Kratoms is a newly known herbal substance for the Western world, and a lot of people have become familiar with this beneficial botanical in recent years. This caused a lot of myths and misconceptions to revolve around this plant. As more people learn about Kratom, it becomes important to address the myths and shed light on this beneficial plant. Because of this, today, we will talk about what we know and do not know about Kratom.
A Brief Overview Of Kratom
Kratom is a very useful tree that grows in humid equatorial climates. It is native to Southeast Asia and can be found across countries like Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia. The plant belongs to a family similar to the coffee plant, called Rubiaceae. It is also a close relative to Gardenia and Mimosa plants. Kratom is scientifically known as Mitragyna speciosa. However, locally, the plant has many names such as Ketum, Kakaum, Thang, Thom, or Biak.
Kratom has a long history of herbal usage. The leaves are ground and dried into a fine powder, usually ingested in powder or tea. It can also be chewed or made into a tea, but it doesn’t taste very pleasant.
Why Do People Use Kratom?
In older times, Kratom was often used to treat inflammation and diarrhoea, cough, and the common cold. However, by going through hundreds of reviews from users, it becomes apparent that nowadays, most people use Kratom for chronic agony relief and be more productive. Kratom powder has been used not only to relieve ache but also to combat fatigue and restore energy. It is also sold to improve mood, increase sexual energy and even combat clinical discomfort.
Kratom can show results in many different ways for people. This is because of this plant-derived product’s wide range of effects and interaction with the human body. Reviews on the websites selling Kratom will tell a similar story.
What Is Known About Kratom
Sure, Kratom is sold in headshops and can easily be found on the street, but do we know everything about it? Or are we just relying on myths surrounding it? Let’s find out.
Differentiation Between Strains
Kratom leaves have various colours, including Green, White, Red, and Yellow, which is natural. The overall colour of the leaves may vary from one strain to the other. The colour of the leaf is an important way of determining the effects of the plant. This is why you usually see Kratom on sale according to its colour. For instance, users claim that red vein kratom leaves are generally the most sought-after because of their analgesic and sedative effects. In contrast, white vein kratom leaves are better known for their energy-boosting properties.
But what causes the different leaf colours of one single plant? Colour change in leaves is linked to the age of the plant and how long the plant stays in sunlight. Young kratom plants have green-coloured leaves, and as the plant grows, the leaf colour also alters at different maturity stages. The leaf colour changes also affect its alkaloid profile, resulting in different effects for each strain.
Biochemical Composition Of Kratom Plant
More than 40 different alkaloids have been isolated from Kratom leaves. Of which, only two have been researched a little because these compounds bind to analgesic receptors of the brain. Now you must be thinking, what is an alkaloid? An alkaloid is a compound derived from plants, usually containing basic nitrogen atoms and benzene rings.
The two famous Monoterpene indole alkaloids found in the Mitragyna speciosa Kratom tree are Mitragynine and 7-hydroxy mitragynine. Alkaloid has a unique experience that can be described as calming yet invigorating.
Forms In Which Kratom Is Available
Kratom is available in many variants, including powders, capsules, tablets, tinctures, tea brews, resins, concentrates, and shots. Among all these variations available for consumption, kratom powder and capsules are most commonly used.
How Does Kratom Affect Our Brain
When you consume Kratom, it interacts with different receptor sites in your brain, producing various effects. However, Mitragynine and 7- hydroxy mitragynine are compounds that bind to analgesic receptors of the brain. Kratom has an unusual profile. At low doses, users report increased sociability and energy. However, at high doses, they feel sedated and experience agony relief. However, it does not knock them out like an analgesic.
Legal Status Of Kratom
As you may be aware, Kratom’s legal status is rather complex. It could not be easy to give a straight answer when someone asks where it can be legally purchased or rules regarding possession of Kratom. Furthermore, it can’t be easy to follow the daily news reports on Kratom’s legal standing. Laws change, new data and research become available, and states add new bills that can change everything.
Kratom can be purchased legally and sold legally in the United States in its raw leaf state. However, it’s illegal in Thailand, Australia, Malaysia, and several European Union countries. It is also illegal to sell, buy or possess Kratom in some states of the U.S, including Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin.
What Is Not Known About Kratom
We do not know many things about Kratom, and it requires comprehensive research to be clarified. Let’s address some important things we do not know about Kratom.
Why Does It Bind To Receptors In Our Body?
As we have already discussed, some of the alkaloids in Kratom partially interact with analgesic receptors. When asked about the botanical substance Mitragyna speciosa, a scientist responded that a great deal of work is yet to be done about its chemical makeup. “It’s not an analgesic, but it binds to the analgesic receptor,” he said. Most people think that mitragynine is the main active ingredient in Kratom.
However, Kratom hasn’t been studied enough to know for sure. Therefore, further studies are needed to understand how Kratom works exactly.
Scientists are researching the effects of Kratom, and it is unclear whether it causes dependency or not. However, there are few reports of people claiming that they had withdrawal effects when they stopped using Kratom. Yet, there needs to be thorough research regarding this subject.
Half-life Of Kratom
While the exact half-life of Kratom is not yet known, it’s thought to be between 2 and 10 hours. Half-life is the amount of time it takes for a drug’s concentration in the blood to reduce by half after administration. Further research is needed to determine the exact half-life of Kratom. Like other substances, how long Kratom stays in your system will depend on several factors. It’s important to remember that these factors can change from person to person. Variables such as age, body fat, frequency of use, genetics, metabolic rate, and the type of Kratom ingested will also affect the half-life of Kratom.
How To Regulate Kratom Misuse
A lot of people use Kratom without knowing how to regulate their consumption. Researchers should conduct trials to help regulate kratom dosage to minimize the risk of overdose and reliance.
With the people’s increased interest in Kratom comes the responsibility of educating people about Kratom. Sharing facts is a good first step in learning about important topics. As much as we’d like it to be, factual information alone is not enough to prevent misleading information from causing harm. Portraying the potential harms of misleading claims can empower consumers to be critical thinkers and make better decisions navigating their path to health and wellness.
Interest in Kratom has grown, but its potential benefits and risks remain largely understudied. A better understanding of Kratom’s potential advantages and problems will help people make more informed decisions about their healthcare. This can only be done through comprehensive research about all aspects of Kratom.
We cannot continue to allow a substance to be misrepresented, banned, and made dangerous because of myths perpetuated without research. We will only know the facts if we follow through with proper testing, including animal trials and large-scale human trials.
There has never been a death due to overdose from consuming raw kratom leaves or using a fresh or dried leaf as a tea directly from the plant itself. In addition, when consumed responsibly and in moderate amounts for medicinal purposes, there have been minimal side effects like constipation, which can be easily be resolved.
However, I’m not going to lie. This is a debatable topic. On the one hand, no confirmed medical research on Kratom proves it to be safe and beneficial. On the other hand, anecdotal evidence suggests that it can help with unease, ache management, and more. We do not know so many things about Kratom, and it is important to have an open discussion to clarify the benefits and side effects of this herbal remedy.