Kratom contains alkaloids that have strong physical effects, including sedation, pain relief and increased metabolism. But the FDA hasn’t tested it for safety, and it isn’t regulated like drugs.
It can interact with other medications and may cause dangerous side effects. Instead of kratom, experts recommend trying other alternative methods for pain management and anxiety relief.
At low doses, kratom acts as a stimulant, boosting energy and mood. At higher doses, it reduces pain and brings on feelings of euphoria. It also makes users feel more focused, alert and motivated. Users can choose from a variety of kratom colors and blends, which affect the mood-enhancing effects differently. White kratom is energizing and mood elevating, red kratom reduces pain, and green kratom is a mix of white and red that increases concentration and endurance.
The drug is available in capsule form, and a growing number of health food stores sell it. It can also be purchased online and from vendors who offer a money-back guarantee and lab-tested products. Many people use kratom to help manage pain, depression and anxiety. It is important to buy from a trusted vendor and follow a recommended dosage to avoid side effects.
In a recent study, researchers surveyed 2,798 kratom users. They found that most kratom users were middle-aged, white and highly educated. They also found that a significant percentage of those using kratom had some type of substance abuse disorder, including tachycardia, altered mental state and central nervous system depression.
In addition, the researchers found that kratom is commonly used by patients undergoing opioid withdrawal. This is likely due to the fact that it can suppress cravings for opioids and ease symptoms of opioid withdrawal. However, kratom should not be marketed as an opioid replacement, and its use in this way can lead to dependence and addiction.
The stimulant and opioid effects of kratom can lead to increased energy, which is often paired with decreased pain and nausea. Some kratom users also report feelings of calmness and relief from depression or anxiety when using this herb.
While a few clinical studies have been conducted on kratom, the majority of research has been limited to self-reports and observational experiments. These findings are insufficient to determine the drug’s effectiveness and safety. Moreover, the DEA’s decision to classify kratom as a Schedule 1 substance – putting it in the same category as heroin and fentanyl – is based on poor data.
Chronic, recreational kratom use has been linked to liver damage in rare cases. These cases began within 2-8 weeks of regular kratom powder or tablet use, and included symptoms like fatigue, nausea, itching and dark urine. In the most severe cases, kratom has been linked to liver failure and bone marrow toxicity.
Because kratom is not regulated, it is difficult to know what ingredients are in a given batch. This can pose serious risks, especially for people with preexisting health conditions. The lack of regulation also makes it difficult to know if a vendor is selling kratom that has been tampered with or laced with other substances. Additionally, kratom does not show up on standard drug tests, which can make it easier for young people to conceal their usage.
The plant’s alkaloids bind to several brain receptors, including the 5-HT2A serotonergic, alpha 2-adrenergic and dopamine receptors. Low doses produce stimulating effects of increased motivation, sociability, talkativeness and energy; at higher doses, they have opioid-like properties that lead to feelings of relaxation, well-being, mood elevation and pain relief.
As the kratom industry grows in popularity, more patients are seeking its medicinal benefits. According to a recent survey, a majority of respondents reported using kratom to treat a variety of conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety and social anxiety, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and chronic pain.
Despite the positive results of kratom, there are also negative implications that health care practitioners should be aware of. The Food and Drug Administration has warned that long-term use can lead to addiction and dependence. The plant also contains chemicals that activate opioid signaling, which can trigger withdrawal symptoms in users who abruptly stop using it.
In addition, kratom’s stimulant properties can interact with antidepressants and other medications that patients may be taking for other conditions. Furthermore, kratom’s metabolites can remain in the body for up to two weeks, so it could show up on a urine drug test even after a person has stopped using it. For these reasons, health care professionals should be cautious about prescribing kratom to patients, and instead recommend safe alternatives like exercise and non-drug treatments.
The FDA advises against using kratom, warning that the drug is a schedule I controlled substance and that people can overdose on it. Large doses of kratom can cause agitation, seizures, tachycardia and sedative/opioid-like effects. It can also cause gastrointestinal distress, including nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Using unregulated kratom products may be dangerous, as they can be contaminated with heavy metals or harmful bacteria.
The primary active ingredient in kratom is mitragynine. It binds to adrenergic receptors with high affinity, and to serotonin receptors with lower affinity. It has a short elimination half-life and its concentration decreases within four hours after ingestion.
A growing number of people are turning to kratom for pain relief, but experts warn that the plant is addictive and can lead to withdrawal symptoms when users stop taking it. They can include vomiting, increased heart rate and blood pressure, muscle cramps, constipation, nausea, watery eyes, mood changes, aggression and delusions.
It’s important to remember that kratom is not legal in all states, so anyone who decides to try it should consult their doctor first. Cohen suggests asking them why they want to use kratom, and if they do, to only take small doses, as too much can have serious, even life-threatening, side effects. They should also avoid mixing it with other drugs or alcohol, as these can increase the risk of overdose. Kratom capsules