When trying a new botanical or herbal product, there is always a certain level of apprehension in customers’ minds. Especially products that are not approved and regulated by the FDA or the DEA. Kratom or Mitragyna Speciosa is one such plant-based substance.
What Is Kratom?
The locals belonging to the Southeast Asian regions of the world i.e., Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand, have been using Kratom for a long time. The plant grows best in the hot and humid conditions of these countries. The plant has recently made its debut in the USA and has taken the botanical world by a storm. Not only has it garnered many customers all over the States, but it has also been the cause of several debates online.
People believe that Kratom comes with certain risks. At the same time, others believe it to be a holy grail that has brought their lives back on track. If you are confused about the use of Mitragyna and are wondering whether the benefits outweigh the risks – we have made your deliberation easy. Written below is an in-depth analysis of the risks associated with using Mitragyna as compared to its benefits.
What Do The Different Strains Entail?
If you have been researching Kratom, you have probably come across the word “strains.” Mitragyna Speciosa grows in many different forms, which have varying alkaloid contents and are known as strains. Alkaloids are chemical substances that act on the CNS’s neuro-receptors and help in the secretion of certain hormones.
There are a huge number of Kratom strains available in the market. Therefore, you should know what you are looking for before you make a purchase. These strains are mostly named based on the island or region where they are mostly found e.g., Bali strain, Borneo strain, Thai strain, etc.
Moreover, these strains naturally grow in three-leaf forms i.e., red, white, and green. Before you make a purchase, it is essential to look for a strain that suits your needs by researching the effects various strains have. e.g., if you are looking for a balanced strain that will help you in pain relief as well, it is recommended to go for Red Maeng Da. There are several articles online that help with the selection of your strain.
What Are The Potential Benefits Of Kratom?
Although the potential benefits of Kratom differ from strain to strain – some effects are common to the plant substance. Some of these include:
Analgesia or pain relief is a benefit generally associated with the red vein of Mitragyna. However, all strains of Kratom are analgesic to a big extent. The pain relief from the use of Mitragyna has been discussed on Reddit, Quora, and several other Kratom forums online.
2) Mood Elevation
The alkaloids present in Kratom are responsible for the induction of serotonin production from the brain. This hormone is also known as the happy hormone and is responsible for bettering the mood.
3) Focus/ Productivity
Although this benefit is associated more with the white vein of Mitragyna, all strains help increase your focus towards a certain task. This feature decreases procrastination and helps increase productivity to a large extent.
4) Better Sleep Routine/ Regulation Of Appetite
Due to the calming and sedation effects that Kratom has, the user can better their routine and regulate their appetite and better the biological clock.
5) Addiction Recovery
Several people who had been hooked on painkillers and medication have recently shifted to using Mitragyna. The relaxing effects of the plant have worked wonders for the withdrawals that come from discontinuing painkillers.
These are only the major benefits induced by the plant. Many other associated effects vary from strain to strain.
What Are The Side Effects Of Kratom, & What Triggers Them?
Like all products used for medicinal purposes, herbal or not, Kratom has its set of risks and side effects. Although these side effects rarely surface compared to prescription medication, they can still be risky enough to reconsider Kratom use. Below is an explanation of the various potential side effects and what might trigger them.
Short Term Side Effects
In most cases, short-term side effects will appear because Kratom does not suit an individual’s body or higher than the safe dosage of Kratom has been consumed. These side effects aren’t very serious, but if Kratom doesn’t suit you, it can be very uncomfortable to continue using it. These side effects include but are not limited to;
- Cold Sweats
- Dry Mouth
- Increased Irritability and Mood Swings
The appearance of these side effects depends entirely on an individual’s bodily response to Kratom. The dosage of Kratom used assumes that the Kratom product itself is not inauthentic and harmful.
Long Term Side Effects
The potential long term side effects are what worry the FDA and the DEA in the U.S as these, although rare, are dangerous. As the phrase suggests, long term side effects may appear if Kratom is used for a prolonged period.
One of the most important risks associated with Kratom use is more psychological than physical as it is the addiction phenomenon.
Although much less addictive than things like cigarettes one can form a dependency and be addicted to Kratom which will, in turn, perpetuate the potential long term side effects which are as follows;
- Weight Loss
- Appetite Loss
- Excessive Urination
- Hyper-pigmentation on the skin (Dark spots)
How Should I Dose My Kratom Intake?
The ideal dosage of Kratom for an individual is determined by various factors, including; their bodily chemistry, age, tolerance level, weight, and the severity of the ailment they are trying to treat. As there is no set one size fits all dosage for Kratom, the general rule of thumb should is to start small.
This phrase means that a beginner should choose a less potent strain to start with, such as the Green Maeng Da and work their way up. As far as the intake is concerned, one should start small with 1 gram, for instance, and increase it if the effects are not showing in 15-20 minutes.
What Are Some Myths Regarding Kratom?
Over time as the Kratom market has grown, suspicion towards Kratom has grown also. Various myths are circulating, about Kratom, which is baseless. One such myth is that Kratom is illegal in America, which isn’t true as no more than six states have banned it as of now.
At the same time, some people believe Kratom has caused 40 deaths from 2009 to 2016, which again is a baseless accusation with no evidence. Another pervasive myth regarding Kratom is that there are no quality controls on its production. Both of these are untrue as retailers follow legislative regulations and their checks and balances to ensure quality.
No, Kratom is used by individuals to treat mental or physical ailments such as depression, anxiety, analgesia, etc.
No, although it targets the same brain receptors as an opioid, it does so in a completely different manner, and hence it is not considered to be an opioid.
While the strains of Kratom tell you where that particular Kratom strain comes from, the veins show which drying process has been used to manufacture that Kratom product.