What are the Side Effects of Kratom? Is it Safe?

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If you’ve read on the internet that Kratom is a wonder supplement with no adverse effects at all, I’m sorry to say that you’ve been misinformed.

Many Kratom fans, especially those who frequent online forums like Reddit, spread this misinformation. But it’s simply not true, which is unfortunate for the many consumers who are new to this amazing botanical.

But don’t let it make you feel bad or discourage you from exploring how Kratom can help improve your health, well-being, and quality of life. Kratom is a potent herb offering a multitude of positive benefits that shouldn’t be ignored. I’d go so far as to say that thousands of lives have even been saved because to it.

Not to mention Kratom has been used by MILLIONS of individuals around the globe for centuries, the vast majority of whom enjoy this botanical without any cause for concern.

That said, if taken haphazardly or abused, even Kratom will unavoidably have some negative effects on your health.

In this guide, we’ll go through the many adverse effects that Kratom might have as well as how to completely prevent them.

What Is Kratom?

Kratom is an increasingly popular herbal supplement that is derived from a Southeast Asian tree, officially known as Mitragyna Speciosa. It is said to have a variety of therapeutic and health benefits including pain relief, increased energy, mood enhancement, reduced stress, and improved focus and mental clarity. Although Kratom is generally considered safe, there are some potential side effects that should be taken into consideration before taking the supplement.

Potential Side Effects of Kratom

Before we dive in, it’s important to note that the majority of Kratom users enjoy this supplement without any adverse (or minimal) side effects. However, as with any supplement, its important to be aware of the potential risks for side effects so that you can take steps to avoid them, or deal with them if they pop up.

Nausea or Vomiting

The most common side effect reported by people who take Kratom is nausea and vomiting. This may be due to the fact that Kratom contains a variety of alkaloids, some of which are known to be stomach irritants.

If you experience these symptoms when taking Kratom, it is best to reduce your dosage or stop taking the supplement altogether. Another tactic that consumers report helping is to avoid taking Kratom on an empty stomach as this can cause discomfort for some individuals.

Preventing Nausea & Vomiting

  • An effective technique to relieve nausea is by making Kratom tea with ginger
  • Eating a nutritious meal before using Kratom might sometimes prevent nausea

Constipation or Diarrhea

Other gastrointestinal side effects that have been reported include constipation and diarrhea. Because Kratom alkaloids work much in the same way as opiates, frequent Kratom use may cause constipation much in the same way opioids do. On the other hand, some individuals find that their stomach is extra sensitive to Kratom’s alkaloids and that can cause them to rush to the bathroom shortly after use. If that’s the case, make sure to stay hydrated.

Preventing Constipation

Mild Withdrawal, Cravings, and Irritability

Kratom is not known to be highly addictive. However, it can produce some mild withdrawal symptoms such as cravings, irritability, and restlessness if it is taken in large doses or for a long period of time. Withdrawal severity can vary from person to person, but can typically be managed by easing off the supplement. It is recommended that individuals who experience withdrawal symptoms seek help from a healthcare professional.

Preventing Withdrawal and Irritability

  • Use Kratom responsibly
  • Don’t keep scaling up the dose to unreasonable levels
  • Take breaks from use now and again

Potentially Serious Side Effects when MIXED With Alcohol, Medications, or Drugs

In addition to these possible side effects, there are some more serious potential risks associated with Kratom use. It is important to note that not all risks are associated with all users. Some people are more sensitive than others. Some of these potential risks include liver damage, kidney damage, and respiratory depression.

Kratom should not be taken in combination with alcohol or other drugs. There is a risk of both an overdose and a drug interaction if Kratom is taken with other substances. This could result in a dangerous combination of side effects that could be fatal in some cases. It is important to be aware of the possible risks associated with Kratom and to exercise caution when taking it.

Avoiding Dangerous Interactions

  • Don’t use Kratom with alcohol
  • Don’t mix Kratom and other recreational drugs
  • Don’t consume Kratom while taking prescription medication without FIRST discussing it with your doctor

Laziness & Sedation

Kratom often has an initial stimulant effect, especially at lower doses. When taken in low doses Kratom is actually quite energizing and is sometimes used as a replacement for coffee or energy drinks. But at moderate to high doses, this stimulant-like effect gives way to deep relaxation and drowsiness.

For those needing to stay physically active or mentally alert, this can be a real downside, resulting in tiredness, lethargy, and sedation.

Kratom Lethargy Prevention Tips

  • Take low to moderate doses
  • Consider sticking to White Vein Kratom which tends to be more energizing
  • Use Red Vein Kratom in moderation (these strains are more sedative)


Kratom may make you feel lightheaded at large dosages, particularly when combined with sedating strains. This is often one of the unintended consequences that appear along with the wobbles. Later, we’ll go into further depth on the wobbles.

Kratom Safety Advice to Prevent Lightheadedness

  • Lean back. Once you’re off your feet, the feeling of lightheadedness normally turns into a relaxing pleasure
  • Avoid jerky motions
  • Don’t stand up too fast
  • Stay extra hydrated
  • Make sure you’re getting in your electrolytes
  • Don’t overdo it on dosing
  • Consider paying attention to your blood pressure with an at-home monitor

Brain fog and general cognitive impairment are two of Kratom’s most frequent psychological adverse effects. But don’t worry, these effects are similar to what you might expect while high on marijuana, or drunk on beer or wine. In other words, it readily clears up once the effects have worn off.

The phrase “brain fog” refers to a kind of muddled thinking. You could notice that your thinking is slower or that it’s more difficult for you to recall information from memory.

As the effects of the Kratom start to wear off, some individuals report experiencing mental fog. While many people believe that this is more similar to lethargy or exhaustion than relaxation, stimulating stresses often dissipate into a form of calm. Similar to a coffee crash.

Some people who use Kratom every day may also develop a chronic and ongoing issue with brain fog. Even when not taking Kratom, a number of abuse-related issues, including adrenal tiredness and brain chemical imbalances, may result in persistent brain fog.

Kratom users who regularly use more than 15 grams per day say that their memory and cognitive function are negatively impacted. Their social skills are hampered as a result, making it more difficult for them to engage in clever or well-organized discourse.

Additionally, brain fog may make it difficult to perform at work and put some individuals on the path to addiction to Kratom. As the Kratom wears off, brain fog usually becomes more noticeable. Some users, particularly those with intellectually demanding occupations, decide to re-dose additional Kratom every two hours in an effort to prevent the inevitable brain fog and maintain concentration throughout the day.

Kratom Brain Fog Prevention Tips

  • Remain hydrated. Water is essential for the normal firing of neurons in the brain. Dehydration will cause you to think more slowly.
  • Make sure you are consuming all of the recommended daily nutrients. For proper brain function, the B vitamins, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, and choline are all crucial.
  • Reduce the dosage. Using lesser dosages prevents alkaloids from accumulating in your system and results in a much milder collapse.

Anxiety and/or Agitation or Restlessness

Kratom is often used to combat stress and anxious feelings. But there’s something to be said about using Kratom or any other substance as a ‘Band-Aid’ for your issues rather than addressing the underlying problem itself. In some cases, the side effects will materialize as the exact issues you’re attempting to heal.

Although thousands of individuals tout Kratom as a means for effectively dealing with anxiety and stress, Kratom has also been shown to do the opposite for some people.

For example, Kratom might affect the adrenaline system. One of the most prevalent symptoms of anxiety is the fight-or-flight reaction, which is brought on by adrenaline surges. This may be especially true of white strains and when taken in smaller doses where Kratom acts more like a stimulant.

When you take Kratom as a stopgap anxiolytic, your anxiety may ‘bottle up,’ and when you stop use, anxiety might flair back up.

Tips For Using Kratom To Prevent Anxiety

  • You are definitely taking too much Kratom if it makes you anxious. Consider lowering your dosage and taking a break
  • Take advantage of this time to think about your anxiety and pinpoint its causes so you can address it
  • Consider therapy or discussing anxiety medication with your doctor

Heart Rate and Blood Pressure

Kratom may influence both heart rate and blood pressure in some individuals. According to the Journal of Frontiers in Pharmacology (2021), studies have shown that Kratom could induce a prolonged QTc interval, resulting in an increased risk of arrhythmia or torsades de points (a dangerous arrhythmia). However, occurrences of this are rare, with the study noting that the two most common cardiovascular effects included tachycardia (high heart rate) and hypertension (high blood pressure), both of which resolve after effects wear off.

Other / Uncommon Side Effects

These are some additional negative effects that Kratom may cause. However, further research is needed to understand how or why Kratom may play a role in these rare side effects.

Rare Side Effects Include:

  • An allergic response that impact the sinuses, digestive system, or skin
  • Long-term usage may lead to confusion and problems with short-term memory
  • Though exceedingly rare, hallucinations and delusions do happen sometimes
  • Signs of mania and psychosis. Typically, they are only seen in individuals with psychotic illnesses. In these situations, psychosis and mania may be brought on by any stimulant.

Final Thoughts: Is Kratom Safe?

Generally speaking, Kratom is considered safe when used responsibly and by those with no underlying medical conditions and who are not taking any over-the-counter or prescription drugs that could have an interaction.

Physical adverse effects like nausea and vomiting as well as mental side effects like brain fog may all result from abusing Kratom. By utilizing sensible amounts and avoiding everyday use, these adverse effects may often be completely prevented.

Kratom has its benefits, but it should be used with caution and awareness of potential side effects. If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned in this guide, it is important to speak with your doctor or healthcare provider before continuing to use the supplement. As with any supplement, it is always best to consult a healthcare provider before beginning use to ensure that it is right for you.

By using the herb sensibly, you may reap its advantages without having to worry about unpleasant side effects.

Written by Daniel Recardo

Founder of Kratom IQ; a self-improvement junkie and Kratom enthusiast. I started this website in 2015 to help people avoid the common pitfalls and mistakes with Mitragyna Speciosa, and ultimately get the most out of this amazing plant. Learn More...

Further Reading

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An introduction to Kratom (Mitragyna Speciosa) including what it is, where it's from, how to take it and some of it's potential effects.
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Some Kratom Strains Pack a Bigger Punch Than Others. These are the Most Potent Strains that are Considered the Strongest on the Market.
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Kratom is Legal in Many States and Countries Whilst Being Banned in Others. Here's the Legal Status of Kratom in the US and Globally.
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Kratom is an Effective Compound but at What Cost? How Much Strain is it Putting on Your Liver? Is it Cause for Concern? What Can You Do About it?

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