Sadness is a normal emotion for humans to feel. Sudden lifestyle changes or losing loved ones can leave us with deep feelings of despair.
However, perpetual sadness that lingers for months or years can indicate a mental health issue. Psychologists and those in the medical community often refer to this state of chronic sadness as depression.
Depression is a widespread phenomenon. In the United States alone, nearly one in twelve US adults reported feeling depressed between 2013-2016.
Fortunately, there are treatment options for those suffering from depression. For most people, relief often comes from dietary and lifestyle changes, exercise, and/or medications. However, others have had success using kratom.
Kratom — a Southeast Asian plant — has been shown to possess mood-elevating properties when ingested. (Prozialeck et al., 2012, pg793) One study found that mitragynine, a naturally-occurring compound found in kratom leaves, is "able to produce an anti-depressant-like-effect" and has "psychotherapeutic value in [the] management of depression disorder." (Farah Idayu et al., 2011, pg406)
Kratom is currently legal to possess, use, and sell in many countries - including Canada and most of the United States. As a result, its popularity as an alternative medicine has soared.
That said, not all kratom is alike. Some kratom variants, or strains, seem to be more mood-boosting or pain-relieving. For this reason, some kratom strains are likely better at relieving depressive symptoms than others.
So what are the best kratom strains for depression? To find out, we analyzed and aggregated user reviews of over fifty kratom strains. Here's what we discovered — and what surprised us along the way.
We've written other "best of" kratom blog posts in the past. But identifying what makes kratom strains ideal for warding off depression was a little more complicated.
Depression often manifests itself as a low mood or a lack of enthusiasm. As a result, a strong mood boost seemed like the most crucial characteristic of an effective kratom strain for depression.
We also looked for strains that are commonly described as stimulating. Lethargy and fatigue often accompany depression, so we sought out energizing strains that could provide a burst of motivation.
Finally, the last thing we looked for was a low sedation score. Some heavily sedating strains might actually worsen depression by reducing energy levels even further. As a result, we looked specifically for strains that might do the opposite and put a little "pep" in your step.
Kratom's effects can vary from person-to-person, so few strains are truly "one size fits all." Nonetheless, we hope our findings will help point you in the right direction!
Supposedly highly euphoric and stimulating, White Borneo seems to pack quite a punch. However, White Borneo also appears to be more balanced than other white-veined strains. As a result, users have praised the strain's ability to elevate mood without increasing anxiety.
White Borneo may be most optimal at low doses (1-2.5g). At higher doses, the strain's benefits may become less pronounced, and dizziness and nausea may occur.
While White Malay seems less well-rounded than White Borneo, the strain appears to be only minimally sedating. As a result, some users have successfully used the strain to relieve depressive feelings without increasing fatigue or drowsiness.
However, depending on your preferences, White Malay's somewhat subdued nature could reduce its appeal. Other strains, such as White Borneo or even its cousin, Green Malay, are seemingly more stimulating. In addition, White Malay's reportedly average duration of effects could be a sore spot for some users.
But if you're looking for a mild, balanced mood boost, White Malay just might be a winner!
Like the other strains on this list, Yellow Horn seems to offer a noticeable mood-boost and energy. But Yellow Horn's standout quality appears to be its moderately pain-relieving nature — a bonus that some users will undoubtedly appreciate.
However, although Yellow Horn may be effective at relieving depressive symptoms, its effects could be short-lived. Users have reported that Yellow Horn's duration is average, with effects lasting about 2.5 hours at moderate doses (2.5-5g).
Most of the strains we've selected for this list seem to be only somewhat sedating. Green Thai, however, appears to set itself apart from the rest.
Users report that Green Thai's energizing onset gradually becomes more relaxing with time, especially at higher doses (5g+). That said, higher doses aren't necessarily more pleasant and can result in fatigue, nausea, and dizziness.
As a bonus, Green Thai also appears to possess an above-average duration of effects. That translates to more "bang" for your buck.
As of this writing, Green Elephant is reportedly the most energizing strain on this list, which is sure to turn some heads. Green Elephant also seems bolstered by an above-average duration and limited nervousness or anxiety.
However, Green Elephant's powerful effects don't come without consequence. Users have reported that Green Elephant may be more nauseating than other kratom strains, especially at higher doses (5g+).
With Green Malay, we may have saved the best for last!
Aside from possibly being the most euphoric strain on this list, Green Malay seems moderately stimulating and only minimally sedating. That's a whole lot of depression-fighting plant-power! Not only does Green Malay satisfy all three of our criteria, but it's also purportedly long-lasting as well.
That said, Green Malay's well-rounded nature may make it less energizing than other strains on this list. So if you prefer energizing kratom, you might be better off with one of the alternatives we've mentioned.
For some users, kratom is effective at relieving depressive symptoms. However, not every strain will be well-suited to every user. You might enjoy seemingly energizing strains like Green Elephant, while others might prefer the reportedly relaxing nature of White Borneo.
Regardless, we hope this post has helped lead your kratom journey in the right direction. Here's to your happiness!