Kratom Headaches: What Causes Them and Should You Be Concerned

September 12, 2018 Articles, Kratom Strains

If you’ve ever visited a kratom sub-reddit, you’ve likely seen users asking questions like “Does anyone else get headaches when using daily?” or “I’m getting migraines when I burn certain kratom strains. What’s up with that?”

Getting a straight answer about this can be, well…a bit of a headache (Sorry, I couldn’t resist).

You see, people will give you all sorts of different answers if you ask about kratom headaches, just as you would get a variety of different responses if you inquired about kratom hangover or kratom overdose.

The reason is quite simple: Everyone is different. You and three of your friends could burn the same kratom strain and, chances are, all four of you will have experiences unique from one another’s. Why? Because the effects of kratom and, by extension, the side effects of kratom are largely dependent upon a number of mitigating factors, such as body type, allergies, sensitivity, etc.

So, let’s delve deeper into just what’s behind kratom headaches, how they are caused and whether such headaches are a cause for alarm.


As many of you may already know, the kratom leaves used in kratom powder come from Mitragyna speciosa, an herb that comes from the coffee family of plants. Mitragyna speciosa is a natural stimulant, just like the coffee beans you brew every morning.

This is the number one reason why many people develop headaches from regular kratom use. If you are susceptible to the side effects of coffee then you are bound to be susceptible to the side effects of kratom, particularly when it comes to the nausea and headaches that coffee and similar stimulants can induce.

Here is a full list of kratom’s most common side effects. As you’ll see, they are very similar to those induced by coffee in people who are sensitive to its stimulating effect:

  • Dizziness
  • Jitters
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Stomach cramp
  • Diarrhea
  • Agitation
  • Sleeplessness

As you can see, kratom mirrors the adverse effects of excessive coffee us in a lot of ways, which is why most longtime kratom users will warn against chronic use. These effects are most pronounced in individuals who take large doses of kratom or several small doses over the course of a day.

Those prone to migraine headaches are also susceptible to these side effects since those with migraines are advised to avoid taking stimulants. If you or someone you know is a migraine sufferer then you’ve probably already been given the talk by your doctor about ditching cigarette smoking and the like. That’s because smoking nicotine products constricts blood vessels in the brain which can contribute to headaches or migraines.

Although many people have used kratom for its purported analgesic (pain relieving) effects, it is not approved for medicinal use by the FDA. In fact, the FDA has come out strongly against kratom, urging the public to avoid kratom consumption due to its supposed health risk.

Regardless of this, many users take it to treat chronic pain, but despite its alleged benefit in this area, it has led to many users developing acute headaches over the years. This is most common when taking more stimulating strains of kratom like the powerful Maeng Da and Super Green Malay.

These kratom strains tend to bring on tension headaches in those afflicted with anxiety disorders as well as those dealing with work-related stress. Other strains that are known for causing sinus and facial headaches include red vein kratom strains, such as Red Vein Borneo.


The short answer is, probably not, although migraines are something that can cause an individual to end up physically ill. Those who get a tension headache or sinus headache from dosing with kratom are capable of alleviating their headache by following some basic tips. For these people, kratom headaches are no big deal.

That being said, if you are a migraine sufferer and you develop an acute migraine while using kratom, you may want to consult with your physician or visit an emergency room. Better safe than sorry.


If you are prone to frequent bouts of headaches or migraines, here is a full list of the kratom strains that probably aren’t for you:


For those who want a pleasant experience, many in the kratom community recommend Yellow Vietnam for its calming quality and point to green and white vein variants as no-nos for those who can’t handle stimulants.

While it is true that all kratom strains are stimulating, yellow vein kratom tends to be more sedating in nature and has been known to induce a sense of calm and well-being. Yellow and Gold Kratom varieties are theoretically the best because of their high concentration of 7-hydroxymitragynine, an alkaloid that may serve as a mild herbal pain reliever and has minimal stimulating effects.


One of the first things I recommend is to slowly and firmly massage one’s neck. Start at the base of the skull and work your way down before spreading your hands out. Once you begin to feel the tightness open up, grasp hold of your collar bones and finish with a massage of your shoulders.

As your last dose of kratom wears off, you can take an OTC pain reliever to treat your headache. If you believe you are suffering from a kratom-related tension headache, you may consider burning a more relaxing and euphoric kratom strain, such as Red Bali or Indo.

These strains are well-regarded among those afflicted with night shift work disorder, insomnia and anxiety and, thus, will tend to chill you out and help you to achieve a restful night’s sleep.


If you don’t want to suffer from kratom headaches or kratom hangover, the wise decision is to never burn large doses of kratom and avoid daily use. A seemingly safe and responsible dose of kratom, especially for beginners, is anywhere between 2 and 4 grams.

Anyone who burns more than 9 grams in one sitting is just looking for trouble. Remember, be safe, be smart and be well. Happy Kbombing, boys and girls! ; )

Bob Freville
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