng Da Kratom is way more affordable and economical. Still, some skeptics insist that this particular strain may indeed induce a powerful effect, but will not last long. Additionally, they say that the Maeng Da Kratom taken in higher high levels would lessen the euphoric feelings and instead make one depressed.
Nevertheless, defenders of the Maeng Da Kratom state that it will depend on the dosage and the amount of leaves that were used. Moreover, users will have varying experiences when they use this. If there is one thing that critics and defenders of Maeng Da Kratom agree on, is the fact that this drug is able to help a person focus significantly in any task and boosts him or her more. Additionally, the Maeng Da Kratom is a potent remedy for a variety of ailments like acute pain, 39 degree fever and loose bowel movement. More importantly, Maeng Da Kratom can be used to manage depressive feelings and control a person from being anxious.
Perhaps the best thing that can be said of the Maeng Da Kratom is that it is used to help people become more sober after they used other recreational drugs that did them more harm than good. The leaves of the Maeng Da Kratom when boiled or chewed can help users have fewer cravings for illicit drugs and alleviate their misery while they are being treated. In conclusion, the Maeng Da Kratom is now being embraced by many users because of its beneficial effects. Many people may not be enamored with it, but those who value it get to experience Maeng Da Kratom’s wonderful effects.
Maeng Da Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa)
A special kind of plant grows abundantly in the forest of Malaysia and Thailand and the Mitragyna speciosa also known as the Maeng Da Kratom is much sought after for its stimulating and sedating effects. The huge oval colored leaves of the Mitragyna speciosa have a length of fifteen meters. There are different kinds of alkaloids that are part of this Kratom plant, but the most essential component is mitragynine. Incidentally, the Mitragyna speciosa is highly potent and it is noted for its powerful effects to users who want to be alleviated from their various ailments.
Curiously, the Maeng Da Kratom is called “pimp grade,” due to its very strong smell. The effects of the Mitragyna speciosa vary and at the very least, a low dosage will be able to stimulate a user more while higher a dosage enables one to feel dreary. Incidentally, the Mitragyna speciosa is a very effective aphrodisiac according to the testimonies of some users, so it is no wonder that it is highly in demand. Among the Kratom varieties that are out in the market, the Mitragyna speciosa has the highest quality because it energizes people within ten minutes and they feel euphoric up to ten hours.
The Mitragyna speciosa can be consumed in many ways like its Kratom cousins. First, the leaves are crushed and grounded until they become powdery. It can be consumed at once or mixed with various drinks such as coffee, water or tea. Additionally, users can add the potent powder to their favorite milkshake or mix it with honey and drink it with gusto. Another way to consume it is to boil the leaves in water and shape it to a ball. Now that people know how to take the Mitragyna speciosa in any form they have to use it responsibly as a treatment for their painful muscles or other ailments.
Also, the Mitragyna speciosa should not be taken excessively because its effects may become addictive. Among the side effects are feeling constipated, not feeling hungry, and a dry mouth. If one does not practice self-discipline the long term effects would include difficulty in sleeping, dark skin, and being anorexic. Moreover, users of Mitragyna speciosa should never mix it with Mao inhibitors. Lastly, interested parties who want to purchase the Mitragyna speciosa have to buy it in some countries other than Finland, America, Australia, Norway, and Thailand. These countries restrict the shipping of this product.
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