Kratom is a popular herbal product that comes in a variety of forms. Kratom extract and kratom powder are among the various forms. Some people will keep both powder and extract on hand and use them in different situations. Others will stick to one or the other. Before buying either, it’s smart to understand the differences (and similarities) between the two.
What Is Kratom?
The biggest similarity between kratom extract vs. powder is that they both come from kratom. As a refresher, kratom refers to Mitragyna speciosa, a plant in the same family as coffee plants. Kratom is native to various parts of South Asia, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Thailand.
Many people choose to consume kratom as an herbal powder, liquid, or in another form. This is to take advantage of the various effects of kratom such as relaxation, motivation, focus, energy, and general feelings of well-being.
Kratom comes in various forms, allowing consumers to choose their preferred method. Powders and kratom leaves are both popular. You will also find capsules and tablets, sometimes with leaves or powder and sometimes with extract. Extract can come in various forms, including liquids, pastes, and capsules. This resource guide can teach you all the basic information of kratom.
Kratom Powder vs Extract: Production
With so many forms of kratom, it is common to be somewhat confused about how they compare to each other. One of these common confusions is in the difference between kratom extract vs. powder. While extract can take many forms, it is not usually found as a powder. Instead, there are some significant characteristics setting kratom extract and kratom powder apart, starting with how they’re made.
How Kratom Powder is Made
To make kratom powder, manufacturers wait for kratom leaves to mature. Then, the leaves are carefully dried. From there, the manufacturer crushes the leaves finely. The result is a fine powder. Because of this process, kratom powder is typically made up of the entire kratom plant without removing various bits like the stems.
How Kratom Extract is Made
Making kratom extract is a much more involved process. It often starts with kratom powder, but the process can also begin with kratom leaves. Manufacturing kratom extract requires boiling the kratom, sometimes with alcohol, and straining it. But the process also includes letting the kratom mixture sit for a while, so the alkaloids get into the liquid. It also frequently involves letting some of the liquid evaporate. As the extraction process continues and more liquid boils off, the remaining liquid kratom becomes more concentrated.
The resulting kratom extract is highly concentrated because it extracts all (or most) of the alkaloids in the plant. These alkaloids are what produce the effects associated with kratom.
Kratom Powder vs Extract: Strength
In addition to the manufacturing process, the other major difference between kratom extract and kratom powder is their strength. As mentioned, kratom extract has more alkaloids in it than the powder does. This means it has a higher concentration and is stronger overall.
Beginner-Friendly vs. Experienced Users
Because of the differences in concentration and overall strength, kratom powder is better for beginners. Those who are new to using kratom should stay away from extracts for a little bit. By contrast, more experienced kratom users may prefer kratom extract.
How Much to Consume
The fact that kratom extract is more concentrated means that you will need to consume a very different amount of extract than powder to notice the same effects. If you’re used to using kratom powders, the first time you use kratom extracts, you should only use a fraction of the quantity you think you need. Be especially careful with products that are described as strong kratom extracts. Remember, you can always consume more the next time.
What If You Consume Too Much?
We emphasize the importance of reading ratios or concentrations and starting with a small dose because this minimizes your risk of side effects. With an appropriate small dose, you should only notice the desired effects.
But if you consume too much, you may notice itching, hallucination, euphoria, constipation, loss of appetite, or nausea. That is why it is so important to start with a smaller dose and avoid kratom extracts until you know how your body reacts to the herb.
How Else to Minimize Concerns
It is also worth noting that not buying your kratom products from a reputable vendor presents a risk. Products from the mitragyna speciosa tree are not well-regulated. So, you need to make sure to choose premium kratom products that are made by GMP-compliant vendors and have been lab-tested.
Kratom Extracts and Powder: Price and Shopping Guide
Because the process of making kratom extract is much more time-consuming than making kratom powder, the extract is nearly always more expensive than powder.
But the fact that you need less of kratom extract to experience the same effects as you would with kratom powder reduces the effective value of the price difference. Yes, you will pay more for kratom extract than powder, but it will last you longer. That said, even accounting for the concentration, extract tends to be more expensive.
Forms They Appear In
As the name implies, kratom powder will always be a powder. You may also see this called plain leaf powder or raw kratom leaf. It can be sold as loose powder or powder-filled capsules.
But kratom extract can come in various forms, including liquids (sometimes called tinctures or shots), pastes (sometimes called resin), powders, and capsules. Kratom liquid extract is created via the boiling process mentioned above. Creating the concentrated form of resins or pastes involves freezing and baking. Powder forms of kratom extracts are frequently ground resins. Any of these kratom products can be placed in capsules.
How to Tell the Difference
You can look for several signs that a given product is regular kratom powder or a concentrated form in an extract, such as:
- Labels: The first thing to check is the product label or description. If it says “extract,” this is a giveaway. Kratom extract products may also feature ratios or use the word “concentrated.”
- Appearance: Regular kratom powder tends to be lighter in color than kratom extracts due to its lower concentration.
Often, the difference is obvious, but take extra care when choosing kratom capsules. Some kratom manufacturers, including MIT45, offer both raw powder capsules and kratom extract capsules. When in doubt, ask the vendor. Approved kratom vendors will be happy to tell you more about the products, including clarifying which are kratom extracts and which are normal powders.
Understanding Ratios on Kratom Extract
Reputable kratom manufacturers understand that the differences between kratom extract and kratom powder can be confusing, especially in terms of strength. That is why many will label their extract with a ratio that indicates its strength compared to powder.
For example, if you see a ratio of 2:1 on kratom extract, this means it is twice as strong as kratom powder. If the ratio is 3:1, it means it is three times as strong.
Always pay attention to the ratios on the product before consuming any kratom extract. This will help you determine how much to consume.
While ratios are very common, some kratom products will feature concentrations instead of or in addition to the ratios. This is another useful method of gauging the number of alkaloids and, therefore, the expected effects.
Both kratom extract and kratom powder are popular forms of consuming kratom leaves. Extract has a much higher concentration of kratom alkaloids, sometimes two or three times as much as in powder. As such, it is best for experienced kratom users, and even then, you want to consume a very small amount.
In addition to being more beginner-friendly, kratom powder is also less expensive than the extract. This is because it is less time-consuming and complicated to make. Overall, both products are good choices. You simply have to be savvy about the amount you consume.
MIT45 offers a variety of kratom powders and kratom extracts. Choose from liquid kratom extract, kratom extracts in capsules, and raw leaves turned into kratom powder.
Patrick D. Kratom Extract vs. Powder: What’s the Difference? The Apopka Voice. Published April 2021.
Differentiating Between Kratom Extracts and Powder. Santa Monica College. Accessed September 2022.
The Island Now Team. Kratom Extract Vs. Powder: What’s The Difference? The Island Now. Last Updated March 2023.