How to Prevent Kratom Tolerance and Withdrawal
(Good Looking Loser's Guide to Kratom - Part IV)
- We covered the what Kratom is and kept raving about the plant in Part I.
- We covered the how to use Kratom and the basics of dosing and the Kratom Lifestyle Part II.
- We covered the Kratom's effects and what to expect in Part III.
Combatting Tolerance to Kratom
If you are going to use Kratom on a daily basis, you will ABSOLUTELY have to avoid getting anything more than a moderate tolerance to the plant.
As we discussed in Part II - If you are 'rotating' 7+ strains on a daily basis and not using any more than ONE type in any given 24 hour period, you shouldn't have much of a tolerance. Every time you use Kratom, you'll feel it. Obviously, your receptors won't be completely fresh, but you should be able to get good effects nearly EVERY TIME.
I have done this for years and my tolerance has never increased needed much more than 6 grams per serving. I almost always have a good day.
There will be some lousy days, but that's life.
When I only rotated a few strains or only use just one, my tolerance grew MUCH QUICKER.
Buying quality Kratom and especially following a lifestyle can be expensive, and it isn't practical for everyone to have 7+ strains that they can always enjoy.
Rooster and I have compiled a list of other options that will help you combat your tolerance to Kratom and get those receptors fresh again.
I prefer all these techniques to "tapering" (slowing/easing off Kratom).
Tapering works for some guys but not me.
This is not medical advice or a substitute for advice from a qualified medical physician. This is based on our experience. Please view our Medical Disclaimer.
Wash Out Period
A 'Wash Out Period' is just as it sounds.
You don't use any Kratom for about 5 days straight and allow your receptors to freshen up.
If you have significant tolerance, you will have some degree of withdrawal that is comparable to having a cold for a few days. If you haven't been following our dosing guidelines and been using the same strain every single day - you will probably have a fair amount of anxiety to accompany your "cold" feeling. If you have been using the Kratom extracts that we suggest against, your withdrawal will resemble opiate withdrawal.
You can go cold-turkey with your wash out and have a complete wash out, or you can use the suggestions below.
Some of these compound we suggest below have a cross-tolerance, meaning - they tickle some of the same receptors that Kratom does. Even with the cross-tolerance, your tolerance will be dramatically reduced if you give it a few days.
Stem and Vein Kratom
This is our #1 suggestion.
As mentioned at the end of Part III, "Stem and Vein" Kratom can dramatically help you reduce your tolerance to the leaves.
It should feel EXACTLY like regular Kratom and kill any sort of withdrawal immediately.
(after all, it's Kratom, it's just different)
Although there is some cross-tolerance, Stem and Vein has different alkaloids than the leaf.
It ends up tickling different receptors and often the effects that you get is similar to the one when you first tried Kratom.
There's a lot of places that claim to carry Stem and Kratom.
The reality is that most of the Stem and Vein Kratom on the market is just old, cheap Bali Kratom or low-quality Stem and Vein.
Extracting, cleaning (3 times), grinding up the stems and veins of thousands of Kratom leaves is a long, tedious, annoying process. Most Kratom suppliers/vendors just throw the stems and veins away because they don't want to waste time preparing the stem and veins. The demand for Stem and Vein Kratom is much lower since most people have no idea what it can be used for.
From time to time, our approved super vendor, Happy Hippo (my brand), carries it.
You will want to get Indonesia or Bali Stem and Vein Kratom - I have yet to find a Thai Stem Stem and Vein that didn't jack my anxiety up through the roof.
We don't have an official dosing protocol, but I just use as much Stem and Vein as I need to feel good for 5 to 7 days straight (until it loses its effect).
By then, my tolerance to regular Kratom leaves will be dramatically reduced, and everything feels close to new again.
You probably won't need to use Stem and Vein if you are rotating 7+ strains of Kratom, but it certainly can't hurt.
I don't recommend mixing Stem and Vein with the regular Kratom leaf powder. There is ABSOLUTELY NO POINT, the objective is to lower your tolerance and you don't want to be taking the strains you have a tolerance to.
This is my experience, not a suggestion and certainly NOT medical advice. I am not suggesting you do this, however- it did work for me.
Please speak to your physician before you consider this, purchase Loperamide or take it in any dose.
Loperamide, sold as Imodium-AD, is an over the counter medication that prevents/eases diarrhea.
It's an opiate actually, but it doesn't cross the 'blood-brain barrier' so it won't give you any 'effects'.
It hooks on to the opiate receptors in your stomach and prevents you from crapping all over yourself.
Interestingly enough, in large(r) doses some of it DOES end up of crossing the blood-brain barrier and it can ease Kratom withdrawal significantly.
Believe it or not, it can actually kill moderate-high withdrawal from high-powered prescription pain killers such as Oxycodone.
Last year, our friend Illuminatus discussed "Loperamide for Opioid Withdrawal". He was coming off/cleaning out his receptors that had built a tolerance to Tramadol. He gives me a shout out for telling him about Loperamide, it can completely kill withdrawal.
Just so you know, things like Stem and Vein Kratom and Loperamide will alleviate the physical and most psychological symptoms of withdrawal while most/some of your receptors get back to normal. These compounds won't allow you to to "skip" withdrawal. Don't trick yourself into thinking you don't have a tolerance anymore.
Doing a full cold-turkey washout is the very best way to break all your dependence, tolerance, etc.
But using these options for 5 to 7 days, you will significantly lower your tolerance.
Here's how I used Loperamide to ease Kratom withdrawal-
I, Chris, used a high dose (you will get NOTHING from a low dose) several times a day. I would take upwards of 20mg and would wait to see if the withdrawal symptoms went away. If they didn't, I'd take 5-20mg more. Eventually all the withdrawal symptoms go away and I feel normal, if not pretty good. When the symptoms return, I would take another 10-20mg dose.
It is much cheaper to use generic Loperamide caps purchased from Amazon.com (2 cents a cap) instead of Imodium-AD liquid purchased from a pharmacy (or anywhere). Caplets take longer to kick in than the liquid, but it's much less expensive. I chewed the caplets, that might have sped up the process.
(these are not affiliate links, no Amazon links on Good Looking Loser.com are affiliate links)
Again, you'll need A LOT of Loperamide.
You can't buy a single bottle and expect to use it for 5 days.
If, for some reason, you really want to use the Imodium liquid instead of the generic caplets - buy at least 5 8-ounce bottles.
It isn't too healthy to do this for too long. A week or so, for me, was totally fine. My digestion is always super and I didn't get constipated from this. If I had, I might have looked into a laxative/stool softer. Most surgeons recommend 'Senokot' to their post-surgical patients that need to prevent constipation from prescription pain killers.
If you are use Stem and Vein or any of the other options below, don't use Loperamide. Pick one.
If you've been around these parts for a little while, you'll know that we are big fans of Phenibut.
While Kratom tickles delta-opioid receptors, Phenibut binds to GABA-b receptors. There is no cross-tolerance.
If you use Phenibut for 4 or 5 days and no Kratom, this would basically be the same as if you went cold-turkey.
Phenibut can significantly reduce your anxiety and you will basically feel normal during the wash out.
If you go this route, it's important to NOT use Phenibut beyond a week. Tolerance to Phenibut builds quickly and you don't want to make Phenibut a habit.
How much Phenibut you need to take will largely be based on how much Kratom you've been taking.
You might need to take upwards of 3 grams for the first few days and then reduce it to about 1.5 or 2 grams, on an as-needed basis.
If you go the Phenibut route - I suggest that you avoid Stem and Vein or Loperamide.
Do not take Phenibut with benzodiazepines such as Valium, Xanax or any other compound that affect GABA receptors.
Kava Juice Extract (Quality Kava)
Like Phenibut, Kava Juice Extract shares no cross-tolerance with opioid receptors.
If you are able to just use Kava for 5-7 days, your Kratom tolerance will be almost completely gone.
Kava, however, isn't as strong as the other options, so this might not go so smooth if you have a significant tolerance.
If you get crappy Kava, don't count on this working at all.
Not until VERY RECENTLY (like a week ago) did I find a Kava product that was any good.
(here are my prior thoughts on Kava)
Happy Hippo, of course, has a Kava option that is REALLY REALLY good. It's not available to the public but might be in the near future. It's 6003241x better than any Kava root I've tried and kills anxiety DEAD and leaves you super happy for about 90 minutes.
Remember, we are talking about 'Kava Juice Extract' not Kava root.
Kava, to my knowledge, has no significant cross-tolerance with anything, so you can just take as much as you need, as often as you need it.
Other Opioids (Hydrocodone)
I prefer all the above options for the most thorough washout.
In fact, I don't really recommend using other opioids during this period because there will be a cross-tolerance and you might only drop your tolerance about 50%.
In my experience, however, lesser opioids such as Hydrocodone have been helpful to lower my tolerance since they hit the mu-opioid receptors and leave the delta receptors alone.
A few years ago, I strained my elbow playing tennis. A doctor prescribed me a week of Vicodin (Hydrocodone) and I took it as directed and didn't use any Kratom. A week later, my Kratom tolerance seemed almost non-existent.
I DO NOT recommend that you take Oxycodone (Percocet), Oxycontin, Heroin or anything even close to that to 'wash out' Kratom.
All those compounds are stronger than Kratom and you won't be freshening anything up.
Avoiding Kratom Tolerance in the First Place
All of the above suggestions is to lessen your tolerance. Combined with willpower, they work pretty well .
What's even more nice is NOT GETTING A SIGNIFICANT TOLERANCE IN THE FIRST PLACE.
The best way to do prevent significant Kratom tolerance or withdrawal is to responsibly rotate 6+ strains and not using any more than ONE STRAIN in a 24-hour period.
(and NOT using ANY Kratom extracts. Ever.)
I've use Kratom non-stop for about 2.5 5+ years now. My tolerance is quite low and I have never needed to do a washout. When I was rotating 1 to 4 strains, every 3-4 months I definitely needed a washout.
See Part II of our Kratom guide for specifics on how to avoid a tolerance.
If you have any questions, please ask them in our Kratom Forum.
They may go unanswered if you post them in the blog comments.