An Introduction to Kratom

Kratom is the Thai name for Mitragyna speciosa, a tropical evergreen tree native to Southeast Asia. Mitragyna sepciosa is in the Rubiaceae family, commonly known as the coffee family.

Kratom plants typically grow to be about 13 to 30 feet tall, although some varieties can approach 100 feet. The plant has a variety of subspecies, and is usually grown in Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

Kratom leaves have traditionally been used as an alternative to drinking coffee by farmers and manual laborers in its native region and is a common ingredient in traditional medicine practices. The fresh leaves are often chewed, used to make an extract, or dried and powdered. Once powdered, kratom can be added to food and drinks or made into capsules.


At Apotheca, we sell both powdered kratom and capsules.

What Do You Do with Kratom?

Kratom powder is favored by most customers due to the bitter flavor of fresh leaves. Dried, powdered kratom can be added to foods or dissolved into drinks or consumed on its own.

Powdered kratom can be used to create your own capsules at home. Capsules help keep kratom measurements consistent and can eliminate the natural plant taste entirely. They’re also much easier to carry with you.


Kratom is reported to have a wide range of benefits, depending on which strain of kratom is chosen. Some customers report kratom can be stimulating, similar to a cup of coffee. Others say certain strains help with relaxation in the evening.

How Kratom Works

Kratom leaves are rich in alkaloids. Alkaloids are naturally occurring compounds in plants that have physiological effects on people. Alkaloids contain at least one nitrogen molecule and tend to be colorless and bitter to the taste in their pure form. Alkaloids have a wide array of effects on people—morphine, quinine, and nicotine are all alkaloids.

Kratom contains dozens of varying alkaloids depending on the strain. Researchers generally focus on two, though: mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. Studies have shownthat 7-hydroxymitragynine has antinociceptive effects (it blocks neurons from detecting painful stimulus) in mice, leading some researchers to suggest the compound may be an effective painkiller when taken orally.

Lab tests conducted on animals shows that while 7-hydroxymitragynine is structurally different from opioids like morphine, it activates the same receptors in the brain. The compound is also shown in mice to be a more effective antinociceptive than morphine when both are given orally. Researchers recognize the compound’s potential, but still say more studies are needed to understand its analgesic potential.

Kratom Uses

Apotheca does not make health-related claims about kratom or recommend amounts customers should use. Our mission is instead to present as much scientific research as possible and allow our customers to make their own choices. Kratom has not been approved for human consumption by the Food and Drug Administration.

There are a number of case studies on kratom users that outline potential benefits of kratom. One study follows a subject who self-administered kratom to combat chronic pain and opioid withdrawals. It’s important to note that the researchers did not reach a definitive conclusion, but did see mitragynines as compounds warranting further study.

The same study does acknowledge potential interactions with medications, so it is important to always consult a physician before changing your wellness routine.

Kratom Strains

Kratom strains are categorized by two different factors: a name—usually representative of the region in which it is grown—and a vein color, green, red, or white. Every strain has a unique chemical makeup, and as such different reported benefits.

Likewise, hemp’s use as a medicinal remedy can be traced back to early Indian culture. Hemp is grown across the world and has been used as everything from rope to paper to a vital food source.

Some of the more common strains include:

  • Bali:Bali kratom is the most common strain on the market. This plant grows faster than other varities and has larger leaves, meaning it is faster to grow and generally more affordable.
  • Maeng Da:This strain originates in Indonesia and was bred to have a high alkaloid content.
  • Indo: Indo kratom also originates in the Indonesian islands. This is a broad category that includes strains like ultra enhanced Indo and super Indo.
These strains are further delineated by the vein color. For instance, green Bali and red Bali are reported to have different effects and benefits. Always research kratom strains before buying them to ensure you’re getting a product with your desired attributes.

Is Kratom Legal?

There are no restrictions on kratom under United States federal law. However, there are a number of state, county, and city restrictions on kratom in parts of the United States.

If you’d like more information on legislation in your state or local community, you can check an interactive map here.

It is important to stay up to date on local, state, and federal legislation. We work hard to stay on top of all developments and will bring you any important updates whenever possible.

Kratom Education and Resources

Many customers claim kratom is beneficial for them. At Apotheca, we bring you the purest, best products on the market. Our goal is to provide access to information that will help you make the best choice regarding your own wellness.

We encourage you to do your own research to determine the strain and level of use that is best for you. The sources linked above are great places to start your journey of understanding the potential benefits of kratom products. We also regularly explore studies and relevant news in greater detail on our blog.