Best Kratom For Anxiety & Depression: Strains, Dosage, Side Effects
While Kratom isn't a panacea for anxiety or depression, it does have a lot to offer in terms of alleviating symptoms.
Lower kratom doses are invigorating and uplifting, however,r greater doses can be empathogenic and euphoric. Both have advantages for those with mental illnesses, but only if you're also taking other actions to improve your mental health and well-being.
Learn how it works, how much to use, which strains to try first, and other ways to boost your mental health.
Most strains of kratom can help with anxiety, sadness, and other mental health issues, but some are far more effective than others.
You'll want to choose a strain that isn't overly stimulating in general. When consumed in modest doses, strains with high concentrations of stimulating alkaloids such as ajmalicine and mitragynine may induce anxiety.
The alkaloids 7-hydroxy mitragynine and speciogynine, which are the plant's major calming ingredients, are found in higher amounts in perfect strains.
The majority of people who use kratom for anxiety choose a soothing green or red strain and take greater dosages (over 5 grams of dried leaf powder per dose).
Best Kratom Strains For Anxiety & Depression
Here are three of the most popular kratom strains people are using today for mental health:
1. Green Malay Kratom
Green Malay kratom is a calming green-vein kratom strain. It's a popular choice among kratom users who use it socially with their pals. Because of the euphoric effects, it's been termed a "social lubricant" strain for its capacity to make users feel peaceful and comfortable — but also connected and communicative.
If you're looking for a strain to help with anxiety during the day but don't want the sedative effects of some of the heavier green or red vein kratom, this is a decent choice.
Benefits of Green Malay Kratom:
- Makes for a great “social lubricant”
- Produces a sense of peace & wellbeing
- Euphoric in the higher doses
2. Red Thai Kratom
In general, Thai kratom is beneficial for reducing anxiety. They're known for their ability to instill a carefree, relaxed mood in others. Many people say they feel like they're floating on a cloud. Your body feels light, and all of your worries seem to go.
I'm not exaggerating when I say that any serious Thai kratom user is likely to agree with that sentiment.
The red vein Thai strain is especially effective at reducing anxiety, and it also helps with depression and other mood disorders. It becomes a powerful euphoriant at greater doses.
If you're looking for something with a little more stimulating activity, the green vein Thai is a terrific choice.
Red vein kratom is thought to be the most effective for anxiety.
Benefits of Red Thai Kratom:
- Provides a pleasant sense of peace & wellbeing
- Feels like you’re floating
- Excellent anti-anxiety strain for even the most anxious individuals
- May be used to alleviate insomnia
3. White Maeng Da Kratom
Due to its great strength and long-lasting effects, Maeng Da is a popular kratom strain.
Maeng da kratom comes in three colors: red, green, and white, and all three have euphoric and soothing properties that make it useful for anxiety and depression management.
In terms of the herb's anti-anxiety properties, I've found the White Maeng Da type to be the most potent. It's more stimulating than the red variant, but not in the manner that other white vein kratom strains can.
This is an excellent anxiety strain to employ in situations where it's also vital to stay alert and active. Attending university, presenting a talk or presentation, or working are just a few instances. The majority of kratom strains used for anxiety have sedative side effects that can make it difficult to stay focused and attentive when using it.
Benefits of White Maeng Da Kratom:
- Stimulating — but without triggering anxious side-effects
- Potent euphoriant & relaxant
- Promotes focus & concentration
- Alleviates fatigue & lethargy
Kratom For Anxiety
Kratom (Mitragyna speciose) includes about 40 pharmacologically active alkaloids, including numerous opioid receptor agonists. This means that they can bind to and activate opioid receptors in the brainstem and spinal cord.
Because opioid receptors are intimately connected with pain management, this action is responsible for the majority of kratom's painkilling properties.
The opioid receptors, however, are capable of much more.
Opioid receptors are also important in the control of a neurotransmitter known as GABA, according to research .
GABA is the principal neural inhibitory molecule in the brain, which means it relaxes you. GABA's job is to counteract the effects of glutamate, a neurotransmitter that excites neurons and increases electrical activity in the brain. We feel awake and concentrated when our electrical activity is strong. We become anxious if it becomes too high.
GABA can reverse the effects of anxiety and return us to our normal state by blocking the effects of glutamate. GABA activity increases in the evenings, assisting us in relaxing and falling asleep.
Kratom is also suggested to help with anxiety by boosting our mood and enhancing our sleep quality.
What Does The Research Say About Kratom & Anxiety?
Unfortunately, no clinical research has been conducted to investigate the effects of kratom on anxiety management in a controlled setting. However, there are numerous good survey studies as well as in vivo and in vitro research that can help us understand if and how kratom can aid with anxiety disorders.
Let's have a look at some of the most promising studies on the effects of kratom on anxiety.
161 first-hand kratom user stories from the hallucinogenic site Erowid were evaluated in a study . According to the study, 30 percent of these reports suggested that using kratom made them feel better. According to the study, while consuming kratom, 24 percent of participants noticed subjectively lower levels of anxiety. Sedation was mentioned in only 3.1 percent of the reports included in this study.
Another survey found that 66 percent of those polled used kratom to treat negative mood disorders such as anxiety, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), and depression . Even among those who were not using kratom expressly to manage their disease, 74 percent reported fewer feelings of anxiety after ingesting the herb.
In each of these survey investigations, the higher dosage levels resulted in larger anti-anxiety benefits (over 5 grams of dried powder).
Kratom & Harm Reduction: Anti-Anxiety Medications
Benzodiazepines are the most often used anxiolytic drugs today. Xanax, Librium, Tranxene, Valium, Paxipam, Ativan, Serax, Centrax, Doral, and Klonopin are some of the more prevalent medicines in this family.
Benzodiazepines aren't extremely harmful on their own; fatal overdoses are rare unless they're combined with alcohol or other drugs.
They do, however, carry a high risk of addiction and, when used long-term, can exacerbate anxiety symptoms. Withdrawing off benzos can be dangerous .
People who become addicted to benzodiazepines after being given for anxiety may eventually reach a point where their bodies require more of the medicine than their doctor can provide. When this happens, the person must either seek out new, sometimes clandestine, sources of the drug – or suffer the withdrawal symptoms. If the medicine is no longer available, it might cause delirium, vomiting, diarrhea, and even death. It's some truly heinous stuff.
Today, more than ever before, Kratom is being used as a substitute for these harsh, addictive medications. Long-term negative effects are also seen in kratom, but they are substantially less severe than those seen with benzodiazepines. Kratom withdrawal, for example, will not cause death or delirium.
Harm reduction is built on this foundation.
What’s the Dose of Kratom For Anxiety?
The ideal dose of kratom for anxiety is 5 to 12 grams of dried leaf powder — taken once, twice, or three times per day.
There are two main dose ranges for kratom — low dose and high dose:
- Low dose kratom — Anything weighing less than 5 grams is considered. This dose will have an energizing effect. Low-dose kratom, according to some users, has the opposite impact on anxiety and may even exacerbate it.
- High dose kratom — Any powder weighing between 5 and 12 grams is considered. This is the best dose for anxiety relief. The effects of kratom become significantly more calming, sedating, and anxiolytic with greater dosages.
Because everyone reacts to kratom differently, you should always take dosage suggestions with a grain of salt. It's critical to pay attention to your body and alter your dosage accordingly. If you aren't getting the desired results, gradually raise the dose until you find what works best for you.
If you have side effects, gradually reduce the amount you take in subsequent doses until they disappear.
Kratom for Depression
Clinical depression affects an estimated 300 million individuals each year, according to the World Health Organization. Millions more suffer from undiagnosed depression. This refers to depression that isn't severe enough to warrant a diagnosis but hurts the quality of life of individuals affected.
Before we look at how kratom might help you manage this illness, let's take a look at what's causing it in the first place.
Depression is frequently caused by a traumatic event. This could be the result of a traumatic event from childhood or long-term stress. There are a variety of causes, but the most effective treatment will be to discover the problem and treat it at the source.
Kratom can be a powerful aid for reducing symptoms and keeping you motivated while you seek more precise treatment for your problem. Kratom has energizing properties, making it ideal for persons suffering from depression who are indifferent, lethargic, or unmotivated. The energizing effect of kratom is typically enough to get individuals moving throughout the day. This movement will then have a beneficial effect on your mood.
Kratom also has euphoric properties that might give you a momentary mood boost. It's crucial to remember that while this impact can help with depressive symptoms, it's only a short-term solution. It's best to think about the broad picture and utilize kratom as a tool for harm reduction (more on that later) and to deliver an energy and motivation boost.
Then you can focus on treating your depression in other, more long-term ways, such as seeking counseling, going to rehab (if relevant), changing your diet, exercising, sleeping more, or practicing yoga or meditation.
What the Research Says About Kratom For Depression & Mental Health
For more than a decade, Kratom has been the target of drug panic. Unethical firms detected adulterating this age-old medicinal plant with harmful synthetic pharmaceuticals like tramadol. Other businesses marketed the herb as a "legal high," prompting the FDA and DEA to halt research for several years. These limitations were only recently relaxed after experts were able to demonstrate that the herb was not as hazardous as previously feared.
As a result, kratom is still understudied. The study of this plant's potential advantages has only lately begun to gain traction.
Despite the paucity of study, kratom has been found to have promising effects as a viable option for the treatment of depression and related mood disorders in recent years.
"Kratom use appears to offer some key mental health benefits that require additional study," according to a recent systematic analysis of 13 studies investigating the use of kratom for mental diseases (including depression, anxiety, and addiction). According to the researchers, kratom has the potential to be a significant harm-reduction choice for individuals undergoing anxiety and depression therapy.
Another study looked into the effects of kratom use on sociability . The ability of a person to converse with others is referred to as sociability. Depression is characterized by a decrease in sociability and isolation from others . Kratom was discovered to promote sociability and lessen emotional blunting or feelings of alienation associated with mental illness, according to researchers.
It's also worth noting that several prescription antidepressants  and anti-anxiety drugs  might cause decreased sociability and emotional blunting.
Kratom & Harm Reduction: Antidepressants
The harm-reduction element of kratom in the context of antidepressants comes from the substance's milder influence over time.
The incidence of long-term SSRI use was emphasized in a study released in 2016. The majority of the individuals reported improved overall quality of life, but over 30% of them claimed they still had moderate to severe depression after starting the medicine .
The long-term side effects of SSRIs reported in the study include:
- Withdrawal effects — 73.5%
- Sexual difficulties — 72%
- Weight gain — 65%
- Feeling emotionally numb — 64.5%
- Failure to reach orgasm — 64.5%
- Dry mouth — 58%
- Agitation — 55%
- Drowsiness — 55%
- Feeling not like myself — 54.5%
- Dizziness — 53%
- Reduced positive feelings — 45.5%
- Addiction — 43%
- Headaches — 42.5%
- Caring less about others — 36.5%
- Suicidality — 36%
- Nausea — 36%
- Tremors — 33%
- Feeling aggressive — 31.5%
- Diarrhea — 25%
- Weight loss — 15.5%
What’s the Dose of Kratom For Depression?
Kratom's mood-enhancing properties can be felt on both ends of the spectrum. Some users claim that lesser doses are better for enhancing motivation, mood, and focus, while others claim that only high doses provide the euphoria and emotional support they need.
The truth is that there isn't a set kratom dose for mood. You should start with a modest dose and gradually raise it every day until you discover a dose that works for you.
It's not as easy as going right to the upper end of the dosing range. With large doses, some persons report increasing depressive symptoms, especially if the major symptoms are apathy or a lack of drive. This is because greater doses of kratom have sedative properties.
The lower dose range will be far more effective for these patients. Lower doses are significantly more stimulating, and they can often provide the energy boost you need to get up and moving.
Is Kratom Safe? What Are the Side Effects?
Kratom is thought to be a safer alternative to most anxiety drugs prescribed by doctors. Benzodiazepines are the most frequent class of drugs used to treat anxiety today.
Any chemical that has a significant effect on the body is likely to cause adverse effects, and kratom is no exception.
Kratom's adverse effects are relatively mild, and can typically be avoided totally by being cautious with your dosage and listening to your body.
Side Effects of Kratom Include:
- Low libido
- Poor appetite
- Loss of muscle coordination
- Tremors or muscle contractions
- Low blood pressure
- Itchiness in the skin
Is Kratom Addictive?
Kratom is addictive, but not in the way you would imagine.
Addiction can develop with any substance or activity that relieves underlying discomfort or pain.
Addiction is not an illness; rather, it is a sign of a maladaptive response to an underlying disorder, a loss of self-awareness, or a general incapacity to cope with the world . Traumatic childhood experiences are the most common reason, but there are other others.
Chronic physical discomfort, loneliness and isolation, grief, and so on.
Nobody chooses to become addicted to something; addiction develops through time as a way to temporarily escape the misery of one's current situation. Physical, emotional, or a combination of both types of pain can be experienced.
This is something that Kratom can help with. It can help with pain, anxiety, sleeplessness, and other negative mental states. People may grow addicted to the effects of kratom over time due to its potential to achieve these things.
Shopping, sex, drug use, working, extreme sports, and other activities that provide this release are all examples.
Most people associate addiction with narcotics like heroin, which have a strong grip on the physical body. When people don't utilize the drugs, they become dope-sick, which encourages them to take more despite the obvious detrimental effects on their health.
According to this definition, kratom does not induce addiction. While you may feel fatigued and lethargic for a few days after stopping kratom use (only if you used it for a long time), this is nothing compared to the cold sweats, tremors, seizures, chills, fevers, and heart palpitations that come with withdrawal from alcohol, benzodiazepines, and opiates.
Kratom For Harm Reduction
Harm reduction is a term that refers to a set of public health strategies aimed at reducing the harmful physical and social effects of particular behaviors. Kratom is well-known for its ability to reduce harm from both legal and criminal drug usage.
The theory is that kratom can be used to replace more dangerous narcotics such as illicit opiates (such as heroin or fentanyl), antidepressants, and anti-anxiety meds (such as benzodiazepines), stimulants, and more.
According to a recent survey conducted in Malaysia, 90 percent of research participants used kratom as an alternative to opiate medicines . A survey conducted in the United States found similar results, with the predominant use of kratom being as a painkiller substitute, followed by antidepressants such as SSRIs .
Other Steps You Can Take To Support Your Mental Health & Wellbeing
Body, mind, and spirit are the three pillars of optimal health.
If you're a skeptic, this may sound like woo-woo, but it's true. Over the years, we've been so focused on pointing the finger at chemical imbalances and finding new pharmaceuticals to address them that we've lost sight of the other basic elements of human health and wellness.
And the fact is that, given our current methodology, we're not very successful at treating anxiety or depression. Despite major advances in precision medications, anxiety and depression continue to rise in prevalence. Despite these advances in medicine, it's an epidemic that's becoming worse, not better.
1. Identify the Underlying Cause, & Address it Head On
The most crucial step in treating depression or anxiety is to figure out what's causing it and then deal with it head-on. This could involve quitting a job you despise, leaving a bad relationship, or seeing a therapist to work through the long-term effects of childhood trauma.
Of course, it isn't as simple as it appears. The source of your anxiety or depression isn't always obvious — and even when it is, we often refuse to see it unless someone or something forces us to admit what we've always suspected deep inside.
Many people who have experienced childhood trauma have suppressed their feelings about it. This repression is a huge part of what could be producing sadness or anxiety, but it also makes it a lot more difficult to spot.
Seeing a psychotherapist can assist you in determining who or what is to blame. Psychotherapists have methods to help unearth these events and bring them to the surface, where they may be properly dealt with. Recently, some fascinating research has been published on the role of psychedelics in supporting trained therapists in guiding you through the psyche in search of the underlying basis of your anxiety and despair.
2. Take a Multifaceted Approach to Heal Your Mental Health
Taking a diverse approach to mental health recovery can yield faster outcomes than performing just one thing.
Take measures to address all three of the human health's key components (body, mind, and spirit). Here are some instances of how you might help each of these three components:
- Reexamine your diet — Emphasize fruit & vegetables. Cut out added sugars or processed foods.
- Drink plenty of water — The average human needs about 3.5L of water every day
- Exercise daily — Even as little as 30 minutes per day can have a dramatic impact on your health.
- Prioritize sleep — Your body needs sleep, at least 8 hours of it. Sleep is the most underrated way to improve all aspects of health.
- Take some time off work or take a vacation — Give your mind a break from the daily stresses and routine of life.
- Practice meditation or yoga — Slow, rhythmic breathing for just a few minutes per day can have a profound impact on mental health and wellbeing.
- Spend time with loved ones — Socializing is one of the best ways to release endorphins (the body's natural “feel-good” hormones)
This is one of the most underappreciated aspects of human health, but everybody who has had a spiritual contact of any type (spiritual does not always mean religious) would tell you that it was one of, if not the most significant events of their lives.
Treatment programs like AA are built around a spiritual basis — a sense of belonging to something bigger than themselves and a sense of community. It offers us a sense of purpose and meaning in life that we may not have had previously. There have also been requests for doctors to ask spiritual health questions during the diagnosing procedure .
This may not sound profound if you’ve never encountered this experience, but it’s worth cultivating if you want an all-inclusive means of managing mental health and wellbeing.
Some tools you can use to get started:
- Soulvana — Classes and meditations focused on spiritual health and wellbeing.
- Headspace — The leading meditation app in the world right now.
3. Keep a Journal
It will take time to improve your mental wellness. This isn't a problem that will go away overnight. Even if you follow all of the above tips, it will take time. While you may be better, you may not see the improvements immediately away.
It's not so much about how quickly you heal as it is about how quickly you heal. This is why it's critical to consider anxiety and depression treatment as a long-term aim.
Keeping a journal of how you're feeling is the greatest approach to tracking your improvement. Every day, set aside a few minutes to jot down your ideas, respond to some prompts, or simply rate how you're feeling on a scale of 1–10.
When you don't feel like you're progressing, it might be discouraging, but if you keep a journal to look back on every few weeks, months, or even years, it will become evident how much progress you've made and didn't realize.
How Long Does Kratom Last?
It takes 30 to 60 minutes for kratom to take action. By the one-and-a-half-hour mark, it usually reaches its peak effect.
Peak effects often last one or two hours before progressively dissipating over time.
If you're using kratom to help you deal with anxiety in specific situations, you might just need one dose. You can take smaller, recurrent doses every 3 or 4 hours as needed if you're using kratom for its mood and depression benefits, or if you need a longer duration of effects.
Final Thoughts: Can Kratom Support Mental Health?
Kratom can be quite beneficial for reducing stress and anxiety, but only when used correctly.
Kratom is a stimulant at low dosages, and it might make your anxiety worse.
Kratom, on the other hand, is a powerful stress reliever and anxiolytic in higher dosages (above 5 grams). It's widely used to aid sleep, lessen or prevent social anxiety, and generate a sense of relaxation and tranquility.
Green Malay, Red Thai, and White Maeng Da strains of kratom are the best for anxiety.