Kratom is a natural botanical native to tropical Southeast Asia. This plant is part of the coffee family and is also known by its scientific name, (Mitragyna speciosa). For thousands of years, the people of Southeast Asia have used Kratom leaves as a natural remedy. When taken in appropriate amounts, Kratom can provide increased energy, pain relief, increased focus, and help with a variety of other physical and mental ailments.
There are many alkaloids present in the various strains of Kratom. Some of the most prominent are:
- Mitragynine Pseudoindoxyl
Contrary to popular belief, Kratom is not a drug opiate as some may be led to believe. Kratom is not a synthetic substance.
Kratom behaves as a partial mu-opioid receptor agonist and is used for pain management, energy, depression, and anxiety. Kratom contains no opiates, but it does bind to the same receptor sites in the brain. It is important to note that other substances also act on these receptors like chocolate, coffee, exercise, and even human breast milk.
How is Kratom consumed:
Kratom can be consumed a number of different ways. Similar to dietary supplements, it can be steeped as tea, taken in powder form, or capsules.
Is Kratom addictive:
It is important to note that Kratom is non-habit forming.
Kratom consumers may experience dependence, similar to that of coffee or other caffeinated beverages if high doses are taken for extended periods of time.
What about different strains:
Kratom is a natural botanical. Like others, depending on where it’s grown slightly alters the chemical makeup (compounds/alkaloids) of the plant. This slightly changes the effects, from strain to strain. Free from pesticides and genetically modified engineering, most adult Kratom trees are safely tucked in densely populated jungles unbenounced to the public. Despite some vendors touting "Thai" or "Malaysian" origins, most Kratom comes from different jungles within Indonesia. Those particular strains may have originated from Thailand or Malaysia, but is likely grown in Indonesia. For the sake of consistency, we will use the naming conventions passed on by our vendors.
Speaking in generality, below is a list of common strains and effects among Kratom enthusiasts.
- White Vein Kratom = Very High Energy, more stimulating than red vein Kratom.
- Green Vein Kratom = High energy, good stimulation. As with white veins, these are regarded as the best strains to use for daytime activities (e.g. work, school, etc.).
- Red Vein Kratom = More sedating, pain relief, euphoria. Some say this is the best strain to use for managing opiate withdrawal and chronic pain.
- Yellow Vein Kratom = Actually a Green vein that is either picked at a very young age or dried in a different way. The information is conflicting online, but one thing is for sure, the alkaloid profile is definitely unique in this strain. Good stimulation, pain relief, and more of a tranquil feeling. Some say this strikes the perfect balance of a green and red strain.
This is subjective, and your mileage may vary.
As for naming, depending on where the plant is grown, you may see the "origin" in the naming convention (i.e. Bali, Indo, Thai) (e.g. Green Bali, Thai Maeng Da, etc.).
The medicinal benefits of Kratom are very diverse due to its varying alkaloid profile among different strains.
Effects that have been widely reported:
- Pain relief/management
- Managing opiate withdrawal
- Mood-lifting/depression relief
- Energy promotion
- Insomnia relief
- Immune system booster
- Cognition enhancing
- Anti-inflammatory (which has shown a wide range of health benefits; most recently depression.)
- Lowered blood sugar
- High antioxidant and vitamin content
Kratom is unlike any other plant in existence. It is regarded as a highly safe botanical with great medicinal properties.
Is Kratom legal:
Kratom is legal in 44 of the 50 United States (Indiana, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Vermont, Arkansas and Alabama) have laws classifying Kratom as a “Schedule I” controlled substance. This effectively bans the manufacturing, sale, financing or possession of Kratom. Kratom is also banned in Sarasota County Florida and San Diego County California.
The DEA recently announced a plan to make Kratom a “Schedule I” controlled substance nationwide. However, there was major outcry from the community and they have delayed the ban while they go through a public review process. This is an unpresented first win for Kratom users. Visit the Botanical Education Alliance for more information.
Kratom products are not recommended for use by minors (those under 18 years of age) or for women who are pregnant or nursing. Please contact your physician or healthcare professional with questions regarding these products before purchasing or taking.