The Kratom is a tree that grows predominantly in Thailand. It’s scientific name is Mitragyna Speciosa and it comes from the same plant family as coffee. The leaves of the Kratom tree contain an opiate-like substance known as 7-Hydroxymitragynine. People have, for centuries, used substance in the Kratom leaves for medicinal purposes. It’s history as an anti-depressant, painkiller and sedative is long and extensive.
In low doses, the substance helps alleviate pain and acts like an anti-depressant. People who have taken low doses of the substance state that they feel more alert, happy, stronger, have higher endurance, are more energetic and have greater attention spans. In higher doses, the Kratom leaves act as a sedative, making the user very sleepy and lethargic.
In the past, the plant has been ingested by actually physically chewing on the leaf. However, the drug can also be taken by crushing the leaf into a powder and then adding it to food. The leaves can also be dried and crushed, then added to hot water to create a tea. In Thailand, Kratom is also added to some cough syrups. The concoction is known as 4×100. The leaves have a very bitter taste, which is usually offset by ingesting a sweeter food or beverage with the Kratom leaf or immediately after.
Kratom has been labeled by the United States as a “drug of concern” because of it’s highly addictive, opiate qualities. Some states, including Indiana, have completely banned Kratom consumption altogether. Although remains legal in most countries or states. Other countries including Australia, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Thailand, have also completed banned Kratom consumption. Thailand is also in the process of implementing legislation that would ban the production and distribution of Kratom leaves. It is important to check the legality of Kratom in your country of residence before trying to obtain it.
Because there is very little known information on the Kratom tree, scientists have been studying its leaves and the effects the 7-Hydroxymitragynine has on the human body. They are working on trying to determine exactly what medicinal benefits, if any, Kratom leaves have in a low, controlled dose. They are also looking at what adverse effects high doses and longer-term use of the drug has on humans. In some instances, it has been used to help addicts wean off more serious drugs like cocaine or heroin.
While some people view Kratom leaves as a medicinal, therapeutic substance that can be taken recreationally in small doses, Kratom should be treated with extreme caution like any other drug. While it occurs very rarely, a person can become addicted to Kratom and suffer severe withdraw symptoms. People have had to be weaned off Kratom very slowly when regularly taking high levels of the drug. A person who has overdosed on Kratom leaves can experience confusion, hallucinations, dizziness, psychosis, and convulsions. There have not been, to date, any reported deaths resulting from overdosing on Kratom.
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