Most kratom users know the plant best as a powder. However, as the kratom industry has grown, manufacturers have expanded their product lines with other forms of kratom.
Liquid kratom is a relatively new contender in the kratom space. And unlike traditional kratom powders, these beverage-like products are designed for easy, on-the-go use.
But does liquid kratom live up to the hype, or is it another gimmick product that's destined to fade away? Let's take a look!
As the name suggests, liquid kratom is kratom in a liquid form. Most liquid kratom products are made from kratom extracts, making them highly concentrated. As a result, a single 3ml serving of liquid kratom can be many times more potent than 3ml of brewed kratom tea.
Generally, liquid kratom products are sold in 8-12oz bottles. Each bottle might contain a single serving or several servings.
Some liquid kratom products are "full-spectrum," meaning that they include all the original components of the kratom plant, including alkaloids like mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. Other liquid kratom products are isolates and only contain select kratom alkaloids.
Manufacturers use a variety of techniques to create liquid kratom products. But most liquid kratom products are likely produced by using ethanol as a solvent.
Unfortunately, this technique isn't foolproof. The process often destroys vital components of the kratom plant, including some of the naturally-occurring kratom alkaloids that are responsible for the plant's distinctive properties.
Thankfully, by using proprietary extraction processes, kratom manufacturers can often retain more of kratom's natural alkaloids.
Although they're more expensive, liquid kratom products have some notable advantages over traditional kratom powders.
For starters, liquid kratom is often more convenient than kratom powder: just grab, drink, and you're done! Because most liquid kratom products are designed for on-the-go use, there's no need to measure your dosage with measuring spoons or a digital scale.
Liquid kratom products also tend to be less messy than their powdered equivalents. While there's still a risk of spilling liquid kratom, it's not nearly as annoying getting gritty, dusty kratom powder all over your hands and clothing.
On a pharmacological level, liquid kratom might have the edge over kratom powders, too. As liquids, liquid kratom products can be rapidly digested and absorbed into the tissues of the body, potentially resulting in a quick onset of effects. In contrast, it can take a lot longer for the stomach to break down raw kratom plant matter and release its alkaloids, resulting in a potentially slower onset.
The most obvious drawback of liquid kratom is the price. A single 10ml liquid kratom product can cost $15-25 USD and contain only several doses. For that amount, you can purchase about 100g of kratom powder or more from most vendors, which can be measured out into dozens of doses.
In addition, liquid kratom products offer less variety than kratom powders. Some liquid kratom products are only available in a single version with no other kratom strains to choose from. Meanwhile, most kratom vendors sell dozens of kratom strains with varying properties, allowing you to discover your favourites and shake things up when needed.
Some liquid kratom products contain additional botanical ingredients, such as white willow bark and yohimbine extracts. These added botanicals can change the end-user experience — for better or worse. In some cases, they're hidden behind proprietary blend labeling, making it impossible to identify how much of each ingredient you're getting.
Some liquid kratom products are fortified with additional kratom alkaloids to make them stronger. While potent liquid kratom products might be enticing to some buyers, those unaware may unknowingly consume a stronger dose than intended, which can lead to nausea, vomiting, and dizziness.
One study found that an enhanced kratom product contained 500% more 7-hydroxymitragynine than natural kratom leaves (Lydecker et al., 2016).
Liquid kratom products are sold by many kratom vendors, both online and offline. Some liquid kratom products are exclusive to select vendors, while others are available in gas stations and various online stores nationwide.
That said, not all liquid kratom products are created equally. Poor quality liquid kratom products can contain residual amounts of toxic solvents. In addition, contaminants like heavy metals can also make their way into liquid kratom during manufacturing, many of which are hazardous to human health. For these reasons, it's essential to use discretion when purchasing these products for personal use.
The best suppliers of liquid kratom are trusted vendors with rigorous standards of quality and purity. In particular, look for vendors that third-party lab-test their liquid kratom products and regularly publish their results online. Vendors that meet the American Kratom Association's Good Manufacturing Practice standards are also likely to provide safe and pure liquid kratom products.
Liquid kratom products are an effective and convenient alternative to kratom powders. However, they can involve many of the same health risks. The quality, safety, and purity of liquid kratom products can vary, and there's a possibility that some are contaminated or adulterated with other substances.
If you're interested in trying liquid kratom, always ensure that you're purchasing from a trusted source. By doing your due diligence, you can continue to enjoy kratom in its many forms while minimizing the risks associated with unscrupulous products.
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