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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
What does the suicide of Ian Mautner tell us about Kratom? Can we draw any worthwhile conclusions because one young man chooses to kill himself while under the influence of antidepressants, caffeine, Kratom, and an anti-seizure medication?
Why Blame Kratom?
Kratom is used daily by millions of Americans for chronic pain, anxiety, fatigue, depression, blood-sugar control and to produce a general feeling of well-being without impairment. If it causes suicide, why aren't we seeing more suicides? Instead, among the converts to Kratom, we hear stories of a renewed enjoyment of life, after years of wanting to die while they took antidepressants.
It is ridiculous that we are hearing Ian Mautner's story all over again! This story is a "red herring" left to distract the public from the significant issues that should be discussed concerning pharmaceutical vs. naturally-occurring remedies for depression.
Read more: Ian Mautner's Suicide and Kratom -- Any Connection?
If you’ve happened to keep up with the media’s reports on Kratom over the last year, you may have noticed one similar, recurring statement in all of them that sounds something like “Kratom has not been found to carry any medicinal value.” How could this possibly be? These news and government organizations are trying to tell me that despite the use of this plant for 100’s of years and the countless success stories that can be found on the internet today for its multiple uses, not a single person has thought to actually test Kratom out in a laboratory setting? No way I say, so I took it upon myself to figure this out. About 60 seconds later I found a site with 10 different research papers written over the last 30 years, which I’ve linked to at the bottom of this article. Reading through them, I found out quite a bit of interesting information.
Read more: Has Kratom been found to carry medicinal value?
Seeing Flakka As the Predictable Consequence of Banning Marijuana
Please Note: This is my own personal opinion and is not an official position of the American Kratom Association.
By banning marijuana 78 years ago, consequences are showing up today in the form of really dangerous drugs like Flakka. Kratom, which is nothing like marijuana in its effects, is also threatened with a ban because of confusion in the minds of many police and lawmakers over the small possibility that some may be adulterated, with chemicals like Flakka, just to slip it by the eyes of the law.
Some, at the FDA and elsewhere, also fret that kratom is habit-forming -- Oooooh! -- just like it's dangerous relative, the coffee bean!
The confusion over the true nature of kratom has sprung up due to the repeated reference to inaccurate talking points published by the FDA and DEA and repeated by newscasters, who do no independent fact-checking to determine if they are true.
I have discussed some of the laughable exaggerations and false claims made by the FDA/DEA here.
There is a simple solution to this complex problem: Cut it off at the root. Reverse the ban on cannabis, let kratom be itself, and prosecute those who sell adulterated kratom.
Read more: Flakka Is the Predictable Consequence of an Earlier Prohibition
Many of Kratom's medicinal consumers use the botanical for pain caused by one or more conditions, but some of these same people also are afflicted with epilepsy and seizures from brain injuries, such as chiari malformation. In chatting online with a group of these folks, their opinion is that Kratom does not make their condition worse and some say they have had no more seizures since they began taking Kratom.
Many Mainstream Medical Professionals Say Kratom Is Associated with or "Causes" Seizures -- So, What are We to Believe?
I will be the first to admit that the positive testimonials I have heard are the unverified personal experiences of Kratom consumers. This data was gathered from a small group of folks who have had seizures. I make no claim that this is proof of Kratom's safety and it is certainly not advice for anyone to base a decision whether they or a family member should take Kratom, especially if they have had seizures in the past.
Having said all this, I did look at several of the published, peer-reviewed studies, based on which the FDA, DEA, and others claim that Kratom causes seizures -- and I found several of these studies to be very sloppy science.
Read more: Does Kratom - By Itself - Cause Seizures?
Almost every person, whether man or woman; has struggled with skin care issues on occasion. It can be a battle to find products that are good for your skin. Skin type, complexion, and underlying health issues must all be factored in when deciding how to care for the largest organ on the human body; our skin. Often-times hundreds of dollars are spent trying to correct issues that are never fully resolved. The solution may very well lie in a holistic alternative to the average beauty product. Kratom beauty and skin care products have been reported to benefit skin tone, complexion, muscle aches, and overall well-being.
To begin with, I have been using Kratom beauty products for over a month and I have noticed a considerable difference in my skin. The Kratom soap I purchased from Kratom Fairy Bath & Body cleared up patches of itchy, dry skin. I also noticed a difference in the muscle aches I experience because of my chronic fatigue syndrome. My skin tone has evened out a bit as well, and the only change I made was switching my soap. Angie Metzener, owner of Angie’s Astrology on Facebook had great things to say about her Kratom soap as well, “I’ve been using it on my face. It seems to be helping the dry patches and clearing any breakouts I’ve been getting.”
Read more: Kratom for Beauty and Health
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