Maeng Da Kratom: Dangers, Side Effects, and Detox

maeng da kratom

Kratom is an addictive substance that people have used for thousands of years. However, kratom abuse has recently gained popularity in the U.S., with many people using strains like Maeng Da to increase energy levels, productivity, or combat opioid withdrawal, despite the risks. 

If you’ve heard of Maeng Da kratom or a loved one is currently using it, you may be concerned about the potential health risks and the possibility of addiction. Here’s what you need to know about this particular strain of kratom.

What is Maeng Da Kratom?

Kratom is a tropical tree that’s native to Southeast Asia. Its leaves produce mind-altering effects and can create a euphoric high similar to opioids or alcohol when abused. Most people use kratom by consuming it orally as a tablet, capsule, or extract. However, sometimes people smoke kratom leaves, chew them, or drink them as a tea after drying and powdering them.

In Thailand, kratom is a controlled substance and is one of the most commonly abused illegal drugs. In contrast, the DEA classifies it as a “drug or chemical of concern,” but it is not a controlled substance in America. Some state regulations prohibit the possession and use of kratom, and the FDA has not approved kratom for any medical use.1

Maeng Da (also known as MD) is one of the most popular and potent kratom strains. Initially found in Thailand, Maeng Da is well-known for its medicinal and recreational uses by kratom enthusiasts. It’s said to act as a stimulant, increasing energy, talkativeness, pain reduction, and feelings of overall well-being.2

Types of Maeng Da Kratom 

Like all other kratom strains, Maeng Da has three substrains: red vein, green vein, and white vein. Maeng Da has dark green leaves with different colored veins. The different colored veins are said to have varying properties and effects, which will impact the way you feel after you use them.

  • Red Maeng Da Kratom: This is a mixture of red vein and white vein kratom plants from Indonesia. Kratom users use this variety to increase motivation, alertness and relieve stress.3
  • Green Maeng Da Kratom: This is a mixture of white and green vein kratom, typically sourced from Indonesia. Usually taken in the morning, this variety is said to increase optimism and enhance cognition.3
  • White Maeng Da Kratom: This is a blend of primarily white vein kratom and a small amount of green vein kratom from Indonesia. It’s said to enhance motivation and feelings of well-being.3

Like many other substances, the proportion of each color vein (as well as its potency) will vary depending on the vendor and manufacturer. Even so, despite the positive effects reported by users of these varieties, Maeng Da kratom is a powerful substance and can have serious adverse effects or cause addiction and withdrawal symptoms.

Is Maeng Da kratom addictive?

Yes, it is addictive. Without a doubt, like other substances that produce similar effects, kratom might cause dependence and psychological addiction.4 As a result, you might experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop using it. 

For example, the NIDA reports kratom withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Muscle aches
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Hostility 
  • Aggression
  • Emotional changes/mood swings
  • Runny nose
  • Jerky movements

Additionally, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) estimates that kratom withdrawal symptoms can last about a week, making it difficult for many people to quit on their own.5 Moreover, drug abuse behavior co-occurs with other physical or mental health disorders that also require treatment to help ensure long-lasting recovery. 

Subsequently, it’s often best to seek professional help at a detox center or from your doctor if you’re struggling with kratom addiction. A medical professional can help you quit for good and get adequate treatment for substance use disorder and other related conditions, such as depression, bipolar disorder, or anxiety.

What are the side effects and risks?

Maeng Da kratom is very potent and can be intense for first-time users. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), it can produce a pleasurable high (similar to opioids or alcohol) at low doses. At high doses, it can cause sedation and an increased risk of other dangerous side effects.4 

Low doses of Maeng Da kratom may cause side effects like:

  • Increased alertness and focus
  • Improved mood
  • Euphoria
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Pain relief
  • Physical energy
  • Talkativeness

High doses of Maeng Da kratom may cause side effects like:

  • Sedation
  • Hallucination
  • Delusions
  • Confusion

Other reported health effects of Maeng Da kratom include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Nausea
  • Itching
  • Sweating
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Increased urination
  • Loss of appetite
  • Seizures 

Long-term use of Maeng Da kratom may cause:

  • Liver damage
  • Anorexia 
  • Weight loss
  • Insomnia
  • Addiction and withdrawal

However, in addition to these risks and side effects, smoking kratom can also cause difficulty breathing and chronic breathing disorders like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Mixing kratom with other substances, including alcohol and nicotine, can be very dangerous and may cause severe or potentially deadly side effects. 

Not surprisingly, a thorough 2017 review of kratom published by the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry found that the potential side effects of using kratom may outweigh any benefits.6

Does Maeng Da Kratom have medicinal uses?

Indeed, some people have used kratom as herbal medicine to treat opioid and alcohol withdrawal symptoms or cravings. But, there is no scientific evidence that this is safe or effective. More research is needed. Additionally, some people also take kratom to relieve depression, anxiety, or physical pain, but research on its effectiveness and safety is limited. As a result, it’s best to talk with your doctor about alternative herbal or natural solutions before self-medicating with kratom. The potential for serious side effects and addiction are risks you need to consider.

Related post: What Are the Strongest Opioids?

Detox in Austin, TX: Recovering from kratom addiction

In conclusion, if you or a loved one is addicted to Maeng Da kratom or another addictive substance, the caring professionals at Briarwood Detox Center are available to help. We provide individualized drug detox programs for all addictive substances, including kratom. Although there is no specific treatment available for kratom addiction, detox in Austin, TX or Houston, TX can help you cope with uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms and prevent relapse. Once you’ve completed detox, we’ll also help you locate behavioral therapy for substance abuse at a reputable Austin drug rehab center.

Our Austin alcohol detox and drug detox programs are safe and effective. Along with medical and psychiatric care, we also provide H&I meetings, music groups, and art activities to help you process issues related to your addiction and provide a more enjoyable and creative therapeutic experience. Just call (512) 262-4426 or contact us online to start healing now. We accept most forms of insurance.


  1. https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2020-06/Kratom-2020_0.pdf 
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/kratom-for-depression#types 
  3. https://web.asu.edu/newblog/everything-you-will-want-to-know-about-maeng-da-kratom 
  4. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/kratom 
  5. https://www.emcdda.europa.eu/publications/drug-profiles/kratom 
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5402527/  


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