Kratom is a natural tree-like plant that originates from Southern Asia. It shares the same family of pants with coffee and the gardenias. Kratom product is now readily available in several countries, although few states haven’t legalized the use of Kratom. It has mostly been used in Thailand and many of the neighboring countries for many so many years as a herbal remedy that deals with a variety of ailments.
The main reason for its usefulness is its opiate-like effects and the dose-dependent stimulant. Apart from being used as an energy booster and effective remedy to mild pain relief, some study has shown that Kratom can be useful in the management of withdrawal symptoms that generally linked with opiate addiction.
There has been a massive increase in the rates of demand with an increasing population in Europe and the Northern America regions since 2000. The uses of this product are used for various purposes, depending on the need of a customer. Some use it for self-management of opiate withdrawal and pain relief while others use it as a recreational drug. However, despite the substantial effects of these products, most medical professionals advise against its use.
Is Kratom Harmful?
Generally, the scientific study regarding the adverse effects of Kratom is quite limited. Additionally, there are no controlled clinical trials that have been conducted to proof legitimately show if Kratom is safe for human use. So what exactly give us an ideal knowledge about the use of this drug? Well, the anecdotal reports from the doctors and users, as well as the experiments carried out on animals, give the current knowledge.
According to the researchers’ report, there is over 20 biologically active chemical present in this herb. Perhaps this also includes those binding the opioid receptors found in the human brain. Thus, the study suggests that they have the potential to lead towards addiction and physical dependence.
Besides, this plant has a lengthy history in Southern Asia used as herbal medicine, some people in the region abuse Kratom usage. This has led to the banning of its usage in places like Myanmar, Malaysia, and Thailand because of its addictive potential.
Lastly, Kratom has been found to have some chemicals that are likely to interfere with drug-metabolizing enzymes present in the liver. So when used inappropriately, it can lead to dangerous interactions with other useful medication or drugs. Several fatal cases have been reported in user combining Kratom product with other drugs.
What are the Short-term Kratom Effects?
The short term effects in any drug can easily be noticed after using that drug a few days later. But Kratom seems to be a distinctive plant due to its unique mix of chemicals. Thus, its short-term effects are quite complex and variable. Most Kratom users experience significantly different effects even after taking the same dose. This happens because of the balance between opiate-like and stimulant-like effects, which usually determined by the dosage taken.
What Are the Kratom’s Effects When Used at Low Doses?
When Kratom is used at a low dose of about 1-5 g, the user will experience stimulant-like effects that predominate. Such results are usually felt about 10 minutes after taking the dose and last for approximately 60-90 minutes. Although most users report that they find pleasant effects after taking the dose, other users claim that they experience agitation with an uncomfortable sense of anxiety. The stimulant-like primary impact from this plant is quite similar to that of amphetamine, despite that it’s less intense and includes the following:
- Decreased appetite
- Heightened libido
- Increased sociability
- Increased energy and alertness
What are Kratom’s Effects when Used at Moderate Dose to High Doses?
Just like any other drug, Kratom also responds to the high dose. Moderate dose to high dose of Kratom is when taken from 5 g to 15 g and have primarily opioid-like effects which generally last for several hours. However, the euphoria induced by the drug shows to be less intense as compared with other opioid drugs. Hence some of its users claim that they feel the dysphoric or unpleasant experience. Other common opiate-like effects include the following:
- Cough suppression
- Analgesia (Pain reduction)
- Calm, dreamlike mental state
- Reduction in the Opioid withdrawal symptoms
If the doses of Kratom are taken above 15 g, their effect gets similar to that experience when opioids are used at high doses. Perhaps this includes the extreme sedation as well as the loss of consciousness in some instances.
What are Side Effects?
There are several side effects linked with the Kratom use, which range from an inconvenience to dangerous. Just like the effects mentioned above, Drug side effects depends on the dose taken and also similar to those initiated by opiates and stimulant drugs, and others include:
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Facial flushing
- Pupillary constriction
- Tremor or loss of motor coordination
According to the reports by the healthcare providers and the users, there have been rare cases of severe toxic effects. However, it’s still possible to estimate the real threat associated with kratom use with the little information that is available. Consequently, most of the severe toxic reactions reported are as a result of high doses of Kratom above 15 g, and seizures have also characterized these.
The threats associated with Kratom use seems to be high, especially in “Krypton,” an herbal product which is marketed as a potent form of Kratom. Krypton is a combination of both Kratom and O-desmethyltramadol (A chemical used as a metabolite of Pain Medication Tramadol). The use of this combination is a threat to the central nervous system since it increases the depressive effects. Krypton use has been the cause of many deaths cases reported in Sweden.
What are the Kratom’s Long Term Effects?
According to the study which examined chronic Kratom users in Thailand, those used at high doses have shown significant long-term side effects. Some of these include:
- Anorexia and loss of weight
- Darkening of the facial skin or Hyperpigmentation
Though Kratom use has an adverse side effect, the study doesn’t categorically suggest the impact of organs and other body parts despite the available evidence.
Is there any Potential for addiction with Kratom use?
The most substantial threat associated with long-term kratom use is addiction and dependence development. Kratom drug has some chemicals known to activate an opiate signaling in the brain. And in turn, help to mitigate the symptoms of withdrawal usually caused by the addictive opioid drugs like oxycodone and heroin. Hence, these features suggest that Kratom use can be very addictive. Perhaps the evidence from the Kratom users also supports this observation.
Most of the Southeast and West Asia Kratom long-term users have reportedly become tolerance to Kratom use. Hence, they require larger doses of this drug to experience the same effects. Some long-term users have developed a compulsive drug taking behavior and are have reached a point where they can’t stop drug intake irrespective of its harmful effects as well as the negative life consequences resulting from the high drug dose.
What are the Effects of Kratom Withdrawal?
The research shows that more than 50% of Kratom users who have regularly taken the drug for a period not less than six months develop a dependency. These people then to suffer from physical withdrawal symptoms that are quite similar opiates effects when they suddenly cease taking it. Some of these withdrawal symptoms include the following:
- High blood pressure
- Running nose
- Joint and muscle pain
- Too much craving for Kratom
What type of Kratom Withdrawal Treatment Plan is available?
What happens when a user prefers to withdraw from Kratom use? Well, it may be a challenge at first, but professional medical specialists have their way of treatment. Most of those withdrawing may prefer detoxification where a specialist can closely monitor them through the process while providing them with medical support. Symptoms of withdrawal on Kratom users are associated with life-threatening conditions like increased blood pressure. Perhaps this is the reason why recovering users need close assessment from their trained medical staff to increases the chances of completing the most often uncomfortable withdrawal process.
However, there are no particular treatment regimens for both the addiction and withdrawal in the West due to new and uncommon Kratom dependence. Scientific literature has done very little regarding medication treatment for patients, particularly on managing Kratom addiction and symptom withdrawal. The drugs used in this case are quite similar to those usually used for opiate addiction, which includes lofexidine, a weak opiate, and dihydrocodeine.
Kratom is believed to act on opioid receptors. If you’re a Kratom user and thinks you might develop a problem with Kratom dependence and addiction, there are many convenient places you can reach for consultation. But before you seek help from them, first try to acquire necessary information which includes the insurance card. Second, it can be wise to prepare a list of relevant questions regarding your treatment.