This article has been written in partnership with Super Speciosa. They’re American Kratom Association certified and strive to provide the highest quality kratom products possible. We’re honored to work with them. ~ ed.
Chronic pain, fatigue, and lack of energy.
You’ve probably tried a few things to help you deal with those suckers—y’know, the standard things like caffeine, energy drinks, or pre-workout to rev you up; acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen for the pain.
Maybe you have things you take to help you with bouts of emotional unrest—CBD perhaps, or if it’s legal where you are, marijuana. And if that’s the case, you might have even heard of kratom. That’s where I first started to hear about it, at least.
My eyes were opened to the medicinal benefits of CBD a couple of years ago, and the more frequently I sought it for stress relief, the more often I’d see kratom advertised in the windows of pot shops I noted nearby me in case I needed to visit for some plant-based “anxiety” relief.
Working for Elephant I get to hear about things as they’re emerging or fighting their way to emerge into the mainstream, from Ketamine therapy to kratom—and so, here we are.
Now, I’m a mostly squeaky clean gal when it comes to meds, drugs, and even supplements. That’s probably because addiction and addictive behavior runs abysmal in my genes. So, when I was approached and asked if I wanted to give kratom a shot, I hesitated big time. I mean, it’s new(ish) to me, and I’ve just barely become cozy with my strictly THC-free CBD routine.
When we hopped on a call with Super Speciosa, an über-clean kratom supplement company hyper-focused on maxing out kratom’s health benefits through stringent quality control, a large portion of those fears were put to rest as we addressed the myths surrounding kratom and discussed its benefits.
Kratom is in the coffee plant family and has been offering releaf for ages.
Kratom is made from the leaves of Mitragyna speciosa, a tropical tree native to Southeast Asia, and has been used for hundreds of years as a natural home remedy. Its leaves are typically used for teas, powder mixed in juices or drinks, and (in the US) in capsule or tablet form when looking to treat fatigue, pain, diarrhea, and muscle cramps (1).
Just like coffee beans contain caffeine which serves as a stimulant that helps keep us awake and charged up, kratom contains a number of alkaloids that, combined, provide a variety of effects.
Super Speciosa classifies its strains and colors based on alkaloid profiles (2), because the profile of each batch bonds to the brain’s opioid receptors in slightly different ways. The MVP alkaloid of kratom is mitragynine, and studies suggest it might create feelings of stimulation, relief, or sedation.
Let’s check those out a little more in depth:
Super Speciosa’s white strains tend to be better for focus and energy due to high mitragynine content and an alkaloid makeup that supports energy rather than sedation or relief.
Its effects are similar to a strong cup of coffee, an energy drink, or pre-workout drinks.
As I spoke to Joey Levin, Super Speciosa’s quality manager, about the kind of stimulation I might expect when taking kratom, I described an experience where I, a body apparently sensitive to certain substances, took a shot of an all-natural acai energy drink and felt like my heart was going to explode and as if the world was spinning super-speed.
Assured that this was not the result I could expect with Super Speciosa’s kratom capsules, I decided I’d give it a shot.
Pro Tip: If you are curious about the health benefits of using kratom but are nervous about the way your body might respond to it, take a half serving size of that recommended on Super Speciosa’s packaging for a gentle introduction.
Within 20 minutes of sending a two-capsule half-serving down my hatch, there seemed to be an almost static-like quality buzz going on in my brain. It felt about equivalent to a quad-shot of espresso and too little water (PS: hydration is key when taking a dehydrating supplement like kratom, so watch your water intake ).
I definitely felt a jolt of energy. It was just enough to have me stimulated and almost hyper-engaged in whatever task I dived into, without being speedy.
If you’re looking for a larger energy boost, Super Speciosa’s White Maeng Da capsules are going to be what you’re looking for. On the other hand, White Thai capsules are great for people who are a little more timid when it comes to kratom use, or who are sensitive to stimulants.
PS: They have teas and powders, too. Each has their specific serving size (which Super Speciosa loves to talk about)
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Pain relief is one of the most popular reasons people turn to kratom. Over-the-counter painkillers might offer some or even full relief in some instances of pain.
But when it comes to chronic or even just stubborn or intense post-workout muscle pain, meds can actually have negative effects over time—especially when taken regularly and over long periods of time.
When we speak of prescription pain meds, those risks, as many of us know, get a little bit bigger.
For some, kratom serves as an effective form of pain relief without having to worry about becoming addicted. Red Maeng Da capsules are a more balanced option for relief that soothes ailments while not making you too drowsy.
As someone who deals with sporadic flares of widespread joint pain, I was looking forward to feeling the effects that kratom might offer—especially since I was in the midst of a flare up when I was on my call with Super Speciosa.
The half serving size that I took, it turns out, was not the most effective in this aspect, but I felt pain relieving qualities that were similar to taking about four ibuprofen (my standard amount for level 6 to 8 joint pain). The standard dosing of kratom recommended on Super Speciosa’s bottle just might have done the trick to have me feeling full relief.
Pro Tip: it’s important to remember that people’s bodies react to things differently. kratom is a natural product and unlike acetaminophen and other manufactured drugs of the like, will not have the same effect on everyone.
Some say kratom is a great all-natural method to promote relaxation and peace even in highly tense situations (4).
Kratom’s effects are similar to an opioid. The alkaloid content in kratom can help to calm nerves and promote a more positive frame of mind—especially Red Bali capsules. They’re higher in alkaloids that have a sedative effect, and can help curb the sharpness of a harsh and overactive mind or a heavy heart.
As a sensitive gal whose body usually needs half the amount of anything to feel the effects twice as potently as a standard user, I don’t often need anything stronger than, say, some CBD or a melatonin to help me relax or sleep.
I didn’t take a serving size that would facilitate sedative properties, but I can say that I did feel a bit more grounded despite that I was interacting with my boyfriend’s brother alone for the first time ever, and I’m usually a pretty socially anxious lady. My li’l half-serving seemed to do just enough to take the edge off.
In a way, kratom might be a good one-stop shop if you’re someone who might not like taking at least two ibuprofen a day, drinking two strong cups of joe, and reaching for the CBD daily.
Just adjusting your amount and kratom might do it all for ya. And in that case, before you run out to the local weed shop to grab yourself some kratom, there’s one thing you really ought to look for in a good, safe, quality kratom supplement or tea—and that’s transparency in thorough lab testing and results.
There are a few key factors to help identify suspicious kratom activity:
About 15 to 25% of all kratom that comes into the United States fails microbial testing standards, meaning that pasteurization or sterilization is necessary to reduce bacteria to safe levels.
And just like any natural wonder out there that’s said to help heal and do good things for our brains and bodies, there are some manufacturers out there that might not have the most ethical or stringent of testing methodologies.
When less savory or just antagonistic substances are mixed with kratom, or when alkaloid contents are not accurate, the results can be less than ideal (5). So it’s important to…
Make sure the product is properly lab tested.
Many companies claim they lab test their products, but they may test just one large batch, or tamper with the lab certificate.
Super Speciosa offers complete transparency. All their kratom is tested in small batches for contaminants, heavy metals, and alkaloid content by a third-party lab. Each product comes with a QR code on the label that takes you directly to the original lab certificate of that batch (6).
It’s also vital to know the alkaloid content and profile in your kratom.
Every batch has a unique alkaloid profile, which contributes to the wide range of kratom’s effects. Super Speciosa kratom offers different variations of their products always tested to be within a certain range of mitragyinine content so that you can rest assured you’ll be getting consistent results and nothing unexpected from your batch (7):
Ask about the manufacturing process.
Not every company follows strict guidelines when it comes to the production of kratom, but Super Speciosa follows strict Good Manufacturing Practices and FDA guidelines and is also one of the first companies to be certified by the American Kratom Association, which set forth standards that are compliant with local, state, and federal regulations.
If you’re going to try something new and natural to see if it helps with your process of creation, healing, or mental health, it’s important to know exactly what you’re dealing with and how it can affect your body and mind.
Super Speciosa makes sure they inform you about everything you might expect when first adding kratom to your daily wellness routines and rituals and even educates on what to do should your body begin to develop a resistance to its effects (which can happen).
Full transparency: I’m not likely to continue my own kratom use—for benign reasons only. The boost in energy and mental focus I got from my experiences provided a bit more of a buzz than I typically enjoy and seek out, and my current CBD and melatonin are, for the most part, of perfect assistance to me when I need them.
But for those who are looking to replace a coffee habit or are looking for that one-stop-shop for stimulation, relief, and sedation, I’d say give it a shot and see if it’s for you. The results are definitely palpable.
Holy Kratom, Batman!
1. Crystal Clear Focus all the Livelong Day
Green Maeng Da
2. A Gentle Kickstart in the A.M.
3. Balance Body & Mind in the Afternoon
Red Maeng Da
4. Relax & Unwind in the Evening
5. A Super Charged Morning
White Maeng Da