What Is a Kratom Tincture?
A tincture is traditionally made from alcohol, which is mixed with a drug to extract the valuable and active compounds from it. Essentially, tinctures turn powdered or solid drugs into a liquid form.
Kratom tinctures are no different.
When kratom leaves or kratom powder is dissolved in high-ABV alcohol, the ethanol extracts the alkaloids — like mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine — from the kratom. Alkaloids are the compounds that give kratom its psychoactive effects and potential benefits. The powder or leaves can then be strained out of the tincture.
What’s left behind is a highly potent, alcohol-based liquid kratom.
Raw kratom tincture is simply made by dissolving kratom leaves in alcohol rather than powder. It’s termed “raw” tincture because it’s made using the raw ingredients of kratom rather than a processed powder.
There is no marked difference between a raw kratom tincture and one made with powder instead of whole leaves.
A full-spectrum kratom tincture contains all of the alkaloids in the kratom leaves or powder; these are pulled out using a straightforward extraction process. In contrast to an isolated kratom tincture, it provides the same effects as taking kratom powder.
An isolated kratom tincture is made using an advanced extraction process that yields specific alkaloids rather than all of the ones found in the kratom.
Users looking to consume only mitragynine or 7-hydroxymitragynine, for example, will benefit most from an isolated kratom tincture that delivers only those alkaloids.
As you can probably imagine, isolated kratom tinctures do not have the same effects as taking kratom powder. Instead, they provide only the desired results — like pain relief or stimulation — by limiting the ingested compounds.
When made correctly, full-spectrum kratom tinctures provide the same effects as kratom powder or chewed kratom leaves.
Many users take kratom tinctures for the same reasons they take the powder, including:
In addition to all of the potential benefits of consuming kratom, kratom tinctures provide several other advantages over taking a powder.
Perhaps the most important is that it doesn’t leave the bitter taste of kratom in your mouth. Many people dislike the taste of kratom and don’t look forward to drinking an entire glass of powder and water. Tinctures make it easy to bypass the undesirable taste and still experience all of the effects.
Tinctures are far more potent than powder or leaves by weight and volume. Depending on how you make the tincture and your usual dose, you could take just 1 mL rather than several grams of powder.
Not only are tinctures more potent than powder, but the effects also set in more rapidly. Liquid forms of alkaloids are absorbed by your body more rapidly, so you don’t have to wait as long for the kratom to take effect.
Tinctures are also highly portable; you store them in a glass dropper that can be transported nearly anywhere, and you don’t have to mix the tincture into anything. The tincture’s potency also makes it a better option for travel since you don’t have to carry around a large container of powder.
Some users also find that storing kratom tinctures is more manageable than storing powder. You can easily reseal the dropper bottle, which takes up much less space than a bag or canister with a pound of kratom powder.
Suggested Reading: Kratom Dosage Guide
Tincture potency depends on how it’s made. If you make it yourself, you can use as much or as little alcohol as you want and can control the potency per mL.
Generally speaking, though, kratom tinctures are far more potent by volume than kratom powder. Remember this when using tinctures — it’s possible to take too much kratom.
Kratom tinctures deliver a concentrated volume of alkaloids in liquid form. When you swallow the liquid, it travels through your digestive system, where the alkaloids get absorbed quickly into your bloodstream and take effect.
They work similarly to powdered kratom, but the delivery method is faster and typically more pleasant than drinking bitter kratom powder.
There are three ways to take kratom tinctures, depending on your preference and how quickly you want the effects.
Swallowing Kratom Tinctures
Simply dropping kratom tincture onto the back of your tongue and swallowing it will help you bypass the bitter taste and leave you with fast-acting results. You can expect the effects in as little as 15 minutes.
Taking Kratom Tinctures Sublingually
If you don’t mind the taste of the kratom tincture, or you want the fastest effects possible, you can take it sublingually. Drop the dose under your tongue, and hold it there for about a minute before swallowing. The alcohol will cause a minor burning sensation for most users, but the feeling quickly subsides once you swallow the liquid.
When you take kratom tincture sublingually, the alkaloids are absorbed by the capillaries in the lining of your mouth. This speeds up the onset of effects, and you can expect the kratom to kick in within as little as 5 minutes.
Taking Kratom Tinctures With Food or Beverages
Finally, you can add the tincture to any food or beverage to make it even easier to take. This delivery method is about the same as just swallowing the tincture, so you can expect effects to set in after about 15 minutes.
Kratom tincture’s effects last about the same length as powdered kratom. For most users, that means about three to four hours. However, how long kratom stays in the system depends mainly on dosage, strain, and your experience with it — you could feel the kratom tincture for as little as one to two hours or up to six hours.
Some users purchase kratom tinctures directly from vendors, but they’re often challenging to find and are typically rather expensive. Instead, many people choose to buy kratom powder and make their own.
Below is a simple way to make a kratom tincture. Note that you can adjust the amount of powder and alcohol you use to dial in your ideal potency.
First, gather all of the supplies so that you don’t have to stop and start the process once you begin.
You will need the following:
- A food scale with precision to tenths of grams
- About 4 ounces of high-quality kratom powder (your favorite kratom strain will do)
- 1 liter of 100-proof liquor
- 1-liter mason jar or multiple mason jars that add up to 1 liter
- Citric acid
- Cheesecloth or fine strainer
- pH testing strips
- Dark brown dropper bottles with measurements on the droppers
- Small funnel
You can adjust the alcohol to kratom powder ratio if you want a higher or lower potency. The more alcohol you add, the less potent your tincture will be. Just make sure to keep careful track of your volumes so that you can determine your potency later.
In your large mason jar, mix the kratom powder and alcohol. Seal the mason jar and shake vigorously for about a minute until all of the powder is incorporated.
Next, you’ll want to balance the acidity of the mixture and bring it to a pH of around 4.0. You can use a strip to measure the mixture as-is and see how much citric acid you need to add.
Begin adding citric acid in small increments and test after each addition. Continue this process until you get close to 4.0. This step aims to make the mixture acidic enough to easily extract the alkaloids from the powder.
Once your pH has leveled off around 4.0, seal the mason jar and store it in a dark, cool area in your home. Most of the alkaloids are extracted from the powder within 24 hours but do your best to wait about seven days for the best results. You can shake the sealed jar once or twice a day to help speed up the extraction.
After at least seven days, open the jar and cover the mouth with a cheesecloth or filter. Strain the tincture into another container temporarily.
At this point, you can let the tincture sit with just a cheesecloth covering it for a few days to let some of the alcohol evaporate. This will yield a far more potent mixture, but you need to keep careful track of how much alcohol evaporates to determine accurate dosing.
Measure the total volume, and move on to the next step once half of the liquid has evaporated.
Finally, use the funnel to fill your dropper bottles with the tincture. Make sure to label each dropper with the strain and potency so that you never have to guess how much you’re taking.
For example, if you used 4 ounces of kratom powder and a liter of alcohol and let half of the alcohol evaporate, you can assume that every 4 mL of tincture contains approximately a gram of kratom.
Make sure you store kratom properly so it stays as fresh and potent as possible.
Kratom tinctures are liquid versions of kratom powder that users can make at home with just a few basic ingredients and supplies.
Tinctures are helpful because you can make them super potent, which means they’re easy to take, convenient to travel with and deliver effects more rapidly than consuming kratom powder.
Most importantly, you can take kratom tinctures without experiencing the undesirable bitter taste of kratom. You can swallow an entire dose quickly, take it sublingually for rapid onset of effects, or mix it with your favorite food or beverage for easy dosing.
If you choose to make your own, make sure you use high-quality kratom. Then, you can have fun making personalized tinctures or just stick with individual strains.