Daily wellness routines are all the rage, and I, a health nerd, am no exception to the rule. I enjoy changing up my daily routine to add new plant-based lifestyle products for added benefits. Kratom is one of the products that recently piqued my interest, so I researched to make sure I took kratom at the optimal time of day (for me) to extract the benefits I was looking for. I wrote this little guide to help readers interested in kratom (or existing kratom fans) understand more about how long it might take for kratom to kick in, so you can get the most benefit possible.
The effects of kratom are generally felt within 15 to 30 minutes, but that isn’t the whole story—there’s a set of important factors to consider when you’re planning on adding kratom into your routine.
Basic tips for taking kratom
Different kratom strains deliver benefits that might make more sense for various activities/times of day, so read up on the strains below. It’s also helpful to understand the length of time kratom might take to kick in so that you can take the amount that’s right for you, instead of thinking it’s not working and taking more than you need for the effects you’re interested in. In addition to how long the effects of kratom take to kick in, you can check out our resource on how long kratom effects usually last.
There are a few essential factors to consider to understand how long kratom takes to kick in, including metabolism and food intake, different strains and their effects, and different delivery methods. We’ll dive into each of these topics below. For more in-depth information and a full guide on how to take kratom, check out our blog post detailing the different methods of taking kratom.
Understanding onset time: Should I eat before taking kratom or take it on an empty stomach?
As with any ingested materials, including food and caffeine, the amount of time the effects of kratom take to kick in can vary depending on your metabolism and what’s in your stomach, if anything. And speaking of food, when you take kratom with a meal or just after one, it will typically take longer to kick in because the food hits your stomach first. When there’s food in your stomach, it can slow down the absorption of kratom, thus affecting how long it takes for you to feel it. Digestion of any food in your stomach will need to happen before the active compounds in kratom can absorb into your bloodstream.
Taking kratom with food may also result in milder effects, but some kratom enthusiasts report that the effects can last longer when taken with food, though the effects may take longer/be milder. As with so many other aspects of kratom, it varies greatly depending on your body composition and metabolism, so it’s good to try different routines and see what works for you. You can also see our guide on how to incorporate your daily kratom serving into your weekly meal prep.
How the type of kratom influences the onset of effects
Different forms of kratom have varied absorption rates—an excellent analogy to understand this part of kratom is thinking about how various forms of caffeine feel in the body and how quickly they hit: a Diet Coke vs. five-hour energy, for example. It all depends on the way it’s ingested. Here’s a summary of how different formats of kratom can take effect.
Loose leaf (powder): This is a popular and age-old way to take kratom, and it kicks in quickly, usually within 15-30 minutes. Because the powder has a large surface area, the ingredients in kratom are released efficiently and absorbed quickly.
Capsules: Capsules usually contain the same powder as loose-leaf kratom but will take a bit longer to kick in because the capsules must dissolve before the kratom powder is released. This takes kick-in time up to around 30-45 minutes.
Liquid extracts: Extracts or tinctures can kick in faster than other forms because liquid usually absorbs more quickly into the stomach than powder. Fluid kratom delivery mechanisms may kick in in about 10-20 minutes.
Tea: While tea can take longer to prepare than other methods of kratom ingestion, the heat from brewing the tea helps release ingredients that facilitate absorption. Make sure to strain tea well, as leaving pieces of kratom behind and ingesting it can delay the onset.
Gummies: Kratom gummies are a newer format—a portable, pre-measured way to take kratom on the go. You can expect the effects of a gummy to kick in in about 60 minutes, because the format takes longer to break up within the digestive system. To learn more about kratom edibles, go here.
Choosing the right strain for desired effects
Let’s talk a bit about kratom strains. The differences between strains are often greatly exaggerated, but there can be some difference in their potential onset times:
White Vein: These strains are most often associated with more energizing effects. The onset is usually quicker, so if you take white vein kratom, you should expect to feel the effects kick in within 15 to 20 minutes.
Green Vein: These are the strains with the most balanced profile of both energy and relaxation. Generally, the onset times for green vein strains of kratom are similar to fast-acting white strains, so around 15 to 30 minutes.
Red Vein: Most often selected for their relaxing, well-at-ease effects, slow-acting strains can take a bit longer—usually around 30 minutes to one hour.
Taking each vital factor into account—your personal metabolism and recent food intake, along with kratom strain and format—is a winning combination for adding kratom to your daily routine to deliver the most benefits to your life. Don’t rush the experience by taking additional servings too soon. You’ll be golden if you use the guide above and wait for the onset of effects.
Staff Writer. “How Long for Kratom to Peak?” News Direct. Published June 2023.
Recardo, Daniel, “Kratom Dosage Guide for Beginners – How Much Kratom to Take.” Kratom IQ. Published March 2023.
Smith, Kirsten E., et al. “Examining the Paradoxical Effects of Kratom: A Narrative Inquiry.” Frontiers in Pharmacology. Published April 2023.