Drug Interactions, Kratom Guides

Can Kratom & MDMA Be Taken Together? Here’s What You Should Know

No studies attempt to evaluate the relationship between MDMA and kratom directly. 

This is not surprising since kratom is relatively new in the US, and MDMA is illegal. Nevertheless, people are interested in this combination, especially as MDMA edges towards FDA approval. 

Using what we already know from the scientific literature, we can most likely come up with a fairly accurate picture of what taking both MDMA and kratom could do. 

Last updated 5 months ago by Wade Paul

Can Kratom & MDMA Be Taken Together? Here’s What You Should Know

Does Kratom Interact With MDMA?

Yes, MDMA and kratom carry a moderate risk of interacting with each other. 

Both substances have considerable psychoactive effects. However, they don’t quite work either against or for each other, making the relationship tricky to define.

The risk of interaction between kratom and stimulants, such as MDMA, is considered moderate to high. Both substances exert a similar force on the central nervous system. Therefore, when used together, the risk of side effects associated with overstimulation increases significantly. 

Kratom and MDMA may also result in complications relating to metabolization.

MDMA is primarily metabolized by the CYP2D6 enzyme [1]. And — as it turns out — kratom is a potent inhibitor of CYP2D6 [2]. 

In practice, this would mean that kratom consumption would make it harder for the body to process and eliminate MDMA, which can easily lead to complications. 

This can become even more problematic if MDMA use is common. Once metabolized, MDMA byproducts actually inhibit MDMA’s metabolization [3]. This means that if you were to take MDMA multiple times, severe problems could occur, including serotonin syndrome; adding kratom to the mix only increases this likelihood.

Drug Name MDMA
Trade Name N/A
Classification Stimulant
CYP MetabolismCYP2D6 
Interaction With Kratom Kratom has an inhibitory effect on MDMA’s metabolization
Risk of InteractionModerate to High

Is it Safe to Take Kratom With MDMA?

If we assume that the MDMA is not being taken as a part of a clinical study, then we are almost certainly talking about recreational use, likely at some sort of party or event.

In this situation, consuming a small amount of kratom while on MDMA can place you at serious risk. This situation is dangerous, and not just because of the likelihood of these two interacting. Combining drugs — even those with relatively safe profiles — raises the risk of a serious health event.

Remember to consider kratom’s inhibitory effect on MDMA and how it can stay in your system longer, therefore increasing the risk of toxicity and overdose.

What is MDMA?

MDMA — often called “ecstasy” or “molly” — is short for 3,4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine; It is a psychoactive stimulant drug.

At the moment, MDMA is classified as a Schedule I substance, meaning it has no recognized medical uses and a high potential for abuse. However, MDMA is also known to have a lower incidence of dependence symptoms than most drugs of abuse [4].

MDMA functions by increasing the activity of serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline in the brain. It is usually taken orally through either pill or crystal form.

What is MDMA Used for?

MDMA is taken recreationally for the pleasant, euphoric effects it has on the user. It is heavily associated with rave culture and clubbing. 

The effects of MDMA include [3]:

  • Euphoria
  • Generalized sense of well being and happiness
  • Increased sociability and confidence
  • Facilitated communication
  • Increased empathy and feelings of closeness with others
  • Inner peace
  • Mild hallucination
  • Enhanced sexuality

At the moment, MDMA has no recognized medical uses. However, clinical trials show it has promise as a new form of treatment for severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

What’s the Dose of MDMA?

Since MDMA  has no recognized medical uses, there is little point in discussing dosage recommendations.

One big problem is that adulterants often contaminate MDMA. If you plan to consume street-bought MDMA, you should attempt to test it for purity beforehand as it could contain dangerous compounds.

Generic & Brand Name Versions

MDMA does not have brand names. 

It does go by the following street names:

  • X
  • Ecstasy
  • Molly
  • Speed
  • XTC

What Are the Side Effects of MDMA

People use MDMA for its effects but forget or dismiss the unpleasant side. 

Users have reported the following adverse effects from MDMA consumption [4]:

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Agitation
  • Tachycardia
  • Dry mouth
  • Bruxism
  • Trismus
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea

The most dangerous side effects include:

  • Hyperthermia (overheating)
  • Dehydration
  • Hyponatremia

There is no definitive conclusion about the long-term effects of MDMA, but there is evidence for negative effects stemming from a lifetime exposure to the drug [5].

MDMA overdoses are rare events, but they do happen. Other drugs are almost always involved in these fatalities. In general, MDMA is considered less risky than other “hard drugs” like cocaine or even alcohol [6].

What is Kratom?

Kratom is an all-natural herbal extract harvested from the leaves of a tropical evergreen tree known as Mitragyna speciosa.

It’s popular in Southeast Asia, its native home, and has been used as a traditional medicine there for a long time. Now, kratom is becoming popular in the United States due to its vast suite of beneficial properties. It provides stimulating mental energy and can help relieve chronic pain.

Kratom owes its benefits to the potent alkaloids that can be found inside it; the two most numerous are mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine.

There are many ways to consume kratom; just make sure you buy from a trusted source. Kratom is still an unregulated product, and there is a danger of it being contaminated with adulterants.

What is Kratom Used for?

Most people are attracted to the properties associated with a lower dose of kratom: the stimulant effects the plant is most known for. Like coffee, kratom gives users a feeling of enhanced attention and mental energy. Some even report more creativity. 

Once you start taking higher doses, kratom can also display analgesic and anxiolytic properties. This is why kratom is so popular with people suffering from chronic pain and anxiety.

Other secondary uses of kratom exist. It can act as sleep support, a weight-loss supplement, as well as a treatment for withdrawal symptoms.

What’s the Dose of Kratom?

It can be tricky to figure out how much kratom to use. What works for one person will be too much for another. Plus, you have to consider how each strain causes slightly different effects. 

Start with low amounts, usually under 2g if you’re new. This way, you can see how you’ll react to it and adjust the dose accordingly. If you feel unpleasant side effects, use a little less to see if that helps. 

The standardized kratom dosages are:

  • Low dose (1 – 5 g)
  • Medium dose (5 – 10 g)
  • High dose (10 – 15 g)

What’s important to keep in mind is that you should never trust completely in standardized dosages. They can never account for all the different factors that influence proper dosage.

This is why it’s essential to always start slow when experimenting with a new compound. Learn how your body reacts to small doses first.

What Are the Side Effects of Kratom?

Kratom is known to have a milder side effect profile than most of the medications it can replace, like antidepressants and pain killers. However, it’s still important to be familiar with kratom’s side effects

The following side effects are common but usually occur in larger doses:

  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea

There can be more serious side effects, but these are far less common. 

More severe side effects include:

  • Itchiness in the skin
  • Loss of muscle coordination
  • Low blood pressure
  • Low libido
  • Nausea
  • Poor appetite
  • Seizures
  • Tremors

What Are the Different Types of Kratom?

Want to hear one of the best things about kratom? It comes in a variety of strains, giving you a world of possibilities.

The strains are named after the color of the leaf’s vein, and even though they all have the same basic properties, certain strains emphasize a particular benefit more than others.

Don’t be thrown off by names; once the strains are processed, they all look the same.

A) White Vein Kratom

White vein kratom can help you through those long study sessions or add some pep in your step if you’ve got to get up early. 

This kratom strain emphasizes the mentally stimulating properties and comes with a lower dose of kratom. 

B) Red Vein Kratom

Red-veined kratom strains are best utilized for the treatment of certain conditions.

These types of strains are the best option if you want to induce kratom’s analgesic and anxiolytic qualities. High doses work best for severe pain and withdrawal symptoms.

C) Green Vein Kratom

Green vein kratom is known as the “middle” strain in the kratom community. This is because it has a great balance of all of the properties in the kratom spectrum. Unless you’re looking for extreme energy or massive pain relief, these strains work well. 

D) Yellow Vein Kratom

Yellow vein kratom is really just a subcategory because it doesn’t have any distinguishing features compared to the other three except that it is the mildest strain. Like green strains, the yellows work well if you are a beginner or don’t have anything extreme you need it for.

Key Takeaways: Is it Safe to Mix Kratom & MDMA?

Consuming illegal drugs such as MDMA should never be considered “safe,” even if they are relatively so. This is not only because of the risks inherent in MDMA but also due to other factors.

Street-bought MDMA varies widely in its purity: it’s common for most MDMA to contain dangerous contaminants.

Once you add in the extra risk of consuming another drug like kratom, you can see why avoiding this combination is a good idea.

Do not consume kratom with MDMA. If you’re dead set on taking MDMA, seek out a harm-reduction facility near you and have it tested for purity. Also, remember to hydrate with electrolytes once you take it.

References

  1. Steuer, A. E., Schmidhauser, C., Tingelhoff, E. H., Schmid, Y., Rickli, A., Kraemer, T., & Liechti, M. E. (2016). Impact of cytochrome P450 2D6 function on the chiral blood plasma pharmacokinetics of 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and its phase I and II metabolites in humans. PloS one, 11(3), e0150955.
  2. Hanapi, N. A., Ismail, S., & Mansor, S. M. (2013). Inhibitory effect of mitragynine on human cytochrome P450 enzyme activities. Pharmacognosy Research, 5(4), 241.
  3. Concheiro, M., Baumann, M. H., Scheidweiler, K. B., Rothman, R. B., Marrone, G. F., & Huestis, M. A. (2014). Nonlinear pharmacokinetics of (±) 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and its pharmacodynamic consequences in the rat. Drug Metabolism and Disposition, 42(1), 119-125.
  4. Meyer, J. S. (2013). 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA): current perspectives. Substance abuse and rehabilitation, 4, 83.
  5. Garg, A., Kapoor, S., Goel, M., Chopra, S., Chopra, M., Kapoor, A., … & Behera, C. (2015). Functional magnetic resonance imaging in abstinent MDMA users: A review. Current drug abuse reviews, 8(1), 15-25.
  6. Nutt, D., King, L. A., Saulsbury, W., & Blakemore, C. (2007). Development of a rational scale to assess the harm of drugs of potential misuse. The Lancet, 369(9566), 1047-1053.