Kratom Tolerance & Potentiators: What Are The Risks?

Last Updated: April 30, 2020

Kratom tolerance occurs when the body has adapted to the current dosage of the drug and no longer offers the expected results, requiring an increase in dosage. That is why many users choose to potentiate kratom. Read further to learn why kratom potentiation is dangerous and what risks it poses.

Kratom Tolerance

Kratom tolerance often appears over a long period of use. Many people use Mitragyna speciosa because it rarely results in kratom false-positive compared to other drugs that offer.

Tolerance settles in when the current dose starts to slowly lose its potency until it no longer offers the expected effects. Tolerance takes place when the affinity with the drug attaches to the receptors starts to decrease, but it could also happen when the liver enzymes metabolize the drug faster.

Kratom Potentiation

When users have built a tolerance to Mitragyna speciosa, many of them choose kratom potentiation with various supplements, herbs, minerals, fruits, or substances. These supposedly work in synergy with Mitragyna speciosa to lengthen or increase its effects.

Kratom Potentiators

Before going into details related to various kratom potentiators, it should be noted that potentiating the effects of Mitragyna speciosa can lead to overdose, abuse, addictions, and life-threatening side effects. There are no approved guidelines on potentiation; so, it’s better to abstain from it.


Turmeric and kratom are one of the most common potentiation combinations. Turmeric can make Mitragyna speciosa’s effects last longer and increase their activity. At the same time, there is a number of risks associated with turmeric:

  • contribution to kidney stones in predisposed individuals;
  • adverse symptoms in people with gluten intolerance;
  • toxic effects because of containing heavy metal like lead;
  • use of questionable food colorants and adulterated ingredients.

kratom and magnesium


Magnesium is another substance used for Mitragyna speciosa potentiation. In fact, it is a mineral supplement that has positive effects on the human body on its own. While the mineral acts as an antagonist of the receptors responsible for leading to drug tolerance, its use to potentiate kratom is not safe.

Magnesium and kratom potentiation combination include numerous health hazards. In some individuals, magnesium might cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, stomach upset, and diarrhea, among others. Large doses might lead to magnesium building up in the body, possibly leading to low blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, slowed breathing, confusion, coma, and even death.

Agmatine Sulfate

The combination of agmatine sulfate and kratom offers a potentiation of Mitragyna speciosa’s energetic, stimulating, and uplifting effects. It is reported that amino acid also reduces tolerance for some drugs that affect opioid receptors.

There is not enough evidence that potentiation with agmatine is completely safe. In some people, agmatine can cause nausea, stomach upset, and diarrhea. Also, there is no safe dose of agmatine to potentiate Mitragyna speciosa, so people might be tempted to take too much and, therefore, cause drug overdose.

grapefruit and kratom


No matter if consumed as a glass of juice or eaten as a fruit, grapefruit stops the body enzymes from breaking down the drug, making it stay longer in the system. Grapefruit juice and kratom is a commonly used potentiation combination among intentional as well as unintentional abusers.

Using grapefruit juice for potentiation can lead to unexpected adverse consequences. Some compounds in this fruit alter opioid metabolism. Therefore, doses that would be safe to the user under normal circumstances suddenly can lead to an overdose. Drinking grapefruit juice before taking Mitragyna speciosa products to reach potentiation effects is a form of substance abuse. Abusers often refer to kratom street names.

valerian and kratom


By combining valerian and kratom, Mitragyna speciosa’s relaxing effects are increased. What valerian does is to enhance the enzymes in Mitragyna speciosa, especially when combined with kratom tea. Potentiation attempts may make users take valerian in high doses. When used in excess, valerian root might lead to nightmares, vivid dreams, headaches, mental fogginess, uneasiness, liver toxicity, abdominal pain, liver toxicity, and tremor.


By combining ginger and kratom, the energizing and analgesic effects of Mitragyna speciosa will be enhanced. This can be explained by the fact that ginger is also a natural stimulant and pain reliever. Not many know that potentiation with ginger boosts not only the pleasurable effects but also intensifies the harmful ones such as tremors, agitation, and anxiety. Consuming ginger before taking the drug can lead to overdose or result in drug abuse.

Potentiation Comes With Its Risks

There is no safe dose for Mitragyna speciosa potentiation, as each can reveal dangerous. Because Mitragyna speciosa is not regulated by the FDA, there is limited scientific research on the results of combining the plant with other substances. That is why the risks are always present. Even the small dose can lead to a kratom overdose death. The negative effects of potentiation enhance when one practices drinking on kratom.

Individuals who have developed an addiction to the plant should address a specialized addiction treatment center. There, they will receive a needed treatment for addiction to get through the painful withdrawal symptoms safely and ensure long-standing recovery.

Page Sources

  1. Tang M, Larson-Meyer DE, Liebman M. Effect of cinnamon and turmeric on urinary oxalate excretion, plasma lipids, and plasma glucose in healthy subjects. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2008; 87(5): 1262-7.
  2. Gleason K, Shine JP, Shobnam N et al. Contaminated turmeric is a potential source of lead exposure for children in rural Bangladesh. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2014; 2014: 730636. doi: 10.1155/2014/730636.
  3. Nechifor M. Magnesium in drug dependences. Search Results. Magnesium Research. 2008; 21(1): 5-15.
  4. Li L, Rui-Bin S, Bo-Yi Q. Biphasic Opioid Function Modulator: Agmatine. Beijing Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology. 2003.

Published on: April 30th, 2020

Updated on: April 30th, 2020

About Author

Peter J. Grinspoon, MD

Dr. Peter Grinspoon is an experienced physician with long-term clinical practice experience. As a former analgesic addict, Dr. Grinspoon knows precisely how important it is to provide patients with effective treatment and support. Medical writing for him is the way to communicate with people and inform them about their health.


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