Kratom – Is it Safe?

 

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kratom

 

Overview

Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a plant that is commonly used in Thailand and other southeast Asian countries for different purposes. Kratom is a drug that has some unique properties of its own and is worth further investigation. It is used both medicinally and recreationally and is subject to some legal scrutiny due to irresponsible drug users.

Oddly enough, in lower to medium doses kratom tends to have a caffeine-like stimulant effect, while higher doses induce euphoria and sedation.4https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28484399

Kratom contains different indoles and alkaloids that give it a complex pharmacological profile. In higher doses (typically 5g ore more) it acts as partial agonists at μ-opioid receptor and an antagonist at the κ- and δ-opioid receptors.5https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/jacs.6b00360

In smaller doses, Kratom stimulants the α2-adrenergic receptor, which enhances cognitive function in the prefrontal cortex1https://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/560074, the region of the brain responsible for attention, working memory, and executive function. Kratom also raises levels of norepinephrine and serotonin.3https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8982722 Lastly, kratom also acts as an NMDA receptor antagonist6https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0040403901907464, which can produce dissociative effects in high amounts.

In short what this means is that kratoms effects vary depending on the dosage and strains used. Their are different levels alkaloids and indoles present between species, and the dosage level itself can turn the drug from a pro-social, productivity enhancer (not unlike coffee), to a euphoric, sedative sort of high that is not unlike typical opiates.

 

 

Kratom Dosage Information & Kratom Side Effects

Thai and Maeng Da kratom are among the most popular and effective strains for cognitive enhancement and stimulation.

Recommended dosage for Thai or Maeng Da kratom is between 1.5g to 2.5g, up to twice daily. Recommended to use sparingly (ie once or twice a week). Do not exceed 5g per day and do need exceed 2.5g doses.

At higher doses (over 5g), the opioid properties begin to appear, and the higher the dose the increased likelihood of side-effects. These side-effects include tachycardia, constipation, dizziness, hypotension, dry mouth, and sweating2www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26511390.

For these reasons, I strongly urge anyone interested in kratom to be safe and sensible about their use. While kratom is considerably safer than other opiate-like drugs, there is still potential for addiction if abused. Since most of the stimulatory properties of kratom appear at the low doses, there is no reason to go beyond a certain amount. In smaller doses, it is extremely safe and simply does not produce opiate-like properties.

 

 

 

References

1. www.medscape.org/viewarticle/560074

2. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26511390

3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8982722

4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28484399

5. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/jacs.6b00360

6. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0040403901907464