Kratom’s scientific name is Mitragyna speciose, which is a tree natively grown in Thailand. It is believed to have medicinal properties, and the raw leaves were traditionally chewed by the local people in Thailand, particularly within the southern peninsula. Initially, the safety of Kratom was used to be consumed by workers who were in laborious professions so as to stave off fatigue while enhancing the mood and treating pain at the same time.
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The traditional uses of Kratom where it usually grows include as an anti-diarrhoeal in treating opioid dependence and premature ejaculation in treating coitus. In the southern Thailand, it was considered as part and parcel of their culture for several years as perceived in agriculture and their cultural performances. Kratom chewers in the region usually start at the age of 25, while most of them continue the leaves throughout their lives. The average Kratom leaf weighs about 2 grams, and many local folks consume from 10 to 60 leaves on a daily basis, hence, it was common and part of their tradition. About 70% of the male population in that region consumes safety of Kratom leaves per day.
Alternative to Opium
Kratom, along with its derivatives have been utilized as an alternative to opium and also used as opium withdrawal management. However, data about the prevalence and incidence of such usage are still lacking, while some physicians are still unfamiliar with such because general drug screening tests do not detect the use of Kratom. The circumstances of Kratom use are apparent to those who are under self-managing their chronic pain through opioids that do buy without a prescription. As of 2011, there has been no any formal clinical trial conducted to study the safety and efficacy of the drug in treating opioid addiction.
Behaviour versus Effects
The pharmacological effects of the drug have yet to be tested thoroughly on humans, while its metabolic half-life, protein elimination and protein binding characteristics are still unknown. However, the drug’s behaviour is similar to aμ-opioid receptor agonist such as opiates, including morphine. Its effects vary largely for those known opioids as it appears to have no relative adverse effects. Users say that Kratom seems not to cause hypo-ventilation, which most opioid do. There are reports that those who the drug compulsively are amongst who inject opioid, including those opiate users that manage their pain without prescription medication.
Prolonged Kratom Use Effects
Apparently, there are known side effects to those who use Kratom for an extended period. That include weight loss, loss of appetite, constipation, delayed ejaculation, and the darkening of the face skin colour as well as bowel obstruction. Long-time users also report withdrawal symptoms such as a runny nose, irritability, and diarrhoea. However, Kratom withdrawal is only mild and short-lived and could be treated with loper-amide and dihydro-codeine.