What is Kratom?
Kratom is a tropical tree. Kratom originates from the leaves of an evergreen tree, Mitragyna speciosa, cultivated within Southeast Asia. Kratom contains the stimulant mitragynine and the narcotic 7-hydroxy mitragynine, used by 5 million people in the United States. The leaves of kratom can be chewed, and dry kratom can be eaten or brewed.
How is Kratom Used?
In Southeast Asia, people have been using Kratom for at least 150 years. Traditionally, people drink kratom in the form of tea or chew its leaves. Kratom is also present in resins, extracts, and tinctures. On the street, you can find kratom in the form of pills, capsules, powders, or even drinks. In Thailand, you can buy a mixture made from kratom leaves, cough syrup, cola, and ice.
Uses of Kratom:
Kratom extract can be used in making liquid products. The liquid form is usually sold as a remedy for muscle pain or to overcome craving and stop pangs and diarrhea. Kratom is additionally sold as a medicine for panic attacks. People use kratom to avoid heroin, morphine, and other opioid medications, and also for the treatment of cough, depression, anxiety, and lots of other ailments, although there is no valid scientific proof in the favour of these uses.
Side effects and safety concerns:
The use of kratom can also be dangerous. The use of Kratom has been associated with serious side effects, including hallucinations, withdrawal, liver damage, brain swelling, seizures, and death. Due to these and other serious safety concerns, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to urge people to avoid using products that contain kratom or its elements.
When taken by mouth, Kratom is probably dangerous for many people. Kratom can cause several side effects, which include numbness of the tongue, nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, urge to urinate, constipation, aggression, hallucinations, delusions, and problems with the thyroid.
Poison control centers in the US received approximately 1,800 reports of kratom use from 2011 to 2017, including death reports. About half of these vulnerabilities resulted in serious side effects like seizures and hypertension. Five of the seven children who had been reportedly exposed to kratom have gone through retirement.
Kratom takes effect after 5-10 minutes and its effects last for 2-5 hours. The effects become stronger as the amount taken increases. In animals, kratom appears to be more powerful than morphine. Danger to kratom has been reported in a baby breastfed by a mother taking kratom.
Many of the problems that occur with pain relievers appear when these medications are used in high doses or for a long time. It is not known exactly what level of kratom is toxic in humans but as with pain relievers and recreational drugs, the overdose of kratom is possible.
How does kratom affect the brain?
Kratom can cause impacts comparable to opioids and stimulants. When Kratom is taken in small quantities, users report increased energy, sociability, and alertness rather than sedation. Moreover, kratom can also cause unpleasant and sometimes serious side effects.
The two compounds found in kratom leaves, interact with opioid receptors in the brain, producing sedation, pleasure, and relieve pain, mainly when the user consumes in huge quantities. Mitragynine additionally mixes with other receptor systems in the brain to compose stimulating effects.
It acts as a sedative if taken in very high quantity, making users quiet and possibly drowsy.
Is Kratom Addictive?
Kratom can be addictive when taken regularly. People who use it regularly and then stop taking it may experience reduced appetite, diarrhea, muscle pain, twitches, tears, trouble sleeping, hot flashes, and fever.
Some people said that they felt nervous, anxious, angry, or sad when they do not take the dose of kratom.
The fact that kratom is derived from a plant should not influence consumers to believe that it is 100% safe and all-natural. While not all herbal medicines certainly have dangerous properties, drugs with dangerous effects can come from plants, such as heroin (opium poppy), cocaine (coca leaves), and nicotine (tobacco).
Is it safe to use?
The FDA says there are no FDA-approved uses for kratom and has serious concerns about it. More research is needed to find out if it is safe or has medical value.
In the past few years, the agency has cracked down on companies selling kratom as a treatment for opioid retreat and other conditions. They also warn that some kratom products can be contaminated with harmful bacteria such as salmonella.
Because of its dangerous health effects and the extreme risk of getting your hands on poor quality and tainted kratom products, you should never use kratom in any form. If you have pain or want to get over your opioid addiction, discuss it with your doctor. Together, you can find a surefire way to achieve your health goals.
Is it legal?
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has informed people about the dangers of using kratom. In the United States, kratom is usually sold as alternative medicine. You can find it in markets that sell supplements and different medicines. However, it is not legal in Thailand, Australia, Malaysia, and several countries in the European Union.
In some states, including California, Colorado, Florida, and Mississippi, kratom is legal under the law of state but banned in some individual cities, towns, and provinces.
World widely, kratom is illegal and is restricted in more than a dozen countries.
Kratom has the potential to have a great effect on the human body. Kratom contains almost the same amount of alkaloids as opium and hallucinogenic mushrooms have.
Alkaloids have a strong physical effect on humans. While some of these effects may be positive, others may be of concern. That’s why more studies of this drug are needed. There are significant dangers of side effects and safety has not been established.
Reports and studies on the potential for Kratom addiction are cause for serious concern given the current opioid crisis in the United States and the increase in opioid abuse in other countries. It appears that most Kratom addicts had a history of drug addiction or were looking for chronic pain relief, but wanted to avoid opioid use. The severity of the signs of Kratom appears to be milder than in opioid use disorders and can be treated similarly with buprenorphine or methadone and subsequent reduction. The incidence of Kratom addiction is not known and to date, no nationwide reporting system in the United States, such as the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) or Monitoring the Future, did not indicate the use of Kratom in their reports.