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Best Kratom for ADHD: Benefits, Dosage, & Effects

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, more commonly referred to as ADHD, is a common neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by difficulty concentrating or paying attention.

While there are treatment options for this condition, many of them carry a host of other negative side effects.

Some patients consider kratom a safer alternative to typical ADHD medications and report the plant helps keep ADHD symptoms at bay, but is this safe?

This article discusses how kratom can help ADHD symptoms, the best strains for ADHD treatment, the risks of doing this, and the potential side effects of kratom.

Last updated 3 weeks ago by Wade Paul

Best Kratom for ADHD: Benefits, Dosage, & Effects

What Is Kratom?

Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a tree indigenous to Southeast Asia.

It’s available in raw powder form as well as capsules, tinctures, and concentrated extracts.

Kratom has two main effects depending on the dose used.

Lower doses are stimulating — useful for boosting energy and improving focus.

Higher doses are the exact opposite — offering sedative and relaxing benefits.

People use kratom to boost energy (coffee alternative), alleviate chronic pain, improve sleep, address anxiety or depression, mediate drug withdrawal symptoms, and support attention disorders.

Can Kratom Help With ADHD?

Yes, kratom is known to help minimize the symptoms of ADHD.

Certain strains of kratom increase focus and concentration and provide the user with a clear mind. Those with ADHD often find that kratom gives them the clarity they’re missing in their daily lives.

Kratom is a popular option with ADHD patients primarily because it provides focus without many of the life-altering or life-threatening side effects that come with prescription medicine.

While there are some adverse effects and risks associated with kratom usage, which we discuss below, it’s often safer than medications like Adderall, Vyvanse, and Ritalin.

Kratom, Dopamine, & ADHD

There’s a link between ADHD and dopamine levels in the brain. According to scientific research on ADHD, individuals with this attention disorder have notably lower dopamine levels [1].

Dopamine is responsible for inter-brain communication and bodily movement, and the instability of this neurotransmitter can cause a number of severe issues, including ADHD, Parkinson’s, and schizophrenia.

Dopamine is a critical component in the “reward pathway” in the brain. When we do something that benefits us, dopamine gives us a dose of euphoria — which programs us to want to do the same action again.

This system becomes active in small bursts all day long. If dopamine levels are too low, we must seek out more stimulating activities to trigger this euphoric reaction. This is why people with ADHD lose attention so quickly and become fidgety. The brain is actively seeking out ways to stimulate this reward pathway.

Kratom can stimulate D1 receptors in the brain, which receive dopamine and play a vital role in the neurotransmitter’s usage and levels [2]. This causes a higher ambient level of dopamine in the brain — reducing the threshold for this euphoric response.

Kratom, Serotonin, & ADHD

Serotonin is another crucial neurotransmitter linked to ADHD symptoms — limited levels of this neurotransmitter can bring on ADHD symptoms [3].

Consuming kratom may increase serotonin absorption [4]. By stimulating serotonin receptors and boosting serotonin levels altogether, kratom can potentially reduce ADHD symptoms.

Can Children Use Kratom?

No. You should never administer kratom to a child without first speaking with your child’s pediatrician.

There’s still a lot we don’t know about the use of kratom and other stimulants in children, and the general consensus is that kids shouldn’t be using kratom unless directly specified by a health professional.

Best Kratom Strains For Focus & Concentration

ADHD patients interested in treating their symptoms with kratom need to choose the right strain. Not all kratom strains increase focus and concentration. In fact, some kratom strains might make ADHD symptoms worse.

White kratom strains are generally the best for treating ADHD, but some green strains can also work. Below are the best options for those suffering from attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

1. White Maeng Da Kratom

White Maeng Da kratom, sourced from Thailand, is one of the best for mood stimulation and focus.

This strain significantly boosts serotonin and dopamine levels and can act quickly to reduce ADHD symptoms in some patients.

As a white strain, this kratom also offers a bump in energy levels and has a nootropic effect. Users of White Maeng Da kratom find an increase in focus and attention, along with mental clarity and the ability to concentrate.

Unsurprisingly, White Maeng Da is one of the most popular kratom strains for treating ADHD.

2. White Thai Kratom

As a white-vein kratom strain, White Thai kratom provides users with a significant boost in energy. In fact, many kratom users believe that White Thai kratom is among the most potent of the white-vein strains.

White Thai is also well-known for its nootropic effects, offering clarity of mind and the ability to focus intently. As such, this strain is a popular one for treating ADHD symptoms.

Additionally, White Thai kratom boosts both serotonin and dopamine, offering a euphoric experience for most users.

3. Green Maeng Da Kratom

Green Maeng Da kratom is an excellent option for those suffering from ADHD symptoms, primarily because of its nootropic effects. Users of Green Maeng Da enjoy a clear mind and the ability to concentrate on the tasks at hand. Green Maeng Da also provides a boost in energy, further aiding the ability to focus.

Many kratom users consume Green Maeng Da to improve their mood because it stimulates serotonin and dopamine receptors in the brain. Since low levels of these neurotransmitters might be responsible for ADHD symptoms, this kratom strain is ideal for limiting them.

Risks of Using Kratom for ADHD: Potential Side Effects

There is some potential for adverse side effects when taking kratom to treat ADHD symptoms.

First and most importantly, kratom can be addictive, so it needs to be taken sparingly or with frequent breaks.

Other negative side effects of kratom may include:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Low energy
  • Constipation
  • Fogginess
  • Anxiety

Most of these symptoms are related to overly large doses or improper and frequent consumption, so the best way to limit side effects is to take kratom responsibly.

Is it Safe to Take Kratom With ADHD Medications?

Many patients already taking ADHD medications wonder if it’s safe to take kratom and their prescription together. Unfortunately, this is generally not recommended.

ADHD medications and certain strains of kratom are both stimulants, boosting dopamine, noradrenaline, and serotonin levels. Taking them together can potentially be dangerous and even more habit-forming than taking one or the other by itself.

ADHD medications have a high chance of producing side effects. Mixing ADHD meds with other stimulants, like kratom, could further increase the chances of experiencing side effects.

You should speak to your doctor before using kratom to see if it has the potential to interact negatively with your current prescriptions.

Kratom vs. Adderall for ADHD: Which Is Better?

Both kratom and Adderall can improve cognitive function with nootropic effects, allowing users to focus and concentrate on tasks and instructions.

Kratom works by interacting with dopamine, serotonin, noradrenaline, and various other neurotransmitters. Its stimulating effects are weaker and shorter-lived than Adderall, but it’s much less likely to lead to serious side effects. You don’t need a prescription to buy kratom.

Adderall is a prescription medication administered by doctors to treat attention deficit disorders.

Comparing kratom & Adderall:

   🍃 Kratom💊 Adderall
AvailabilityUnrestrictedPrescription-Only
Natural or SyntheticNaturalSynthetic
Active IngredientDextroamphetamineMitragynine, 7-hydroxy-mitragynine, & other plant-derived alkaloids
IndicationsAnxiety, depression, opiate withdrawal, high blood pressure, and diarrheaADHD and Narcolepsy
Dose Range2.5-10 grams per day5-60 mg per day
Common Side EffectsConstipation, loss of appetite, insomnia, and weight lossDry mouth, loss of appetite, nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea, fever, and insomnia
Level of RiskLow–ModerateHigh
Risk of AddictionLow–ModerateHigh

Kratom vs. Vyvanse For ADHD: Which One Is Better?

Vyvanse is another prescription ADHD medication that boosts focus and concentration, just like Adderall. Kratom and Vyvanse share some similarities in their ability to stimulate dopamine and improve focus.

Some people who find Adderall too stimulating will turn to Vyvanse instead, but the effects are more or less identical.

For some ADHD patients, kratom is a better option than Vyvanse, as it generally comes with fewer side effects if used correctly and still provides the cognitive boost they need.

Comparing Vyvanse & Kratom:

 🍃 Kratom💊 Vyvanse
AvailabilityUnrestrictedPrescription-Only
Natural or Synthetic?NaturalSynthetic
Active IngredientMitragynine, 7-hydroxy-mitragynine, & other plant-derived alkaloidsD-Amphetamine
IndicationsBoost energy & focus, chronic pain, opiate withdrawal, anxiety, & sleepADHD & BED
Dosage2-12 grams per day30-70 mg per day
Common Side EffectsNausea, vomiting, lethargy, dizziness, anxiety, brain fog, constipationDry mouth, insomnia, abdominal pain, suppressed growth, decreased weight, irritability, plus others
Level of RiskLow-ModerateHigh
Risk of AddictionModerateHigh
Cost$10 – $20 an ounce (~30 grams)$350-$450 for thirty 40 mg capsules

Kratom vs. Modafinil: Which One Is Better?

Modafinil isn’t an ADHD medication, but many people are using it off-label to help manage the condition. It works by stimulating noradrenaline and other stimulating neurotransmitters in the brain. It essentially forces the brain into a waking state so users can work or study longer and later.

The stimulating effects of kratom are more similar to the effects of modafinil than it is to ADHD medications like Vyvanse or Adderall.

Given the similarity in the effects of these substances, kratom and modafinil should never be used at the same time.

Comparing Modafinil & Kratom:

 🍃 Kratom💊 Modafinil
AvailabilityUnrestrictedPrescription-Only
Natural or Synthetic?NaturalSynthetic
Active IngredientMitragynine, 7-hydroxy-mitragynine, & other plant-derived alkaloidsModafinil
IndicationsBoost energy & focus, chronic pain, opiate withdrawal, anxiety, & sleepNarcolepsy
Dosage2-12 grams per day100–200 mg per day
Common Side EffectsNausea, vomiting, lethargy, dizziness, anxiety, brain fog, constipationDry mouth, anxiety, insomnia
Level of RiskLow-ModerateHigh
Risk of AddictionModerateModerate

ADHD 101: How It Works

ADHD is a complicated and common attention disorder that leaves patients with an inability to focus or concentrate. Individuals with ADHD generally exhibit fidgeting, inability to maintain focus, meandering concentration, and even short-term memory impairment.

There is some evidence suggesting ADHD is caused at least partially because of genetics, though the exact cause is unknown [5]. Regardless of the underlying cause, scientists have linked ADHD symptoms to decreased dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain [6].

The theory is that the brain’s reward system, which primarily uses a surge of dopamine to reward certain behaviors, is inhibited either by low dopamine levels. The reward system keeps us motivated and focused. When it isn’t activated properly, we’re forced to seek the stimulation of this pathway elsewhere — drawing us away from the activity at hand [7].

Unfortunately, redirecting attention to a new task is unlikely to help because the same dopamine insufficiency keeps occurring. This results in the person moving from task to task, quickly losing interest, zoning out during conversations, and fidgeting.

Kratom is a pseudo-opioid, activating the opioid receptors in the brain just like standard opiates and causing a release of dopamine.

Once this dopamine release is triggered, the threshold for activating the dopamine reward system lowers. People living with ADHD can more easily obtain the dopamine reward they so often crave but can’t achieve, providing better concentration, mental clarity, and the ability to remain focused for extended periods.

How Common Is ADHD?

ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed mental disorder.

According to the most recent statistics from the CDC, about 9.4% of all children are diagnosed with ADHD.

The condition is far more common in males than females; 12.9% of all males and just 5.6% of females are diagnosed.

Can Adults Get ADHD?

ADHD is a lifelong mental disorder, which means someone affected by it will show symptoms as a child. While symptoms usually become less severe with age, many adults are still symptomatic.

With more research on ADHD and the variety of symptoms that accompany the disorder, it’s possible for patients to go undiagnosed as children and receive a diagnosis later in life.

However, adults who didn’t have ADHD symptoms in their childhood will not suddenly start experiencing them. A late diagnosis is simply when the disorder was confirmed and not when symptoms began.

Signs & Symptoms of ADHD

There are two types of ADHD: inattentive and hyperactive-compulsive. Most children diagnosed with ADHD experience symptoms from both subsets, but it’s easiest to break down the symptoms based on the type of ADHD.

1. Inattentive ADD

Children diagnosed with inattentive ADD generally have difficulty focusing or fail to respond, or seem distant when someone speaks to them. They often have problems listening to or following instructions, which typically leads to issues in school.

These patients also usually have trouble focusing on tasks, become distracted quickly, and often start a task then move onto another before finishing the first. Their inattentiveness to details and instructions might lead to seemingly careless errors while performing even mundane tasks, like schoolwork or chores.

Those with inattentive ADD tend to lose things frequently, forget things easily, and appear unorganized most of the time.

2. Hyperactive-Impulsive ADHD

As the name suggests, hyperactive-compulsive ADHD is characterized by hyperactivity and compulsive behaviors. Fidgeting and an inability to sit still, even when instructed to do so, are exceedingly common.

Patients with this type of ADHD are constantly on the move and can talk non-stop. They often interrupt others because they’re unable to wait their turn to speak and can’t concentrate on tasks, especially when they can move around or fidget.

Common Treatments for ADHD

There are four primary treatments for ADHD, depending on the patient’s age and the severity of the symptoms: cognitive behavior therapy, psychotherapy, prescription medication, and alternative methods.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Behavior therapy is an ideal treatment for children, especially those under six years old, as prescription medications could cause complications at this age.

Behavior therapy is a way for children with ADHD to learn to focus on specific tasks or instructions. These methods include maintaining a strict routine, limiting distractions, making instructions clear and tasks digestible, and using rewards to naturally stimulate the dopamine reward system.

Cognitive behavior therapy is an excellent option for many parents of children with ADHD, and it’s often combined with other methods throughout the child’s life.

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is a form of treatment primarily used to treat ADHD in adults. It involves speaking with a therapist to establish goals, become more organized, and cope with their mental disorder. Psychotherapy works alongside prescription medication to help the patient lead a normal life.

Prescription Medication

There are numerous prescription medications for ADHD that can help manage symptoms when it’s most important. The most common medications include Adderall, Vyvanse, and Ritalin.

ADHD medication is generally considered addictive and habit-forming. Most doctors don’t recommend medication as a catch-all solution but instead recommend it alongside other forms of treatment, like psychotherapy or cognitive behavior therapy.

Additionally, these medications aren’t recommended for children under six years of age, as there may be complications involved in early treatment.

Alternative Methods

Finally, there are several alternatives or “holistic” methods for treating ADHD. Some patients find that a restrictive diet helps keep them focused enough to enjoy a mostly asymptomatic lifestyle. Others practice things like yoga or meditation to help calm their minds and train themselves to concentrate.

Some patients take supplements or non-prescription herbs and medications to limit symptoms. These include ginkgo, ginseng, omega-3 fish oil pills, and kratom.

Key Takeaways: Can Kratom Help With ADHD?

Kratom is not an approved treatment option for ADHD, but many people report using it successfully to alleviate symptoms of the condition and improve their ability to focus.

Generally speaking, white-vein and green-vein kratom strains are best for treating ADHD because of their stimulating nature. Red vein kratom can work too, but it is more likely to lead to feelings of sedation or relaxation — which isn’t going to do you any favors when it comes to staying focused and motivated.

If you’ve been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD and want to give kratom a try, speak with your doctor first — especially if you’re using prescription medications.

Never give a child with ADHD kratom for any reason — this herb is for adults only.

References Used

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