When it comes to safety and legality of kratom, people have different points of view. Many patients who are using it for its medicinal benefits would say that kratom is safe. However, people who have seen the recreational benefits of the drug are not convinced of its safety. Kratom has many effects, particularly its euphoric effect, that may lead to tolerance, dependence, and addiction.
Addiction starts from tolerance; then understanding leads to physical dependence. The build-up of kratom tolerance is due to its alkaloids. Kratom as a Potentially Addictive Drug has about 40 naturally occurring compounds that reach the bloodstream and create a different effect on the body. The two primary alkaloids of kratom are mitragynine, responsible for stimulating effects, and 7-hydroxymitragynine, which gives kratom its painkilling effects.
When the receptors react with these alkaloids frequently for a long period of time, the alkaloids gradually lose its effect. When this happens, the person will experience less and less satisfaction with using kratom and will tend to use higher dosages to achieve the previous results. As tolerance continues to build up, the person gets more and more physically dependent on kratom and gets closer to being addicted to it.
One of the kratom’s primary alkaloids, 7-hydroxymitragyine, is an opioid agonist. That means that it can create the effect that kratom can bring by reacting with opioid receptors in the body. This alkaloid handles the following effect of kratom:
In Western literature, it was mentioned people started using kratom as a substitute for the opium, which meant becoming more and more expensive due to taxes. In Southeast Asian tradition, people also used kratom recreationally for its euphoric and mood-enhancing effects.
While the best way to prevent kratom addiction is to withdraw from it, some people claim that there are withdrawal processes to go through before getting kratom use out of the body’s system. These symptoms include:
However, these effects are said to last for only about five to seven days. Because of these mild withdrawal symptoms, the kratom withdrawal process is compared to caffeine withdrawal process. Also, not many people experience withdrawal symptoms. Mostly, only long-term users of high dosages of kratom experience side effects and withdrawal symptoms.
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