How Long Does Kratom Take to Kick In? | Botanic Tonics

How Long Does Kratom Take to Kick In? | Botanic Tonics

Reviewed by Jamal Bouie

How Long Does Kratom Take to Kick In?

From mushroom lattes to kava bars, plant-based wellness is everywhere we look these days (and we certainly aren’t complaining). 

If you haven’t already, add leaf kratom to the mix. Praised for its potential to put a bit more pep in your step, the Southeastern botanical has gone from a niche herbal remedy to a booming, $1.5 billion industry.[1,2]

So, is kratom legal? The simple answer is yes. The Drug Enforcement Administration allows the purchase and consumption of this plant-based wellness product, but it is important to understand the details of kratom consumption before trying leaf kratom products.

But if you’re new to Mitragyana speciosa, as it’s technically known, you’re likely asking, how long does kratom take to kick in?

The short answer: it depends. Here’s why—and what you should expect.

Kratom’s Impact: A Timeline

Traditionally used for recreational and therapeutic purposes throughout Thailand and Malaysia, part of kratom’s popularity is due to the swiftness of its effects. Unlike other herbal solutions like St. John’s Wort—which can take anywhere from three to six weeks to “work”—studies indicate that kratom may be felt in mere minutes.[3,4] Or, to be more precise, between five and ten minutes.[5]

As for the duration of kratom’s effects? A variety of factors play into this, but leaf kratom’s potential to brighten your perspective may persist for two to five hours.[5]

Factors That Influence Kratom’s Effects

Answering “How long does it take kratom to kick in?” hinges on a host of factors. Your age, body weight, underlying medical conditions, and the health of your liver—all play a pivotal role in tolerance and the onset of the coffee-native’s effects.[6]

Method of Consumption

The kratom leaf you might encounter at your local smoke shop or herbal boutique is likely in capsule, extract, or powder form; the latter two can be mixed into a drink. Kratom extract vs. leaf kratom are very different substances and should be treated as such. That said, leaf kratom may also be consumed by:[7]

  • Chewing the leaves
  • Brewing the leaves for a tea
  • Smoking it

The method of delivery you select may have a direct impact on how swiftly kratom, well, announces itself. Smoking anything offers nearly instantaneous effects because of its ability to enter your bloodstream and brain.[8] (But smoking anything can also, as you know, have an adverse effect on your health.)

If you are interested in trying leaf kratom products, consider exploring tea. Consuming kratom tea is a simple way to enjoy its effects and allows you better control in dosage. Explore how to make kratom tea to ensure you brew the ideal serving. If tea isn’t your beverage of choice, coffee and kratom beverages are another viable option.

The rapidity of leaf kratom powder, capsules, and more are contingent upon the serving size of each, as well as the amounts of mitragynine and 7-Hydroxymitragynine—the two most prominent bioactive compounds in kratom—the strain you’ve selected contains. Learn more in our leaf kratom serving guide.

Which brings us to the next factor that influences onset time:

Kratom Strain and Quality

Kratom products—and the leaves used when it’s packed into a pipe or brewed as a tea—may all be derived from the tropical Mitragyana speciosa tree. Yet, there are roughly 38 strains of kratom with varying degrees of potency—and the more potent the strain, the sooner you may feel its effects.[10] It's vital that you properly research the ideal strain before starting to consume kratom leaf. 

Typically, kratom strains fall into one of three broader classifications: 

  • White vein kratom – White vein kratom is deemed moderately potent. Characterized by the white veins that run through it, it can be a boon for those who want to hone in on a project.
  • Red vein kratom – Arguably the most popular kratom strain on the market for its potentially enlivening effects, red vein kratom nears the top of the potency scale. This is thanks to its impressive amounts of alkaloids.
  • Green vein kratom – Green vein kratom is widely admired for the sense of balance it may promote. It’s popular among first-timers, which indicates its relative (but not overwhelming) power.

Quality factors into when you may feel kratom’s effects and what those effects might be as well. Generally speaking, the higher the quality of any herbal supplement, the purer and faster its results. Lower-quality leaf kratom products may have inconsistent amounts of bioactive compounds—and inconsistent results.[11]

User's Metabolic Rate

Your metabolic rate also has a hand in kratom’s speed and efficacy. Those who metabolize botanicals quickly may not feel kratom’s effects as immediately as those whose metabolism tends toward the slower side.[12]

While age and genetics largely determine your metabolic rate, it’s also influenced by the food you eat—and we all know that taking anything on an empty stomach exacerbates a substance’s effects. Your unique body chemistry also impacts the rate of kratom consumption.

Experiencing the Best of Kratom: Top Tips

Hoping to make the most of your kratom journey? Ultimately, the best way to take kratom will depend on your unique preferences, but consider these tips:

  • Opt for high-quality leaf kratom – Be sure to search for products that are free from harmful contaminants like heavy metals, and only purchase leaf kratom from reputable sources.
  • Start slowly – If you’re brand new to kratom, your best bet is to experiment with it in small servings—ideally, at or less than 3 grams—and, if necessary and desired, build up from there without exceeding the serving maximum of 5 grams.[13]
  • Refrain from alcohol – Thus far, experts aren’t entirely clear on the possible effects of mixing alcohol with kava.[13]  To that end, err on the side of caution and steer clear of boozy libations—and wrap your hand around a powerful, pre-made kratom-infused pick-me-up instead. 

Kick Back with Botanic Tonics

Botanic Tonics has just that pick-me-up you’ve been searching for. 

Our kava kratom tonic blends leaf kratom with kava kava and several key adaptogens to encourage that perfect mix of focus and tranquility. You can rest assured that our certified products are made exclusively with exceptional ingredients.

Redefine R&R with Botanic Tonics.


  1. Harvard Health Publishing. Kratom: fear-worthy foliage or beneficial botanical?
  2. NPR. Florida’s unregulated kratom market.
  3. Mount Sinai. St. John’s Wort.
  4. Frontiers in Pharmacology. Searching for a signal: self-reported kratom dose-effect relationships among a sample of US adults with regular use histories.
  5. Mayo Clinic. Kratom: unsafe and ineffective.
  6. American Addiction Centers. How long does kratom stay in your system
  7. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Kratom. 

About The Author

Jamal Bouie Botanic Tonic

Jamal Bouie

Jamal Bouie is an accomplished professional with a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry from Lemoyne-Owen College in Memphis. Currently, he is pursuing his PhD in Biomedicine at Salus University. Jamal has worked in several industries; he began his career in pharmaceutical manufacturing and transitioned to the cannabis industry, where he specialized in analytical testing and manufacturing, playing a vital role in ensuring product safety and compliance. Now, Jamal has turned his attention to the dietary supplement field, combining his scientific acumen with his passion for health and wellness.

Back to blog