Kratom is originally from Southeast Asia and belongs to the Rubiaceae family, just like coffee. It contains alkaloids that are responsible for its potent effects. People use it to get an energy boost, mood lift, and mental clarity. Others seek relaxation, sedation, and feelings of well-being from the herb.
Kratom products come in various forms, including powder, tablets, paste, and kratom extract. Among these products, kratom extracts and powders are highly popular with consumers.
Unfortunately, many people assume that kratom extracts and powder are the same. Some even use these phrases interchangeably. However, the two products are quite different from each other.
If you’re having trouble deciding which kratom product to buy, read on as we explore the difference between kratom powder and kratom extract.
What Is Kratom Extract?
It is suggested that kratom extract is the strongest form of kratom available. It contains a higher concentration of alkaloids, including mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine.
The harvested matured kratom leaves are spread outdoors in the sun to dry to create kratom extract. The drying process not only eliminates the moisture from the leaves but it also alters the naturally-occurring alkaloid profiles.
The second phase of the kratom extract process is brewing. It involves boiling the dried kratom leaves or crushed powder for an extended period. It is then strained to remove all but the strongest alkaloids.
In the end, what remains is a dark-colored, alkaloid-rich concentrate. The final extract can be in liquid form or dried and crushed into a concentrated extract powder.
What Is Kratom Powder?
Kratom powder is made from kratom leaves that have been dried and crushed into a powdery consistency. Users mention that they love the powder because it retains the natural properties of the kratom plant.
Typically, making kratom powder is less expensive. That explains why they are ubiquitous in the kratom marketplace. Consequently, kratom farmers and vendors have tried to set themselves apart from the competition by producing powder forms of several kratom strains like Red Bali, Green Borneo, White Sumatra, and so on.
These kratom powder strains are the outcome of the varying conditions in the kratom production process. For example, the maturity of the leaves during harvest, and the timeline of the drying process, affect the alkaloid content of the kratom powder strain.
All factors combined, kratom powders enjoy broader strength diversity when compared to kratom extracts.
Comparing Kratom Extract and Kratom Powder
Both kratom powder and extract are ground into ultra-fine consistency. The difference lies in the product color. Extracts don a darker shade because of the boiling process and concentrated alkaloids. Their higher alkaloid content also adds to their sharper odor compared to kratom powder.
Kratom extracts have concentrated alkaloid content due to the extra extraction process that they undergo. As a result, they produce stronger effects in low doses, which appeals to experienced kratom users.
In contrast, kratom powder has less concentrated alkaloids because it does not go through the boiling process. With kratom powder, you still get a varied assortment of alkaloids present in kratom extracts but less of them. So you would need a larger dose of kratom powder to experience the same effects as a small dose of kratom extract.
Between kratom powder and extract, the former is the more affordable option. Its affordable pricing explains why kratom powders are the most popular form among both novice and experienced kratom users. With a wide variety of strains to pick from, kratom users have the freedom to unearth their favorites and try different strains out of curiosity.
The additional boiling and evaporation process during the processing of kratom extracts is a costly undertaking that adds to the high price of kratom extracts. So it’s not surprising to see kratom extract selling at twice the price of regular kratom powder.
However, the high price comes with a higher strength in alkaloid concentration. So you end up using less kratom extract than standard kratom powder per serving. And this makes economic sense in the long haul.
For kratom powder, beginners can start with 1 to 2 grams. With time, you can increase the dose by 0.5 mg increments. Anything over 3 grams of kratom powder may induce sedating effects.
The extract, on the other hand, contains powerful alkaloids. So you should compare your dose of kratom extract with the dose of kratom powder you were taking before. Because of its strength, a lower dose of kratom extract may produce the same effects as a larger dose of kratom powder.
When buying a kratom extract, you will see a ratio labeled on the packaging. The inscribed ratio may be 2:1, 3:1, 4:1, and so on. A 2:1 ratio reveals that the extract has two times the strength of equivalent kratom powder.
Extracts may also come labeled as 2x, 3x, 5x, and more. A 5x inscription means that the extract is five times as strong as standard kratom powder. This is similar to 5:1 in ratio form.
The right dose of kratom extract depends on the concentration of your extract labeled as 2x, 3x, or 5x. Let’s assume you take three grams of kratom powder every day.
If so, you should take only one gram of extract if the label indicates 3:1 or 3x. Taking a similar dose as kratom powder may lead to unwanted side effects.
Kratom is said to act on opioid receptors in the brain to induce a variety of desired effects. At low doses, kratom powder will produce the following benefits:
- Energy boost
- Mood enhancement
- Increased sociability
- Mental clarity and focus
Because of its strength, kratom extract produces fast-acting and more intense effects than kratom powder. The effects kick in within a few minutes after the extract intake. People take kratom extract for:
- Appetite suppression
Both kratom powder and extracts can produce unwanted side effects. However, extracts have a higher risk of producing side effects than kratom powder.
This is because of their powerful alkaloid concentration. Some of the undesired side effects from kratom overdosing include:
The Bottom Line
The choice between kratom powder and extract all boils down to personal preference. If you’re an experienced kratom user, then you can try a concentrated form of kratom such as extracts. But beginners who are just entering the world of kratom should start with kratom powder and work their way up to extracts in the long run.
If money is no object to you, then you won’t mind the high price of kratom extracts. But if you’re on a tight budget, kratom powder is the more affordable option.
Whether you opt for extract or powder, always start with a low dose and increase the dosage gradually as your body develops more tolerance. You should also make sure that you’re buying lab-tested kratom products from a reputable vendor.