Although we’ve talked extensively about the many different places to buy kratom locally across the United States, I’ve also approached the subject with much hesitation. This is due in large part to my mistrust of smoke shop kratom brands.
All too many wholesale kratom companies sell spurious products to smoke shops because they know they can get away with it. Part of the reason why they get away with it is because kratom is unregulated. As such, these shady kratom vendors have the leeway they need to sneak additives into their kratom powder to make their product stretch further than it would if it was totally pure.
Needless to say, the results can be underwhelming at best and dangerous at worst. Some smoke shop kratom brands are simply bogus, meaning they either do not contain quality kratom powder or they don’t contain kratom powder at all.
In the past, I’ve met customers who managed to prove that what they purchased was nothing more than valerian root powder. In more extreme cases, consumers have picked up bags labeled kratom and fall ill as a consequence of the additives contained within said kratom powder.
Indeed, much of the media hoopla surrounding kratom and its demonization by the FDA owes to cases of consumers purchasing and then ingesting adulterated kratom. One such case occurred in 2010 when it was revealed that the Krypton Kratom brand was a potentially fatal mixture of kratom powder and O-desmethyltramadol, a powerful synthetic opioid.
Because such malfeasance occurs within the kratom marketplace, I make it my business to carefully research each brand that hits the shelves. When people started talking about Matrix, a kratom brand whose name is no doubt alluring to young and inexperienced users, I knew that it begged to be vetted.
Let’s take a closer look at this kratom product so that you’ll have a better idea of whether it’s on the level.
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This product is manufactured in Las Vegas, NV, but not much is known about the company behind it. There is a relative dearth of information about them online.
Perhaps we’d have to take Morpheus’s little red pill to find out the truth about this brand.
At first blush, the preponderance of Thai strains would point to legitimacy on the part of the kratom in question. After all, it is fairly common for a speciosa vendor to source most if not all of their kratom leaf from the same region. However, it is important to bear in mind that kratom is not legally sold or exported in Thailand due to a government ban.
Affiliates of Matrix who sell their products online do not disclose any information about where exactly the product is sourced from or what each strain’s purported effects will be. Furthermore, they do not confirm nor deny that their kratom is lab tested for purity or contamination.
The price of Matrix Kratom is almost conspicuously low with 50 grams of kratom powder selling for just $20 and 20 500 mg kratom capsules selling for only nine bucks. At this price point, it’s easy to see why this brand has caught on among those who frequent head shops and tobacco stores on the reg.
Of course, as Dazed & Confused’s Slater once famously said, “Hey man, it’s quality, not quantity.” Alas, there is no way of knowing whether you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck without giving into temptation and paying the proverbial price of admission.
As you might expect, opinions of Matrix have been widely divisive with one user writing, “Matrix is crap. Pretty much any gas station kratom is crap.” Another user agreed, saying, “Yeah it didn’t do shit.”
Poopy metaphors aside, there are strong proponents of the brand for every naysayer. One such user had this to say about Matrix: “It’s good. It’s really good. It’s expensive headshop kratom but it’s been strong as f*ck. The green md and red thai are wonderful.”
Over on YouTube, RoyDL3 posted a review video of his experience with Matrix Kratom. In it he says that their kratom capsules are about half as effective as competitors like VivaZen. Although he is quick to point out that many of those competitors’ products contain other ingredients whereas Matrix is pure kratom powder.
Despite the mild effects the brand induced, RoyDL3 goes on to say that he will buy from them again, pointing to overall satisfaction on his part.
I was beyond wary about trying this one because I tend to stay far, far away from smoke shop kratom, but in the interest of being fair and unbiased I thought I’d take the plunge and let you know where I landed.
After burning 4.5 grams of their Maeng Da powder, I kept waiting and waiting for the kind of come up one typically anticipates. About 45 minutes in, I began to notice moderate energy enhancement. I felt more restless than anything else which isn’t exactly a feeling I seek out.
As most any kratom user knows, Maeng Da is renowned for its uptick in natural stimulation, but I wouldn’t describe my experience as one of being stimulated so much as one of feeling unsettled or agitated.
After an hour and a half or so, I began feeling a little wobbly and nausea set in. The analgesia associated with Maeng Da kratom was nowhere to be seen, so I can’t say this was a standard Maeng Da experience. After sipping some Pepsi and relaxing on the couch, the nausea slowly subsided.
All things considered, I’d say that my experience was unpleasant and otherwise dull.
While this kratom brand does have its fair share of supporters, I cannot recommend it in good conscience. It is not a product that I trust nor is it one that has a positive reputation in the kratom community at large.
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