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What is kratom?
Mitragyna Speciosa, also known as Kratom, is a large tree in the Rubiaceae family native to Southeast Asia in the Indochina and Malesia floristic regions. It was first documented by Pieter Korthals, a Dutch colonial botanist. The leaf of the tree contains mirtragynine and was traditionally used for its ethnobotanical and medicinal properties. The leaves of kratom have been used by the indigenous people as a stimulant in low doses, a sedative in large doses, an anti-diarrheal and pain killer. It is said that Kratom affects the human brain similarly to an opiate although there is no conclusive clinical data proving how the alkaloids works in relation to the human brain.
Kratom contains more than 25 alkaloids including mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. These alkaloids act as mu-opioid receptor antagonist. The three most abundant indoles are mitragynine (9-methoxy-corynantheidine) which is responsible for 1/2 of the alkaloid content, paynanthine, and speciogynine. The two most abundant oxindoles are mitraphylline and speciofoline. Other alkaloids present include ajmalicine, corynanthedine, mitraversine, rhychophylline, and stipulatine. Mitragynine is believed, but has not been proven to be, the primary active alkaloid in Mitragyna Speciosa.
Is Kratom Legal?
Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is uncontrolled in the United States with the exception of Indiana and Vermont . This means all parts of the plant and its extracts are legal to cultivate, buy, possess, and distribute (sell, trade or give) without a license or prescription. If sold as a supplement, sales must conform to U.S. supplement laws. If sold for consumption as a food or drug, sales are regulated by the FDA.
In 2012 Indiana banned the chemicals Mirtagynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, but the legal definition does not appear to cover the plant kratom. In 2012, Vermont issued a an emergency order to ban several new designer chemicals which included 7-hydroxymitragynine (one of the active alkaloids in kratom), effectively banning kratom in Vermont.
Laws change quite often and ignorance of the law does not excuse criminal conduct (Ignorantia juris non excusat)., so be sure that kratom is legal where you live before using it.
How safe is Kratom?
When taken by itself (not mixing it with other substances), the greatest risk when taking Kratom may be falling asleep while engaged in hazardous activities. Like any other substance that may be mind altering or affect your cognitive abilities, do not drive or operate heavy machinery while under the influence of Kratom. Always use common sense. Due to the lack of medical studies regarding the use of Kratom in relation to pregnancy, pregnant women should not take any drug or medication except at the medical advice from their physician. It is not known whether it could cause birth defects or fetal death. Once again, always use common sense regarding anything that you put in your body.
Is Kratom habit forming?
Although a small number of individuals have become dependent on Kratom (primarily in Thailand), Kratom is not habit forming when used in moderation and responsibly. When used in moderation, not daily, there is no documented risk of dependency. It is important not to get into the habit of using Kratom, or any supplement, on a daily basis. Like many stimulants [e.g. alcohol, coffee, tobacco, etc.], when used daily for a prolonged period of time, could become habit forming. You know your body better than any physician and must be diligent regarding self control. If you have a predisposition for addiction, you must treat everything with moderate behavior including the use of Kratom.
What are the effects of Kratom?
Kratom is quite unique, in that, in low to moderate doses will commonly be stimulating and in large doses has a more sedative effect. Often, the individual will experience an analgesic effect caused by the alkaloids contained in Kratom and the manner in which the brain receptors are affected. The level of effect, like any other supplement, depends on many factors including body weight, physiological makeup, tolerance level and so on.
As a stimulant, used in low to moderate doses, the individual will experience an analgesic effect along with physical energy, alertness, increased libido, euphoria, sociability, improved mindset or mood, focus and overall improved demeanor. In some cases when taken in large doses, an individual may experience edginess similar to being over-caffeinated.
An a sedative, used in higher doses, an individual will experience an analgesic effect along with euphoria, a lower sensitivity to pain, both physically and emotionally, relaxation, anti-depression and anti-anxiety. Used in excess, it may result in a prolonged sleep.
What are the active components of Kratom?
The important active alkaloids in Kratom are mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. These alkaloids are responsible for pain relieving, sedative, euphoric, and stimulating effects.
Are there any reported health issues caused by Kratom?
There are very few reports regarding negative health effects due to Kratom and the circumstances reported were in conjunction with additional illegal substances combined, so there is no conclusive data showing Kratom as the cause for any negative effects. Health problems are unlikely unless one is consuming large quantities of Kratom every day. In Thailand, where many of the indigenous population use kratom daily, those dependent on it can develop weight loss and have physical withdrawal symptoms when quitting abruptly. If any, the withdrawal symptoms may include muscle aches, irritability, crying, runny nose, diarrhea, and muscle jerking. Health problems are unlikely to occur in occasional Kratom users. Like any drug or medicine, moderation is the key and individual’s reactions may vary. It is uncommon, but an individual could possibly experience an allergic or other unusual reaction to Kratom, even if used responsibly. More commonly, when using an excessive amount, an individual’s body would simply reject the substance, thus as a natural physiological reaction, may experience emesis (Vomiting) as the body's way of preservation.
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Mitragyna Speciosa, also known as Kratom, is my favorite source of energy. Better than a cup of coffee, it perks me up.
A growing number of Americans feel the same way.
Mitragyna can be made as a tea or taken in powdered form, straight down the hatch with a chaser of water, coffee, grapefruit, or tomato juice. Some people mix it in smoothies, yogurt, or applesauce to conceal the taste.
I don't care about the flavor -- it doesn't last long, but the effects last for hours.
I was raised on coffee before school, but I got to a point in my mid-thirties where coffee wasn't doing the job it used to do. This was before ADD and ADHD was a favorite diagnosis that teachers forced on overly energetic schoolkids, so I was never compelled to take their sit-still drugs. Thank God!
Coffee was unpredictable in its strength. Tea was kinda weak.
Most times -- after a brief period of increased vigilance -- coffee would leave me yawning. Other times, too much would leave me wanting to climb the walls, angry, and edgy -- not really alert hours later, but unable to sleep.
Read more: Mitragyna Speciosa -- My Little Energy Tree
The use of Kratom as a catalyst for helping addicts to alcohol and/or opiates overcome their physical and psychological withdrawal is one of the herb's many positive uses. Many are doing this every day in online Facebook and other groups with the support of their peers, most of whom have been through the process already.It is exciting to watch a "newbie" join a group, inquire what strains and dosages are best, learn where to get free samples or to buy good quality Kratom -- and then, within a few days to take their first taste of the magic elixir that will set them free. With their new online friends sitting around, in other parts of the world, waiting to hear how they are feeling, often they message back as their withdrawal pain recedes and they realize this time, "Quitting is going to work!"
Read more: Kratom's Opportunity for Rehab Counselors & Clinics
The wife of a disabled Marine has offered to help other disabled veterans get free order credit for $75 worth of kratom. All she asks in return is that you write a letter to help Congress and the various State legislatures see why this herb must be kept available for those who want to use it.
If you've never heard of kratom, it is made from the leaves of a tree that grows in Southeast Asia, mainly in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. People who have tried it say it works better for their chronic pain, anxiety, PTSD, depression, stress, and many other conditions than any drug the VA gave them.
Side effects are minimal, when compared to pharmaceutical alternatives. There is no danger of fatal overdose, as there is from prescription and illicit drugs.
Kratom can be made into a tea or mixed into juices, smoothies, V-8, or applesauce.
Read more: Free Kratom for Disabled Vets
Kratom: What to Take & How to Take It
I cannot offer medical advice, but I can tell you that from my experience what has worked for me. I found that the perfect amount of Kratom per dose is approximately 3 -4g. Statistically, the average dose taken by Kratom users is 3 -4g, but everyone is different. Some people respond great to green and white vein Kratom while others respond better to reds. With that said, others respond wonderfully to all strains and colors.
What I did to find my perfect amount or sweet spot, was starting on the lower side of the average which was around 3g and then increased or decreased the amount by ½ g per dose (every 3 – 4 hours) until I found it. I found that an indicator of taking too much Kratom was sedation. For example, when I’d taken a dose that was a bit higher than what I was used to, I got a bit sleepy and my eyes were tired. It felt like I needed to take a nap. When I took the proper amount for my system, I experienced a nice fluid energy feeling and positive mood which lasted between 2 - 4 hours.
Read more: Kratom and What Works For Me
What may save Kratom from those who wish to ban it is something every one of us can do. Share it with someone who is looking for something that Kratom can do.
We need to be selective, because pushing some strange herb on people who aren't looking -- who aren't frustrated with their current situation -- will cause them to put up their invisible mental barrier and "tune you out".
There are all kinds of opportunities in today's America, where -- if we are lucky enough to have a job, we are probably working harder than ever to make up for the layoffs done to keep our business competitive in what is honestly still a very tight economy. So, there are plenty of opportunities to casually share this amazing jungle energy tonic with co-workers who complain that they're tired or their back is hurting them.
Want to know where the biggest, largely untapped opportunity for sharing Kratom is hiding? It is in the many returning veterans of Irag and Afghanistan, suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Read more: What May Save Kratom
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