Although kratom has been available in the United States for a few decades, in recent years, it has quickly grown in popularity. When kratom first reached the US, people would primarily buy kratom powder or capsules.
However, due to the rapid increase in demand, countless new kratom vendors have popped up online, and many new types of kratom products have appeared on the market. With all of these options, it can be hard to know what to buy and which kratom brands to stay away from.
We’ll compare kratom extracts to powder and tea, and provide some recommendations for choosing the right product so that you have as much information as possible before you decide whether or not to buy kratom extract.
Here’s what we’ll cover below:
- Differences between kratom extract and kratom powder
- Differences between kratom extract and kratom tea
- How to make kratom extract
- Kratom extract strength vs. kratom powder strength
- Price of kratom extract
- What to be conscious of when buying kratom extracts
Similar to the product expansion within the CBD industry—you can even buy CBD nail polish now—you can find an overwhelming array of new and different kratom products today. While kratom powder remains the most common form, different types of liquid kratom (including liquid kratom extracts and tinctures) have become widely available.
So, what should consumers know before they buy kratom extract products? Is kratom extract stronger than powder and other forms of kratom? If so, how much stronger is kratom extract? Is it a good idea to buy kratom extract over other types? Have you ever wondered how to make kratom extract?
Let’s get started on our guide to kratom extract to answer all of these questions!
Development of Kratom Extract vs. Kratom Powder and Other Forms
As kratom is relatively new to the US, not many people know of its long history of consumption in Southeast Asia. In countries where kratom grows naturally, people have consumed kratom for centuries, if not millennia. This long history of traditional kratom use is fascinating and informative, yet it doesn’t apply to all kratom products.
The traditional forms of kratom consumption in countries like Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia include chewing kratom leaves and drinking kratom tea. In the US, many of the types of kratom products that people consume are much, much newer and lack such a history. After all, the process of making kratom extracts was developed for the US market. Kratom powders and kratom capsules are also new and not found in the history of traditional kratom use.
So, when assessing the history of use for kratom extracts, the only real evidence we have to go off of comes from under two decades. Furthermore, while the alkaloids found in kratom tea and kratom powder are limited to naturally occurring alkaloids found in kratom leaves and those which can be enhanced during the drying process, kratom extracts can have highly variable concentrations of alkaloids.
What’s the Difference Between Kratom Extract and Kratom Powder
So, what’s the difference between kratom extract and powder? To make kratom powder, the leaves of the kratom tree are first collected and dried. Then, the leaves are ground and pulverized into a fine, micronized powder. Plain-leaf kratom powder is as simple as that. (To make kratom tea, a similar collection process is used; the dried kratom leaves are then crushed rather than ground.)
Now, there are different types of kratom extract, including kratom extract liquids, kratom extract shots, kratom extract tinctures, kratom extract pills (capsules), and even kratom extract powders. There are a number of different methods for how to make kratom extract, and the process can vary depending on the method of extraction and the desired form of extract.
Ultimately, all kratom extracts have one thing in common: the alkaloids found in plain-leaf kratom are extracted from the kratom leaves to create a concentrated kratom product. So, compared to plain kratom powder, kratom extracts have a higher amount of alkaloids relative to the volume of the final product.
What’s the Difference Between Kratom Extract and Kratom Tea?
Although the process of making kratom extracts and kratom tea can have some similar steps, kratom extract undergoes processing to become a much more concentrated product.
If you want to know how to make kratom tea, the simplest process involves pouring boiling water over kratom tea bags in an insulated tea thermos and letting the kratom tea bags steep for 15-25 minutes. To make a stronger kratom tea, you can add lemon juice to your tea bags before you steep them, and keep it steeping for a longer period of time.
You can also make kratom tea from kratom powder. To do this, you have to filter out the powder from the liquid using a French press or other fine mesh strainer (which typically isn’t very effective).
While the process of using boiling water to make tea does “extract” alkaloids from the kratom leaves and release them into the water, kratom tea is not considered an extract.
To make kratom tea, you brew the kratom leaves in water to extract a certain amount of naturally occurring alkaloids. If you wanted get the same amount of alkaloids in a concentrated kratom extract, on the other hand, you would need a much larger amount of raw kratom leaf material. Having a larger ratio of kratom leaves to the amount of alkaloids in the final extract product is necessary to get such high levels of alkaloids in a smaller volume of liquid.
Furthermore, although you can make cold-brew kratom tea using kratom tea bags and water, some amount of heat, pressure, or solvent like methanol is required to make kratom extracts, which are typically consumed at room temperature. (More on kratom extracts made with alcohol below.)
Kratom Tea Strength: Café au Lait vs. Espresso
Kratom tea is more mild than kratom extract, and for many people, this is a good thing! Sometimes, less is more. You can compare the experience of drinking kratom tea to that of drinking coffee and consuming caffeine. Some people like to sip on their favorite cup of coffee slowly throughout the morning, while others like to toss back a caffeine pill or an espresso in 0.87 seconds as soon as they wake up.
When you have a caffeine pill, you may love the effects of the caffeine and find yourself reaching for another midway through the morning. Similarly, if you drink a highly-concentrated kratom extract, you may find yourself reaching for another bottle quite quickly.
Instead, if you drink a thermos full of kratom tea slowly throughout the day, you may be able to skip the second or third serving. Over time you may find yourself needing less kratom to get the effects you’re looking for.
For tips on making strong & effective kratom tea, read our essential guide to brewing kratom tea.
How to Make Kratom Extract?
Many people want to know how to make kratom extract. Well, the answer is that there are a number of ways to make kratom extract.
However, one popular way to make kratom extract involves boiling dried kratom leaves (either whole, crushed-leaf, or powdered kratom) for an extended period, then straining the remaining material to separate the plant material from the remaining liquid. Then, the person making the kratom extract simmers the liquid until most water evaporates.
What remains is a dark paste of highly concentrated alkaloids. Next, the manufacturer dries the paste to create hardened clumps or sheets of brittle material. What the manufacturer does next depends on the type of kratom extract they wish to create.
If you want to know how to make kratom extract powder, this process is slightly different. In facilities that make kratom extract powder, the manufacturer will grind up the brittle kratom concentrate into fine particles, producing a strong kratom “powder.”
If you’d like to know how to make kratom extract tinctures and liquids, well, this is usually done in a big facility as well, where it’s easier to control quality and volume. To make kratom extract liquids, the processor will typically put the kratom concentrate through further processes and, depending on the products, rehydrate it with water or other solvents and additives.
Phrases like “very specialized process,” “proprietary method of extraction,” “made using highly pressurized frigid water,” and “state-of-the-art extraction methods for highly-concentrated kratom” indicate very little as to what goes on behind the scenes in a kratom extract vendor’s facilities.
How Much Stronger Is Kratom Extract than Powder?
If you’re looking to buy the most potent kratom product on the market, you’ll find kratom extracts that tout themselves as 2X, 10X, or 15X more potent than regular kratom. Truth be told, it’s often very difficult to find out how much more potent kratom extracts actually are. Many commercially available kratom extract liquids, kratom shots, and powdered kratom extracts do not disclose the alkaloid content of the product.
Some kratom extract brands, such as O.P.M.S., do provide loose guidelines on just how potent their kratom extracts are. For example, website descriptions for O.P.M.S. Kratom Gold Liquid Extract Shots say that “each extract shot equates to 14 grams of kratom powder.” Some websites that sell O.P.M.S. Gold Liquid Extract say that one 8.8 mL bottle contains two servings, while others state that it contains three. Even if you only drink half of the small bottle of extract, that’s still 7 grams of kratom in one go, which is not exactly a beginner-friendly amount of kratom to take.
2X and 3X Strength Kratom Shots
Suppose you want to know what the alkaloid concentration is like for the O.P.M.S. Gold Liquid Extract Shot. In that case, you may have to settle on a vague answer: “A kratom extract contains high concentrations of Mitragynine and other active alkaloids.” Even when companies state that a certain kratom tincture or kratom shot is “2X” or “3X” strength, there’s very little information available to back these claims, so customers really might not know exactly what potency their kratom extract is.
So, how much stronger is kratom extract than powder? Though it’s difficult to substantiate, kratom extracts can be over 100 times stronger than regular kratom powder, at least according to certain brands’ marketing claims. Given how much plain-leaf kratom mass you lose during the extraction process, it is possible to put a very high percentage of alkaloids into a very small bottle.
Due to all of these issues with transparency in labeling, even if you wanted to find the most potent kratom extract for sale, you might have no way of knowing exactly how potent the extract is.
How Much Does Kratom Extract Cost?
Between kratom powder, kratom tea, kratom capsules, and kratom extracts—the last is by far the most expensive. Although highly concentrated, liquid kratom extracts and other forms of kratom extracts are much more expensive than other forms of kratom, even if you buy kratom extracts in bulk.
On average, individual bottles of kratom extract shots can range in price from $6.97 for a two-ounce bottle to $21.97 for a 0.5-ounce bottle! Over even just a short span of time, buying liquid kratom extracts can really add up.
So, why do concentrated kratom tinctures, shots, and liquid extracts cost so much? Well, although brands may call their products “premium,” not all of them meet the health and safety standards for the various factors of high-quality kratom.
With some kratom extract brands, it’s not the ingredients you’re paying for.
For one, the alkaloid extraction process is lengthier and more costly than the kratom powder product process. Furthermore, due to the complexity of some retail chains, the cost of extracts increases because the manufacturer, distributor, and vendor all have to make a profit.
The Problem with Kratom Extracts
You can buy kratom extracts rather easily—many head shops and gas stations sell kratom extract liquids, and you can buy kratom extract online. However, before you decide to buy kratom extract products, you should know about the controversy behind this type of kratom product.
As previously mentioned, finding complete and transparent information about concentrated kratom products can be challenging. It’s difficult to truly know how potent a kratom extract is, how many alkaloids are in it, and how the company even produced the extract. Furthermore, many head shop kratom extract brands sell directly to retailers rather than customers and can be difficult for consumers to contact.
Kratom Extract Controversies
It’s also worth mentioning that most negative press regarding people’s kratom experiences in the news relates to kratom extracts rather than kratom powder or kratom tea. Often, because people don’t know how concentrated these kratom drinks are, they can get caught off guard by the potency. They may even end up drinking multiple bottles a day, which is not recommended.
Although currently there’s no O.P.M.S. kratom recall for any products, the company is facing a class-action lawsuit filed in February 2023. Other kratom extract brands have negative feedback, too. If you do decide to purchase a concentrated kratom product, we recommend reading kratom extract reviews beforehand.
In addition to reading kratom extract reviews, we recommend looking for brands that offer third-party lab testing, follow Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), provide detailed product labels (or easy-to-access in-depth information online), and have easy-to-find contact info.
Consider Kratom Tea Bags Instead!
We’re not here to denounce kratom extracts and tinctures, nor are we trying to discourage anyone from buying what they please. However, we support kratom regulation and think that all kratom products should meet certain standards to protect kratom consumers.
While we can’t review every kratom extract and tell you which ones are best, we can wholeheartedly recommend trying our kratom tea bags! All of our different varieties of kratom tea are third-party lab-tested, sourced ethically, and properly labeled! No secrets here. We even go beyond the GMP standards to ensure the maximum quality of our products.
People have drunk kratom tea for hundreds of years in Southeast Asia. With it’s long history of safe use, this form of consuming kratom is a little less mysterious than some of the new, concentrated products.
Plus, with kratom tea, you aren’t limited to the kratom extract flavors available in stores. If you want to make kratom that tastes good, you can check out our kratom tea recipes and posts, such as how to make a kratom seltzer—and don’t forget, adding a splash of lemon juice increases your brew strength!
Download the Fall Kratom Tea Recipe Book
We hope you learned everything you needed to know about the difference between kratom extracts, powder, and tea, as well as how to make kratom extract. As you can see, unlike making kratom tea, the process to make kratom extract has a lot of variables, and is not easily replicated at home.
While making kratom tea at home allows you to be in full control of the concentration and ingredients in your kratom, most people who consume kratom extract have to rely on a pre-made brand, where it’s not always so straightforward just how strong the kratom extract is.
If you’ve decided that kratom extract isn’t the right choice for you, head to our discussion on kratom powder vs. kratom tea for more details on other kratom options. Have any questions? Just leave them in the comments below!
Cheers to better brewing!