Is it really a potentiator???
I wanted to take a minute to discuss potentiating kratom. This is usually the thing I get the most questions about and want to help folks understand. There's a number of things that we label as potentiating, but I think we often label tolerance reducers and bioavailability in this category as well. This is a huge problem, as I see many folks taking things at the wrong time, and wonder why they have to increase their dose instead of decrease. It's important to distinguish these to continue to get the desired relief with the least amount.
Potentiating - makes the kratom (immediate dose) have more pronounced effects by interacting with the mitra or 7HOM.
Reducing Tolerance - makes the kratom (next dose) have a more pronounced effects by relieving/reseting receptors/antagonists.
Bioavailability - makes the kratom have more pronounced effects by making the mitra/7HOM more bioavailable
These are three very different effects to "potentiate." In saying, each thing you do for the effect has a good timing associated with it to get the best results. I'm less concerned about definitions, but more interested in making sure folks get the best burns possible.
Take for instance citric acid. I see a lot of folks claiming to mix this with the kratom powder to make the mitra more potent and label it as a potentiating and best to steep it. When the kratom is steeped in the citric, yes, some of the plant matter decomposes faster, but realistically, this is the same as the effect of your stomach acid (think acid/base) and will also bind with some of the mitra, forming weaker alkaloids (again acid/base). Depending on powder grind, time steeped, temperature, and strength of citrus, the plant matter break down could beat out the alkaloid bindings, but there's a lot of variables to consider to get this into a sweet spot (difficult to get consistent net gain). In this description and use, we should label as bioavailability, not necessarily potentiating as it could actually negatively affect the burn.
One might ask, "Well what about the red bubble....?" I'd tell you the whole goal for red bubble isn't to potentiate, but to remove the plant matter completely so the alkaloids are more bioavailable. During the process, yes some alkaloids bind to the acidity, but for the most part the freezing/boiling and steeping together makes the bioavailability outweigh the small amount of lost alkaloids.
If using citrus, I'd just drink it 30 min - 1 hour before the dose to put your body in a more alkaline state, allowing it to absorb more alkaloids, as your body processes citrus as alkaline. This actually is potentiating as the body would now be more alkaline and the perceived effects of more alkaloids would be greater. This also would result in a consistent net benefit, rather than the above earlier example. If doing this with the red bubble, you'd really be on to something.
Another example is turmeric. We often label it as a potentiator. It has effects to reset receptors, but when taken with/before kratom, it can also effect your burn negatively. Turmeric is often used with curcumin to further activate the turmeric. Together they are a great antioxidant. Do you know what your body needs to convert mitra to 7HOM (the more stronger alkaloid of the two)? It needs free radical oxygens (what antioxidants get rid of). Additionally, the receptor binding that the turmeric can relief, also can remove the binding effect that kratom has. So while it will reduce some tolerance, it will also block some of the effects, and negatively affect the body's ability to convert mitra to 7HOM (again lots of variables to get net gain). This is more a tolerance reducer, and should not really be taken near a dose.
I would advise to use turmeric between doses, preferably the ones with the biggest time gap. This allows for the reset without blocking the effects or reducing 7HOM conversion (net gain).
When reading about making your burn better, it's important to look at why the particular thing would/would not affect the burn. Properly identifying when to take something potentiating or tolerance reducing is important to keep your dose low and consistent.