Kratom Guides

Best Kratom For Anxiety & Depression: Strains, Dosage, Side Effects

Kratom has two conflicting effects on anxiety.

In lower higher doses (over 5 grams) kratom delivers potent anxiolytic effects. However, the stimulating action of lower doses could make symptoms worse.

It’s important to use the right dose when managing anxiety with kratom. 

Learn how it works, how much to use, and which kratom works best for anxiety.

Wade Paul

Written by Wade Paul2 months ago

Best Kratom For Anxiety & Depression: Strains, Dosage, Side Effects

Best Kratom For Anxiety

Most kratom can be used to support anxiety, but some strains are much better than others.

In general, you’ll want to find a strain that isn’t too stimulating. Strains that contain a high concentration of stimulating alkaloids like ajmalicine and mitragynine may actually lead to an increase in anxiety — if used in lower doses.

The ideal strains contain higher concentrations of the alkaloids 7-hydroxymitragynine and speciogynine — which are the primary relaxing compounds present in the plant.

Most people who use kratom for anxiety go for a relaxing green or red strain and opt for the higher dosage ranges (over 5 grams of dried leaf powder per dose).

Here are three of the most popular kratom strains people are using today to alleviate stress and anxiety:

1. Green Malay Kratom

Green Malay kratom is one of the most relaxing green-vein kratom strains you’ll find. It’s a popular choice among people who use kratom socially while hanging out with friends. It’s been dubbed a “social lubricant” strain for its ability to make users feel calm and relaxed — but connected and talkative due to the euphoric effects.

This strain is a good option if you’re using kratom to manage anxiety during the day and want to avoid the sedative effects of some of the stronger green or red vein kratom.

Benefits of Green Malay Kratom:

  • Makes for a great “social lubricant”
  • Produces a sense of peace & wellbeing
  • Euphoric in the higher doses

2. Red Thai Kratom

Thai kratom, in general, is excellent for managing anxiety. They’re notorious for their ability to promote a carefree, relaxed attitude. Many users describe the feeling that they’re floating on a cloud. The body feels light, and all your stresses seem to melt away.

I’m not even exaggerating here — that’s the type of sentiment any serious Thai kratom user is likely to agree with.

The red vein Thai strain is particularly good for relieving anxiety and offers additional benefits for depression and other mood disorders. In higher doses, it becomes a formidable euphoriant.

The green vein Thai is another great option if you’d like something with a little bit more of an energizing action.

Red vein kratom is generally regarded to be the best for anxiety.

Benefits of Red Thai Kratom:

  • Provides a pleasant sense of peace & wellbeing
  • Feels like you’re floating
  • Excellent anti-anxiety strain for even the most anxious individuals
  • May be used to alleviate insomnia

3. White Maeng Da Kratom

Maeng da is a very popular strain of kratom due to its high potency and long-lasting effects.

You can find maeng da kratom in red, green, and white — and truthfully, all of them have fairly strong euphoric and relaxing benefits that make them helpful for managing anxiety and depression.

With that said, I’ve found the white maeng da variety to be the strongest in terms of the herb’s anti-anxiety benefits. It’s more stimulating than the red version — but in a way that doesn’t seem to trigger anxiety like other white vein kratom strains sometimes do.

This is a great strain to use for anxiety in situations where it’s important to also remain alert and active. A few examples include attending university, giving a talk or presentation, or working. Most kratom strains that are used for anxiety have sedative side-effects that can interfere with your ability to stay focused and alert while you use it.

Benefits of White Maeng Da Kratom:

  • Stimulating — but without triggering anxious side-effects
  • Potent euphoriant & relaxant
  • Promotes focus & concentration
  • Alleviates fatigue & lethargy

How Does Kratom Work For Anxiety?

Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) contains more than 40 pharmacologically-active alkaloids — several of which are potent opioid receptor agonists. This means they have the ability to bind and activate opioid receptors located in the spinal cord and brainstem.

This effect is responsible for the bulk of kratom’s painkilling benefits because the opioid receptors are intimately involved with pain regulation.

But that’s not all the opioid receptors do.

Studies have shown that opioid receptors are also involved with the regulation of a neurotransmitter known as GABA [4].

GABA is the brain’s primary neuro inhibitory compound — which means it has a relaxing effect. The role of GABA is to oppose the effects of glutamate — which stimulates the neurons and increases electrical activity in the brain. When electrical activity is high, we feel alert and focused. If it goes too high, we feel anxious.

By blocking the effects of glutamate, GABA is able to reverse the effects of anxiety and bring us back towards baseline. In the evenings, GABA activity spikes, helping us to relax and fall asleep.

Kratom is also thought to support anxiety by elevating mood and improving our quality of sleep each night.

Kratom For Anxiety: What Does The Research Say?

Unfortunately, there aren’t any clinical trials to explore the effects of kratom for managing anxiety in a controlled environment. However, there are plenty of excellent survey studies and in vivo or in vitro research to help us understand if and how kratom is useful for managing anxiety disorders.

Let’s cover the most promising studies that explore the effects of kratom on anxiety.

A study analyzed 161 first-hand kratom user reports from the psychedelic forum Erowid [2]. The study found that 30% of these reports indicated that kratom use resulted in a greater sense of wellbeing. The study also reported that 24% of users experienced subjectively lower levels of anxiety while using kratom. Only 3.1% of the reports included in this study described feelings of sedation.

Another survey-based study reported that out of 8049 surveyed, 66% used kratom to relieve negative mood disorders ‚ which included anxiety, as well as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), and depression [3]. Out of all participants in the study, 74% reported lower levels of anxiety after using kratom — even among those not using the herb specifically to manage their condition.

Both of these survey studies reported greater anti-anxiety benefits in the higher dosage ranges (over 5 grams of dried powder).

What’s the Dose of Kratom For Anxiety?

The ideal dose of kratom for anxiety is 5 to 12 grams of dried leaf powder — taken once, twice, or three times per day.

There are two main dose ranges for kratom — low dose and high dose:

  1. Low dose kratom — Considered anything below 5 grams. This dose is going to have stimulating effects. Some people find low-dose kratom has the opposite effect on anxiety and may even make it worse.
  2. High dose kratom — Considered anything between 5 and 12 grams of powder. This is the ideal dose for managing anxiety. In the higher dosages, the effects of kratom flip and become much more relaxing, sedating, and anxiolytic.

Everybody responds differently to kratom, so you should always take dosage recommendations with a grain of salt. It’s important to listen to your body and adjust the dose accordingly. If you aren’t feeling the effects you’re looking for, increase the dose slightly each time until you find what works for you.

If you experience side effects, reduce the amount you take slightly for future doses until they no longer appear.

Is Kratom Safe? What Are the Side Effects?

Kratom is considered to be a safer option than most prescription anxiety medications. The most common class of substances used to alleviate anxiety today are the benzodiazepines.

Side Effects of Kratom Include:

  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Low libido
  • Poor appetite
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of muscle coordination
  • Tremors or muscle contractions
  • Low blood pressure
  • Itchiness in the skin
  • Seizures

Is Kratom Addictive?

Kratom can become addictive over time. It’s important to use this herb in moderation by taking one or two days off every week or taking a week or two off every 2–3 months.

It’s also important to find other ways to manage your stress and anxiety that aren’t substance-related. Practice meditation or breathing techniques, focus on eating a well-balanced diet, visit a counselor or therapist, try psychedelic therapy.

Ultimately, the goal is to learn how to identify with the way you feel and find ways to overcome it without relying on any substances.

Kratom is excellent for managing stress in the short-term while you work on these other aspects or to help you get through particularly anxiety-inducing events (such as giving a public presentation) — but it shouldn’t be used as a long-term anxiety treatment.

While kratom may be addictive, it’s significantly less addictive than prescription anti-anxiety medications like Xanax, Ativan, and Valium. All of these drugs are members of the benzodiazepine class of drugs — which has been proven to be highly addictive.

People who use benzos like Xanax can become dependent in as little as two weeks (more commonly, 4–6 weeks).

Once dependence is formed, it becomes very difficult to stop taking the substance. The symptoms of withdrawal to these medications are often worse than the initial symptoms the patient was seeking to treat. Severe anxiety, insomnia, digestive discomfort, and heart palpitations are all common symptoms of benzo withdrawal.

Kratom, on the other hand, takes several months of consistent use before showing signs of dependence and addiction. Detoxing from kratom is much less difficult than benzos — but it can still be an uncomfortable process.

Where to Buy The Best Kratom For Anxiety

1. Kona Kratom

Aka GMP Certified yes
Pricing $29.90 — $95.30
Verified Vendor

Kona Kratom

Ranked 3 out of 60 vendors

Kona Kratom has been around for a few years now but only really started to reach the mainstream in the last 12 months.

They focus on online orders only (no storefront or retail side), which allows the company to streamline their business to get shipments across the United States quickly, discreetly, and at the lowest price possible. This was a perfect business structure for the company going into the start of 2020.

Today, Kona Kratom is one of the biggest brands in the business — and for good reason. They offer some of the best deals on kratom we’ve seen yet and offer an exceptional array of different red, white, and green vein kratom strains.

Check out the white maeng da from this brand — it’s some of the strongest we’ve tried.

2. Star Kratom

Star Kratom is a small family-owned kratom vendor operating on the West Coast of the United States.

The founder is an avid traveler and reportedly spends a lot of time traveling around Southeast Asia to establish new deals with local kratom farmers and community organizations.

His efforts are starting to yield some results for this company, as seen by the current product lineup on its online store.

This brand has some pretty rare and in-demand strains — such as their red and white elephant strains.

This company is still quite new to the market, so we expect to see their product lineup continue to grow as the CEO establishes connections with other top-notch kratom growers in Vietnam, Indonesia, Bali, Thailand, and more.

3. VIP Kratom

VIP Kratom specializes in premium kratom only. They’ve been reported to throw out entire batches of kratom leaf if it doesn’t meet their strict quality control standards — which is far above what the rest of the industry is doing. Most companies will mark down the price of kratom leaf that either lacks potency or is nearing its expiration date. Unethical brands will package them up as normal and sell them to unsuspecting customers.

An integral part of the brand name this company has earned comes down to their stringent and unwavering standards for quality. The ethos is that if they sell any kratom, they aren’t perfectly happy to vouch for, it will undermine the entire brand.

This company generally charges a little bit more per gram of kratom, but it’s well worth the price if the quality is the most important characteristic for you. Anyone who’s ordered kratom that didn’t offer the strength they expected will know it’s well worth it to pay a little extra to ensure this doesn’t happen.

Final Thoughts: What’s the Best Kratom For Anxiety?

Kratom can be exceptionally useful for alleviating stress and anxiety — but only if you use it at the right dose.

In lower doses, kratom is a stimulant — it can actually make your anxiety worse.

However, in higher doses (over 5 grams), kratom is a potent stress-reducer and anxiolytic. It’s commonly used to help with sleep, alleviate social anxiety, reduce or prevent anxiety attacks, and promote a sense of calmness and tranquility.

The best kratom for anxiety are the green Malay, Red Thai, or white maeng da strains. We recommend checking out the selection from vendors like Kona Kratom, Star Kratom, or VIP Kratom.

References Cited In This Article

  1. Swogger, M. T., & Walsh, Z. (2018). Kratom use and mental health: A systematic review. Drug and alcohol dependence, 183, 134-140.
  2. Swogger, M. T., Hart, E., Erowid, F., Erowid, E., Trabold, N., Yee, K., … & Walsh, Z. (2015). Experiences of kratom users: a qualitative analysis. Journal of psychoactive Drugs, 47(5), 360-367.
  3. Grundmann, O. (2017). Patterns of kratom use and health impact in the US—results from an online survey. Drug and alcohol dependence, 176, 63-70.
  4. Klitenick, M. A., DeWitte, P., & Kalivas, P. W. (1992). Regulation of somatodendritic dopamine release in the ventral tegmental area by opioids and GABA: an in vivo microdialysis study. Journal of Neuroscience, 12(7), 2623-2632.