The Merriam-Webster definition has it that Zen is “a state of calm attentiveness in which one’s actions are guided by intuition rather than by conscious effort.” This description fits kratom like a warm mitten in the winter.
The Mitragyna speciosa leaf from which kratom is derived contains a central vein that is positively bursting with ingredients to instill a calm and collected experience. Most of the consumers who have turned to kratom are fairly intuitive people, the kind of forward-thinking individuals who have an instinct for the pleasures and perils of ethnobotanicals.
Nevertheless, there are many first-time users who hear about kratom and run out to their local smoke shop to get their hands on some. These individuals may lack the education and experience to distinguish good kratom from bad.
That’s why we created this blog, to illuminate the differences between the myriad of kratom strains and to steer customers away from bunk kratom products. Over the years, I have encountered many sketchy brands…but I’ve also found a clutch of really good ones.
Today’s post will tell you all about Zen Kratom Premium Extract. This smoke shop brand has taken the place of lesser brands like Viva Zen and K Shot…but is it really any good?
Let’s dive right in and find out!
Table of Contents
Zen Ultra Premium is a liquid kratom shot which comes in a vial. It is also offered as kratom capsules, although fewer stores seem to carry them. Of the 10 shops I surveyed, only six had heard of Zen. Of those six, two had confused it with Viva Zen and the remaining four stocked only their kratom shots in display cases.
As we touched on in our DIY kratom tincture guide, preparing a kratom extract requires the immersion of raw M. speciosa plant matter in an alcohol or water-based solution. Some manufacturers then incorporate citric acid and other natural additives to yield a salt-like texture to your kratom.
PH strips are used to test the mixture. Once it has reached the desired level, the manufacturer seals each container and mechanically shakes it up for a period of no more than five hours. The mixture is then stored in a cool, dark place for a period of two or more weeks.
After this period of storage, the extract is then removed and mechanically shaken for another hour before the contents are put through a strainer.
Naturally, a myriad of techniques exist and no two kratom vendors are likely to produce their kratom tincture in the exact same way. Some have even claimed to use a cold press technology to manufacture their product.
According to the company’s Facebook profile, no cheap chemical solvent is extracted. As they claim, “Zen is the highest quality Maeng Da…extract on the market today and is second to none.”
In addition to the obvious redundancy there, there is an inherently problematic aspect to such claims. As most seasoned users know, true 20:1 Maeng Da Kratom Extract is produced by means of an alcohol-based solution.
The resulting high-performance kratom resin is used to infuse the kratom extract with the 20 grams (or more) of Mitragyna speciosa powder that was utilized in the extraction process. This is all fundamental science, but it’s the kind of science that is absent from Zen Kratom’s packaging.
Nowhere are consumers provided a detailed explanation for how their product was manufactured or what one can expect from their formula. Their empty promise of no chemical solvents is something they are unable to prove since they do not disclose lab results or offer a video demonstrating their methods.
Zen Kratom’s website redirects to Horizon Wholesale which regularly stocks both Zen shots and Zen caps in addition to their Experience Botanicals line. As a third party wholesale distributor, Horizon Wholesale may sell exclusively to retailers.
This is difficult to confirm since their product page for Zen Kratom Extract comes up with the error message “No Results Found. The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search…”
All we know for sure is that Zen Ultra Premium is available from a variety of wholesale online stores such as Jack B. Goods and ShopCBDkratom.com. This is all well and good since I trust the latter even if I’ve had limited experience with the former.
ShopCBDKratom.com offers a liquid vial of Zen Ultra Premium for $15 which is only slightly more than I would pay at my neighborhood headshop. Unfortunately, a single capsule goes for $9 which is only a dollar less than I would pay for two caps at any local smoke shop.
After mulling it over for some time and steeling my stomach for the inevitable unrest that a smoke shop kratom shot would induce, I took the plunge and purchased one of their vials. When I unscrewed the top, I was immediately struck in the face by the harsh smell.
As with my first 5-Hour Energy Shot, this little stinker gave me an abrupt sneezing fit. The scent stung my nostrils and I did the only thing I could think to do. Squeezing my nostrils with thumb and forefinger, I held my head back and dumped the contents into my maw.
Swallowing fast and hard, I was pleasantly surprised to find that no bitter taste lingered on my tongue. Although the tingling in the back of my throat told me that I had imbibed an extract that was made from at least 20 grams of micronized powder.
If I had to describe the fragrance of this tincture, I would probably compare it to a cheap malt liquor, something of the sort found in gas stations in low income neighborhoods. Think King Cobra by way of Steel Reserve and you’ve got the right idea.
In under 10 minutes, I was turnt! I’m not joking, this tiny bottle really threw me for a loop. The initial pickup didn’t make me nauseous so much as woozy. I was apoplectic and sweating within minutes of taking it and had some difficulty navigating my way through work with legs that felt like jelly.
This is definitely a nighttime strain, something that should only be taken recreationally by users who don’t have any responsibilities to worry about. Point blank: Do NOT take this extract if you have to operate a motor vehicle or engage in problem-solving situation.
Although I am reluctant to ever back a product that doesn’t comply with bedrock GMP, I have to hand it to these cats. They’ve created a kratom shot that is every bit as strong and long-lasting as users would demand. Whether it’s safe is another story altogether and a question best posed to someone with access to lab equipment.
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