Kratom and the Science Behind It

Kratom is a complex substance that you can learn more and more about every day. As an herbal supplement that’s been around for decades, this has given researchers plenty of time to take deep dives into what kratom is and, more so, what the science behind it looks like. After all, whenever you’re trying a new substance for your health and wellness, it’s always best to try to understand how it works within the body. To help give you a better understanding of how kratom works and the true science behind the herb, we’re breaking down everything you need to know below. From what kratom is to what science says and even the most popular products, you’ll have a more comprehensive understanding of kratom’s unique properties once you’re done reading. Let’s get started. 

What is Kratom? 

Before we get into the nitty-gritty details, it’s important to discuss the basics — such as, what is kratom? If you’ve never heard of kratom before, that’s okay! Kratom, otherwise known as mitragyna speciosa, is essentially an evergreen tree that’s a part of the coffee family genus. These trees are native to Southeast Asia, where people have been utilizing the leaves from the tree for centuries. In the past, people in places like Indonesia, Myanmar, and Thailand turned to kratom leaves for medical and therapeutic properties. Today, those ideals haven’t changed much.

People turn to kratom for so many different reasons; however, primarily, people enjoy the stimulating properties that the plant brings. In low doses, kratom is great at boosting moods, enhancing energy, and even promoting motivation. On the flip side, in high doses, the plant appears to have more sedative, sleepy properties that are better for relaxation. Until modern day advancements, people consumed kratom by simply taking the leaves and grinding them down into a fine powder. Then, you can mix the powder into food, drink, or just consume it on its own to experience the plant’s unique “opioid-like” effects. 

Today, you can find kratom in many more places than just Southeast Asia. (However, the trees themselves are still indigenous to those areas.) While the legality of kratom is still hotly debated in the US, as we will discuss later, more and more countries have allowed the consumption and sale of kratom products. This has allowed consumers of all backgrounds to experience the properties of this herbal substance.

In the past, you would typically only find kratom in powder form. But, nowadays, kratom comes in various forms depending on your personal preference and how you want to enjoy the substance. Whether you’re interested in kratom shots, infused kratom gummies, or even some easy-to-swallow capsules, there’s something out there for everyone. 

How Does Kratom Work? 

The way that kratom works depends on the consumer. However, research has found that kratom works by activating mu-opioid receptors in the brain. This is how you’re able to experience the effects that you do after consumption.

As we mentioned above, the way kratom works in the body will depend on the consumer as well as how much is consumed. Generally, in small doses, people find kratom to work wonderfully for stimulation and energy. Kratom is good at helping you feel more awake and productive, and it may be a good pick-me-up on days when you’re feeling a bit slow and foggy. Again, this commonly occurs after low doses; so, you don’t want to consume too much or you may find yourself feeling sleepy, instead.

Speaking of sleepy, kratom works in high doses by providing more sedative effects. In high doses, you’re likely to experience effects like sleepiness, muscle relaxation, and stress relief. This juxtaposes the low-dose effects of creativity, stimulation, and euphoria.  So, when you go to consume kratom, it’s important to consider how you want to feel and what effects you want to experience from the substance. If you’re looking to feel more stimulated, kratom will work best in low doses. If you’re looking to decompress more, you should consume a higher doses. 

As a reminder, though, every person will have a slightly different reaction to kratom, so you may not experience the same effects as your friends after consumption. Kratom is a unique journey from person to person, and the best way to see how it will affect you is to try some for yourself, first. But, remember, starting with a low dose tends to be best — especially if you’re new to the world of kratom! 

The Science Behind Kratom

Now that we’ve given you a little insight into how kratom works, let’s get into the science behind it all. Prepare yourself for some technical names here.

Essentially, kratom is composed of various chemical compounds, two of the main ones being mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. You’ll find mitragynine simply in the leaves of the kratom plant, while 7-hydroxymitragynine appears in the body post-kratom consumption.

The chemical compounds are extremely unique in the fact that they both activate those mu-opioid receptors we mentioned earlier. When most people talk about the effects of kratom, they describe them as being “opioid-like,” and this is why. The chemicals in the brain quite literally activate the same receptors that opioids would, only kratom is much more natural in doing so. However, when directly compared to opioids, the effects of kratom are going to be much more mild.

Research shows that while traditional opioids cause dangerous side effects because of their reactions in the body, kratom may not have those same risks. Many opioids run the risk of trouble breathing during overdoses, but this doesn’t appear to be the case with kratom. Along these same lines, the mitragynine alkaloid has direct effects on other receptors in the body that correlate with mood and energy. Thus, this is why kratom is so successful as a stimulant for so many consumers.

Even though kratom has been around for quite some time, the science behind kratom is still somewhat new and not as comprehensive as we’d like just yet. Because of that, organizations like the National Institute on Drug Abuse are conducting on-going studies to help better understand the relationship that kratom’s compounds have on the mind and body. 

Why Kratom Products Are So Popular 

Kratom products are popular for various reasons. It simply depends on the consumer!

Many people enjoy turning to kratom products because of the natural aspect. In a time where every drug, medication, and supplement is full of unhealthy additives we cannot pronounce, kratom and its organic nature are a breath of fresh air. Kratom comes straight from plants that Mother Nature provides, and you don’t have to worry about consuming any unnatural additives — especially when you purchase your products from places like Topps Kratom

Instead of turning to chemical-filled substances, kratom products allow consumers to get the relief they need in a more organic way. That being said, if you are on traditional medications and are looking to try kratom, do not stop your current medication. Instead, talk to your doctor about taking kratom to see if this would be safe. Some drugs have poor reactions to kratom, so you must consult with your primary care physician before making this choice.

In many places across the US, kratom products are incredibly easy to get. This makes them quite popular for consumers who often have to jump through hoops to get the relief they need. You can turn to reputable, licensed stores and brands who offer high-quality kratom products, and you won’t have to worry about spending an arm and a leg to get it. This aspect makes the product even more appealing for people, as feeling better shouldn’t be an obstacle course you have to go through.

Finally, kratom products are incredibly popular because they are easy to consume. Not only do they produce great effects and therapeutic results, but they’re fun and easy to enjoy throughout the process. We’ll talk about specific products in more detail next, however, you can consume kratom in interesting ways like through tasty shots and juicy gummies. This can make the journey of feeling better even more enjoyable, as you’re not wasting time with tricky tools or ill-tasting supplements. 

A Variety of Kratom Products

When you go shopping for high-quality kratom, you’re going to find that you have a lot to choose from in terms of product options. These days, it’s not just powder kratom anymore! Instead, you have the choice of consuming various kratom products depending on your personal preferences. Here are some of the most popular kratom product types and how you’ll enjoy them. 

Kratom Shots 

Here at Topps Kratom, we are well-known for our top-shelf kratom shots. Just as they sound, these are liquid shots of kratom that you consume in one or two gulps. (Think of them as a kratom version of 5-Hour Energy!) These products are perfect for those who are on the go and want to experience a quick, potent dose of kratom without any hassle. You’ll simply drink your desired dose and wait about an hour or so for effects to kick in. Once they do, the results of your kratom shots will likely hang around for between 4-6 hours. However, this depends on the person.

Topps Kratom offers both raw kratom shots and cappuccino kratom shots depending on your personal preference. If you’re someone who enjoys the natural, herbaceous notes of kratom, then the raw shot is the perfect choice for you. Our raw shots don’t contain any unnatural additives or unnatural flavors; instead, it’s sweetened with real agave and full of full-spectrum kratom extract.

If you’d rather go the coffee route, we also offer our top-shelf cappuccino kratom shot. This liquid kratom will remind you distinctly of your favorite shots of espresso — only they’ll make you feel a whole lot better. Take these shots with you wherever you go for a midday pick-me-up when you need it most. 

Kratom Capsules

If you don’t want to consume liquid kratom, you don’t have to. Kratom capsules are a great way to experience the effects of kratom without tasting it at all. These capsules are full of high-quality kratom extract that break open once they’re inside the body. You consume these products just as you would any other supplement or pill: by swallowing it with a swig of your favorite drink.

Kratom capsules take about an hour or so to kick in fully, so make sure you’re patient with consumption. At Topps Kratom, our capsules are made with maximum strength kratom, giving you potent results with just one capsule. But, despite being so potent, these capsules won’t leave you with a crash afterwards. This way, you’re able to feel uplifted and energized naturally, without worrying about it affecting you hours later.  

Kratom Gummies

For all you consumers out here with a sweet tooth, these products are for you. Kratom gummies are just as they sound: these are gummies packed with kratom extract that you consume like you would any other candy. Each gummy will have a concentrated amount of kratom inside, so typically ½ or whole gummy will suffice.

Kratom gummies are great product options for beginners, as you’re not intimidated by any weird tastes or textures. Instead, you’re able to get the full effect of kratom through the form of a tasty, juicy gummy candy. You can find kratom gummies in various flavors and strengths, too, depending on your personal preference. 

Kratom Powder  

Finally, the most well-known form of kratom is powder. These days, you can find kratom within gummies and capsules, but some original consumers will always prefer the traditional method of enjoying kratom powder. With kratom powder, you can add it to your food or drink to completely disguise the taste of the herbs, and you get the effects of the substance just a few hours later.

The easiest way to enjoy kratom powder is by taking a spoonful and adding it to your water. You’ll mix the substance until it dissolves and then drink the water as normal. Quickly, you should start to notice the effects creeping in. 

The Legality of Kratom

Kratom legality depends heavily on where you live. In the United States, kratom is currently a federally unregulated product. This means that the states themselves are left to their own devices to figure out regulations and laws regarding the product. So, while kratom may be legal in one state, in another, it may be completely illegal. Some places have also placed age restrictions on the substance, so you’d have to be a certain age to purchase kratom.

Right now, kratom is illegal in six different states:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Indiana
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Wisconsin

Within those states, you will not be able to find any kratom for sale, nor are you allowed to possess or consume it. If you try to buy kratom online, there’s a good chance the online retailers won’t even attempt to ship you your product, as it will likely not make it through the postal service anyway. So, before purchasing, make sure you double-check the kratom laws and regulations in your area. 

There are also certain cities or municipalities within legal states that have banned the product.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that kratom is freely legal in the rest of the states in the US. In the following places, kratom is legal, but it’s also closely regulated: 

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • California – Minus San Diego, where kratom is illegal
  • Colorado – Minor Denver, where kratom is illegal for human consumption
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida – Minus Sarasota County, where kratom is illegal
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois – Minus Jerseyville, where kratom is illegal; must be 18 years old to purchase, possess, and consume
  • Iowa
  • Kanasa
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana 
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota 
  • Mississippi – Minus Union County, where kratom is illegal
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska 
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire – Must be 18 years old to purchase, possess, and consume kratom
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee – Must be 21 years old to purchase, possess, and consume kratom
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming 

If you’re in one of the states where kratom is legal, it’s still important to take the time to learn about the regulations regarding the substance in your area. Some states have specific rules that apply to residents that may be important to know. This way, you’re always staying on the right side of the law. 


The science behind kratom is a bit complicated, but it makes a lot of sense once you’ve experienced the substance for yourself. While we’re still learning more and more about this herbal supplement, it’s essential to stay on top of current kratom research to better understand how the substance works in the body. This way, you can better recognize how kratom may help you.

If you’re ready to try some kratom products for yourself, head on over to Topps Kratom’s huge online selection. We have all the kratom products you want and need to have the best journey you’ve had yet. Pick out the products that most appeal to you and Topps Kratom will ship you your top-shelf kratom in just a matter of days. Soon, you’ll be able to see firsthand just how kratom works for you.