According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness1, anxiety disorders rank among the most common mental health concerns in the United States and around the world. In the US alone, anxiety affects more than 40 million adults. Worldwide data is even worse, with nearly 245 million people (4% of the world’s population)2 suffering from various anxiety disorders ranging from mildly stressful to downright debilitating.
While traditional pharmaceutical and lifestyle changes can (and sometimes do) offer relief, for some, harsh and expensive pharmaceuticals with lasting side effects might not be the best option.
This has led millions around the world to seek out natural therapies and alternative aids such as Kratom in search of effective ways to help manage anxious feelings and symptoms.
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: We cannot advocate nor tell you to use Kratom for any particular ailment you may be experiencing. Nothing in this guide is meant to be construed as medical advice, and any Kratom strains or products mentioned in this guide is not meant to diagnose, prevent or treat any medical condition. If you suffer from anxiety, please see a doctor. Similarly, if you are thinking about trying Kratom for anxiety, always discuss this with your physician first.
Now, as the mandatory legal disclaimer is out of the way, we’d like to take you on a deep dive into what the scientific research says about Kratom’s potential as a therapeutic aid for managing anxiety *HINT* – it looks really, really, promising.
Kratom and Anxiety: a Quick Overview
Anxiety and fear are adaptive responses that all humans experience when presented with perceived threats. However, persistent fear, stress, worry, and anxiety can lead to a significantly lower quality of life and an increased risk of other ailments.
Kratom has long been used as a dietary supplement and holistic all-natural aid to help with a broad range of issues, including stress and anxious thoughts.
Many people find that Kratom helps to support their overall mental health and well-being, with certain strains having a more pronounced effect on those with anxiety.
Strains, dosing, and alkaloid profile all play a major role in Kratom’s ability to help with anxiety. For example, when consumed in smaller quantities, strains with a high concentration of stimulating alkaloids like ajmalicine and mitragynine may have side effects.
Studies show that strains with higher concentrations of both speciogynine and hydroxymitragynine, each possessing strong relaxing properties, might be helpful for anxiety.
It is also seen that sedative green or red strains taken in moderate doses (over 4.5 grams of dried leaf powder per dose) might help to achieve a more relaxed state of mind and body.
Related: The Different Kratom Varieties and Their Effects
What Kratom Alkaloids are Best for Anxiety?
The powerful analgesic effects of Kratom may be due in part to a compound called speciogynine. But this alkaloid is known for more than just pain relief. It is also thought to possess strong relaxing properties as well.
In fact, most of the euphoric effects of Kratom come from mitragynine, of which speciogynine is a diastereoisomer.
Effects of Speciogynine on Anxiety
According to the Frontiers in Pharmacology Journal3, this alkaloid’s pharmacological properties extended to mediate (in part) the body’s natural opioid receptor system. There it acted to produce, among other effects, antinociceptive properties (reduction in pain and stress without impacting consciousness).
Although research is limited and ongoing, it is thought that speciogynine plays a significant role in the mediation of a relaxed state of mind and body, and therefore may be a potential therapeutic aid for anxiety.
For reference, about 6-8% of Kratom’s alkaloid is comprised of naturally occurring speciogynine.
Most of Kratom’s pharmacological actions are produced by its two major alkaloids, 7-hydroxymitragynine, and mitragynine. Of these, 7-hydroxymitragynine is thought to have considerable relaxing properties that those with anxiety may find helpful.
Although the amount of alkaloids in Kratom varies from strain to strain, 7-hydroxymitragynine typically accounts for less than 2% of the total alkaloid profile. By contrast, Mitragynine typically makes up around up to 65% of the total alkaloid profile in Kratom.
Effects of 7-hydroxymitragynine on Anxiety
According to the Journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence4, 7-hydroxymitragynine affected the brain’s reward/pleasure center in much the same way morphine does. This study also asserted that its findings showed that Kratom does not have ‘abuse potential’.
Activating the brain’s reward and/or pleasure center is often associated with improved mood, perceived mental health/state of mind, relaxation, and more. All of which could prove useful for anxiety.
Another study published in the journal of Brain Research Bulletin5 concluded that, “M. speciosa extracts possess antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant, and muscle relaxant properties.” Among those alkaloids responsible for relaxation and anti-depressive properties is 7-hydroxymitragynine.
The Yale Journal of Biological Medicine further argues that “While Kratom is most commonly known for its affinity to opioid receptors, it also has affinity to serotonin and dopamine receptors, signaling its potential for treating depression, anxiety, and psychosis.”6, 7
Best Kratom Strains for Anxiety
Kratom comes in several popular strains including: red, white, green, and yellow. Each of these strains is made from leaves of the Mitragyna speciosa plant, a tropical evergreen tree native to Southeast Asia and part of the coffee family.
Each ‘vein’ represents a certain stage in the tree’s growth cycle, when the concentration and profile of alkaloids in the tree’s leaves varies. It is these variations that account for each strain’s unique effects when consumed.
Some of these alkaloids and corresponding effects are better for anxiety, but some could have side effects. According to the Journal of Natural Products8, the alkaloid profiles of various Kratom strains within the species has been well-documented and is attributable to each strains’ unique effects when consumed.
Below we take a look at the best ‘veins’ and strains of Kratom for anxiety to help you find the best options to try out.
Green is Gold as Far as Anxiety and Kratom are Concerned
Among the best Kratom strains for anxiety are those that are Green Veined, or Green Vein Kratom. Green strains are notably more social, balanced, and euphoric without being too sedative or energetic. Many who struggle with anxiety want to relax and maintain a sense of calm, but not be so zonked that they feel like laying around on the sofa all day.
1. Green Malaysian Kratom for Anxiety
One of the most soothing green-vein Kratom strains is Green Malay Kratom. For those who want to enjoy Kratom in a social setting, this strain may be a top pick. For its euphoric effects that promote social interaction, this strain has earned the moniker “social lubricant.”
If you’re looking for Kratom to help with daytime anxiety but are concerned about the sedative effects of a stronger green or red vein, this might be the Kratom for you.
What is Green Malaysian Kratom?
Green Malaysian Kratom, also known as ‘Green Malay’ is a unique and potent strain of Kratom that is known for its strong but well-balanced effects. This particular strain is grown in the rainforests of Malaysia and is known for an alkaloid profile that produces a nice blend of euphoria and calm relaxation along with an uplifted mood without being too drowsy.
Green Malay is made from Mitragyna Speciosa leaves after the first initial growth spurt, when the veins on the underside of the leaves turn from light to a darker green.
At this stage, the veins contain a strong combination of alkaloids ideal for uplifting mood, increasing euphoria, and decreasing stress and anxiety.
Where Does Green Malaysian Kratom Come from?
Green Malaysian Kratom is native to Malaysia, an island country located in Southeast Asia. Malaysia is home to a diversity of cultures and languages, and Kratom has been used by the indigenous people of Malaysia for centuries. The green Malaysian Kratom strain is thought to have originated in the Malaysian state of Sarawak, where it is still commonly found growing in the wild.
Today, green Malaysian Kratom is grown and harvested in many parts of Southeast Asia, including Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand. It is also widely available in the United States, where it is sold online and in many health food stores. If you are looking for a stimulating and energizing Kratom strain, green Malaysian Kratom might be a great option to consider.
What Makes Green Malay Good for Anxiety?
Green Malaysian Kratom is rich with a synergistic blend of naturally occurring plant alkaloids that work in unison to produce a pleasant calm and euphoric state that melts away stress. Many find this strain ideal for social occasions, and social anxiety, helping to ‘break the ice’ and tension in much the same way some people use 1-3 drinks of alcohol.
Green Malaysian Kratom Effects
- Improved social interactions
- Better state of mind
- Mood enhancing
- Sense of calm (without being too drowsy)
- A general feeling of well-being
2. Green Maeng Da Kratom for Anxiety
What is Green Maeng Da Kratom?
Green strains, like the popular Green Maeng Da, are noted for their unique combination of characteristics present in both red and white strains, resulting in more mellow and well-balanced overall effects. This strain is harvested early in spring when the alkaloid profile is a combination of those found in both white and red Kratom.
Where Does Green Maeng Da Kratom Come from?
While the Maeng Da variety of Kratom may have originated in Thailand, it is now successfully produced and farmed across all of Southeast Asia.
What Makes Green Maeng Da Good for Anxiety?
That Thai word “Maeng Da” is loosely translated to ‘pimp grade’. This has nothing to do with pimps though. The term was meant to describe the potency of this particular strain of Kratom. All Maeng Da strains are specifically cross-bred over time for increased potency and for this reason are among the most powerful of all Kratom strains.
For people who prefer the effects of green vein Kratom for their anxiety but who require a stronger effect, this strain might fit the bill.
Green Maeng Da Kratom Effects
- Uplifted mood
- Pain relief
- Mildly energetic
- Smooth and calming
- Slightly sedative
- Strongly relaxing
3. Red Maeng Da Kratom for Anxiety
What is Red Maeng Da Kratom?
As mentioned above, Maeng Da is highly regarded as one of the most potent Kratom strains (or “veins”) due to the remarkable combination of natural alkaloids it contains. As a red strain, meaning the leaves have been picked later in their growth cycle, Red Maeng Da Kratom produces pronounced and deeply relaxing effects, combined with a euphoria that those with anxiety often find soothing and calming.
What Does Red Maeng Da Come From?
Kratom trees used to make this vein of Kratom are planted all across Southeast Asia, especially in Indonesia. However, the leaves of trees in India, Thailand, Malaysia, and other countries may be included in certain Red Maeng Da mixes.
Red-veined Kratom is picked when the veins on the underside of the leaves become red. This signifies that the strain’s leaves have reached the optimal concentration of alkaloids.
What Makes Red Maeng Da Good for Anxiety?
Kratom’s psychoactive and physiological effects have made it a popular botanical used for centuries across Southeast Asia and around the world. Several studies have verified Kratom’s potential to cause a broad variety of effects, many of which consumers perceive to be useful for stress, mood, and anxiety.
Of all the Kratom strains, Maeng Da strains are the most potent, producing pronounced effects that outperform those of other strains.
Keep in mind though that red strains are more sedative and generally might not be the best option if you plan on being lively and energetic.
Red Maeng Da Kratom Effects
- Deep relaxation
- A soothing sedating effects
- Pain relief
4. White Maeng Da Kratom for Anxiety
What is White Maeng Da Kratom?
White Maeng Da Kratom is a highly regarded and strong Kratom “vein,” or strain. Again, the moniker ‘Maeng Da’ is derived from the Thai term for “pimp” or “pimp grade,” which alludes to the strain’s potent effects.
The stimulatory effects of some alkaloids in this strain, especially when taken in small amounts, appear to be more pronounced than with other veins. A lot of people find that it gives them just as much energy as their morning coffee or as a great replacement for energy drinks.
That said, this stimulatory effect may make some people’s anxiety flair up, not subside.
What Does White Maeng Da Come From?
White Maeng Da originated in Thailand, but have since spread throughout Southeast Asian nations where Kratom trees thrive amid the hot tropical climates.
What Makes White Maeng Da Good for Anxiety?
Although notably more uplifting and stimulatory than other veins, white Maeng Da isn’t as jittery as traditional stimulants. The Kratom’s unique alkaloid profile acts to mellow out the energetic onset, with feelings of euphoria and mental clarity/relaxation evening out any stimulatory onset.
For some, this effectively does two things: keeps them alert, awake, and talkative, but also mentally calm, focused, creative, and social.
Because of this, white strains are sometimes a great option for mitigating anxiety without feeling too lethargic and sedated.
White Maeng Da Kratom Effects
- Uplifting motivation
- Smooth energy
- Mental clarity and focus
- Creative thoughts
- Improved socialization
- Better overall outlook on life
- Mood boost
5. Red Bali Kratom for Anxiety
What is Red Bali Kratom?
The red veined variety of Bali is among the most sought-after. Rich in the alkaloid Mitragynine, Red Bali is often a favorite of those seeking pain relief. But the same properties that aid in pain relief also make this an ideal strain for anxiety as well.
What Does Red Bali Kratom Come From?
Due to the island’s year-round sunlight and somewhat acidic soil, Kratom grows very well in Bali. This contributes to Bali Kratom’s distinctive and strong alkaloid profile.
What Makes Red Bali Good for Anxiety?
Mitragynine has been shown to interact strongly with the opioid receptors in our brain. This interaction is known to produce strong pain-relieving effects, but also influences mood, euphoria, and relaxation. As the most prominent alkaloid, mitragynine, in combination with more than 40 other minor alkaloids works to produce effects that many find soothing for anxiety.
As a red vein Kratom, effects from this strain tend to be on the sedative side. For those with anxiety, a calmer, less energetic effect is often more helpful than the mental energy and stimulation offered by white and green strains.
Red Bali Kratom Effects
- Elevated mood
- A relaxed state of mind and body
- Improved sense of well-being
- Lower perception of pain
- Deep calm
Kratom For Anxiety: How Does it Work?
More than 40 pharmacologically active alkaloids, including numerous powerful opioid receptor agonists, are found in the Kratom (Mitragyna Speciosa) plant. Scientifically this has several implications, acting on these receptors to produce a wide range of desirable effects that could help with anxiety.
It is common knowledge that opioid receptors are involved with pain reduction and mediation, but that’s not all these receptors do.
Kratom and GABA’s Role in Anxiety
A Journal of Neuroscience study9 revealed that opioid receptors are also involved in the regulation of GABA and dopamine. GABA is a brain neurotransmitter that plays a role in relaxation, suppressing neural stimulation that can lead to anxiety and anxious thoughts when on high alert.
Kratom’s interaction with opioid receptors is thought to influence GABA to block the effects of glutamate (an excitatory neurotransmitter), thus aiding in a calm and relaxed state of mind and body.
Kratom and Dopamine’s Role in Anxiety
The Yale Journal of Biological Medicine10 published a study that suggested that Kratom’s interaction with both dopamine and serotonin receptors may have antidepressant and anti-psychotic effects.
Specifically, they found that the alkaloids mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine are able to interact with the same receptors that several classes of antidepressant and antipsychotic drugs do. By doing so, Kratom might influence both serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain.
Dopamine is commonly known as the ‘feel good’ neurotransmitter, responsible for feelings of contentment, joy, euphoria, and mood. Kratom’s ability to influence dopamine is thought to be one of several methods of action that aids in reducing anxiety and improving overall mood and sense of well-being.
Scientific Studies on Kratom and Anxiety
The medical community has been slow to embrace Kratom as a therapeutic aid. As such, there is a lack of clinical trials and few studies looking at how the plant impacts human physiology.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that Kratom’s alkaloids have been studied extensively in vivo and in vitro studies (in the lab and on live animals).
From these studies, we can draw some theories about how Kratom’s alkaloids may be able to help with anxiety.
Journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence
In a survey-based study looking at feedback from 8,049 participants surveyed, 66% of Kratom users reported the effective use of Kratom to relieve symptoms associated with mood disorders, including PTSD, depression, and anxiety.11
What Dose of Kratom is Best for Anxiety?
Given that there is no standard dose protocol for Kratom, we can’t give you specifics here. The fact is, everyone’s body chemistry is unique and what works for one individual may not for another.
Kratom is what we call a dose-dependent supplement. What this means is that (generally speaking), different doses are known to produce significantly different effects even from the same vein and strain.
As a basic rule of thumb, lower doses are associated with a more stimulant-like and motivational effect that many people find great for work, chores, or remaining active throughout the day.
On the other hand, moderate to higher doses tend to be more sedative and relaxing.
Low Dose Kratom
Typically considered anything under 4 grams, at this dose, the effects of all Kratom strains tend to be more uplifting and energetic. Although the stimulating effects are not as pronounced or jittery as those of coffee or an energy drink, some people still find it to aggravate their anxiety. Others, however, appreciate the mild euphoria, elevated mood, and lack of sedation.
High Dose Kratom
Doses of around 5-8 grams are considered high doses of Kratom. Most individuals suggest never going over 6.5 grams, but some people do have higher tolerances.
At doses of 5g on up Kratom tends to produce a more sedative euphoric effect that some find too sleepy for daytime activities and social occasions. This is why people often choose to take higher doses closer to bed or to relax after a long day at work.
Final Thoughts About the Best Kratom for Anxiety
Anxiety and stress are something that affects nearly all of us at some point in our lives. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, anxiety disorders rank among the most common mental health concerns in the United States and around the world.
In the US, more than 40 million adults experience anxiety. Similarly, the American Psychological Association states that stress is a major health concern with more than one-third of all Americans living with extreme stress, a contributing factor to a wide range of health problems, reduced productivity, and poorer relationships.
Many of those struggling turn to pharmaceuticals for help, only to be left with large medical expenses and unwanted (and sometimes serious) side effects.
But for millions of individuals, seeking out an all-natural alternative to help them manage stress, well-being, and relaxation is a more ideal path.
*If you have clinical anxiety or depression always reach out to a doctor and follow their advice*
One such option is Kratom. Although research is ongoing, what we know today is that Kratom’s many alkaloids have the ability to interact with several receptors responsible (in part) for modulating mood, depression, anxiety, and more.
For centuries Kratom has been used for a wide range of purposes, with improved mood, relaxation, euphoria, and a better sense of well-being ranking among the top reasons cited by consumers around the world.
To that effect, millions of individuals tout the potential benefit of Kratom and the positive impact it has had on their lives, including anxiety.
If the stresses of life are wearing on you, and you’ve already explored conventional methods of reducing anxiety in your life, Kratom may be an option worth discussing with your doctor. Given its popularity, Kratom is now readily available online and in health stores around the nation.
But remember, the quality of your Kratom matters (a lot). Consider checking out the highly vetted vendors on our site when shopping for the best Kratom for anxiety, and rest easy knowing your product has been tested for purity, potency, and efficacy.
DISCLAIMER: NOTHING IN THIS GUIDE IS TO BE CONSTRUED AS MEDICAL ADVICE OR ADVICE OF ANY KIND. INFORMATION IN THIS GUIDE IS FOR EDUCATIONAL AND INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. KRATOM DOES NOT DIAGNOSE, TREAT, OR CURE ANY DISEASE OR MEDICAL CONDITION. BEFORE TRYING ANY NEW SUPPLEMENT PLEASE SPEAK WITH YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER AND FOLLOW YOUR DOCTOR’S ADVICE.
1. National Alliance of Mental Illness. Anxiety Disorders (2017).
2. World Economic Forum. This is the world’s biggest mental health problem – and you might not have heard of it. (2019)
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4. Behnood-Rod, A., Chellian, R., Wilson, R., Hiranita, T., Sharma, A., Leon, F., McCurdy, C. R., McMahon, L. R., & Bruijnzeel, A. W. (2020). Evaluation of the rewarding effects of mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine in an intracranial self-stimulation procedure in male and female rats. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 215, 108235. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2020.108235.
5. Suhaimi, F. W., Yusoff, N. H. M., Hassan, R., Mansor, S. M., Navaratnam, V., Müller, C. P., & Hassan, Z. (2016). Neurobiology of Kratom and its main alkaloid mitragynine. Brain Research Bulletin, 126(Pt 1), 29-40. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2016.03.015.
6. Matsumoto, K., Mizowaki, M., Suchitra, T., Murakami, Y., Takayama, H., Sakai, S., & Aimi, N. (1996). Central antinociceptive effects of mitragynine in mice: contribution of descending noradrenergic and serotonergic systems. European Journal of Pharmacology, 317(1), 75-81. doi: 10.1016/S0014-2999(96)00714-5.
7. Takayama, H. (2004). Chemistry and pharmacology of analgesic indole alkaloids from the rubiaceous plant, Mitragyna speciosa. Chemical & Pharmaceutical Bulletin, 52(8), 916-928. doi: 10.1248/cpb.52.916.
8. Flores-Bocanegra, L., Raja, H. A., Graf, T. N., Augustinović, M., Wallace, E. D., Hematian, S., Kellogg, J. J., Todd, D. A., Cech, N. B., & Oberlies, N. H. (2021). The Chemistry of Kratom [Mitragyna speciosa]: Updated Characterization Data and Methods to Elucidate Indole and Oxindole Alkaloids. Journal of Natural Products, 84(6), 1686-1705. doi: 10.1021/acs.jnatprod.0c00257.
9. Klitenick MA, DeWitte P, Kalivas PW. Regulation of somatodendritic dopamine release in the ventral tegmental area by opioids and GABA: an in vivo microdialysis study. J Neurosci. 1992 Jul;12(7):2623-32. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.12-07-02623.1992.
10. Johnson, L. E., Balyan, L., Magdalany, A., Saeed, F., Salinas, R., Wallace, S., Veltri, C. A., Swogger, M. T., Walsh, Z., & Grundmann, O. (2020). The potential for kratom as an antidepressant and antipsychotic. Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, 93(2), 283-289. PMID: 32607089, PMCID: PMC7309668.
11. Grundmann, O., Brown, P. N., Henningfield, J. E., Swogger, M. T., & Walsh, Z. (2017). Patterns of Kratom use and health impact in the US—Results from an online survey. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 176, 63–70. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2017.03.007.