Kratom is a drug not known to many people but is quickly gaining popularity. Its users argue that this drug helps with opiate withdrawal and relieves pain, making it a useful medicinal plant.
Kratom is a plant scientifically known as Mitragyna speciosa, native to Southeast Asia. Its leaves are psychoactive and can be chewed raw, smoked, or brewed into tea. The natives used kratom as a medicinal plant and also for recreation.
In the West, kratom is a relatively new drug, and you will not find it growing in the wild. However, you can easily find trusted bulk kratom online. You can also get it in the form of capsules, which you can take as pills or mix with food and drinks.
While kratom has its benefits, there are facts its users need to understand to maximize its benefits.
5 Facts About Kratom
1. Kratom is not an Opioid
Many people believe that kratom is an opioid and can be forgiven because kratom has similar properties to opioid drugs. But kratom and opium are two different plants. Kratom comes from the genus Mitragyna, which belongs to the Rubiaceae family.
The closest plant to kratom is coffee, which also belongs to the Rubiaceae family. Opioids, contrarily, come opium poppy, scientifically known as Papaver somniferum, a flowering plant of the family Papaveraceae.
The active ingredients in kratom are mitragynine and 7-hydroxy mitragynine. The active ingredients in opium are different alkaloids, including morphine, codeine, thebaine, papaverine, and noscapine.
Despite the differences in chemical structures, kratom and opioids both act on the central nervous system, with the main effect being to relieve pain. They also share other effects such as relief of anxiety, sedation, and euphoria.
2. Kratom Can Be Addictive
Native kratom users believe that the plant is not addictive. This has driven the popular narrative that kratom is not dangerous. But recent studies have shown that kratom has opiate-like qualities, which makes it addictive. Those who argue that it’s not addictive use it in a controlled manner and minimal doses.
Kratom has similar effects to opioid drugs, even though it is not an opioid. While its effects are mild, they mirror those of morphine and heroin. So, even though kratom is effective in treating opioid addiction, it can also be addictive.
Experts argue that kratom addiction occurs due to regular use. So, if you use it occasionally and in small amounts, you have nothing to worry about. If you are using kratom to treat addiction, frequent usage may lead to relapse.
Like with all drugs, people react differently to kratom. There is no standard dosage that can be said to have potential addictive effects. It all depends on the tolerance levels of each individual.
Kratom’s addictive potential is supported by its ability to treat opioid addiction. Individuals who use kratom to manage withdrawal also experience withdrawal effects from the cessation of kratom use. But these effects are mild, though more protracted.
Withdrawal effects include muscle aches and pain, poor concentration, lack of sleep, and constricted effects that can last for about two weeks.
3. Kratom has Different Strains
The terms kratom does not refer to a single plant but a group of tree-like herbs that belong to the Mitragyna genus. The different strains all have different effects.
Common Kratom varieties:
- Maeng Da
- Indo kratom
- Bali kratom
- Green Malay
- red, green, and white Thai kratom
- Borneo kratom
Maeng Da and Indo kratom are the most common varieties. As the name suggests, Indo kratom is native to Indonesia, while Maeng Da originally comes from Thailand.
4. Different Kratom Strain Have Different Effects
Maeng Da is mostly green, red, or white. It contains as high as 66% mitragynine, making it a very potent strain. Consequently, this strain has strong and long-lasting effects.
Indo kratom has low mitragynine concentrations, making it ideal for pain relief, relaxation, and anxiety. Green Malay also provides sedative effects but requires high doses. Among all the varieties, Bali kratom has the most potent opioid-like effects.
Red varieties like Bali kratom and Maeng Da have the most substantial effects, while green varieties have mild effects. Due to these differences, users need to know the variety they are consuming to adjust doses.
5. Kratom Effects Depend on Dosage
Generally, low doses of kratom are stimulating, while high doses are sedative. In traditional societies, Kratom leaves were used for their dose-dependent, complex effects.
Low doses ranging from 1 to 5 g, kratom produces mild effects such as euphoria and increased energy.
Moderate to high doses ranging between 5 and 15g produce more sedating effects similar to opioids. At these doses, kratom produces analgesic effects, relaxation, and increased euphoria. This rage of dosage is used in treating opioid withdrawal symptoms, pain, and diarrhea.
In doses greater than 15g, the opioid-like effects become more pronounced. Such high doses can cause hypotension and respiratory depression.
Mild doses of kratom have beneficial medicinal properties and can be used in the management of chronic pain and other conditions. high doses, however, are dangerous and can lead to cardiac problems in the short-term and addiction in the long-term.
While kratom is beneficial, its use requires moderation to avoid adverse effects. Users also need to be aware of the different strains and their concentrations.