Kratom has become increasingly popular in recent years for its stimulating, pain relieving, and mood enhancing effects. However, many kratom users are unaware that exposing kratom to high temperatures can degrade its active alkaloids, reducing potency.
Understanding the relation of heat and kratom is important to preserve the herb’s benefits. This article will examine how heat impacts kratom, storage tips, and other key considerations.
KRATOM AND EXPOSURE TO HEAT
The main active compounds in kratom are alkaloids such as mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. These alkaloids are sensitive to heat, and can break down when exposed to high temperatures over time. The hotter kratom gets, and the longer it stays hot, the more the alkaloids are destroyed through a process called oxidative degradation.
This is why storing kratom properly away from direct high heat is crucial. Leaving kratom powder or leaves in hot spaces like a car or shed during summer months can render the herb much less potent. The ideal storage temperature to preserve alkaloids is between 55-70° Fahrenheit. Freezing is not recommended long-term.
High heat can also degrade kratom’s alkaloids when preparing teas or other hot water extractions. Boiling kratom for a long time can diminish the alkaloid content of finished drinks or brews. Light simmering for 15-20 minutes is sufficient. Avoid prolonged boiling of kratom tea recipes.
So in summary, exposing dry kratom powder to hot ambient conditions, and boiling kratom teas for too long, are two scenarios where heat can damage the delicate alkaloids and reduce this herb’s desired benefits. Taking proper precautions is advised.
Research on Heat and Kratom
Scientific research has confirmed that mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, kratom’s main alkaloids, are susceptible to degradation under high heat, especially in wet conditions.
One study published in the International Journal of Drug Development and Research evaluated how heat impacts mitragynine. The researchers found that boiling the alkaloid for 30 minutes resulted in 80% decomposition, drastically reducing potency. Another study confirmed that mitragynine degrades fastest in high-heat water environments.
The takeaway from these scientific investigations is that while kratom itself is a hardy herb, its alkaloids are vulnerable when subjected to hot temperatures above 170°F for long periods of time. This effect is exacerbated when moisture is present as when simmering teas.
Store Kratom in the Cool, Not in the Heat
To preserve the potency of your kratom powder over the long term, proper storage away from heat is a must. Here are some tips:
- Keep kratom in an area of your home that remains below 70°F if possible. Avoid hot rooms.
- Do not leave kratom powder in a hot car or outside shed – heat quickly degrades alkaloids.
- In hotter months, consider an air-conditioned space or use a mini refrigerator to store kratom.
- If using a freezer, allow frozen kratom to fully thaw before opening to avoid moisture issues.
- Store kratom in airtight, opaque containers to block moisture and sunlight from entering.
- Buy kratom in small batches so it does not sit unused for many months before finishing.
Following general room temperature guidelines of 55°F – 70°F will keep your kratom stash fresh and full potency for many months. Keeping it cool is key!
When Making Kratom Tea, Use an Acid to Protect Your Kratom Alkaloids
To preserve kratom’s alkaloids when brewing hot teas, add a dash of lemon juice, citric acid, or ascorbic acid to the water. Here’s why this helps:
- Acids reduce the pH of the water, which protects alkaloids from breaking down as quickly.
- Lemon juice contains citric acid that lowers pH levels to aid alkaloid stability.
- A vitamin C supplement powder like ascorbic acid can also lower pH for alkaloid protection.
- Only a small amount is needed – about half a lemon slice per cup or 1 gram vitamin C powder.
- Simmer finished tea 15-20 minutes max; discard leftover powder to avoid overheating.
By incorporating an acidic additive, you can still enjoy kratom teas while minimizing losses of delicate mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine compounds due to heat.
OTHER CONCERNS ABOUT KRATOM
In addition to heat degradation, there are a few other issues to be aware of when using kratom responsibly:
Contaminated Products – Carefully vet suppliers, as some low-quality kratom products have been found to contain lead, salmonella, or other adulterants. Stick to reputable American vendors.
Interactions – Kratom can potentially interact with other substances and medications, especially central nervous system depressants like benzodiazepines.
Dosing Issues – Using too much kratom can lead to sedation, nausea, and other unpleasant side effects of kratom. Show moderation.
Age Restrictions – Most experts recommend kratom only for those 18 or older due to a lack of research on juvenile use.
Driving Impairment – Operating vehicles or heavy machinery is not advised when using kratom due to drowsiness or loss of concentration from larger doses.
So along with heat concerns, be mindful of purity, interactions, dosing, age, and driving precautions when using kratom leaf responsibly.
KRATOM TOLERANCE, DEPENDENCE, AND WITHDRAWAL
Like many botanicals, prolonged daily kratom use can lead to developing tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal symptoms if abruptly discontinued after a period of high intake.
This is due to adaptations in the brain’s opioid receptors. Understanding this risk is key to keeping kratom supplemental use sporadic and moderate. Signs of physical kratom dependence can include:
- Taking kratom every day, multiple times per day in increasing amounts
- Experiencing flu-like withdrawal symptoms if stopping suddenly after heavy use
- Using kratom routinely to avoid withdrawal between doses
- Having strong drug cravings for kratom
- Not getting expected effects from usual dosage
- Continuing use despite negative consequences
These are signals that withdrawal and dependence may be manifesting, signaling that kratom usage should be reevaluated and likely reduced. Getting medical guidance is advisable if dependence is suspected.
SIGNS OF KRATOM ADDICTION
For some, kratom use can transition from a helpful supplement to an unhealthy addiction. Warning signs of possible kratom addiction include:
- Inability to quit or cut back on use
- Obsession with using kratom daily
- Constantly thinking about the next dose
- Social or work problems due to excessive kratom use
- Use of kratom despite negative consequences
- Withdrawal symptoms if you go too long without kratom
- Escalating dosage and diminishing effects
- Hiding kratom use from others
Addiction is complex, but if your relationship to kratom resembles the above patterns, seeking help is wise. Underlying mental health factors often drive addictive relationships to substances. Don’t be afraid to consult an addiction specialist.
HOW TO GET HELP FOR TOO MUCH KRATOM USE
If you feel you’ve developed an unhealthy addiction to kratom’s effects, there are resources available to help:
Talk to Your Doctor – Get medical guidance on safely tapering use and treating withdrawal symptoms.
Consider Rehab Programs – Structured inpatient or outpatient programs can help you reset kratom dependence through detoxing, counseling, peer support, etc.
Join an NA Group – Narcotics Anonymous provides group meetings and shared wisdom on recovering from substance dependence.
Try Individual Therapy – Work privately with a counselor specializing in drug addiction treatment and behavioral therapies.
Lean on Loved Ones – Don’t go it alone; the support of understanding family and friends can make all the difference.
With commitment and the right help, it is possible to break free of unhealthy kratom use and regain a balanced life. Be patient with yourself in the process.
Heat and Kratom In Closing
Like any substance, kratom deserves care and wisdom in usage. Avoid high heat storage conditions to preserve alkaloids. Moderate consumption to a responsible supplemental level. Monitor yourself for any addiction tendencies. And discuss your use of this emerging botanical with your physician. Managed carefully, kratom can remain a beneficial part of your healthy routine without excess.
Q: Why does heat ruin kratom?
A: Kratom’s active alkaloids mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine are sensitive to degradation from hot temperatures. Heat breaks down the alkaloid molecules, diminishing kratom’s potency.
Q: Can kratom powder go bad in heat?
A: Yes, prolonged exposure to hot ambient conditions can cause kratom powders to lose potency quicker due to alkaloid deterioration. Always store kratom in a cool location.
Q: Is it okay to microwave kratom tea?
A: No, microwaving is not recommended as the heat is too intense in a microwave oven. It can quickly damage delicate kratom alkaloids. Either make tea at lower stove temperatures or use hot water from an electric kettle instead.
Q: Why add lemon juice to kratom tea?
A: Lemon juice lowers the pH balance of the water thanks to its citric acid content. This makes a less alkaline environment that better preserves kratom’s alkaloids during hot water extraction.
Q: Can you make kratom extract from boiled leaves?
A: Making concentrated kratom extracts does involve boiling and evaporation. But the goal is to quickly finish the process to avoid prolonged heat exposure that degrades alkaloids. Quality extract artists are meticulous about this.
Let me know if you have any other questions!