Globalization and the general availability of any type of product there has made it possible for us to be introduced to goods, services, and paraphernalia that we thought never could exist or that we, for example, would never be able to come into their possession.
One such brand is Kratom, a not very well known entity that has appeared to be interesting for a certain number of people and has found a way onto our market.
Let us see what it is, what benefits and effects we can expect, and the overall craze about it.
What Is It?
Mitragyna Speciosa is an evergreen tree from the coffee family, found in Southeast Asia, most precisely – Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Papua New Guinea where it is considered indigenous and it can be found growing almost anywhere. Because of its presence, people started to use it in everyday life, and very soon its stimulative effect was discovered and it found a place in herbal medicine.
Kratom is, in fact, the herbal extract found in the leaves of the plant and it mostly comes to us in the forms of powder, pills, and gums. As a product, it is not listed as illegal and can be easily ordered online. The opinions are that you should always check if the website guarantees a fresh product, ordered and imported from the growers directly. This promises a reduced amount of time and, again, freshness.
This emerging botanical agent is proven to have a stimulative effect, believed to imprint on the receptors in the brain that react the same on opioids too. As such, it is used for mood enhancement and fatigue reduction, as an energy booster, pain reliever, and most indicatively, for opioid withdrawal.
The effectiveness depends mostly on the dosage of the extract so at moderate dosage it indeed acts as any sort of stimulant (coffee or energy drink) making users feel more energetic.
However, traditional medicine recognizes kratom as a substitute for opium, and at bigger and frequent doses, it does reduce pain but it also acts as a sedative where it makes users calm and sleepy.
Types of Usage
Kratom is used in powdered form and brewed just like a tea – its raw leaves may also be chewed but, most of the time, they are dried, smoked, and powdered to make the extract which is used to mix with a liquid product or food. More popular options are kratom pills or capsules, because of their more concentrated levels.
Kratom is also commonly used in aromatherapy and as part of essential oil production. Soaps, sprays, and small bags with dried leaves can have a mild, relaxing, and lifting effect on the body and mind as well.
Depending on the type of consumption and its intensification, effects usually begin within five to ten minutes and lasts for two to five hours.
Although people consume this extract because it helps to ease pain, provide energy, enhance mood, and soothe anxiety, it is reportedly said that the rising sensation of increased energy and alertness right after the use.
Just like any other stimulating substance, it affects the right parts of the brain thanks to two compounds – mitragynine and 7-α-hydroxymitragynine. They basically connect to receptors in the brain responsible for producing serotonin and are affecting our sense of pleasure and decreased pain. Apart from merely the sedative effect, it is mitragynine that mesh with other receptors to produce the well-known stimulative result.
The plant, which goes by other names of biak, ketum, ithang, or thom, hasn’t been studied in-depth, unfortunately. The medical conclusion, for now, is that of all psychotic substances, pain medications, and recreational drugs – that its side effects and safety problems and believed addiction outweighed any potential benefits.
On the other hand, any behavioral testing hasn’t been done as well, therefore the addiction judgment hasn’t been proved yet, and, again, it is not illegal and is allowed to purchase.
However, one must be aware that it hasn’t officially been recommended for medical use and that possible toxicity and side effects are relatively rare but tend to generally appear at greater usage and when combined with other stimulative substances.
The smartest and safest option is to consult with your doctor to find the best treatment options and try to find the most optimal personal dosage that provides the best outcome.
Depending on the health of the user and the amount of active ingredients in plants, it makes it difficult to measure the effect of a given dose. We are waiting for further evaluation by the FDA.
You can find more information about kratom if you read health news, for example, or visit vitamin stores and online drugstores. With the above information, you now have enough idea of what kratom is and the probable reasons why it’s getting popular these days.