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Depression is a condition that affects people the world over. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates that 6.7% of adults in the USA alone have a depressive episode in any given year. WHO, The World Health Organization, estimates that 300 million people worldwide suffer from depression. There are medicines, cognitive and behavioural therapies available, and a whole platform of natural remedies believed to be able to cure the mental health disease.
One of those is a herbal substance, Kratom, which originates from Southeast Asia. Used for thousands of years as a pain relief medicine, it is becoming increasingly popular in the west, and in addition to being used as pain relief, users are self medicating to combat depression and anxiety.
Kratom For Anxiety and Depression
To understand how Kratom can be used to treat anxiety and depression, we first need to understand how the chemical compounds in the herb affect our brains.
Mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine are the main compounds found in Kratom. Mitragynine is known to induce euphoria. This alkaloid works by binding to our opioid receptors, blocking depressive symptoms by increasing serotonin levels. 7-hydroxymitragynine is known for its calming effects, which can help those suffering with anxiety. An online survey in 2016 found that out of 8049 Kratom users, 80% claimed that they had a less depressive mood.
Other effects can take place as well, depending on the dosage, such as:
- Lowered perception of pain
- Increased mood
What is The Best Kratom Strain for Depression and Anxiety?
There are numerous strains of Kratom available for users to buy online or in some herbal treatment stores. Choosing the right type to treat depression will ultimately come down to the individual and how their body reacts to the potency of each substance, however there are some which have been recommended for being better suited to treating depression and anxiety.
Best Kratom Strains For Depression
Malay Kratom is known for its sedative and cognition enhancing properties, but depending on its dosage it can also give the user a stimulating effect. The most intense is Red Vein Malay, used for pain relief and sedation, but for depression sufferers, White Vein Malay has more stimulating effects.
Maeng Da Kratom
Maeng Da has one of the highest potencies in the Kratom family. Commonly used for its pain relief, mood enhancing and euphoric effects, it is often referred to as a good treatment for depression. White Vein Maeng Da is particularly effective due to its potency, and doesn’t give users side effects such as the jitters. Green Vein is used for mood and energy enhancing effects, as well as increasing productivity.
Bali Red Vein is known to be the most similar to having opioid effects, which makes it an attractive choice for those who want to suppress feelings of depression. Used in small doses, or blended with less potent strains, it offers an effect very similar to anti-depression medication.
Best Kratom Strains For Anxiety
Borneo Kratom is similar to Green Malay. Due to its high amount of the alkaloid 7-hydroxymitragynine, it acts as a relaxant and mood enhancer. Green Vein Borneo is recommended for anxiety as it doesn’t have strong side effects.
If your productivity is being affected by anxiety, Indo Kratom is known for boosting productivity without any of the sedating effects.
In addition to being used for depression, Bali Kratom is good for anxiety sufferers. Red and Green Veins both cause sedating effects, so are better to be used at night to calm extreme anxiety and stress. White Vein can be taken during the day to help users control their anxiety.
What Kratom Dosage Should Be Used to Treat Depression?
Finding the right dosage depends on three factors.
Kratom can cause dependency, and users can quickly build up a tolerance, so you may find needing to take more to get the same effects as when you first started using. This will also depend on the frequency in which you consume Kratom.
All the different strains of Kratom vary in their potency, so finding the strain that suits you will require trying a few different types. Some people also prefer to mix potent strains with lighter ones to counteract the strong side effects.
There are numerous ways to take Kratom. From edibles, capsules, extracts, gum and powders, users can choose how they ingest the herb. Capsules, for example, are generally controlled dosages so new users might prefer to try this method as they can monitor the gram amount. Extracts on the other hand are stronger because they are concentrated.
If you are new to using Kratom, start off very low, less than 2-3 grams. A moderate dose for medium effects will be around 4-5 grams, and stronger doses consist of 6-7 grams. More than 8 grams is a very high amount, and users may find that they feel more sedated with this amount.
What Are The Risks of Taking Kratom for Depression?
Since Kratom is not FDA approved, users should be careful as they can’t be sure of what is mixed in with their purchase from unregulated providers. Kratom is recognised as an addictive substance, and users have reported feeling unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when they stopped using it. 
As well as this, some of the side effects can be harmful. Some of these include:
- nausea and vomiting
- dry mouth
- tongue numbness
Severe side effects may include:
- heart palpitations
- high blood pressure
- loss of appetite
- loss of libido
In large doses, kratom can be dangerous. Some of the effects can include breathing difficulties, seizures, liver damage and even death. 
Although many users find Kratom can aid their anxiety and depression, it is important to consult with your doctor first to avoid unwanted side effects, especially if other medication is being taken. It’s important to start with low doses and find the right balance when trying to treat mental health issues.