DOING DRUGS: KRATOM

I was the passenger of a friends Nissan Rogue. We were leaving the US open of surfing in Huntington Beach when my friend asked if I was into drugs. My natural response was, "Yea, what kind?" With his left hand on the wheel he reached into his gym bag and pulled out a zip lock baggie of finey ground green powder. "Take a spoonful into your mouth and wash it down with that water." 

I did as instructed, then asked what exactly it does. Keep in mind, this was a few years ago...Gabe 1.0. We were still running the pre-perenthood, impulsive, volitile version at this point. 

He explained it was a pain reliever, mood enhancer and has some stimulatory effects. He's a working gymnast with injuries, so it seemed legit that he'd use pain relievers. As far as his interest in stimulants...he's a damn gymnast. It'd be weird if he wasnt into stimulants.

That was the first time I'd ever taken Kratom. 

Fast forward to this month and I'm listening to Joe Rogan talk about it on his podcast. (watch here)  His guest is the documentary film maker. Chris Bell (@BigStrongFast). I'd become a fan of Chris some time ago after watching his two other films about drugs...Bigger, Stronger Faster and Prescription Thugs.

Chris explained how he uses Kratom for pain relief instead of prescription opiates. Apparently Chris had become addicted to prescription pain killers many times in the past and Kratom relieves his pain without having to take prescription pills.

Opiate addiction is not a good look. 

From the CDC website - "Overdose deaths involving prescription opioids have quadrupled since 1999,1  and so have sales of these prescription drugs.2 From 1999 to 2014, more than 165,000 people have died in the U.S. from overdoses related to prescription opioids.1

Opioid prescribing continues to fuel the epidemic. Today, at least half of all U.S. opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription opioid.1  In 2014, more than 14,000 people died from overdoses involving prescription opioids."

The creepiest part of this whole thing is that the DEA is attempting to classify Kratom as a schedule 1 drug. Schedule 1 drugs are those that have the following charicteristics:

1. The drug has a high potential for abuse. 

2. The drug has no medical treatment use. 

3. There is a lack of accepted safety for the drug.

This all just seemed wrong.

1. I have an addictive personality and I wasnt frantically calling my buddy for more after my dose had worn off. In fact, I'd completely forgoten about it until hearing Rogans podcast.

2. If Kratom relieves pain and enhances mood, it has medical use potential.

3. Has anyone heard of anyone overdosing or becoming injured in any way from using Kratom? 

Basically, Kratom has the potential to replace prescription drugs in a big way, big pharma doesnt like that and they've enlisted the DEA to ban it. Shady. 

Half way through the podcast I texted my gymnast friend. Surprisingly, he was still using Kratom regularly for pain (reassuring) and was willing to let me sample more. 

We met, he sold me a big bag of it, and I began taking large doses twice daily. Logic: If it were addictive or unsafe in any way, large doses would reveal that much faster. I also gave it to friends and family. I took notes in my phone and attached the screen shots below.

***Took some during a strength training session...was a good time. Used Perfect Amino too because its the best protein in the galaxy. 

Conclusion

I did my digging online and couldn't find a reason not to try this. The internet is overwhelmingly positive about it. If youre considering using it, I recommend you do your due diligence as well. 

I like Kratom and will continue to use it for its mood enhancing effects. It just makes me feel good. A slight euphoric, kinda buzzed, almost as if i took a half a vicodin but without the drowsiness. My girlfriend and training partner both love it for the same reason. My Dad and friend Mike experienced significant back pain relief. We decided to split a couple kilograms through EZkratom.com

UPDATE:

A few readers expressed dissapointment that I hadn't thoroughly explained what exactly Kratom is. I try to keep articles short, I'm lazy and you can use google if you're curious. I just wanted to give my personal perspective. However, heres a great piece by Rolling Stone > http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/kratom-deadly-drug-or-herbal-cure-for-opioid-epidemic-w445336

1 KILO RED BALI:

I received my order from EZKRATOM.COM last week. The site, customer service and shipping was all satisfactory. I ordered a kilogram of Red Bali for $120.00 and divided it amongst friends and family. 

The Kratom came as finely ground powder, inside a sturdy re-sealable package. I ate 1 teaspoon and noticed the potency within 10 minutes. This stuff was MUCH stronger than what I'd had before. I felt doped up and giggly like I was on Norco. I told my girfriend "it makes me want to text people positive things." It felt great. But, after about 30 minutes my nose and face began to itch horribly. I was scratching non stop. The itching subsided after about an hour. 

I've cut back on my dosing by half. Taking 1/2 teaspoon does not cause itchyness and still provided the euphoric, mood elevating effects. 

*One thing worth mentioning; I was about 20 hours fasted and had exercised pretty hard before taking that first teaspoon. Kratom is much more effective when taken on an empty stomach. I barely feel anything if taken on after a meal.

Kratom is great for body relaxation but somehow seems to disrupt my sleep. When I take it before bed, I have no trouble falling asleep, but I wake up feeling tired. I quit taking it in the late evening and sleep improved. 

Despite many online claims, I dont find kratom addictive. I dont see much of a problem if it were though.

NOTES FROM OTHERS:

My Dad loves the stuff. He's using it daily for energy, back pain relief and the mild "buzz". It works so well for his back pain that he's now going to the gym regularly, and generally more active. He weighs 270 and takes 1 teaspoon.

My friend Tim also takes a full teaspoon. He weighs about 215. He uses it at night for better sleep. Says it helps his brain calm down before bed.

My girlfriend is still a fan. She takes 1/2 teaspoon for the mood enhancing effects, headaches and says it greatly improves her sleep. She says her body just feels very relaxed when she takes it at night. 

My friend Mike took 2 teaspoons and said it made him feel nausiated and disrupted his sleep. He also reported some constipation. He did say that it helped with pain though. He will be trying smaller doses moving forward. 

My mom took 1/2 teaspoon and also experiences nausea. Not sure if she will continue taking it. 

My brother took 1 teaspoon and said it worked well as a mood enhancer, relaxant and helped with body aches. It caused irritability and constipation after it had worn off. 

Conclusion:

Kratom effects everyone differently. Some experience annoying side effects and others simply love it. It's definitely not for everybody, but worth a shot if you have chronic pain like my Dad, or if your'e interested in mood enhancement/relaxation. Dosing seems to be 1/2 teaspoon for anyone under 200 lbs and a full teaspoon for those over 200 lbs. 

I will continue to take Kratom and probaby order a different strain when we run out of the Red Bali. 

UPDATE:

Its been a couple wees since the last update to this article. I've continued taking notes and randomly asking my friends and others how its been going with the Kratom. 

Personally, I haven't been taking it as much. I'm simply just forgetting to take it. If Kratom were addictive I woudnt be forgetting. I've never forgoten about the Norcos or cocaine I'm taking.

I dont have any physical pain to remind me to take it, as is the case with my Dad. I have been enjoying it from time to time strictly for the euphoric mood enhancement. 

Mood enhancement should be reason enough to take a substance. Kratom definitely makes me happy. Not that I'm not happy without kratom, but its just a small change in my happiness. Like drinking a cocktail or a cup of coffee. 

My Mom decreased her dose to 1/4 teaspoon and loved it. Before it made her nauseated. She became so relaxed she passed out on her couch. 

My friend Mike decreased his dosing to 1/2 teaspoon and reports the constipation has subsided. 

Dad is still taking it daily for back pain and energy. 

Girlfriend still taking it to chill out. 

Conclusion:

If you try Kratom, Start with a 1/4 teaspoon increase the dosing until you experience any of the negative side effects above. Then ratchet back a tad. 

Thanks for reading

Gabe