You may have heard about Kratom and its many health benefits. And now, you want to try using it for pain management or chronic illness or any other condition. But what you don’t know is the effects of taking Kratom. How does it feel like when you use this herb? And how long does that feeling last? These are some of the questions that we are going to tackle in this guide. But to begin with, let us first understand what this herb is.
What is Kratom?
For those of us who have no idea what Kratom is, here is a little bit of information to bring you up to speed. Kratom is an herb that originates from South East Asia. Its scientific name is Mitragyna speciosa and it is from the coffee family. Traditionally, it has been used as an herbal supplement by people in the areas it grows. It helps ease aches and pains. It contains alkaloids and compounds called mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine that makes it effective in doing that. It is only in recent years that people from the West knew the benefits of this natural herb. And since then, people rely on it to give them better sleep and boost their moods as well.
How Kratom Works
It is said that the alkaloids and compounds in Kratom leave help control pain by attaching to opioid receptors. In turn, pain perception is significantly minimized. Kratom works like other opiate drugs, that is, reducing the strength of the pain signals reaching the brain. The herb also regulates emotion by lessening the effect of positive stimuli sent to the brain regions. In lower dosage, this plant can be a stimulant, but when taken in high dosage, it can be sedating.
What is Kratom Used For?
Many people know Kratom as a pain reliever. But there are also other health uses of Kratom. For instance, it can be used to boost your energy levels and soothe stress. And if you are often suffering from anxiety and its symptoms such as panic attacks, this herbal supplement can help with that. The herb is also said to alleviate symptoms associated with opiate withdrawal such as muscle aches and mood disturbance.
Is it Harmful?
Since Kratom goes into your system, it makes sense that you would want to know whether it may harm you or not. The truth is, there is little scientific information about Kratom. And also there have not been any clinical research conducted on whether this herb is fit for human consumption. Most of the knowledge that is available comes from anecdotal reports by users and doctors. But the thing that researchers have found is more biologically active chemical compounds in the supplement, which can bind with opioid receptors in the brain and can lead to physical dependence and addiction. Because of this addictive potential, some countries like Thailand and Malaysia have banned its use.
There are also some chemicals in this herb that are said to interfere with drug-metabolizing enzymes in your liver which may be dangerous. It is nearly impossible to rate this herb as harmful because the health benefits surpass the drawbacks. But we advise that you use it in small doses. Don’t overdose yourself and avoid using it in combination with other drugs.
Short-Term Effects of Kratom
There are different chemicals in Kratom which makes the short-term effects to be a bit complex and variable between individuals. Like we have said, the sedating or stimulating effects may be depending on the dosage you take. But because our bodies are unique and react differently, people have reported different experiences with the drug.
1. Effects at Low Dose
You may experience any of the following effects when you take 1-5 grams of Kratom.
- Decreased appetite
- Increased energy and attentiveness
- Your libido may be heightened
Note that these effects should be able to go away within ten minutes, but in some cases, they may last as long as 60-90 minutes. Also, some people may find these effects pleasant, but others may be uncomfortable and start developing anxiety.
2. Effects at Moderate- High Doses
Above 5 and up to 15 grams of Kratom, the herb will act as a sedative, and the effects may last for several hours. You may feel euphoric although not as bad as the one induced with other opioid drugs. Here are some effects you are likely to experience at this doses.
- Symptoms of opiate withdrawal may reduce
- Pain reduction
If you exceed, you will start experiencing the same effects like when you take opioids drugs at high doses. That includes sedation and fainting.
Side Effects of Kratom
Of course like any other drug, side effects are likely to be experienced. With Kratom, they range from minor which can be bearable to severe which can be dangerous. But the side effects are also dependent on the dose that one takes. They include:
Severe and dangerous effects are rare, but there is limited information to estimate the actual danger of Kratom. Most toxic effects are brought about when users take more than 15g of Kratom. And they are characterized by seizures. The side effects of Kratom mostly are caused by Krypton which is a potent form of Kratom. It is a combination of Kratom and O-desmethyl tramadol. When these two are combined, they increase the depressive effects on the Central Nervous System which in turn brings about the hazards.
Long-Term Effects of Kratom
Continued use of Kratom especially in high doses may result in Anorexia and weight loss as well as hyperpigmentation. There is no evidence, however, showing that Kratom can damage your body organs. But it is possible that a user can get addicted. The herb contains some chemicals which activate opiate signaling in the brain which in turn helps deal with withdrawal symptoms caused by opioid drugs that are addictive. The fact that it can do, means that Kratom itself can be addictive.
Kratom has many benefits. However, care should be taken on how many doses you take. Avoid taking high doses since it can cause dependency. When that happens, you may start suffering from physical withdrawal symptoms. But if you are already suffering or know someone, you should try professional detox. Also, remember to buy your Kratom from a reliable seller.