Kratom has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its ability to produce both stimulant and opioid-like effects in the brain and body.
Typically, the dried kratom leaf is brewed into tea or powdered and mixed with drinks for oral consumption. However, some users have begun exploring alternative methods of taking kratom, including “boofing”.
Boofing involves dissolving kratom powder into water and administering it annually via oral syringe or other device. Proponents claim boofing allows faster absorption and enhances effects compared to ingesting kratom orally.
However, the practice comes with considerable risks and side effects of kratom. Here’s a deeper look at what boofing kratom entails and why you should avoid it.
What is Boofing?
Boofing refers to administering drugs, medications, or other substances annually for recreational purposes or in attempts to enhance absorption. It is also sometimes referred to as plugging, bumping, or rectal administration.
The basic process for boofing kratom is:
- Grinding dried kratom leaves into an extremely fine powder
- Mixing powder with water to make a solution
- Drawing liquid into an oral syringe without needle
- Inserting syringe into the anus and pressing plunger
With boofing, the goal is for the drug to be absorbed rapidly through the delicate rectal mucosa into blood vessels to provide faster, more intense effects. However, studies show it is an inefficient and potentially dangerous method of administration.
Why Do People Boof Kratom?
Those who take the step to boof kratom likely do so based on a few perceived advantages:
Faster Onset – Some users believe administering kratom rectally allows effects to begin within just 5-10 minutes compared to 30-45 minutes with oral ingestion. Rapid entry into the bloodstream means faster relief.
Increased Potency – There is a common notion that bypassing first pass metabolism in the liver leads to stronger kratom effects at lower doses when boofing.
Disguised Use – Being able to take kratom secretly and avoid the taste makes boofing appealing for some attempting to hide their usage from others.
Sexual Enhancement – In rare cases, the practice overlaps with those interested in anal play for kink purposes.
However, as we will explore shortly, these perceived benefits do not outweigh the drawbacks of boofing kratom. There are safer methods to achieve the same effects.
Does Boofing Kratom Work?
Kratom contains a cocktail of over 40 compounds that exert effects on pain, mood, energy levels, and other bodily functions. Two primary active alkaloids are:
Mitragynine – Accounts for up to 60% of total alkaloid content. Has stimulant and analgesic qualities.
7-hydroxymitragynine – Much more potent analgesic, but only found in trace amounts.
For kratom’s alkaloids to be effectively absorbed and produce desired effects, they must rapidly permeate the mucosal tissues and enter the bloodstream.
When consumed orally, kratom’s compounds are absorbed efficiently through the gastrointestinal system. But rectal administration poses some roadblocks:
- Mitragynine and 7-OHM have poor solubility in water, making absorption difficult.
- Powders can become trapped in rectal folds, limiting tissue permeability.
- Tight sphincter muscles restrict blood flow, delaying uptake.
- Only a fraction of alkaloids cross the lipid-rich rectal membranes.
Due to the chemistry and physiology involved, studies show boofing kratom is unlikely to produce profoundly different effects compared to oral ingestion. Next, we’ll explore some specific reasons people might pursue this route and why they are misguided.
1. Save Money
One of the main claims about boofing kratom is that it enhances potency, requiring much smaller doses to achieve the same effects as swallowing powder. Some believe this results in saving money due to getting more mileage per gram.
However, research shows that rectal absorption of kratom is highly inefficient. The hydrophobic alkaloids do not dissolve well and only a small percentage actually crosses the rectal epithelium into the bloodstream.
Most of the kratom dosage ends up being expelled from the rectum without being absorbed. So larger, not smaller, doses would be required to compensate for poor bioavailability. Overall, boofing is unlikely to save money or dosage amount compared to oral ingestion.
2. Instantaneous Effect
Another common boofing claim is that effects begin almost instantly, within 5-10 minutes compared to 30-45 minutes with oral administration.
In reality, absorption of kratom through the rectal tissue is quite slow. Molecules must passively diffuse through cells and tight sphincter muscles constrict local blood flow.
Users do often report the subjective feeling of rapid effects when boofing. However, placebo plays a major role here. The anticipation of quicker onset creates that perception even when absorption is delayed.
While users may feel effects come on more quickly, pharmacokinetics indicates oral ingestion is still faster at delivering kratom alkaloids into systemic circulation.
3. Sidesteps the Unpleasant Taste
For those who find the bitter taste of kratom powder unpleasant, boofing offers a way to avoid that. Once dissolved in water, kratom can be administered rectally with no need for ingesting.
However, sidestepping the flavor does not mean sidestepping side effects. In fact, boofing introduces a whole new set of risks ranging from discomfort to organ damage.
There are safer ways to mask the taste using capsules, chocolate milk, or fruit smoothies. The bitterness should not be reason enough to switch to a more hazardous administration route. Any perceived benefits still do not outweigh the demonstrated risks.
Why Should You Not Boof Kratom?
While the purported benefits of boofing kratom are unlikely to manifest, several dangers associated with the practice are very real:
1. Kidney Damage
Rectal administration puts significant strain on the kidneys. Drugs absorbed via the rectal blood vessels bypass processing by the liver and go straight to the kidneys.
High concentrations of kratom alkaloids arriving at the kidneys risk overburdening the organs and causing damage or failure over time.
2. Liver Damage
Although the liver is bypassed initially, boofing eventually routes toxins through the liver but in unpredictable concentrations. This makes it hard for the liver to effectively neutralize contaminants.
Rectal administration allows more contaminants into the bloodstream. So while first pass metabolism is avoided, the liver still ends up dealing with a heavy burden of toxins in erratic amounts.
3. Memory Loss
Kratom itself in very high doses has been linked to impaired cognition, confusion, and memory issues.
By intensifying the rate and amount of alkaloids reaching the brain, boofing raises the risks of these cognitive side effects manifesting.
4. Brain Damage
In addition to kratom itself carrying risks at high doses, other contaminants can lead to brain damage when boofing.
Fungal toxins, heavy metals, and bacterial endotoxins are common in low quality kratom products. Administering large amounts rectally increases absorption of these contaminants leading to neural toxicity.
5. Impaired Coordination
Another danger associated with intensifying kratom’s effects through boofing is impacts to motor coordination.
High concentrations reaching the brain quickly can lead to loss of coordination, dizziness, and sedation that impairs normal functioning.
6. Pain and Irritation
On a basic level, boofing kratom or any substances will almost inevitably cause local irritation and discomfort.
Pushing powder through a syringe into the sensitive rectal tissue damages cell membranes and blood vessels leading to pain, bleeding, and increased infection susceptibility.
In Closing: Don’t Boof Kratom
In summary, the perceived benefits surrounding boofing kratom are unlikely to be realized. Rectal administration does not enhance absorption or potency to a large degree over oral ingestion.
At the same time, boofing poses numerous health hazards ranging from organ damage to severe local injury. There are many safer methods for achieving kratom’s effects without unnecessary risks.
If you are currently boofing kratom and want to quit, speak with a medical provider to seek guidance. Stopping use under supervision can help avoid withdrawal symptoms.
For optimal safety and effects, stick to traditional kratom preparation methods like measured doses of powder mixed into beverages. Understand that faster and more intense does not always mean better. Take time to learn safe usage practices. And consult your doctor with any concerns.