There are many ways of consuming kratom: indeed, it is very likely that if you take a kratom user from Thailand and one from the US, you will discover that they take the herb in different ways. This is partly due to the differences in supply between the two locations from which the users in this example come, it must be said. Kratom users in Thailand have access to fresh leaves whereas users in the US and other western countries usually do not: the latter have to settle for powdered or extracted versions, which is why their means of consumption differ from those of the former (who often simply chew the fresh leaf, something that would be difficult to do with the dry version).
There are other reasons for variations in methods of consumption, of course, but sometimes it simply boils down to preferences or custom. For example, a lot of other users in Thailand and other areas where it is endemic also prefer to take it as an infusion, sipping it as a tea. Most users in the west do not enjoy the bitterness of the infusion, however, and prefer to either dress it with a flavouring or sweetener, or would rather bypass the taste altogether and consume it with a minimum of chewing or contact with the tongue.
This leads us to the common methods of taking kratom in the west, especially among those using kratom powders (perhaps the most common form of the herb in the west as well, as it is more easily stored than fresh leaf and also requires less processing than an extract). The first has technically already been mentioned: as an infusion or something mixed into a beverage, preferably a strong-tasting beverage to dull the taste of kratom itself. Onset of effects tends to be delayed through this method, due to dilution by the liquid of the beverage, but it is still largely effective in most cases. A variation on this would be to reduce the liquid involved: using a thick sauce or pudding, for example, might mean less dilution.
Another popular method is the Toss and Swallow. This simply means that the user casts a dose of the powder to the back of his mouth, preferably past or very near the back of the tongue, and then downs a quick gulp of liquid to help with swallowing the kratom. This can be difficult, however, for those lacking practice.
Finally, powder users also parachute their doses by folding it into a very thin and digestible wrapper, e.g. rice paper, and then swallowing that whole. With a little practice, it can be the easiest and least fussy method of consumption, although it does take a little longer than the previous method for effect onset because the paper needs to dissolve first.
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