How Can Kratom Be Both a Stimulant and a Sedative? And maybe even psychedelic, too?
"Most people describe the effects as stimulating and euphoric at lower doses, becoming sedative at higher doses. This is probably explained by the fact that Mitragynine stimulates the delta opioid receptors when used in small quantities, but tends to increasingly stimulate mu opioid receptors when used in larger quantities. These are the same receptors that are stimulated when using opiate drugs."
Any truth to the rumor spread by the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) that Kratom is a hallucinogen?
When Dr. Christopher McCurdy, the top U.S. research scientist was asked about this, he said he had never heard that in all his review of the literature. He should know. I have never heard of it or experienced it, either.
What may have led the DEA to say that is it a hallucinogen is the fact that some of the molecules that are primary active ingredients in this very complex leaf and shaped LIKE the molecules of psilocybin and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), but there are some molecules that are placed differently, making the effects of Kratom totally different.
The DEA is perhaps influenced by a report of five years' worth of cases treated at the Ramathibodi Poison Center in Thailand. This is a collection of the worst of the worst-case scanarios. As I recall from reading the whole study, most of these poor laborers had been taking absurd quantities of fresh Kratom leaves -- in addition to using heroin, ganja, and methamphetamine -- and probably not eating very well. There were one or two who may have developed schizophrenia, which causes hallucinations, even without using Kratom.
Like the DEA, Narcanon also has an agenda. They don't care that you are in pain and are seeking relief from the Kratom herb. (That's what prescription drugs -- administered by a doctor -- are for, right?) The entire focus of Narcanon is to get you into their anti-drug program. They tell you all the bad things that can happen to people, whose circumstances may be extremely different than yours and who take massive quantities of Kratom and don't eat well (or at all).
What they don't tell you is that these people are the exceptions at the far end of a Bell Curve that describes the users of most natural substances, including food and water. Yes, too much water-drinking can cause death, too.
They also don't tell you that the same extremes of behavior and symptoms can be found in people who drink alcohol, don't eat or eat from a dumpster -- for years -- and are driven by some underlying neurosis or psychosis.
The folks at the DEA and Narcanon and other drug rehabilitation services don't tell you that the Skid Row homeless alcoholic may have the same destruction of their health and personality -- without ever touching Kratom.
They take the exception -- on the far end of abuse, combined with extreme poverty, poor diet, abuse of heroin and other substances, and perhaps psychotic to begin with -- and they ask you to believe that this is where you will end up if you dare to use Kratom to medicate your pain, depression, anxiety or other condition without professional help.
This is a lie, the same type of lie used in the movie Reefer Madness, in trying to scare the public away from using marijuana.
Some Drugs Like Heroin, Oxycodone, Alcohol, and Nicotine Have More Tendency to Cause Hardcore Addiction
The hypocrisy of our society -- to persecute Kratom use and demonize it, and yet openly advertise tobacco products (even though casual use will in most cases lead to several deadly possible outcomes) -- is astounding. The difference that makes growing and selling tobacco products acceptable is that it makes a lot of money for the government, which taxes tobacco heavily. So, they warn you about the consequences, but they subsidize tobacco farmers and gladly accept the tax revenue that this real "killer herb" generates.
I believe, based on my 47 years of personally using and studying herbs, that our society is slowly learning that our synthetic, pharmaceutical medications are the ones we need to watch out for. The long-term effects of many of these prescription drugs -- as many readers with chronic pain, anxiety, and depression have learned -- are terrible. That is why you sought out a more tolerable natural alternative, isn't it?
The Powers That Be -- those who profit from selling you OxyContin, Tobacco, and Alcohol -- don't want you to start thinking for yourself and caring for your own health without their services and prescription products. You need to keep this in mind when you read outlandish stories of the terrible things that happen to those rare individuals who really abuse Kratom, throwing all caution and self-control to the winds.
When we venture into this "Brave New World" of forbidden herbal pleasures and remedies, which have been used for centuries -- not because people in the Third World countries are stupid, but because they work. They are also safe, when used wisely and guided by good advice.
In this new world, we must accept personal responsibility for how we use herbs like Kratom. To get the best results, many people find on their own that they get less of the one major side-effect (constipation), if they make it a practice to eat a healthier, fiber-rich diet and take magnesium supplements to get around this minor problem. It is up to us, not our doctor, who is only trained to dispense drugs and will usually discourage us from using Kratom.
Like coffee, another herb that is used daily by most Americans, Kratom is habit-forming, but we manage that tendency by limiting our intake of it. If the benefits ever seem to outweigh the side-effects of coffee, it is up to us to change our consumption (or eliminate it altogether) so that we get the best results. We need to use this same rule in our personal use of Kratom -- Be smart about it!
When using Kratom, keep your goal in mind. If you want stimulation, use less of it (which also reduces the side-effects). If you want pain control, you will usually find it by taking more and using one of the Red Vein varieties or Kratom Fusions. Still not finding the relief you want? Get advice, try other varieties, and experiment. Ask about the experience of other users in the Forum.
If you're looking for the hallucinations the DEA or the TV special report promised you, you're out of luck, pal. They lied.