The Best Kratom for Pain Management
Choosing the best kratom for pain can be deceptively complicated. Different strains of kratom contain a wide variety of alkaloids, but only some of those alkaloids have painkilling effects. In particular, you’ll want a strain with high 7-hydroxymitragynine and mitragynine content, as those are most strongly associated with pain relief. Our research has identified Coastline Kratom’s Red Vein Bali as the best strain and vein variety for pain, primarily because it contains the highest levels of 7-hydroxymitragynine available.
Our Pick: Coastline Kratom Red Vein Bali
Red Vein Bali Kratom is the overall best kratom for pain for several reasons. First, several studies have shown that kratom’s pain-relieving properties are primarily attributable to the alkaloid 7-hydroxymitragynine (and to a lesser extent, the alkaloid mitragynine), and Red Vein Bali has the highest 7-hydroxymitragynine content of any variety. This places Red Vein Bali on par with virtually any opioid painkiller in terms of pure efficacy. Second, Red Vein Bali is known to produce strong sedative effects, making it an ideal choice for nighttime use, when pain relief is often most critical. (But if you want pain relief without sedative effects, you would likely prefer Red Vein Borneo, reviewed below.)
Best Kratom for Pain Without Sedation: Coastline Kratom Red Vein Borneo
Red Vein Borneo Kratom is the best strain for pain relief without sedative effects. Red Vein Borneo is almost as strong as Red Vein Bali, but does not have the sleep-inducing effects usually felt with Bali strains. For this reason, Red Vein Borneo is the most popular choice for users suffering from bone and joint disease (for example, arthritis and gout), as they typically need pain relief throughout the day while still being able to function as normal. Red Vein Borneo also has a low incidence of side effects (for example, nausea, dizziness, headaches and constipation) that can be more likely with other strains. The small tradeoff in the strength is typically worth it if you need pain relief during the day, but still live an active and busy life.
Best Kratom for Pain with Long-Lasting Effects: PurKratom Green Malay
Green Malay Kratom is decidedly weaker than Red Vein Bali and Red Vein Borneo, but is still a good choice if you suffer from milder ailments like migraines, muscle aches or back pain. Green Malay is one of the longest-lasting kratoms (effective for up to eight hours), making it a good choice for dull, constant pain. And because Green Malay is one of the milder strains, users rarely report side effects, and are able to use Green Malay more regularly. Finally, unlike Red Vein Bali, which induces strong relaxation, Green Malay is actually a light stimulant (with effects akin to coffee) that can make you more energetic throughout the day.
Everything We Recommend
Why Use Kratom for Pain Relief?
Kratom has been used for both minor ailments and severe conditions for thousands of years, particularly in Southeast Asia. Kratom is highly effective at eliminating pain, without many of the side effects associated with synthetic pharmaceuticals.
How Does Kratom Relieve Pain?
To understand how kratom relieves pain, you first must understand how pain sensation works. When you feel discomfort in your body, what you are actually feeling is nerve irritation. Nerves are the body’s “sensors,” and they alert you whenever something has gone wrong—like a cut on your skin, or the impact of a foreign object on your body or even bacteria attacking your tissue.
Even without treatment, your body will attempt to dull the pain, typically by releasing endorphins. Those endorphins lessen your perception of the pain, and help you feel some relief.
Kratom acts essentially the same way. Specifically, the alkaloids 7-hydroxymitragynine and mitragynine behave just like the body’s natural endorphins. (This is especially true of 7-hydroxymitragynine, which is why we recommend strains with the highest 7-hydroxymitragynine content in particular.)
In fact, kratom’s alkaloids not only mimic the body’s natural endorphins, but are significantly more effective. One study found that 7-hydroxymitragynine’s pain-relieving effects rivaled morphine!
Best Kratom Strains for Pain
While kratom can be highly effective at relieving pain, not all strains are created equal. Different strains induce different effects, including painkilling (what we’re after), stimulation, euphoria or sedation. But even among the strains known for pain relief, there can be different additional effects, and you’ll want to choose carefully. The sections below detail the specific effects of each strain.
Maeng Da is generally thought to be the strongest strain of kratom. But that strength comes with the highest potential for side effects, including nausea, dizziness (often called the “wobbles”), headaches and constipation. Still, these side effects are relatively rare (or only seen at high doses), and Maeng Da remains the one of the most popular strains.
Maeng Da is most popular for severe pain, such as that associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Maeng Da is typically sedating, though some users report a stimulating effect at very low doses.
Bali is also a highly-potent strain of kratom, with the highest levels of 7-hydroxymitragynine. Because of the high levels of this painkilling alkaloid, Bali is perhaps the best kratom for pain (and, as noted above, Red Vein Bali Kratom in particular is our top choice for pain relief).
You should be aware, however, that Bali is one of the more sedating strains, so it is most appropriate for night use, or for when you don’t need to be active.
Borneo is not as potent as Maeng Da or Bali, but also has a very low incidence of side effects. Borneo is popular for more frequent use, and especially for bone and joint diseases like mild arthritis or gout.
Borneo also has sedating effects, but they are not nearly as pronounced as Maeng Da or Bali.
Indo is closely related to Borneo, in that it is not quite as strong as Maeng Da or Bali, but also produces less side effects. Indo is also sedating, but not so much as Maeng Da or Bali. Much like Borneo, Indo is an appropriate choice for mild pain relief, with minimal side effects.
Malay is generally thought to be on the weak end of the spectrum, but is nevertheless highly-effective for pain relief. Malay offers the longest-lasting pain relief of any strain, with its effects lasting up to eight hours. For this reason, many users choose Malay for mild or dull pain, or conditions like fibromyalgia.
Malay is also a good choice if you prefer to avoid sedative effects, as Malay is actually mildly stimulating. Malay is also known for its stress-relieving properties, and some studies have even shown that it lowers blood pressure.
Best Kratom Veins for Pain
Not only do different strains of kratom produce different effects, but different veins of kratom also result in different effects. Combining the right type of strain and vein can help you achieve maximum pain reduction for your particular condition.
Red vein kratom is thought to be the best overall vein for pain relief. It typically has sedative effects, however, so it is best used at night or when calming effects are desired.
Green vein kratom is not quite as potent as red vein kratom, though it still offers effective pain reduction. Green has only mild sedative effects, if any, and in fact can be stimulating in certain strains (for example, Malay).
White vein kratom is generally not effective for pain relief.
How to Take Kratom for Pain Relief
There are many ways to consume kratom, including capsules, tea, mixed into a drink, mixed into food (for example, yogurt or a smoothie), chewing on leaves and even gum. A couple methods bear special mention:
First, kratom tea is typically less effective for pain relief than consuming the kratom itself, as the alkaloids are not fully extracted during the steeping process. But if you prefer slightly weaker kratom, tea might be a good option.
Second, though the exact mechanism is not fully understood, many users report that consuming kratom mixed with orange juice (or any other acidic drink) heightens its effects. It is generally believed that the acidity helps extract the alkaloids responsible for numbing pain.
Kratom Dosage for Pain
The typical dosage range for pain relief is between one and eight grams. Most users should not exceed five grams, or else the chance of side effects significantly increases.
To use kratom safely, you should start with a small dose and increase your intake only once you are comfortable with its effects. You should also avoid mixing kratom with other psychoactive substances, in particular opioids, benzodiazepines and anti-depressants.
Our Pick: Coastline Kratom Red Vein Bali Kratom
Coastline Kratom’s Red Vein Bali Kratom is the overall best strain and vein combination for pain relief. As noted above, Bali kratom has the highest 7-hydroxymitragynine content of any strain, which is generally believed to be the best alkaloid for fighting pain. In fact, Bali kratom has at least 25 different alkaloids, giving it among the most active ingredients of all the strains.
Red vein is also probably the best variety for pain relief given its calming and soothing effects. Together, the Bali strain and red vein variety combine to offer the best overall pain relief with minimal side effects.
We recommend Coastline Kratom’s Red Vein Bali in particular for several reasons. With respect to the product itself, Coastline Kratom sources exclusively from mature trees in Southeast Asia—kratom’s birthplace. Also, Coastline Kratom works with indigenous tribes who have been harvesting and grinding kratom for decades (if not centuries), and their experience results in a superior product.
Further, Coastline Kratom offers the best money-back guarantee in the industry, as they issue full refunds for any reason and with no time limit.
Coastline Kratom’s shipping options are adequate but limited compared to their competitors. They ship exclusively via USPS First Class, which typically means you’ll receive your product within three business days. We would like to see some second-day and overnight options for customers who need their product sooner, but for now there are no such options. But they do offer free shipping on orders over $75, which is a nice benefit.
Coastline Kratom also accepts all major credit cards, which is particularly convenient in an industry that sometimes prefers alternative payment methods.
Best for Pain Relief Without Sedation: Coastline Kratom’s Red Vein Borneo
If you are looking for pain relief without sedative effects, we recommend Coastline Kratom’s Red Vein Borneo Kratom. As discussed above, Borneo is an effective pain reliever, but does not result in the drowsiness typically caused by Bali strains.
In fact, Borneo often has energizing effects, making it preferable for daytime use, and for those who lead active or busy lives.
We chose Coastline Kratom’s Red Borneo strain in particular as users consistently report that Coastline Kratom offers the most effective strain. As noted above, Coastline Kratom offers the best money-back guarantee in the industry (returns accepted at any time and for any reason). And also as described above, Coastline Kratom’s shipping options are satisfactory, even if there are limited rush options available.
Best Kratom for Pain with Long Lasting Effects: PurKratom’s Green Malay Kratom
If you are looking for all-day relief—particularly of mild or dull pain, like that associated with migraines or muscle aches—we recommend PurKratom’s Green Malay Kratom.
Malay strains offer effective pain relief, without many of the side effects associated with stronger strains. And the green vein variety is a good choice for day use, as it is generally stimulating (about the strength of a good cup of coffee).
PurKratom offers a 30-day money back guarantee, which is not quite as generous as Coastline Kratom’s, but still more than enough time for most users to assess the product. PurKratom also boasts the American Kratom Association’s (“AKA”) Good Manufacturing Practice (“GMP”) certification, which is the highest certification in the industry for quality.
We also love PurKratom’s shipping options, which include both USPS and UPS, as well as numerous options for second day or next day delivery. PurKratom offers free shipping (via USPS First Class Mail) on all orders.