How to Make Kratom Tinctures: Preparation, Benefits, Tips & Tricks
Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is one of the most popular natural pain relievers on the market today, although it's rarely purchased as a tincture.
Kratom tinctures are alcohol-based preparations that extract the plant's powerful alkaloids and bitter flavor.
This post discusses how to produce a tincture and why you should try this simple method of consuming kratom. All you need is strong alcohol and a jar in addition to the herb.
What Is a Tincture?
Tinctures are alcohol-based extracts of a plant's leaves, roots, bark, flowers, or other parts. The leaves of the Mitragyna speciosa plant are used to make kratom tincture.
Tinctures have been used for centuries, if not millennia, as a type of medicine. We'll never know for sure, although they're described in medical literature dating back to 1025, such as the Al-Qanuun Fi at-Tibb.
The alchemists of Europe fine-tuned the skill of producing tinctures in more recent years — the middle ages, to be specific — and coined some of the words we still use today. Because of its ability to bring out the plant's "spirit" or essence, strong alcohol was initially referred to as spirits about this period.
The volatile oils, organic phytochemicals, and alkaloids found within the plant are thought to be the plant's spirit, according to scientists. To put it another way, all of the many chemicals that give the plant its distinct characteristics.
Some phytochemicals are better extracted in water rather than alcohol. Most herbalists, on the other hand, agree that alcohol is adaptable and effective for extracting herbal extracts from a wide range of plants.
Thankfully, all of the known alkaloids in kratom are soluble in ethanol.
How to Make a Kratom Tincture
A tincture can be made in a variety of methods, although professional herbalists often follow a conventional procedure. Herbalists and tincture producers can use the Western herbalist standard to calculate how much plant matter and alcohol to utilize.
Different amounts of alcohol will be required depending on the technique and plant you utilize (and cause a fluctuation in potency). Dried plants, for example, have less moisture and require a lower-proof alcohol.
Fresh herbs, on the other hand, retain a large quantity of moisture, which is released into the tincture. To avoid the alcohol getting too diluted, fresh herbs necessitate the use of higher-proof alcohol.
Imagine you're working with fresh kratom leaves that are 50% water by weight, and you're trying to extract them using 40% vodka. The liquid they give will result in a solution that is just 20% alcohol, which isn't enough to pull much.
It's worth noting, though, that kratom isn't listed in most western Materia Medica handbooks. There is no formal standard for kratom tinctures in Western herbalism; the Materia Medica is a compilation of material explaining the herbal activities of many different plants.
A kratom tincture can be created in its most basic form by covering kratom powder with alcohol, letting it sit for a few weeks, and then filtering it.
Terms to Be Aware Of
You'll only need to be familiar with a few terms: marc, macerate, and menstruum.
- Marc: the plant matter that has been digested and soaked in your uterus.
- Menstruum is the liquid or solvent that is used to soak your marc (in this case, alcohol).
- Maceration is the process of soaking your marc in menstrual blood and allowing its organic ingredients to gently release into the tincture.
Making Kratom Tinctures 101
Unless you live in Southeast Asia, you'll almost certainly be working with dried kratom, either as powder or crushed leaves. Making tinctures with crushed kratom leaves is preferred, although powder will suffice.
If you can get your hands on some fresh kratom, that's even better because it's perfect for preparing tinctures.
A 1:5 ratio is the standard for creating tinctures with dry herbs. Because dried herbs have little moisture, they can be used with lower-proof alcohol, such as 40% spirits.
The only difference is that if you're using fresh kratom, you should use a 1:2 ratio instead.
Step 1: Weigh Your Kratom
To figure out how much alcohol or kratom to use in a tincture, you'll need to take inventory of what you have on hand first.
You'll need five times the amount of alcohol (in mL) for a conventional 1:5 tincture as you do for kratom (in grams).
To make 250 mL of alcohol from 50 g of dry kratom, for example. For every 100 g of kratom, 500 mL of alcohol is required, and so on.
Use a food scale to weigh your kratom, rather than relying on tablespoons or cups, which aren't exact enough.
Step 2: Prepare the Kratom
After that, put your kratom in a jar with plenty of room for the alcohol. A normal 1-pint glass mason jar may hold 50 grams.
Fill the jar with the alcohol after measuring it and adding it.
The alcohol should completely cover the kratom; it doesn't have to be a lot, but there shouldn't be any kratom sticking out of the drink. If you need to add a little extra alcohol to reach this goal, go ahead and do so.
Step 3: Let it Soak
Allow your kratom and alcohol to marinate for at least two weeks after mixing them together. To aid in the extraction, shake or turn the jar upside down at least once a day.
Step 4: Strain The Kratom
After the mix has been completed, remove all of the plant material. Pour the mixture through a sieve or filter to do this.
Cotton or muslin filters work well, but cheesecloth or an old cotton T-shirt can also be used.
Before discarding the leftover plant material, squeeze out every last drop of liquid you can.
You should have a dark green liquid with a strong bitter flavor at the end. Fill a dripper bottle or jar with this and you're good to go!
You Can Add Other Herbs to Your Kratom Tincture Too
Other herbs can be added to your kratom tincture to bring even more advantages. You can either add them throughout the tincture-making process or produce tinctures of each plant separately and combine them with the final tincture.
Here are some herbs you can use to boost kratom's medicinal effects.
For Pain & Inflammation
Because of its potential to stimulate the opioid system, kratom helps to relieve pain. This symptomatic approach ignores the source of discomfort, which is frequently inflammation. As a result, combining anti-inflammatory and analgesic herbs may enhance your experience.
This is a powerful anti-inflammatory that has been used to replace standard NSAIDs like ibuprofen by many people.
Calendula is a calming plant that can aid in the reduction of pain and suffering caused by inflammation.
3. Devil’s Club
Only use this very rare herb when it is freshly gathered. If you reside in a region where it grows, you can benefit from its powerful analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.
This is a common herb used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat chronic inflammatory or autoimmune pain.
5. CBD & Hemp
Hemp or CBD extracts, which are non-psychoactive, are one of the most popular natural pain relievers these days. By using the same approach as for kratom, you may easily add alcohol-based tinctures to kratom tinctures or make a hemp tincture.
For Insomnia & Improved Sleep
When used in higher amounts, kratom acts as a sedative. It can be used to assist users in falling asleep faster and sleeping deeper and more restfully during the night.
Here are some plants that can help kratom's sleep-inducing properties.
1. Valerian Root
This plant is widely used for sleep, but it is also antispasmodic and anti-anxiety. It can create significant sedation when combined with kratom.
Because of its potential to encourage relaxation, this herb is most commonly used as an evening tea, but it also has a strong ability to calm the nervous system and soothe digestion.
For Anxiety & Depression
Kratom is a great anxiolytic and antidepressant on its own, but it's even better when combined with other anxiolytic plants and medicines.
When combined with kratom, it can produce an intense feeling of well-being and sleepiness.
Another excellent anxiolytic herb is this one. It acts on GABA receptors to produce an anti-anxiety effect that is distinct from yet complementary to kratom.
3. Milky Oat
Milky Oat is a relaxing herbal medicine that relieves tension and soothes the neurological system. It can help with anxiety on its own, but it works considerably better when combined with kratom.
Herbs to Offset Kratom Side Effects
It would be foolish to claim that kratom has no negative side effects. The herbs listed below can help alleviate some of the negative effects of kratom.
1. Pollen from pine trees
Surprisingly, this is the most dense (non-animal) source of testosterone in nature. Because kratom has the potential to lower testosterone levels over time, supplementing with pine pollen can assist to counteract this effect.
2. Ashwagandha (Indian ginseng)
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen herb that can be used to stimulate as well as soothe the body. It's also recognized for restoring libido and balancing testosterone levels, two things that kratom can deplete over time.
3. Root of the Dandelion
When utilizing kratom, this is a moderate laxative that can help you stay regular. It's also a digestive bitter that promotes regular bowel movements.
4. Peppermint leaves
Peppermint is an excellent flavor enhancer for kratom tinctures. Menthol, the active component in kratom tinctures, performs an outstanding job of masking the tinctures' inherently bitter flavor.
Peppermint may also assist to reduce some of the digestive adverse effects of kratom.
5. Thistle of Milk
Silybum marianum (milk thistle) is a potent liver and digestive tonic. This herb is commonly used to alleviate the stomach discomfort that comes with kratom use. It's a fantastic plant to add to kratom formulations to boost their potency.
6. Artichoke Leaf Extract
The active element in artichoke (Cynara scolymus) is a molecule called cynarin, which boosts digestion and eliminates irritating or pro-inflammatory compounds in the digestive tract by stimulating bile synthesis in the liver.
How to Increase the Potency of Kratom Tinctures
Because the needed dose of kratom is very large when compared to other herbal medicines, it's in everyone's best interest to make their kratom tinctures as potent as possible.
Here are a few techniques to boost the potency of your kratom tinctures.
1. Reusing the Menstruum
Reusing the alcohol used to make the first kratom tincture is one technique individuals try to boost the effectiveness of kratom tinctures. They just add a fresh batch of plant materials to the menstruum after straining the marc out, resulting in a 2:1 tincture.
This signifies you've got a concentrated extract on your hands. For every one part alcohol, there are two parts kratom.
Unfortunately, some of the alkaloids are absorbed back into the new plant matter as a result of this process. As you soak separate batches of marc, the alcohol's absorption power appears to grow increasingly limited.
This process can produce incredibly effective kratom tinctures, but it will certainly result in some waste.
2. Reducing & Adding More Tincture
Making a 1:1 or 1:5 kratom tincture as usual, then evaporating the alcohol to boost the concentration of the mixture, is a third option.
Pour your tincture into a pot and set it over a very low heat. You'll need to keep it on for many hours to allow the alcohol in the brew to evaporate. Turn off the heat and let it cool after you've lowered the volume by about half.
Without wasting any kratom leaf, you've basically gone from a 1:5 tincture to a 1:2 tincture.
Do this in a well-ventilated environment at all times. Alcohol will evaporate into the air, posing a risk of inhalation or a fire hazard. Never do this in a confined location, such as a kitchen, or near open flames.
What Are the Benefits of Kratom Tinctures?
You're probably thinking that making a tincture sounds like a lot of work. Why would you make a tincture when you could simply use the herb as is?
People use tinctures for a variety of purposes. They're not only practical and easy to transport, but they're also more stable and can provide powerful amounts of plant medicine in a straightforward manner.
The following are some of the advantages of using a kratom tincture over normal powder.
Kratom tinctures are lightweight and simple to use. Making a few different kratom tinctures and carrying them about with you may be more convenient than carrying many bags of kratom.
Tinctures of kratom are unobtrusive. It's a lot easier to make a cup of kratom tea or do a toss and wash than it is to find the time and space to take a few drops from a tincture bottle. One of the main advantages of using a kratom tincture is how simple it is to use.
3. Better Dosage Control
You can make your own tinctures with different potencies. When creating them at home, you don't have to stick to the usual herbal ratios.
Because most individuals need at least a couple of grams of kratom to have any impact, it's best to produce tinctures that are slightly stronger than the typical ratio for fresh/dry herbs so you don't have to drink numerous droppers full.
4. Longer Shelf Life
Tinctures keep for a long time. Many individuals are unaware of how rapidly their kratom degrades when stored in a bag; when exposed to oxygen and light, raw plant material degrades quickly.
You should expect the shelf life of a tincture to rise by a year or two once the active ingredients from the kratom are extracted and put into it.
5. Fewer Side Effects
By switching to a tincture, you can avoid some of the negative effects of kratom.
Many people experience digestive problems as a result of the fibrous plant material struggling to pass through their digestive track. Using a tincture can help you avoid this and increase your kratom experience greatly.
6. More Bang For Your Buck
You can get more value out of your kratom by utilizing a tincture because it allows you to administer it sublingually (putting the drops under your tongue). The effects of this method of administration are significantly faster and greater.
The alkaloids absorb straight into your bloodstream instead of passing via your digestive tract when taken sublingually. As a result, your digestive system will be more efficient, effective, and less taxed.
7. You Can Make Personalized Blends
To enhance the benefits of kratom, you can create your own medical mixtures. When creating tinctures, other herbs with comparable effects might be added to boost the therapeutic value.
If you're using kratom for pain, for example, you can add additional herbs to help. People who use it as a sleep aid can also add herbs that help them relax.
8. DIY Kratom Tinctures Are Cheaper
Making your own tinctures has a number of advantages, one of which is that you can save a lot of money. Keep an eye out for kratom powder bargains throughout the year and stock up whenever you can. You can then make tinctures out of it to extend the shelf life.
You can be sure you're just buying kratom when it's on sale if you use this method.
Drawbacks of Kratom Tinctures
Although there are few disadvantages to utilizing kratom tinctures, there are a few. There is no optimal technique of administration. Some people may experience a few concerns when consuming kratom tinctures.
1. Risk of Triggering a Relapse
Tinctures contain alcohol, which could be a trigger for an alcoholic. The taste or fragrance of a tincture can trigger a relapse if you've struggled with alcoholism.
If this is a problem for you, try substituting vegetable glycerine for alcohol.
Vegetable glycerine is non-alcoholic and can be used to make tinctures in the same way as alcohol can. It has the advantage of tasting nicer, but it isn't as effective as a solvent (meaning your tinctures will be a little bit weaker when made with vegetable glycerine rather than alcohol).
2. You May Need a Few Doses
In comparison to other herbal preparations, you must use a rather big amount of tincture. However, as compared to the traditional manner of kratom use, this could be considered a benefit.
It depends on your level of experience with tinctures and kratom.
Many people prefer kratom tinctures to eating big amounts of powder since it is a more enticing option. For these people, the move will not appear to be excessive.
If you're new to kratom but have experience with tinctures, a kratom tincture may appear excessive.
3. It Takes Longer to Kick in
People dislike dealing with tinctures for a variety of reasons, one of which being a lack of patience in making them. Tinctures require considerable preparation because the kratom must be soaked in alcohol for several weeks before it is ready.
There are a few techniques to speed up the tincture-making process, which we'll go over later, but they usually necessitate additional equipment and specialized.
Kratom Tincture Dosage
The dosage is determined by the tincture's potency, which varies greatly.
Unfortunately, compared to other tinctures, the amount required is significant because most people's kratom dose is at least several grams.
Estimated Dose of Kratom Tinctures Based on Potency
|1 Gram Equivalent
|3 Gram Equivalent
|5 Gram Equivalent
|8 Gram Equivalent
|12 Gram Equivalent
As you can see from the table above, anything more than a 1:1 tincture will necessitate a huge amount of tincture to get the necessary dosage. A typical shot is roughly 28 mL, so you'd need about one full shot of tincture for an 8-gram dose with a 1:3 tincture (yuck).
If possible, produce a concentrated 2:1 tincture, which would only take roughly 4 mL for the same 8-gram equivalent dose, saving time and effort.
How to Use Kratom Tinctures
Using a kratom tincture is as simple as it gets, and it's far easier than dealing with raw kratom powder. Simply squeeze some into your mouth using the dropper on the bottle.
After that, you can either ingest it right away or utilize it sublingually. Sublingual use is preferable because you will gain more value from your kratom.
The majority of droppers have a 1 mL capacity. You can also count the number of droplets in 1 mL - there are roughly 30 drops in 1 mL on average.
How Long Do Tinctures Take To Kick In?
Tinctures begin to work 30–60 minutes after being taken. This time can be decreased in half if you hold it under your tongue before swallowing.
When you take kratom orally, whether tinctured or not, it must navigate the maze of your digestive system before it can have any impact.
The kratom is first broken down by digestive juices, then taken to the liver for further processing before being absorbed into the bloodstream and brain, where it can deliver its pleasant effects.
This normally takes around half an hour, and a significant portion of the alkaloids are broken down or destroyed during this period. Sublingual absorption bypasses the entire process, allowing more alkaloids to enter your bloodstream directly.
While taking kratom powder sublingually is technically possible, it is not recommended. Kratom is astringent and dries up moist tissues, including those in the mouth, when it comes into contact with them.
Attempting to take raw kratom powder sublingually is like swallowing up dry dust on a hot day for some.
If you take the tincture sublingually, keep in mind that the alcohol may cause some discomfort. Furthermore, the considerable amount of tincture necessary may be too much to take completely sublingually.
Kratom Tincture Storage & Shelf Life
Your tincture should last for a number of years if kept in a strong alcohol of at least 40% (after accounting for any dilution or the addition of extra menstruum).
Tinctures don't rot or go bad, although they lose effectiveness every year after the third or fourth year in storage.
By the tenth year, the tincture should have lost around half of its efficacy. They will lose potency even faster if stored incorrectly.
Herbs should always be kept in a cold, dark place.
Using Kratom Tinctures to Overcome Addiction
People who use a kratom tincture have a significant tool for combating kratom addiction.
Because kratom tinctures make it simple to measure precise quantities, you can use them to give precise doses of kratom on a daily basis.
Many kratom users are unaware that their regular dosages are steadily growing. Many individuals use arbitrary measurements for kratom, such as "a tablespoon" or "half a teaspoon," never accounting for the wide range of results that can be achieved depending on how filled the spoon is or how densely the powder is packed.
A typical teaspoon can hold anything from 3 to 7 grams. That implies someone could go from consuming multiple 3-gram teaspoons per day to numerous 7-gram teaspoons per day without ever realizing it.
Unfortunately, this is one of the ways that people can become physiologically dependent on kratom without realizing it. They believe their dosage is stable, but it is actually rising, as is their body's reliance on kratom.
By switching to a tincture, you can start weaning yourself off of kratom. Without a mechanism to assess the quantity of an addictive chemical you're taking, weaning — gradually reducing the amount you're taking — is extremely difficult.
In a few weeks or months, if you lower the amount of tincture you take every few days, you'll be able to reduce your overall usage to almost nothing.
To begin, figure out how much you take on a regular basis. Then, every three or four days, reduce your dosage by half a milliliter. Your tolerance will have fallen dramatically within a few weeks, and you should be able to stop using completely with minimal withdrawal symptoms.
If you ever experience withdrawal symptoms, kratom tinctures can help you feel better quickly. You can get rid of withdrawal symptoms immediately away if you take it sublingually.
Kratom Tincture Precautions & Tips
These pointers will ensure that you're preparing the greatest tincture possible.
- Clear alcohol is used to make the majority of tinctures. Many herbalists, however, advise combining rum with bitter plants. The stronger flavor of rum can aid to hide the kratom's harsh and pungent taste.
- Your tincture will be more effective if the grind or cut of your herbal product is finer. More alkaloids can be extracted if the alcohol has access to a larger surface area.
- The quality of your plant material determines the quality of your tincture. The more recent the kratom, the better.
- Tinctures are a great method to get the active ingredients out of any old kratom you have lying around. Instead of cramming two-year-old kratom down your throat, try tincturing it.
- It's recommended to make the tinctures separately and then mix them together if you're producing a large quantity of tinctures with numerous ingredients.
Final Thoughts on Kratom Tinctures
Kratom tinctures are one of several methods to take the herbal supplement, but there's a reason they're not as well-known as they could be.
Producing tinctures requires time and effort, and the fact that kratom users typically drink several grams per dosage renders normal herbal ratios inefficient.
Kratom tinctures, on the other hand, are fast-acting and long-lasting, and can deliver greater benefits when taken with other herbal medicines than they might alone. Anyone prepared to experiment with kratom and manufacture their own tinctures might be pleasantly pleased.