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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.
Latest Kratom News Blog & Twitter Feeds
It was an interesting week. Some bad news and some very good news, which will help us reach our ultimate goal of Kratom being accepted as a dietary ingredient in the USA.
I managed to get on the bad side of the Botanical Legal Defense for publicly calling out their lobbyist and some other leaders for some moves that may have set us all back terribly. The only saving grace from that whole debacle was that Susan Ash, the de-facto Executive Director of the American Kratom Association formed a solid bond with Florida's Senator Evers that I believe will help us to get this bill tabled for a year or two. We will see.
On a couple other fronts, there is a documentary about the good that Kratom does that is being produced by pro videographer Tony Larson. I contributed the narration and the voiceover that will, I believe, set the tone for the project.
Read more: Recent Good News About Kratom
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 herb Kratom is one of the most amazing plants that has come to world attention in recent years and it needs to be available to everyone.
Furthermore, the pharmaceutical industry founders -- the billionaires of their day, Rockefeller and Carnegie -- worked with the legislators who made the rules, giving great privileges to synthetic pharmaceutical drugs. This made all the natural medicines (herbs) useless in the eyes of modern medicine. This was a big mistake, but mistakes can be corrected.
Look around you, folks! Big Pharma has pretty well priced themselves out of the market for what the average human can afford! And, their products and treatments, surgery etc. do a lousy job in really correcting what goes wrong in our complex body.
So, Kratom is taking away Big Pharma's business. Tough luck, Chuck! You made the rules -- you and your associates working for the FDA -- but the times have passed you by. You made plenty of money by being the only game allowed in this country.
Read more: Some Major Issues Confronting Kratom
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
Finally, we are beginning to grow our standing in professional groups and with individuals who have been our adversaries until recently.
Yes, I'm well aware that we have a new battle -- once again! -- in Florida. This time, the legislature is taking up the question of banning Kratom sales and use statewide. This would be a bad precedent for other states and the USA, as a whole.
We need to keep those comments and phone calls coming to the Florida House of Representatives, and keep signing petitions circulated by the Botanical Legal Defense, please! It doesn't matter where in the United States you live, please let Florida lawmakers know this is a bad course of action.
Let them know you'll never take the kids to Disney World again (even if you hadn't planned to). Be polite, but let them know this is a bad move and will hurt vacationers with chronic pain and conditions that are best treated with Kratom.
Read more: Some Good News About Kratom
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