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Best Kratom For Pain Relief 2023 – Strains, Effects & Dosage

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Medically reviewed by Kimberly Langdon, MD

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In the last ten years, a new herbal remedy called kratom has become popular. The herbal remedy is a diplomatic phrase, as it can get you high and is sometimes used recreationally. 

However, many people use it, self-medicated, for things like pain and mood disorders in a similar way to marijuana. It is sometimes marketed as a legal alternative to cannabis. It can also provide a bit of an energy boost in lower doses.

Kratom[1] is the leaves of the mitragyna speciosa, a plant from southeast Asia that’s related to the coffee plant. It’s been used there traditionally to boost energy and relieve pain, most often by chewing the leaves of the plant or turning them into tea. Since moving to the West, it also is now dried and smoked. 

While kratom does provide some relief, it is considered an opioid and has some serious potential side effects.

Best Kratom For Pain Relief On The Market In (May. 2023)

What Is Kratom For Pain

There is a couple of different types of kratom, identified by the color of the vein in the leaf: red, green, and white. There are also specific strains, as there are with marijuana, that can potentially have different effects. 

Of the different colors, red vein kratom and green vein kratom are usually kratom strains recommended for pain relief. Red vein bali kratom is a specific strain that can help with chronic pain and depression. Red maeng da is also recommended. Red borneo kratom is considered more sedative and might be helpful for pain in particular. 

It’s true that kratom has psychoactive effects, potentially including some that might relieve serious pain. However, there are no human studies regarding the effects of kratom, so it’s difficult to say how it might affect any particular person.

Top Best Kratom Strains For Pain Relief 2023

Kat’s Botanicals Plantation Maeng Da Powder

Kat’s Botanicals Plantation Maeng Da Powder

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You can trust this blend of both green and white kratom powders. The plantation in the name refers to where the plants are grown, plantations with great reputations and clean practices.

  • Third-party tested
  • Blended to maximize effects
  • Controlled production processes
  • 30-day guarantee
  • The powder can be difficult to manage

This blend is formulated to offer pain relief, as well as feelings of centeredness and well-being. The effects are often long-lasting and comforting. Leaves are also dried and ground under strictly controlled conditions to reduce the chances of contamination.

Kratom Spot might have a lot of strains of kratom like Malay kratom, and red, green, and white veins but Kats Botanicals beats it when it comes to White Borneo kratom.

Here we get, another effective strain that can relieve depression and anxiety. Borneo kratom is mostly available in the form of white veins, which is rare in nature, so be careful with Red Borneo kratom. Borneo kratom contains a high dose of 7-Hydroxyatrazine and is low in Mitragynine, which makes it best for both energy boosts. The best time to use it to calm down is in the early morning, and the best time to get rid of all the tiredness and pain is in the evening.

Kats Botanicals is a renowned seller of health products and it’s generally well-received by the public. It sells CBD products to help with the symptoms of anxiety as well as other products with sedative effects as well.

They also sell Kratom and they have decent strain varieties and vein varieties as well like green vein kratom, red vein kratom, maeng da kratom, green Malay kratom, red Borneo kratom and so much more! So you’ll be able to easily find the best kratom for social anxiety with their product lineup.

Sadly being one of the more well-known brands on this list, Kats Botanicals might have a price tag that’s a little higher than the other brands. After all, it doesn’t just sell kratom for dealing with anxiety and depression but it also sells CBD products as well which are known to have multiple health benefits ranging from pain relief and helping[3] with depression and anxiety disorders. 

Overall, Kats Botanical is a brand worth trying out especially if you want to deal with problems like depression and anxiety thanks to its other helpful products that might supplement using kratom like CBD.

The Golden Monk Powder

The Golden Monk Powder

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You can trust this blend of both green and white kratom powders. The plantation in the name refers to where the plants are grown, plantations with great reputations and clean practices.

  • Promotes Bulk Orders
  • Good Strain Quality
  • Lab Tested
  • Only accepts large orders

Kratom may have amazing health benefits but it’s not necessarily the best product when it comes to price. Most kratom products on this list come at affordable prices but you can potentially save more money when choosing Golden Monk.

Golden Monk is one of the best choices when it comes to bulk buying. The first thing you notice when you enter their website is a spinning wheel that offers various discounts to its potential customers. You might even get lucky and get an amazing promo helping you save a huge sum of money.

Aside from this, the biggest benefit you’ll get from Golden Monk is the freebies you get when buying in bulk. Simply put, the more you order the more free stuff you receive from them. To top it off, they also offer loyalty rewards as you gain points per order and you can use those points later in the future to further reduce the price of your purchase.

Of course, we can’t forget about their kratom. Golden monk offers high-quality kratom strains ranging from red maeng da to red vein bali kratom as well so make sure to take advantage of their variety. 

Overall, Golden Monk is a good choice for budget buyers or for people who plan to buy in bulk. Their numerous discounts, freebies, and loyalty promos are something worth considering especially if you plan to use kratom for a very long time.

Chocolate Kratom Capsules Kats Botanicals

Chocolate Kratom Kats Botanicals

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Treated and fermented using a special method, this kratom capsule is a quick way to powerful relief.

  • Third-Party Tested
  • Capsules help avoid a bitter taste
  • Easier to keep doses consistent
  • Treated to be particularly powerful
  • 30-day guarantee
  • Slightly more expensive
  • Higher dose potential means more side effects

There’s no actual chocolate in the powder, unfortunately. Instead, the name refers to the darker color, which is the result of a special treatment process. The leaves are put in a specially designed container while drying so that the alkaloids ferment, locking in a higher amount.

The leaves for these capsules are sourced from Sumatra, which is known for its particularly potent red vein kratom.

Kratom Crazy Red Borneo

Red Borneo kratom is one of the most common varieties out there. Kat’s Botanicals Red Borneo is sourced directly from the island and tested to be assured of safety.

  • Third-party tested
  • Pure red vein kratom
  • Treated to maximize effects
  • 30-day guarantee
  • Powder can be difficult to manage

Borneo is known for producing the best kratom, as the trees there grow at a consistent pace. That is exactly what they like and the resulting kratom packs a therapeutic punch. This particular strain is generally absorbed quickly for an immediate effect.

How Does Kratom Work For Pain?

Kratom is one of only three natural sources of opioid alkaloids. Those compounds are responsible for the psychoactive and analgesic effects of opioids. In other words, kratom has the same stuff that makes you feel good that opium does, stuff that interacts with the opioid receptors in your brain. 

There are two specific compounds that are usually thought to be active ingredients in kratom. The first is mitragynine, which is found in high amounts in kratom but has a relatively mild effect. It’s also mitragynine which is mostly responsible for the stimulating effects of kratom.

The second is 7 alpha mitragynine, which is only about ¼ as prevalent in kratom as mitragynine. However, it is much more potent and is generally considered to be responsible for most pain relief. 

There are a number of other compounds in kratom which are found in smaller amounts. These can also have a number of effects, including pain relief. Interestingly, taking all of these compounds together seems to make them more potent, often referred to as the entourage effect.

Health Benefits Of Kratom

Kratom is relatively new to Western society, though it has been a part of Southeast Asian culture for generations. In Asia, it’s generally treated in a way similar to tea or coffee, or perhaps as an herbal remedy. In the West, for a variety of reasons, it is treated more like marijuana or similar drugs. Like with marijuana, therefore, there hasn’t been much scientific research on kratom and its effects.

All of which is to say that when anyone starts talking about the ‘health benefits of kratom[2], whatever they say should be taken with a sizable grain of salt. Everything we know about kratom comes from one of three sources:

  • Looking at the chemical structure of the compounds in kratom
  • Anecdotal accounts from users
  • Very few studies using animals

There have been very few, preliminary human trials, so there remain a lot of unanswered questions when it comes to using kratom for chronic pain relief, depression, or anything else. Similar questions exist for compounds like CBD, or marijuana in general. However, when evaluating those substances there are more human trials to draw from. Additionally, the side effects of kratom are potentially much more severe, which makes using it more of a risk.

Pain Management

This is the use of kratom which has the most scientific backing[3]. We’ve discussed how kratom is actually considered an opioid. Anyone who has followed the news in the last decade or so knows how effective opioids can be in relieving and managing pain.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that the active chemicals in kratom are at their natural concentration in the leaves. That is much, much lower than you find in any prescription drug. At lower doses, kratom has a stimulating effect. In order to get the analgesic effect, you have to take a lot more. 

That may mean chewing a lot of bitter leaves or drinking some bitter tea. Smoking or taking capsules might be more attractive. Either way, larger doses mean a greater risk of side effects. That risk increases if you’re using any other drugs, prescription or otherwise, for managing your pain.

Depression And Anxiety

As we’ve mentioned, lower amounts of kratom can have a stimulating effect. With depression, that stimulating effect might be effective in alleviating that lowered mood. Additionally, higher doses have a sedative effect that can be helpful with anxiety and a pain-relieving effect that can help with some of the symptoms of depression. 

These uses are based almost entirely on the reports of users and not any scientific study. As a result, it’s difficult to make any sort of definitive statement on whether kratom can help control any sort of mood disorder. 

Some of the effects associated with high doses of kratom, such as hallucination, probably would not mix well with depression or anxiety. A recent scientific review[4], however, recommended against using kratom for depression.

Opium Withdrawal

Since kratom contains a smaller dose of opioids, many people have turned to it for help in fighting the effects of opioid withdrawal. However, there is again a lack of study on the subject, so it’s hard to say whether it is a good option for a former opioid user.

How To Choose The Best Kratom For Pain 

Kratom is an herbal remedy, which means it comes in a minimally treated form, usually the leaves from the plant. That means that when you use it, you’re actually consuming a whole range of compounds that have varied effects. Different strains might therefore affect you in different ways.

In the same way, you might have a favorite wine or beer, you may find that a particular strain of kratom has the effects you’re looking for. There are a few qualities that kratom will always have, though they may express themselves in different ways. 

No one can tell you to take a particular kratom strain for back pain, for example, because it can’t be targeted that way. Most kratom strains will be good for relieving chronic pain and providing energy. However, if you’d like to find a longer-lasting but milder effect, or emphasize the energetic or pain-relieving qualities, then it’s worth trying a few different strains.

A few kratom strains for pain management are:

Bali Kratom

Generally considered to be a balanced strain with both pain-relieving and energy-boosting effects. It can also cause a euphoric feeling that’s the closest to the effect of a standard opioid. Red vein bali kratom has similar effects, but with a more soothing and sedative effect. 

Maeng Da

This strain is considered to be more energizing with some pain-relieving properties. Many energetic strains will also leave you feeling jittery. Maeng da has a reputation for being easier on a user, lacking those side effects.


The third of the most commonly discussed strains of kratom, borneo kratom has the same sort of chronic pain-relieving qualities that other strains do. It also provides an energy boost that’s long-lasting as well.

How To Take Kratom For Pain Management?

There are a number of ways to take kratom for pain, many of which avoid the bitter flavor that comes with the leaves. Traditionally, it is just chewed raw as leaves and people just dealt with the taste. If you weren’t that hardy or desperate, you might brew it into a tea and flavor it with honey or sugar, or whatever you prefer. Both those options are still available.

Smoking kratom is also an option, though because kratom’s active ingredients are alkaloids, smoking may actually destroy a lot of the compounds that cause the effects you want. However, many stores that carry tobacco or smoking accessories are also carrying dried kratom for smoking these days.

You can also find kratom capsules, which are probably the most painless way to take kratom for chronic pain. It avoids the flavor and complications of other methods. It’s also possible to buy kratom capsules online, which has some benefits over going down to your local head shop. 

Perhaps most importantly, you have a wide array of choices and help in deciding who to trust. That’s an important consideration because the kratom market is unregulated. Contaminants are not uncommon and you may not know where the local smoke shop is getting their supply from.

Kratom Dosage For Pain

There aren’t a lot of guidelines when it comes to kratom dosage for pain. Not to keep harping on this point, but there isn’t a ton of scientific data to draw from. 

There are dosage guidelines out there that can be helpful. However, be aware that these were assembled by reviewing anecdotal reports on websites, so you will most likely have to tailor a typical dose to your needs.

Low To Moderate

1 to 5 grams. Reportedly, this is the dosage kratom is usually used at in its home in Southeast Asia. The effects are primarily an energy boost and an increase in focus.


5 to 15 grams. This is the dosage range most people looking for pain relief are aiming for. At this dosage, there is going to be some pain relief, as well as some more effects more characteristic of opioids. That includes a ‘high’, or euphoric feeling.


More than 15 grams. At this point, the kratom will most likely just knock you out. It will have a heavy sedative effect in any case. This dose of kratom also comes with a high risk of potential side effects.

Potential Side Effects

There are a number of potential side effects that you might experience when using kratom. You might experience some of these symptoms at any point, but the higher the dose you take, the more likely you are to experience some side effects.

Mild Side Effects

Mild is certainly a subjective measurement. Any of these symptoms can be serious if they are intense enough or go on long enough. However, these symptoms generally won’t interfere with your life. 

These effects can include things like:

  • Itching
  • Sweating
  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle tremors

Serious Side Effects

With higher doses comes the potential for more serious effects. These may be experienced less often, but they can be a real problem. 

This can be particularly true if you experience them for any length of time. If you suspect that you’re suffering from some of these side effects, you should seek medical help.

Serious effects include:

Where Can I Buy Kratom? 

Kratom can be found in many places. Your local tobacco shop or ‘head’ shop will probably have a couple of different options. Like anything else, kratom is also widely available online.

While the kratom market is improving, it’s still kind of like the Wild West in some respects. There aren’t a lot of rules or requirements. Kratom leaves often fail tests for contaminants like salmonella, for example, which has led to infection and death in some cases. 

Online stores can be a better way to go, as it may be easier to evaluate how they produce their kratom products. As with CBD products, third-party lab testing is becoming more popular and is something you should look for when choosing a source. 

Conclusion – Should We Try It?

There are many people who prefer natural remedies to prescribed drugs. There’s a sense that these natural substances are more wholesome and better tuned to work with our bodies, as we are all part of nature. There’s actually some justification for this point of view. 

For example, kratom is often compared to cannabis and the compounds derived from it. Studies of cannabis have resulted in the discovery of the endocannabinoid system in humans. We now understand that cannabis is effective because the active chemicals in the herb are pretty close to chemicals our body already uses. Additionally, there’s the entourage effect that we’ve mentioned, which can multiply the effects of those chemicals in ways we don’t really understand.

However, it’s also true that drugs are dangerous, and taking them can have unexpected effects. It has become increasingly clear that opioids, while very effective, come with some pretty significant side effects. As it is definitely an opioid, kratom also carries a risk for those side effects. 

To cut a long story short, it’s certainly a good idea to consult a medical professional when using any opioid. You can become addicted and have withdrawal if you decide to stop taking it. However, kratom is an opioid that is hardly understood at all and even medical professionals would be operating in the dark when addressing its use. 

In other words, if you’re going to go for an opioid, it’s probably best to get your doctor to prescribe one which they can monitor. Additionally, kratom is basically unregulated at this point, so you might not ever really know what it is you’re putting in your body. As a result, finding another option to help with whatever problems you’re having is probably the better option. At this point, we don’t really have a way to evaluate whether the risk of using kratom is worth the relief.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will I see the result?

The length of effect will vary depending on the individual, the size of the dose, and a number of other factors. Without more study, it’s difficult to judge how long the effects can last.

Is kratom safe?

Kratom is one of the few natural sources of opioids. It has been used safely for energy and pain relief in southeast Asia for generations. However, there are many reasons to be wary of kratom, from potential contaminants to serious side effects.

What strain of kratom is best for pain?

There are a number of different strains of kratom, each of which will have similar energy-boosting and pain-relieving effects. Red vein kratom, however, is the type most commonly used for pain. 

What should I look for when buying kratom?

There are a few things that can help you spot a reputable supplier, such as a professional website and a reputation for good customer service. Third-party lab testing of products is also something that is increasingly common and always reassuring.

+ 4 sources

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  1. Prozialeck, W.C., Jivan, J.K. and Andurkar, S.V. (2012). Pharmacology of Kratom: An Emerging Botanical Agent With Stimulant, Analgesic and Opioid-Like Effects. The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, [online] 112(12), pp.792–799. Available at: https://jaoa.org/article.aspx?articleid=2094342.
  2. ‌Mayo Clinic. (2020). Kratom: Unsafe and ineffective. [online] Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/in-depth/kratom/art-20402171.
  3. ‌Vicknasingam, B., Chooi, W.T., Rahim, A.A., Ramachandram, D., Singh, D., Ramanathan, S., Yusof, N.S.M., Zainal, H., Murugaiyah, V., Gueorguieva, R., Mansor, S.M. and Chawarski, M.C. (2020). Kratom and Pain Tolerance: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind Study. The Yale journal of biology and medicine, [online] 93(2), pp.229–238. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7309661/.
  4. Cornel N. Stanciu, MD, MRO (2021). Is There Evidence to Support the Use of Kratom for the Self-Treatment of Depression? [online] Psychiatric Times. Available at: https://www.psychiatrictimes.com/view/evidence-support-use-kratom-self-treatment-depression.

Medically reviewed by:

Kimberly Langdon

Sean Newton has nearly ten years of experience as a health and fitness writer, focusing on diet and its effects on your health. He also is an avid athlete and martial artist, specializing in bodyweight exercises and movement training. Together with an evidence-based approach to good health, his goal is to lay out the facts for readers, so they can make informed choices.

Medically reviewed by:

Kimberly Langdon

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