Feature Article: July 2021 – Kratom: Why It’s The Most Talked About Drug In Recent Times

Kratom: Why It’s The Most Talked About Drug In Recent Times

Crystal Willson

Kratom has come a long way from its native countries in Southeast Asia and is now abundant across many lands. In fact, it is an herb that is gradually becoming legal in many countries. And, yet, Kratom is still not free from debates and doubts from all corners. 

There is a group that claims to have benefitted from the chronic pain-relieving qualities of Kratom. But the federal Food and Drug Administration and the Drug Enforcement Administration are still skeptical about the use of the herb. 

So, what makes Kratom so controversial, and which side of the debate should you be on? Here are the details to let you decide for yourself.

What Exactly Is Kratom?

Kratom is a type of tropical tree that comes from the coffee family. Its properties are similar to stimulants, i.e., uplifting and energizing, along with being almost like opiates, i.e., euphoria and drowsiness. It has dozens of potent components; thus, categorizing it as only ‘opiate’ or ‘stimulant’ is unfair.

People commonly have Kratom orally as a pill or by making it into tea. If you are making it into tea, you will need a bit of sweetener to overcome the bitterness of the herb. Shops (both online and offline) and even vending machines sell different Kratom strains, such as red malay kratom or green maeng da.

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What Are The Issues With Kratom?

The primary issue is that there is little to no reliable information or control on the growth, packaging, processing, or labeling of the Kratom sold in the country. It adds to the already present uncertainty about the effects of Kratom. 

The DEA has put Kratom on its Drugs and Chemicals of Concern list, though it is not yet marked as a controlled substance. Since 2018, the FDA has also expressed concerns about Kratom usage. The opiate-like qualities are one of the main causes of concern for Kratom, but there have never been any worrying cases of Kratom addiction.

Possible Health Benefits Of Using Kratom

Kratom has several potential health and wellness benefits. Some people have been using it for years and claim to have immensely benefited from it. 

  1. Pain-Relieving Properties

Kratom comes in three different strains, and all of them are known for being pain relievers. They can relieve pain by attaching to the opioid receptors in your brain. In fact, the compound 7-hydroxy mitragynine found in Kratom is thirteen times more powerful than morphine. 

Kratom tends to selectively inactivate particular signals, which might explain its more tolerable side effects compared to the common opioids.

  1. Mood Uplifting Qualities

Research shows that Kratom is an effective treatment for the opioid-addicted. It can help to alleviate the withdrawal symptoms of ethanol and morphine. Kratom also tends to lower the levels of corticosterone in the brain. Elevated corticosterone levels lead to depression.

Further, Kratom has the potential to act as a hunger suppressant and an antidepressant. Kratom supplements suppress hunger by ensuring the inhibition of the hypothalamus. It is the part of the brain that controls cravings and appetite.

  1. Libido Enhancement

Research has also shown the usefulness of Kratom as a potential sexual enhancement supplementation. Several reported findings and clinical studies in this matter highlight the aphrodisiac impact of Kratom. As per the studies, you might call it an effective plant-based libido enhancer.

  1. Boosting The Immunity System

Kratom may lower the risk of diseases and infection through its antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. Some of the compounds present in the plant are known to boost your immune system. 

As more studies come to the forefront, it will be interesting to note how the compounds in Kratom work together as an immunity booster and pain-relieving components. 

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How Much Kratom Is Too Much?

The ambiguity regarding the dosage of Kratom remains an issue for most people thinking of giving Kratom a try. If you are one of them, our advice would be to avoid a large dosage at the start. Start slowly, and you can build up bit by bit to understand the proper dose for you. 

Also, your body develops Kratom tolerance with time, so gradually, you will need more of the substance. You can even ask an expert about their recommended dosage for their product. 

What Should Be The Sensible Way Ahead With Kratom?

There is no definite answer to this question as of yet. However, keeping the possible benefits mentioned above in mind, at least the authorities can make Kratom use safer with:

  • Regulation 

It would be suitable if people knew the right dosage for consumption and gained access to quality Kratom free from contamination.

  • Education

Educated consumers, who are aware of the potential benefits and the things to watch out for, will be less vulnerable to any misleading claims.

  • Research

Since Kratom can have possible benefits related to chronic pain and inflammation, the consumers need to know about the facts. It is critical for researchers to clearly define the risks of Kratom usage so that people are well-informed. 

Wrapping Up

If public health specialists and scientists duly accomplish all the three points mentioned above, it will end the debates and doubts regarding Kratom. As far as research shows until now, Kratom has acted more as a helpful herb than a dangerous drug. Hopefully, you have enough information about it now to form your opinion.

References:

  1. https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-kratom#1
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28443503/
  3. https://www.chiangraitimes.com/health/can-kratom-really-help-boost-your-immune-system/

Crystal Willson is Content Strategist at CBD/Health.

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