Kratom: An Alternative to Opiates

By | June 11, 2014

Gas stations, shops, and even novelty stores are becoming ideal locations for anyone seeking a legal substance that mimic drugs like salvia, spice, and now kratom. Kratom vendors are allowed to legally market the natural substance like a majority of today’s mind-altering drugs that haven’t been deemed illegal by the government. Kratom has been said to cause euphoria, sedation, and stimulating effects on the body and even functions as a painkiller when taken in higher doses. The drug is mentioned to be non-habit forming, but one of its components is known to promote withdrawal symptoms. Users may also develop a tolerance to the drug over time.

Kratom is a plant that naturally grows in the forest and marshlands of the Pacific Rim as well as Southeast Asia (where growing kratom is relatively common). Kratom has been utilized in Thailand for hundreds of years as a stimulant that lets people work for a longer period of time. Its use is almost the same as that of cocoa leaves chewed by the natives in South America.

Kratom can be ingested in different ways. The main components are within leaves of the plant, which can be brewed, smoked, eaten, or made into extracts or powder. Fresh leaves are far more powerful for consumption but in the United States, dried leaves are commonly observed since the plant is brought from halfway across the globe.

A kratom leaf features two compounds that alter the mind and body: mitragynine and 7-hydromitragynine. Mitragynine, the highly abundant substance found in the plant, is said to promote stimulating effects in lower doses and opiate-mimicking effects at higher doses. Meanwhile, the 7-hydromitragynine has been confirmed to have opioid effects and side effects. The compound can lead to a withdrawal syndrome after prolonged use.

Taking in kratom has numerous effects on the body. Sedation and stimulation paired with effects of opioid and a euphoric feeling makes the herb ideal for use. On the other hand, it can lead to nausea, dizziness, and a possible hangover similar to that of alcohol when taken in large doses. Users also perceived increased body temperature and sweat, and some experience a mild form of depression as a result of prolonged use.

At present, kratom can be bought in the United States in a number of merchant stores and over the Internet. It has yet to be labeled as a controlled substance, and while it’s not considered illegal in any way, it has been illegal in some countries such as Thailand and Malaysia. While not everyone knows about kratom, user reports on the drug vary, but majorities say it has plenty of upsides. Those who discovered kratom appreciate it not only for its desired health benefits but also for its prolonged effect.

A lot of people are turning to kratom as a replacement to opiate since it remains undetectable in today’s drug tests. There have been instances of false opiate readings, but such instances are slim.

OpiateIt would seem as if kratom is on the rise. This is primarily due to users seeking natural alternatives to opioids deemed safe for ingestion. Little research has been made on kratom before, but its global usage prompted the drug to grow in popularity. Sooner or later its wide use will be more apparent.