When used colloquially, “depression” can refer to a number of mental health problems, but it’s most often referring to Major Depressive Disorder. This condition affects more than 17 million adults and about 2 million children in the United States at any given time. In addition to the effect that this severe negative mood has on quality of life, depression can put you at greater risk for other mental and physical problems.
It’s not always easy to seek treatment due to the nature of the condition, but fortunately, those who do get treatment are usually successful. An estimated 80% of those who seek and adhere to a treatment plan see improvement in their symptoms within two months. Some people seek treatment through therapy, some through medication, and some through natural treatments like kratom.
Best Kratom Strains for Depression
Kratom is the common name for mitragyna speciosa, a tree that is native to Southeast Asia. As part of the coffee family, the plant has some natural stimulant effects, but it has other effects that are described as “opioid-like”. Although this has led to some baseless prejudice against kratom in the Western world, the tree has been used in traditional medicine in Southeast Asia for centuries, treating a wide variety of problems. Among the traditional uses for kratom are energy improvement and mood enhancement.
Just like other plants used in traditional medicine, like cannabis, kratom has many different strains that are used for different purposes. Kratom strains are defined partly by their “color” (green, white, or red), which is really indicative of the age at which the plant was harvested and which changes the effects that you get from using it. There are also many different types of kratom, all of which can be harvested at any time in order to get the desired “color” of that type. Today, we’ll talk about three kratom strains that are great for improving depression:
- Green Borneo – Best overall kratom for depression
- White Maeng Da – Best energetic kratom for depression
- Red Bali – Best relaxing kratom for depression
Many kratom strains are named based on their location of origin, and Borneo is one of these strains; it comes from the island of Borneo. Green Borneo kratom is the green variant of this strain, meaning that it was harvested in the middle of the plant’s life cycle, while it was growing but was not yet full adult size. Since green kratom lies between the other two vein colors (white and red), it often has the most “balanced” profile of effects for a given strain. In fact, one of the reasons why green Borneo kratom is so popular is the balance it offers.
Green Borneo kratom is our best overall pick because you get the best of both worlds when it comes to helping with depression. It isn’t fast or slow, it doesn’t have an extreme stimulant or extreme depressant effect, it’s just a nice pick up that can combat the feelings you experience when dealing with depression. The subtle uplifting effects of green Borneo kratom can improve your mood and give you a little boost of energy, so that you really feel like yourself again and can manage the symptoms of your depression more easily. This strain can be purchased as powder or capsules from Kona Kratom.
White variants of kratom strains are the ones harvested when the plant is young. The effects of white kratom tend to be energizing and uplifting, falling more on the stimulant side than green or red kratom. Maeng Da is one of the most popular strains of kratom, and unlike many other strains, it is named for its quality rather than its location of origin. Some kratom enthusiasts consider Maeng Da to be the purest type of kratom available, and it is one of the most famous strains even among those who aren’t familiar with the plant.
White Maeng Da is the best quality kratom for energizing effects, and for some people, it can be the best option to help with depression. If the symptoms of depression are debilitating, or make it impossible to be productive and get things done, then the stimulating effects of white Maeng Da can help push you to get out of bed and focus on your work, your personal life, or whatever needs your attention. White Maeng Da is available from Kona Kratom, in the same forms and sizes as the green Borneo strain.
Red kratom variants are harvested when the plant is fully mature, and its effects are the farthest removed from those of white kratom; it is more relaxing and sedative. Bali kratom, as the name suggests, comes from the island of Bali. The red Bali strain can be quite versatile, depending on the dosage taken, but since red variants tend to be more calming, this is our best pick for a relaxing kratom strain. Red Bali kratom can be a great option to help you kick back, relax, and free yourself from any negative thoughts that depression might be weighing you down with.
It’s common for people with depression to also struggle with related issues like anxiety and insomnia. Relaxing kratom strains like red Bali can be great for people with this kind of depression, since it can help you get better sleep, calm your anxiety symptoms, and put your mind at ease. When taken in small doses, red Bali is also known to boost energy and mood, which can be another way for it to help with depression. Red Bali is one of the most popular strains available on Kona Kratom, and it’s available as powder or as capsules.
What Are the Benefits of Kratom?
Unfortunately, many people in the Western world are biased against kratom, since it is said to have “opioid-like” effects, so there is relatively little information available from formal research. However, it has been used in traditional medicine for many years, and it’s known in many Asian cultures to have a certain number of benefits. It’s often used to improve mood and treat mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, and it’s also a popular treatment to use for pain management. Because of its “opioid-like” effects, it can even be used by individuals going through opioid withdrawal to relieve symptoms and assist with the recovery from their addiction.
Part of what allows kratom to have so many benefits is the fact that it has different effects depending on the dose. At low doses, it has a more stimulant-like effect, which boosts energy levels and improves mood to treat things like depression. At higher doses, it has a more depressant-like effect, which can improve sleep quality and help people with anxiety to relax. Moderate doses have effects somewhere in-between, so by finding the right strain and dosage of kratom for your specific needs, you can get exactly the combination of effects you want.
How Does Kratom Help with Depression?
The mechanisms through which kratom can help with depression are still being studied, but we do have some information from the research that has been done. A literature review in the Psychiatric Times explains the current knowledge and possible mechanisms in fairly understandable language. According to self-reported surveys, nearly two-thirds of people who use kratom use it to manage depression and other mental health concerns. Another literature review indicates that kratom boosts mood, relieves anxiety, and otherwise improves mental health with fewer risks and side effects than man made drugs intended to achieve the same effects.
Kratom contains many botanical constituents that may contribute to its effects, including a variety of alkaloids which are understood to different degrees. The best-understood alkaloids in kratom are known to interact with opioid receptors, among others, which contributes to the “opioid-like” effects that the plant is known for. Although some of the alkaloids found in kratom are less well-understood, the ratio of alkaloids varies widely from one strain of kratom to another, which likely explains the variety in effects that can be achieved. It is also worth noting that kratom use has been found to be much safer than opioid use, making kratom a potentially effective treatment for individuals struggling with opioid addiction and the mental health fallout that can result from withdrawal.
Where to Buy Kratom for Depression
Kratom is an interesting substance, and its standing in the Western world makes buying it a bit complicated. It’s legal pretty much everywhere, but it’s also not really regulated by any official organization. This means that, although you can buy kratom in many stores, there’s no guaranteeing the quality of what you’ll find in-store. Smoke shops, gas stations, and other similar stores tend to sell kratom, but it’s a toss up whether the kratom is counterfeit or not, and the “real” product sold in these establishments still tends to be low-quality.
The best way to know for sure what you’re getting is to buy kratom online. This allows you to find reputable kratom distributors and verify their quality, such as through their third-party testing results, before you commit to any products. Our three strain recommendations above are available from Kona Kratom, which is one of the best kratom brands out there. They have some of the best kratom and the most glowing reviews of any company. If you’re looking for a second option, we also recommend Golden Monk, which has an equally high reputation among kratom users and tests their products thoroughly.
Kratom for Depression FAQ
What type of kratom is good for depression?
The best strains of kratom for depression are green Borneo, white Maeng Da, and red Bali. Each of these strains has different effects, so which strain you choose to use should depend on your experience with depression and what type of symptoms affect you the most. White Maeng Da can give you the energy you need to be productive, if your depression is making you lethargic; red Bali can calm you down if your depression presents with anxiety and insomnia, which prevent you from relaxing or getting healthy sleep; and green Borneo gives the best of both worlds by offering a gentle mood boost that can relieve your worst symptoms without causing any drastic changes, making it the best all-around and the best place to start if you’re not sure.
Should I buy kratom powder or capsules?
Kratom powder and kratom capsules are almost the same thing, in terms of their ingredients and the effects they produce. Kratom powder is made by grinding the leaves of the kratom plant until it reaches a consistency like powdered sugar; kratom capsules are made by filling conventional or plant-based capsules with this kratom powder. Whether you choose powder or capsules, you’ll get the same effects out of the kratom, so it’s really a matter of how you prefer to consume it. Kratom capsules are the easiest to use, so for beginners who aren’t as familiar with how to use it, this is the best option. More experienced users may prefer to make a tea with kratom powder, or put kratom powder into other food or drink to use it.
Does kratom taste bad?
Although taste is subjective, most people agree that kratom doesn’t have a very pleasant taste. Some choose to forgo the taste entirely by taking capsules, while others use honey to sweeten the bitter taste of kratom tea, or they may put kratom in something like a smoothie that has enough of its own taste to overpower the kratom.
Why do most people use kratom?
The most popular health condition that people use kratom for is pain! Kratom is a popular alternative to opioids and other pain management prescriptions. Therefore, the majority of people looking to buy kratom are in fact searching for the best kratom for pain.