According to a recent journal article, Kratom is an emerging plant with analgesic and stimulant effects as well as opioid-like results. Hence, these effects make it sound like Kratom is a combination of heroin, strong marijuana, and amphetamine.
Table of Contents
Mild Stimulant with Sedative Effects
Primarily, Kratom is a mild stimulant that offers sedative effects in higher doses. The results, contrary to other reports, are overall in the league with the effects of coca leaves rather than injected morphine. However, there are reports that Kratom could also become potentially addictive while the leaves vary in potency.
Self-administered Pain Treatment
Besides the traditional and local consumption of Kratom in Southeast Asian countries, its popularity is now increasing in the United States and Europe. Today, its modern use serves as a self-administered pain treatment, including opioid withdrawal treatment. Hence, this medicinal plant is now widely available in various shops, such as herbal outlets, smoke shops, and online stores.
Problem or Solution
While some people consider Kratom as a problem in societies, others find it as the solution to various ailments and health issues. That is currently legal in the U.S., although classified under the “drug of concern” by the DEA in the country. Since 2013, the state of Indiana has been the only state in the country to declare Kratom as illegal. In other countries it is controlled by prescription and licensing similar in particular respects to the medical marijuana market within the U.S. Hence, different nations have a varied opinion perspective, and legislation regarding the use of Kratom.
Kratom is known to contain many psychoactive ingredients and the plant can be smoked, chewed, or brewed into a tea drink. Today, it is also extracted and now available in different forms like: capsules, powder, and liquid. Many users maximize the full spectrum of effects through the plant's active alkaloids. Hence, they consider Kratom today as a medicinal plant.
7-hydroxymitragynine and mitragynine are 2 active alkaloids within kratom and the primary stimulators of opioid receptors. These two compounds are believed to be stronger painkillers than many over-the-counter and prescription analgesics. The plant is not considered toxic however overdoses causing negative reactions can become possible especially when mixing with other drugs.
Methadone Organic Alternative
Kratom binds with the brain’s mu-opioid receptor, similar to morphine and methadone, which primarily explains the painkilling effects. The sedative effects attributed to kappa-opioid receptor activity and the stimulant effects are attributed to the adrenergic activity. Medicinal chemists also suggest that Kratom could likewise reduce opioid cravings while relieving pain at the same time. In this case, it might be a great alternative to methadone for tapering off hard opiates.
In a study involving rats, mitragynine was given to them and it did not show respiratory depression, unlike prescription painkillers like heroin. Overall, this medicinal alternative has abuse liability but much less so than other tapering drugs like methadone and suboxone.