By Jamie Partida - Co-Founder of Culture Club NYC and CannaGather NY Brand Ambassador
There is a lot to be said about cannabis’ healing properties and the various ways it can be consumed, so much that it has been incorporated into the daily routines of many. When it comes to self care, it is prominent in the space of relaxation and managing pain and anxiety on a day to day basis. Along with a clean, balanced diet and maintaining physical activity, it can add several benefits to your overall health. However, there is another player on the field helping you cope with those ailments and it comes in the form of green powder that hails from Southeast Asia- also known as Kratom. You’ve probably heard of it, and now you can take my account of how I’ve adapted it into my daily routine to enhance productivity and ease pain.
Now, let me start off by declaring that I am a naturalist when it comes to self care and pain management. My day already consists of consuming lots of greens- cannabis, spirulina, kale, spinach and now...Kratom, to name a few. So what is Kratom exactly? As defined by Drug Science UK, “Kratom (Mitrogyna Speciosa) is a tree indigenous to South East Asia, with leaves containing the psychoactive alkaloids mitragynine and 7-Hydroxymitrogynine. It has a long tradition of use by farmers and other manual workers in its native region, who claim it increases productivity.” For many, it’s used to treat opioid withdrawal and help with pain management as it is considered to be a natural alternative to prescription and OTC drugs. For others, the effects include helping reduce fatigue, anxiety and stress- and even causing a bit of euphoria. While Kratom is popular in it’s more native regions such as Malaysia, Thailand, Borneo, and The Philippines, there are trusted vendors in the US that import it from those areas as well. The key is finding a reliable source provider and not buying just anywhere without doing your research first. As for suppliers, I have been going to Red Devil Kratom for some time now and can always find the highest quality powder and variety of strains- which I will get into a little later.
As a natural green powder, Kratom can be used for more rapid pain relief by taking a spoonful by mouth and washing it down with water- which is how I usually take it. Alternatively, it can also be dissolved into warm water and drank as a tea if preferred. Since the powder has a very chalky and bitter taste to it, some may also choose to fill vegetable capsules and take it orally. Starting off with a small dose of Kratom is encouraged as the body adjusts to its properties, so I began with taking about a half teaspoon in the morning for a few days while I analyzed my body’s response to it. Some days I’ll even indulge in a powerful green smoothie loaded with spinach, kale, apple, and everything green I can find- then I add a teaspoon of this magical stuff in there to dissolve the taste. I believe it was Hippocrates who stated “Let food be your medicine, and medicine your food” and I live by that, honestly.
As I started taking it, I would feel completely relaxed for a long period of time when I supplement with my daily routine of CBD or THC (or both) and don’t require as much powder to keep the effects long lasting. Being aware of your body’s response to any medication or supplement is crucial in developing a dosage and routine that works for you, the same way people take prescribed medications that are scheduled and dosed according to their own biology. Personally, I can either go with taking my supplements very strategically throughout the day, or I listen to my body’s needs and give it what it asks for. It’s all about striking the perfect balance between your herbs, diet and exercise. Some days I’m just rolling up a joint and taking some Kratom washed down with water to start my day- all depends on what mood I’m in to practice self care.
Just like there are different strains of cannabis, the Kratom Plant also offers different strains that provide unique benefits from increasing energy, reducing anxiety and depression, relieving pain, etc. For example, green strains which are typically found among reputable suppliers, enhance the feeling of wellbeing and calmness, so it is consumed to help treat anxiety and depression. Whereas a red strain has more pain relieving properties and offers a more numbing effect. There are also white and yellow strains that have varying levels of potency and are often used as a blend for a more holistic effect. Typically I go for a blend of both red and green to really feel undefeated by my own pain and suffering, and can feel the effects pretty quickly. So, how do you choose which strain is right for you? Red Devil Kratom suggests: “Well, it’s simply a matter of asking yourself why you want to take kratom in the first place. Once you’ve identified the best type of strain based on your preferences and goals, you can explore individual strains within that category to better target specific issues.”
Managing stress and pain during the era of COVID-19 has been a struggle, let’s be honest. While I can harp on the fact that we’re all facing impending doom each day with all the news and everything that has been going on in 2020...I will spare you because I’m sure you’ll just stop reading at this point. But let me be clear: we all need something a little stronger than weed if this is going to last longer, and I believe that supplementing your current health and wellness practices with Kratom can add an elevating feeling that helps us even on our worst days to get through this.