If you think someone around you could be using kratom or abusing it, it can be helpful to understand what it looks like and how it’s taken, because it’s unique from many other illicit drugs and opioids.

How Is Kratom Taken?

Since it is an herb derived from tree leaves, it can be taken in many different ways. Originally in Southeast Asia, kratom was removed from the tree and the fresh leaves were chewed after removing the veins. This could also be done with dried leaves, but the more preferable method of consumption involved drying the leaves and then crushing them into a powder that could be swallowed. Kratom is also frequently made into a tea form.

Most often when people purchase kratom commercially, they buy it in a powder form. This powder can then be stirred into drinks. Stirring kratom into citrus juice, such as orange juice, is preferable among many users because the citrus components of the juice activate the powder and it takes effect more quickly.

Another common modern method of ingesting kratom is called “toss and wash.” With this way of taking kratom, the user takes a spoon full of the powder and puts it in their mouth. They then wash that down with water or juice.

An even simpler way of taking kratom is in capsule form. With kratom capsules, the powdered version of the leaf is put in capsules, and a person would usually take several of these to equal what they would take if they were to drink or toss and wash the kratom powder.

While these are some of the more simplified ways to take kratom, it can be taken other ways as well. Kratom can be turned into resins, extracts and tinctures. Some people prefer these versions of the substance because they tend to be more potent and concentrated. Small amounts of the active alkaloid components of kratom are extracted with these methods, and these can also be taken orally, including being mixed with a drink.

Kratom tea is becoming increasingly popular in the U.S. as well, and it’s also one of the most common ways to take kratom in Southeast Asia, aside from chewing the fresh leaves. As compared to powdered forms of kratom, with tea, the effects tend to be more stimulating. It’s also believed that when the kratom version of tea is taken, the pain-relieving effects of the herb tend to be reduced somewhat, but the mood-boosting and euphoric effects may be increased, particularly when the tea is taken on an empty stomach. For people who are seeking the sedative effects of kratom, taking it as a powdered version is often preferred.

To sum up, kratom powder is a fine, loose powder that’s usually green in color, but depending on the strain, it may also be a red or orange color. People can also find capsule versions of kratom and compressed tablets, or it can be taken as a tea.

Kratom Identification Guide

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.