Can You Mix Kratom & Grapefruit Juice? Is It Safe?

If you look closely at the directions on the labels of many prescription medications, you’ll find a warning saying not to use along with grapefruit juice. That might seem oddly specific, but grapefruit juice actually changes how some drugs are metabolized, creating a potentially dangerous situation.

Kratom doesn’t come with warning labels; it’s up to the user to do the research.

Here’s what you need to know about mixing kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) and grapefruit juice, including its safety, what effects it could have, and what’s taking place behind the scenes.

Last updated 3 weeks ago by Dr. Devin Carlson

Can You Mix Kratom & Grapefruit Juice? Is It Safe?

Does Kratom Interact With Grapefruit Juice?

Grapefruit juice is well-known to potentiate a long list of substances because it inhibits CYP3A4 [1]. This enzyme group is largely responsible for metabolizing many medications as well as kratom [2].

Problematic interactions happen when the same enzyme metabolizes two drugs. They become metabolic competitors and are broken down or metabolized at a much slower rate. This makes the drug stay in the body longer, and more of it is absorbed — potentially leading to severe side effects and overdose.

Essentially, kratom and grapefruit juice are metabolic competitors. This means that both substances have slowed elimination.

It’s unknown how much grapefruit juice and kratom you’d have to take for any toxicity to build up in your body. When grapefruit juice is mixed with some other substances, it only takes one or two glasses.

Before taking kratom and grapefruit juice together, speak to your doctor about any potential side effects. 

Is It Safe to Take Kratom With Grapefruit Juice?

Grapefruit juice interacts with more than 85 different drugs. Of these, 43 can lead to serious side effects [3]. Although grapefruit juice also interacts with kratom, the risk of an overdose is low.

However, if you take grapefruit juice with kratom regularly, the risks go up. Kratom potentiators make the effects more powerful.

This can be a good thing — it helps you get the most out of your kratom and can allow you to consume less. But if you’re not careful, it can make the side effects worse or make addiction more likely.

Just be aware of the interaction and make the proper adjustments.

What Is Grapefruit Juice?

Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) is a citrus fruit and is a good source of vitamin C, fiber, and potassium. People use fruit, oils, and extracts to treat many health issues.

It interacts with a long list of medications, even vitamins.

Grapefruit Juice Details & Specifications:

NameGrapefruit juice
Trade NameGrapefruit juice
Other Names Tropicana, Ocean Spray, Lakewood, V8, Florida’s Natural, Santa Cruz Organic
ClassificationJuice
CYP MetabolismCYP3A4
Interaction with KratomMetabolic competitor
Risk of InteractionLow to moderate

What Is Kratom?

Kratom, or Mitragyna speciosa, comes from Southeast Asia, where it has been used for traditional medicine and cultural purposes for centuries. Now it’s making its way around the world.

Its ability to act as an opioid has made it popular but also puts it on the radar. Many governments seek to ban it, claiming it’s dangerous — even though the risk for kratom overdose is extremely low, and addiction is not nearly as severe as prescription opioids.

Kratom usually comes as a powder, making it easy to add to drinks or capsules. Its wide range of capabilities has many people stocking up on it.

What’s Kratom Used for?

Kratom can be used recreationally, but it serves a variety of medical purposes.

Kratom can help do the following:

What’s the Dose of Kratom?

A large amount for one person might have little effect on another person. Dosage is highly individualized and largely depends on what you need it for. Standard kratom dosage is as follows:

  • Microdose: under 2 grams
  • Low dose: 2–5 grams
  • High dose: 5–8 grams
  • Heavy dose: 8-12 grams

Start with lower doses if you’re new to kratom or trying a different strain. To avoid side effects and lower the risk of addiction, use the smallest amount possible and take breaks from it — usually two days a week is efficient.

What Are the Side Effects of Kratom?

Kratom’s side effects are not severe and easily avoidable. Most issues come from too high a dose. If you keep the amount small and use it responsibly, you likely won’t have to deal with them.

Common side effects are:

  • Nausea
  • Lethargy 
  • Dizziness
  • Anxiety
  • Brain fog 

Related: Is Kratom Bad For Your Heart?

What Are the Different Types of Kratom?

Kratom strains are an easy way to determine the effects the powder will have. Dose comes into play, too, since small amounts of kratom tend to be more stimulating while larger quantities are sedating.

Certain strains are better at those effects, though.

1. White Vein Kratom

White kratom strains are stimulating, promote a positive attitude, and provide focus and mental clarity.

2. Red Vein Kratom

Red strains act as powerful painkillers and are great at promoting sleep. These are calming and commonly used to ease anxiety.

3. Green Vein Kratom

Green kratom strains are well-balanced. They’re stimulating and offer pain relief, but to a lesser extent than the whites and reds. These are perfect for anyone new to kratom or those that have more mild issues.

4. Yellow Vein Kratom 

Yellow strains are less popular, partly because they’re a mix of white and red. They improve focus, concentration, and mood while providing pain relief, similar to green strains.

Key Takeaways: Is It Safe to Mix Kratom & Grapefruit Juice?

Grapefruit juice is known to cause problems with many medications. It serves as a potentiator for kratom, meaning it makes kratom’s effects stronger and lasts longer.

Kratom and grapefruit juice are generally low risk, but this risk will rise if you use this combo on a regular basis. Be aware of the impact the juice could have on kratom, and adjust your dose accordingly.

With grapefruit juice having an effect on so many different types of medication, it’s especially important for you to speak to your doctor before you begin taking it with kratom. 

References

  1. Bressler, R. (2006). Grapefruit juice and prescription drug interactions. Geriatrics, 61(11).
  1. Kamble, S. H., Sharma, A., King, T. I., León, F., McCurdy, C. R., & Avery, B. A. (2019). Metabolite profiling and identification of enzymes responsible for the metabolism of mitragynine, the major alkaloid of Mitragyna speciosa (kratom). Xenobiotica, 49(11), 1279-1288.
  2. Bailey, D. G., Dresser, G., & Arnold, J. M. O. (2013). Grapefruit–medication interactions: Forbidden fruit or avoidable consequences?. Cmaj, 185(4), 309-316.
  3. Monroe, K. R., Stanczyk, F. Z., Besinque, K. H., & Pike, M. C. (2013). The effect of grapefruit intake on endogenous serum estrogen levels in postmenopausal women. Nutrition and cancer, 65(5), 644-652.