Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a plant that is commonly used in Thailand and other southeast Asian countries for various purposes. Kratom is a drug that has some unique properties, though it is largely not very well understood at the moment. It is used both medicinally and recreationally and is subject to some legal scrutiny due to irresponsible drug users.
Kratom is a partial agonist at the μ-opioid receptor, however this effect is veryweak in comparison with other opioids. Kratom also stimulates the α2-adrenergic receptor, which enhances cognitive function in the prefrontal cortex1www.medscape.org/viewarticle/560074, the region of the brain responsible for attention, working memory, and executive function. Kratom also raises levels of norepinephrine3https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8982722, and this may further explain some of its nootropic and stimulatory properties.
I primarily use kratom as a replacement to coffee, as I find the effects similar. However, I think kratom is better for increasing attention without significantly effecting your mood. I have also found kratom to be significantly less addicting than coffee.
Thai and Maeng Da kratom are among the most popular and effective strains for nootropic and stimulatory effects.
Recommended dosage for Thai or Maeng Da kratom is between 1.5g to 2.5g, up to twice daily. Recommended to use sparingly (ie once or twice a week). Do not exceed 5g per day and do need exceed 2.5g doses.
At higher doses (over 5g), the opioid properties begin to appear, and the higher the dose the increased likelihood of side-effects. These side-effects include tachycardia, constipation, dizziness, hypotension, dry mouth, and sweating2www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26511390.
For these reasons, I strongly urge anyone interested in kratom to be safe and sensible about their use. While kratom is considerably safer than other opiate-like drugs, there is still potential for addiction if abused. Since most of the stimulatory properties of kratom appear at the low doses, there is no reason to go beyond a certain amount. In smaller doses, it is extremely safe and simply does not produce opiate-like properties.