comment
image3.png

Chronic pain is an epidemic in the US. According to a study by the CDC, approximately 20% of adult Americans (over 50 million!) suffer from chronic pain that lasts either a few days or several months. Given the prevalence of chronic pain, many supplements have risen up to help people deal with their aches and pains.

Kratom is a popular plant that has found support to be a potential alternative to opioids. Kratom, derived from the Mitragyna speciosa tree native to Southeast Asia, is known for its relaxant and psychotropic properties. Kratom has become much more popular in recent years as a method to help manage chronic pain, nerve pain, back pain and other issues such as anxiety. Enthusiasts claim that kratom has similar relaxant and pain-numbing effects to opioids, without some of the negative effects that come with them.

The world of health supplements is large and wide and it’s hard to know what to look for if you are on your own. So we put together this comprehensive guide on the best kratom vendors. These kratom sellers have been vetted by our highly particular standards to make sure they are the best currently on the market. So without any further ado, let’s get to it.

Kratom Online - Final Top List

Starlight Kratom - Red Maeng Da - Editor's Choice
• Happy Hippo Herbals - Red Hot Hippo - Runner Up
• Blue Diamond Herbs - Good Reviews

You can read more about each of these products below.

Reputable Kratom Vendors: How We Made This List

Many websites just find the first few kratom products that pop up when you search on Google. While this is a way to figure out which are the most popular, it does not necessarily tell you which products are the best. After all, companies can pay for ad space on Google so just because they pop up first in search results does not mean they are the best, or even that they are good.

So, when creating our lists, we rely on highly selective criteria and research several products. For this list, we have vetted over 25 different brands of kratom and marshaled our personal experience with the substance to give you an objective overview. Our goal is to give high-quality information so you can make an informed choice.

To that end, here are some metrics we use to judge the products we include.

- Quality of ingredients: We only choose kratom manufacturers that use high-quality ingredients and sourcing methods. We will not pick a company unless we can trace a clear path from their sources to products.
- Concentrations: Kratom is not regulated by the FDA and there is no medically agreed upon concentration for doses. That is why we only choose companies that clearly and explicitly state their ingredients and their concentrations.
- Potency. Kratom potency can be measured by the amount of grams of kratom per serving of the supplement. A typical dose of kratom is about 7 grams, though there is a lot of variation depending on your individual body chemistry, weight, and tolerance.
- Selection: There are a lot of kratom products ranging from liquids to capsules. Kratom is not as versatile as something like THC or CBD, but there are still a few different ways to ingest it.
- Value. It depends on the specific manufacturer and company, but the average price of kratom hovers around $8-$20 per oz (28g). The average cost of a kilogram of kratom costs anywhere between $90-$240, depending on the quality of the product.

3 Best Kratom Vendors for Pain Management

1. Starlight Kratom - Red Maeng Da - Editor’s Choice

image2.png

First up on our list is Starlight Kratom’s Red Maeng Da Kratom. Nicknamed “platinum kratom,” this kratom blend is designed out of high-quality natural ingredients. Red Maeng Da contains more flavonoids and alkaloids than many other kratom blends as it is created from several distinct kratom variants for a hybrid effect. All Starlight Kratom products are free from additives, pesticides, metal content, and synthetic chemicals, and all ingredients are sourced from sustainable farms in Indonesia.

Red Maeng Da comes in capsule form so it can be taken by itself or with food and drink. Each capsule contains 0.5 grams of kratom meaning that an appropriate dose is approximately 2-3 capsules. A single bottle contains 60 capsules meaning that a full bottle contains about 20-30 doses, depending on how many capsules you take at once. You can also buy a bottle containing only 25 capsules. A single 60-capsule bottle costs $40 and a 25-capsule bottle costs $20. Shipping costs vary depending on where you are located but they do offer same-day shipping to some areas. They also have a 30-day money-back refund policy, though the buyer is on the hook for any shipping costs for returning products.

Starlight claims that it partners with only the most trusted farms in Indonesia and that all its products are lab-tested for purity from additives, chemicals, and heavy metals. According to the lab reports, Red Maeng Da contains 60% mitragynine and passes all metrics for synthetics, heavy metals, and more. What’s more, Starlight Kratom utilizes DB Labs for its product reports, a company that is based out of the US and has a good reputation among the chemical testing community.

So overall, Starlight Kratom and its products hit most of the major metrics for a great company and product. They have clean, transparent lab reports, strong products, and a relatively generous return policy.

Learn more at StarlightKratom.com

2. Happy Hippo Herbals - Red Hot Hippo - Runner Up

image4.png

Next up on our roundup is Happy Hippo Herbals’ Red Hot Hippo, our pick for runner-up maeng da kratom. Red Hot Hippo is made from the popular red kratom leaf which is known for giving a high-energy stimulant response. Red Hot Hippo is designed to hit you fast, provide energy, and help mellow out your vibe when you are stressed or anxious. Happy Hippo Herbals ranks all of its products on a scale from slow to fast (slow meaning relaxation and calmness, high meaning energy and focus) and Red Hot Hippo is on the lower part of the “fast” end.

A little bit about the company: Happy hippo Herbals was founded recently, back in 2019, and has quickly grown. They recently expanded their operation to a larger market and have built a packaging and manufacturing laboratory that is accredited by the American Kratom Association, Happy Hippo Herbals attributes its recent success and growth primarily to positive word-of-mouth recommendations, rather than fancy marketing tricks.

The company, in general, also has good customer reviews. The majority of customer responses on their website are positive and many people claim customer service is friendly and helpful. Happy Hippo Herbals does their shipping through UPS and FedEx and you can opt for 2-day and next-day shipping for an extra fee.

Overall, Happy Hippo Herbals Red Hot Hippo is a high-quality kratom that easily deserves our runner-up spot. The blend is pure, the company is down-to-earth and friendly, and they also have a wide selection of kratom variants for different levels of experience and effects. They also sell CBD products on their website.

3. Blue Diamond Herbs - Good Reviews

image1.png

Last but not least on our round-up is Blue Diamond Herbs and its Red Maeng Da kratom. Blue Diamond is a locally owned company that works with farmers and suppliers right out of Indonesia. Blue Diamond claims that it works to provide the highest quality kratom to customers in and out of the US. Blue diamond ships to most states and countries, with the exception of Alabama, Indiana, Arkansas, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin, Tennessee, and parts of California and Colorado.

Blue Diamond provides a wide range of kratom products made from different kratom leaves. They also offer a starter pack that contains selections from their best-selling blends. From the website, you can look at all the lab reports for their products. Blue Diamond has a very large selection of Maeng Da, so make sure you research each blend properly for its concentration, effects, etc.

Shipping for Blue Diamond depends on your location and the size of the order. However they do offer free shipping on all orders over $75, so if you buy in bulk you get a better deal. They also have a generous 30-day return policy. If you are not satisfied, you can send back unused and unopened products for a full refund.

What Exactly Is Kratom?

Kratom is the name for the leaves of the tropical Southeast Asian tree Mitragyna speciosa which contain compounds with pain-relieving and psychotropic effects. The kratom plant is a member of the coffee tree family and is indigenous to most countries in Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Papua New Guinea.

Kratom is not a new discovery by any means. It has been used in traditional herbal medicines for centuries and has only come into focus of the scientific community in the last 100 years or so. Traditionally, kratom leaves were used to improve energy levels, increase appetite, and increase sexual desire. Kratom can be ingested by simply chewing on the leaves or by extracting the active chemical in the form of tonics, topical creams, and oils. Kratom leaves are also sometimes pulverized and ingested as a powder.

The active ingredient in kratom is called mitragynine which is what is called an “indole-based alkaloid.” Mitragynine along with several other chemically similar compounds are the main psychoactive ingredients in kratom. Mitragynine works by acting on the central nervous systems, through the mu, delta, and kappa opioid receptors. It is believed in the scientific community that mitragynine is a partial agonist, meaning it partially bonds with receptor cells, although there is still debate over the exact nature of the pharmacological mechanism.

Mitragynine is also known to interact with dopamine, adenosine, and serotonin receptors in the brain, but the nature of these interactions is not yet properly understood.

Kratom Effects and How to Take Kratom

Kratom is often said to have similar effects to both opioids and stimulants, despite technically being neither. Some of the most commonly reported psychological and physical effects of taking kratom include;

- Reduced anxiety
- A relaxing, sedative effect
- Reduced pain sensation
- Relaxation
- A “light” feeling in the body
- Heightened focus

In large doses, kratom is reported to produce a stimulating, euphoric “high” similar to other substances. At low doses, kratom seems to have a slight stimulant effect while at high doses it has more of an opioid effect.

Kratom can be ingested in many ways. In areas where the plant is common, people will often just chew on kratom leaves, similar to chewing on mint leaves or ginseng roots. Alternatively, many people crush the dried leaves into a powder which they then ingest with food or drink. Kratom powder can also be mixed with drinks like a smoothie or shake to ingest easier. Kratom powder has a characteristic bitter and earthy flavor so many people mix it with other foods to mask the taste.

Also, some people extract kratom resin by stripping the leaves of mitragynine and boiling away the solvent. This resin can be directly swallowed or can be mixed with hot drinks. Some people also smoke or vaporize kratom leaves, but this method is usually considered inefficient and kratom vapor is harsh on the lungs.

Is Kratom Safe to Use?

Kratom is 100% legal to own and sell though as it is not listed under DEA guidelines of schedules of controlled substances. The DEA was on the cusp of banning kratom back in 2016 but has since retraced their notice of intent to put the drug on the Schedule 1 list of controlled substances.

Despite the current legal status of the drug, research into its safety and toxicology are relatively limited. Studies in animals suggest that lethal doses vary greatly with species. Various anecdotal stories from users claim that kratom is non-toxic and non-habit forming, and, although these are not clinical evidence, anecdotal claims from users are a strong case for further formal studies.

Kratom Dosage and Side Effects

Kratom is not regulated by the FDA and there is no scientific consensus on what an appropriate dose is. However, many experts say that between 5g-15g is the ideal dosage, 5 if you are inexperienced and 15 if you are more adventurous and comfortable with the substance. Many people start with very small doses around 1-2 grams and increase the dosage until they get the desired effects. It is better to start small and work your way up to larger doses as you build your tolerance.

There is still not much clinical evidence on the short-term and long-term side effects of kratom. That being said, here is a list of commonly experienced side effects of kratom.

- Constipation
- Loss of appetite
- Lethargy and tiredness
- Insomnia
- Upset stomach
- Digestive issues

Scientists do not yet fully understand the chemical profile of kratom but there is a growing consensus that mitragynine might have addictive properties. Common side effects of mitragynine withdrawal include nausea, sweating, tremors, and hallucinations. The severity and long-lasting effects of kratom use and withdrawal are currently not well understood.

As is the case with any substance, you should always talk to your doctor first before trying any new supplement. There is much concern over the way that kratom interacts with other substances so you should not take kratom if you currently are on other medications for underlying issues.

Alternative Pain Reducing Supplements to Kratom

There are a lot of natural alternatives to kratom for pain management.

- Peppermint oil. Peppermint oil is commonly used to treat various aches and pains, most commonly toothaches. Peppermint oil is believed to have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects.
- Eucalyptus leaves: Eucalyptus is a commonly used plant to treat pain. Eucalyptus leaves and oils have anti[pain properties and anti=inflammatory properties. Eucalyptus oil can be dangerous in large quantities though.
- Ginger. Ginger is another common analgesic that is commonly used for muscle pain and inflammation. Ginger is also very common, cheap, and has no known negative side effects.
- Turmeric: Turmeric is a commonly used substance for aches and pains. The active ingredient in turmeric is called Curcuma and is known to have anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric is a common ingredient used for food so it is cheap and relatively abundant.
- Capsaicin: Capsaicin is the active ingredient in peppers that make them spicy. Capsaicin has anti-inflammatory and produces a light, tingling sensation when applied to the skin via a cream.

Conclusion

Kratom is an exciting and new substance in health and wellness circles and is becoming more common as a method of treating various forms of pain. So if you are going to try kratom, make sure you do your research and buy from a reputable vendor. The best kratom sellers are transparent about their product quality and sources. Hopefully, our guide can give you some good information to get started.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.