What Is the Red Bubble Technique?
The red bubble technique is a method that kratom enthusiasts have been experimenting with to try and increase the bioavailability of kratom — this would entail increasing the potency of kratom’s effects.
The red bubble technique can easily be tried at home and is 100% safe. We’ll break down the logic behind the method and run through the steps.
The basic logic behind the red bubble technique is simple. It basically amounts to a method that attempts to increase the bioavailability of kratom’s alkaloids: the compounds responsible for kratom’s effects.
Bioavailability is just a fancy word for how “available” a compound is for absorption within the body. When you ingest a drug, you rarely, if ever, absorb 100% of its contents. Kratom’s bioavailability has been estimated at around 21% . However, this figure is in dispute as the research on kratom is pretty nascent.
There are many reasons for kratom’s low bioavailability, but one that’s common to all plant-based drugs is the nature of plant cells. All plant cells have thick cell walls, which are hard for the body to break down to absorb the contents inside.
The red bubble technique attempts to facilitate the breakdown of plant cells. By freezing water with kratom inside it, it’s theorized the cell walls become swollen and burst, making it easier for the body to use the alkaloids.
People try to increase the bioavailability of a compound to get more bang for their buck.
The red bubble technique has that name because once you remove the kratom from the freezer, you’ll usually see a red bubble has formed in the center. This happens because as water freezes, all sorts of compounds found in tap water (magnesium, fluoride, calcium, etc.) get pushed to the center.
That’s why a block of ice usually looks opaque in the middle. However, on this occasion, the water has many more foreign elements due to the kratom. This will cause other compounds to get pushed to the center, including pigments in the kratom plant. These pigments are responsible for the red coloring.
The kratom community developed the red bubble technique, so no scientific studies can vouch for its effectiveness. Even though the logic behind it makes sense, we can only rely on anecdotal evidence to figure out how much it increases kratom’s bioavailability.
- A freezer-proof container
- Lemon juice, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, or straight citric acid
- Water that’s just under its boiling point
- Kratom powder
Step-by-Step Instructions: The Red Bubble Technique
Measure your dose of kratom using a scale (alternatively, you can measure it with a teaspoon, but weighing your kratom is the most accurate, by far). Your calculations should factor in how many doses you’re trying to get out of the process.
Mix your measured dose of kratom into your chosen citric compound and give it a thorough stir. You can add water so the taste doesn’t become exceedingly citric, but that’s a matter of preference. Or add sweetener to the final product instead.
Depending on how you enjoy your kratom, add the citric element to the point the mixture becomes pasty — or you can keep on adding until it has a liquid consistency. It’s not that crucial, as you add water later.
Allow the mixture to sit for 10 or 20 minutes so the citric can interact with the kratom powder.
While you’re waiting, boil some water. Once step 3 is complete, add the hot water and allow it to sit for at least another 10 minutes. The amount of water should correspond with the amount of kratom — how many doses you want and how much water you usually add. Allow it to cool before proceeding.
Once the mixture has cooled enough, pour it into a container that’s safe to freeze. You can divide it into separate servings if you prefer.
Freeze the kratom, and let it thaw before using it — but notice the red bubble that forms first!
Other Methods of Ingesting Kratom
Kratom tea is one of the most common methods, as it’s quite easy to prepare. However, there are a few drawbacks. Kratom has very poor solubility in water, so kratom tea will inevitably have a silty texture as much of the kratom will sink to the bottom of the cup.
Another problem is kratom’s strong taste.
Luckily, there are a few ways you can deal with this. Adding a citric element like lime juice or apple cider can help dissolve the kratom and give it a better taste. Have a spoon handy to stir the kratom from time to time so it won’t collect at the bottom. Another way to make kratom tea more palatable is by adding a sweetener like honey or stevia.
The toss’n’wash method is a no-nonsense method for anyone who wants to get on with their day. It’s very simple — take your kratom dosage and throw it in your mouth, then immediately wash it down with a drink.
This method is usually the go-to for those who want to take the kratom quickly but don’t like swallowing — or paying for — capsules. The only drawback is the taste, though you won’t be tasting it for long.
Kratom capsules are pretty self-explanatory: they’re just kratom powder in capsule form. Many people prefer them because they’re quick and tasteless. The only drawbacks are cost and if you have trouble swallowing pills. Capsules are more expensive than powder, making them prohibitive for some.
However, you can buy a capsule-making machine and make them at home.
Kratom gummies are a fun edible alternative to the more common options like powder and capsules. The only drawback to gummies is that they’re expensive and not easy to make — unless you have the knowledge and equipment to make extracts. However, you can easily hop online and purchase them; just make sure you buy from a reputable kratom vendor.
As mentioned before, there’s no real evidence that the red bubble technique works, but, at the same time, there have been virtually no studies done on it, so you shouldn’t let that discourage you. If you want to get more out of your alkaloids, try the red bubble technique, and be sure to hop on a kratom forum and tell everyone how it went!
- Ya, K., Tangamornsuksan, W., Scholfield, C. N., Methaneethorn, J., & Lohitnavy, M. (2019). Pharmacokinetics of mitragynine, a major analgesic alkaloid in kratom (Mitragyna speciosa): A systematic review. Asian journal of psychiatry, 43, 73-82.