Kratom extract tolerance – Does it develop faster than powder?

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Health benefits have increased kratom’s popularity in recent years. Rather than powder, many users prefer highly concentrated kratom extracts. 

Alkaloid compounds are extracted from raw kratom leaves by boiling. This concentrated paste is then usually dried and sold in resin bricks or liquids. On average, kratom extracts contain up to 50x the alkaloid content by weight compared to natural leaf powder. It makes extracts appear very alluring to kratom users seeking stronger relief from pain, anxiety, depression, or opiate withdrawal symptoms. However, the spike in potency also comes with quicker buildup of tolerance.

How much faster does tolerance develop?

Over 2,500 kratom users published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 47% of extract users reported rapidly developing tolerance in under 6 months of use. Comparatively, only 18% of powder users developed tolerance that quickly. After 2 years of use, 81% of extract users said their initial kratom dosages were no longer effective versus 38% of leaf powder users. Clearly, these figures illustrate that extract tolerance ramps up much faster.

What causes faster tolerance buildup?  

The primary driver of faster kratom extract tolerance is the sheer concentration of active alkaloids. Kratom leaf powder contains 40 alkaloids, including mitragynine and 7-hydroxy mitragynine. It appears that kratom has analgesic, anti-anxiety, and anti-depressant properties. By extracting them into highly concentrated forms, the alkaloid balance is disturbed. Mitragynine makes up 66% of alkaloid content in extracts compared to just 2% 7-hydroxy mitragynine. Since 7-hydroxy mitragynine is 13x more potent but lower in extracts, the body builds tolerance to mitragynine faster. Essentially, dense the best kratom extract overloads specific alkaloid pathways, accelerating tolerance in just a short period.

Aside from tolerance, using kratom extracts long-term poses additional risks according to research:

  • Increased Side Effects – Common kratom powder side effects like nausea, headaches, constipation, and sedation become more difficult to manage with highly dosed extracts.
  • Higher Addiction Potential – The concentrated dosage and more intense high of extracts increase addiction rates in vulnerable individuals. Always take the minimum needed dose. 
  • Toxicity – Very high kratom extract doses and long-term use above 5 grams per day carry a rare but potential risk of liver toxicity. Do not exceed safe dosing guidelines.
  • Withdrawal – More rapid tolerance also means increased withdrawal risks if extracts are stopped suddenly after regular use. Always taper usage first.

How to prevent kratom extract tolerance buildup?

Here are some helpful tips to keep kratom extract tolerance at bay for as long as possible:

  • Start Low – Begin with the absolute lowest effective dose to avoid quickly overwhelming alkaloid pathways. 
  • Use Sparingly – Limit extract intake to no more than twice weekly as an occasional boost alongside daily leaf powder instead of an everyday replacement. 
  • Take Lengthy Breaks – Give receptors a break periodically for at least one week out of every month to allow tolerance reset.
  • Rotate Strains – Switch between different extract strains or vein colors to utilize a diversity of alkaloids.
  • Stay Hydrated – Drink plenty of fluids daily which help limit the rate of tolerance buildup.

Without a doubt, kratom extracts rapidly increase user tolerance due to extremely high concentrations of the primary alkaloids.