Kratom has been used since the 19th century as a health remedy. It comes from a tree in the coffee family known by its scientific epithet, Mitragyna Speciosa. You’ll find kratom stemming from Southeast Asia, in predominantly tropical climates. In this guide, not only will you learn how to buy kratom, but you’ll also learn about the types and strains, along with precautions and warnings.
The truth is that there are many well-documented benefits to kratom. But also adverse effects that have painted it in a negative light. Subsequently, it’s quickly gaining the fervent attention of, not only the public, but also of the government. In fact, it’s invoking so much controversy that the DEA and the FDA have been waging a not-so-silent war against kratom. And, the DEA has gone as far as saying that “there is no legitimate medical use for kratom.”
However, the passionate petition and opinion of the masses begs to differ with that claim. Kratom helps people struggling with things like chronic pain and addiction. And it’s uses as a traditional health remedy stem back for ages. In a research study done at the University of Mississippi’s School of Pharmacy by Christopher R. McCurdy who isolated mitragynine, which is the most prevalent alkaloid in the compound, determined that it was more beneficial than methadone in withdrawal.
But before diving too deep into the technicalities of kratom, let’s take a look at the current landscape. Now, you’ve probably recently learned about kratom. Maybe it was from a friend who’s been struggling with opiate addiction, or maybe you read something about kratom online that piqued your interest. Maybe it was something else. Nonetheless, something piqued your interest enough to begin doing your due diligence.
And, now, as you set out to buy kratom, you likely have some questions as to not only what it is in particular, but also things like its effects and different formats and types. You’re also probably wondering whether its safe and just how much you should typically be paying for kratom and so on. Of course, you’ve got questions, and we’ve got all the answers. Not to say that this is the be-all end-all guide to all-things kratom. However, it is a rather comprehensive approach to understanding it.
Who This Guide Is For
This guide is for anyone who has a mild interest in kratom, what it is and what it does. It’s meant for those just finding out about kratom, but also those interested in doing a deep-dive into all the nuances of kratom. If you’re serious about the topic, and you really want to learn what it is, or you’re simply about to set out to purchase some kratom, then this guide is for you.
- What is kratom?
- Where do you buy kratom?
- What are the different types of kratom?
- What does the color of the kratom leaf mean?
- Is kratom habit-forming?
- Are there any side effects to taking kratom?
- How do you make kratom tea?
- How much should you pay when you buy kratom?
- Is it better to buy kratom powder or kratom leaf?
- Is kratom safe?
- Will kratom show up on a drug test?
- Are there any scientific studies about kratom?
- Is kratom legal in my state?
- Do you suffer withdrawal from kratom?
- Is kratom very addictive?
- Can you overdose on kratom?
- Does kratom work?
- What is the chemical makeup of kratom?
These are all valid questions. Questions that we’ll cover in this guide. The goal? To teach and educate you about everything you need to know about kratom. This way, when you do set out to buy it, you’ll know what to look for. Now, keep in mind that kratom is a quasi-regulated substance. And there are differing viewpoints about its benefits. That’s not what this content is about. This is about buying kratom when you’ve made the decision to do so.
The biggest problem is that there is so much misinformation and disinformation out there, that I wanted to dispel any rumors or false claims with pure facts backed up with from legitimate resources. That way, when you do buy kratom, you’ll do so with complete and full information about it rather than subjective missives or biased opinions.
What Is Kratom?
Mitragyna Speciosa is an evergreen tree that grows to heights of 82 feet (25 meters). It has a grayish outer bark with dark-green leaves that boast flowers growing in groups of three, which you’ll find near the end of the branches.
You’ll find these trees growing in countries like Malaysia and Thailand and Indonesia. But also in Myanmar and Papua New Guinea. George Darby Haviland crowned the final classification for the species.
Although the DEA has stated that there’s absolutely no legitimate reasons for the medical usage of kratom, it’s been a popular form of relief for those suffering from opiate addiction.
However, interestingly enough, it’s cultivated and used as a medicine in regions where it grows. It’s often associated with pain relief but also with increases of energy, appetite and the libido.
In fact, the DEA attempted to classify kratom under the Schedule 1 Controlled Substance Act on August 30th, 2016, which categorizes drugs that have a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical treatment in the United States and those which have a lack of overall safety.
They withdrew that intention in October of the same year. And thankfully so to the large community who rely on kratom to help them with withdrawal syndromes. And while the DEA, and more recently, the FDA, has frowned on the use of kratom as a medicinal remedy, it is still legal, as of this post, to buy kratom in the United States.
Where Do You Buy Kratom?
Kratom can be bought in many places. However, you can’t always trust the source that you’re buying from. Why? Not all sources of kratom are created equal. What you’ll come to find is that there are a variety of strains of kratom that are used to manufacture the products you’re able to buy online and offline, such as kratom powder, kratom capsules and kratom tea.
The issue here is to ensure that you’re buying genuine kratom products, and not something diluted down with other additives or substances. Genuine 100% kratom is what you should be after. Whether it’s in the capsule format or the powder or tea. Kratom isn’t just sold in a particular medium such as capsules or tea. It’s also sold as a variety of other factors like aroma, effects and even region.
Now, the question is, who can you trust when you’re looking to buy kratom? How do you know that you’re going to be getting 100% legitimate and genuine products. That question is really one you see whenever you’re buying any type of product that you’re unaware about or unsure of. Of course, if you’ve been buying kratom for some time now, then you’ve likely already found a vendor you can trust.
Trust, of course, is the ultimate metric here. Who can you trust in the world of kratom? While there are several reputable sources for buying this natural supplement, only a few offer hand-picked, ultra-high-grade kratom that’s sourced from the best possible vicinities within the regions where kratom is known to grow in Southeast Asia.
Kratom is largely sold by type. In another words, via delivery medium such as powder or extract. What you’ll find when searching for kratom is more so a differentiation in the distribution format. Or, as we’d like to call it, the type. Keep in mind that a variety of 25 compounds exists within a kratom leaf. However, of those 25 compounds, there are primarily two that are largely responsible for the effects of kratom. Those two are 7-hydroxymitragynine along with mitragynine.
The latter is an alkaloid that’s psychoactive. It’s impact on the brain would be similar to other alkaloids such as nicotine and morphine, along with quinine. The way it works is that it’ll trick the brain’s receptors that usually respond to other opioids. However, the former is much more likened to a pain killer or an analgesic.
For example, you can find kratom being sold in the following formats:
Crushed leaf kratom
Generally speaking, when kratom leaves are crushed, they’re used to make teas. Some say that crushed kratom is far superior to powdered kratom, which are generally found in kratom capsules. For example, one Reddit user states that “Overall, I find tea/crushed Kratom far superior to ground tea (in my experience) is much less likely to cause nausea, and produces a much more rapid, euphoric effect. When consuming ground kratom, there’s an upper limit to the amount of cellulose/plant matter your stomach can handle, and vomiting on kratom is not pleasant.I don’t see how micronization could damage the alkaloid content (presumably they are just grinding and sifting). If the heat from making tea doesn’t effect the alkaloids, grinding certainly won’t.”
When talking about kratom extracts, we’re really referring to very powerful concentrations and doses of kratom. It’s made when powdered kratom or crushed kratom is brewed for extended periods so that as much water evaporates from it as possible, leaving a thick, dark paste in its place. That thick, dark paste still contains the active ingredients of kratom, but in a highly-concentrated format. This can then be converted into an oil, or further refined and turned into a powder, a liquid, or even sold in solid format. You’ll likely find kratom extracts sold in a variety of different ways, all of which follow a similar process to obtain the end result. This creates doses that deliver a higher concentration of the active ingredients.
Powdered kratom is prepared by crushing or grinding leaves into a granular format, similar to how you would grind coffee beans. Some prefer to crush their own leaves, while others prefer to purchase powdered kratom in ready-to-swallow format. Powdered kratom is prepared from both kratom extract and kratom leaves. So it’s important to know which one you’re getting as dosages in powdered kratom extract will be incredibly high compared to powdered kratom leaves.
Of course, most people prefer the simplicity kratom in capsule form. That generally means that it’s kratom powder. But not always since kratom extract can also find its way into capsules in the powdered format. However, either way that you look at it, kratom-filled capsules allow you to swallow kratom and get the intended dosage amount quickly, without having to brew it into a tea or chew a kratom leaf. Chewing kratom leaves is preferred by some, but not by most.
Kratom liquid is generally derived from kratom extracts. This is a popular form of kratom that offers up a higher dosage of the active ingredients. Liquid is generally preferred by those who aren’t particularly fond of swallowing the larger kratom-filled capsules. Plus, with higher dosages amounts from the extract, less is needed for similar effects to occur.
Kratom Leaf Colors
When purchasing branded-kratom products, you’ll often see things advertised like red vein, green vein, white vein and yellow vein. These indicate the color of the central vein of the actual leaf itself. Most wonder what it means. Some suggest that there’s a correlation between the color of the kratom leaf and the potency. However, some say that the color of the vein does determine the effect on the mind and the body.
When talking about the colors of the veins of kratom leafs, it does oftentimes signal the maturity of the kratom plant itself. Now, one thing to understand is that a single plant can have a variation in leaf colors. The plant’s genetics, region and amount of sunlight it receives, for instance, determines the leaf’s color. There are other environmental factors that help to determine the vein color as well.
Red-vein kratom is one of the best-selling forms of kratom that are on the market today. Generally speaking, the red-vein kratoms outsell both the white-vein and green-vein kratoms combines. That’s pretty massive when you think about just how much kratom is sold even in the United States itself. This might be because of the overall prevelance of the red-vein kratom in Southeast Asia.
Certain studies found that red-vein kratom strains were less impacted by environmental factors, and thus are a more trusted and consistent source of kratom. The reason for its popularity might also have to do with a strong association of calm and an overall optimism in this kratom type.
This form of kratom is also a sleep aid. Those who suffer from insomnia generally find that red-vein kratom allows them to get a restful night’s sleep. It’s also correlated with pain relief and in the prevention of withdrawal symptoms that are typical with those who suffer from opiate addiction.
The white-vein kratom strains have typically been associated with elation in mood levels and generally eutrophic sensations. For example, white-vein kratom provides a general sense of alertness akin to the effects of caffeine. Because of that, it often replaces the necessity for coffee. It’s also increases the level of concentration, and even motivation of an individual. It provides more clarity and a sense of laser-focus, very much similar to coffee.
When talking about the different variations in kratom, the white-vein kratom type is certainly the most unique type of kratom that you would find. This is almost directly opposite to the generally calming and soothing effects that occur in red-vein kratom. In fact, it’s been well-documented that most prefer to combine both the red and white-vein kratom types to help offset each other.
The variation here between the red-vein kratom is largely associated with the alkaloid compounds and profile that exist in the white versus the red-vein kratom. For example, in the white-vein kratom, you’ll discover far more mitragynine than you would the 7-hydroxymitragynine. That’s why there are more energetic effects with this strain.
Somewhere between the effects of the red-vein kratom and the white-vein kratom is the green-vein kratom. It’s increases energy levels and alertness, similar to that of the white-vein kratom. However, it’s also useful for chronic pain and withdrawal symptoms. For that reason, its effects are somewhere between both the green and the white-vein kratoms.
It’s also has a far more subtle effect than either the red or the white variations. Further, it allays the fears of those in social settings, giving them a boost of confidence, and less constrained by the opinions of others. Thus, this instills a level of elation, making you far more friendlier and willing to talk to others. Green-vein kratom has also been known to be longer-lasting while also providing nootropic cognitive benefits.
Is Kratom Habit-Forming?
The question that most people ask when first getting introduced to kratom is whether or not it’s habit-forming. And that’s a very valid question. Clearly, people use kratom to reduce withdrawal symptoms from opiate addictions. However most people are really not looking to replace one addiction with another.
Now, there is no very simple answer to this question. The answer hinges on the responsible use of kratom. Because, like any other thing in life, habits can form based on usage levels. Like any other drug, if it’s used on a daily basis, and if it relied on for very extended periods of time, yes, kratom can become habit-forming.
You should not be using kratom every single day, especially for prolonged periods. Now, for those that are using kratom to help with opiate withdrawals, in the beginning, they might find themselves using it every single day. Even multiple times per day. However, over time, it’s important that the frequency is weened down. You simply don’t want to replace one reliance with another.
It’s also important to note that the body can develop a tolerance for kratom if abused and used too frequently and in greater dosages. Gradually, over time, you’ll need to take more kratom with higher dosages if you’re looking to experience the same effects as when you just start out taking it. For that reason, it’s very important to use kratom responsibly.
Another important thing to note about kratom is the following. Opiate drug addicts and are using kratom to ween themselves off that addiction are going to find that higher dosages are necessary since kratom has opioid receptor agonists, similar to those found in opiates.
Translation? That means that if you’ve developed a tolerance for opiates, then you’re likely going to have a similar tolerance for kratom. That doesn’t mean that kratom won’t be helpful. It simply means that your body’s general reaction is going to be diminished if you’ve been using opiates for any extended period.
Now, like any other habit that has a physiological effect on the body, breaking through those barriers are uncomfortable. In the very beginning, it’s hard and you’ll struggle with replacing one so-called drug with another. However, habits can be easily changed as long as you follow the micro-changes approach. That essentially means that things are changed slowly over time.
Thus, if you do turn to kratom, and you’re not looking to replace one habit for another, it’s important to ween yourself off of it slowly over time. That means diminishing the dosage, not just daily, but also weekly and monthly, over time, using less and less as you go. This way, your body won’t develop a tolerance for it and you won’t rely on having to buy kratom forever.
The trouble with purchasing kratom or kratom-related products, especially on the internet, is that you never know what you’re getting. For that reason, it’s important to be wary of who you buy your kratom from. Now, there are opioid-like side effects when it comes to kratom. However, most of the documented cases of serious side effects occurred when kratom was combined with another drug.
For example, in a case entitled Kronstad, et al., there was fatal reaction to kratom. However, the autopsy discovered that it was combined with a metabolite of tramadol. This effected 9 people in Sweden over the course of a year. Since tramadol is a prescription pain drug, when combined with kratom, it had fatal consequences. This was probably added to the kratom mixture in order to increase its narcotic effect.
Of course, that’s one extreme case. However, you truly don’t know what you’re getting when you buy kratom. For that reason, it’s important to source it only from trusted vendors.
Now, there are other well-documented side effects associated with taking kratom. For that reason, it’s important to walk away with all the knowledge so that you know what you’re stepping into. This is especially true for those who take up kratom as a recreational usage. While that’s not recommended, it’s been well-known amongst the community for this to be a common occurrence. So be wary and be careful.
The following side-effects are commonly associated with kratom usage:
Nausea from kratom
One of the side-effects of kratom, especially when used in higher dosages, is nausea. However, this doesn’t just apply to higher dosages, but also relates to specific strains of kratom as well. For example, Bali and Indo strains are more likely to cause nausea than others. Some report that taking an antacid roughly 30 minutes before could stem the tide of nausea. Also, eating a light meal roughly 30 minutes after might help as well.
However, if you’re prudent with the dosage amounts, you shouldn’t suffer through too much nausea. If you, however, turn to high doses quickly, without allowing your body to acclimate to the kratom, you’ll likely suffer from some nausea. And, drinking kratom tea as opposed to taking kratom powder or extract is less likely to cause nausea. However, if you do feel nausea, you could always resort to taking some ginger as a preventative measure or to alleviate the feelings.
Dizziness from kratom
Dizziness is one of the adverse side-effects of taking kratom. This is especially true early on as your body is becoming acclimated to the strong potency of kratom. In the very beginning, this is more prevalent than it would be in someone who’s become accustomed to taking kratom.
Dizziness is an on-set of the fluctuations in blood pressure that occur when taking kratom. The neurochemistry of the brain has to adapt to the presence of kratom. However, it’s also been well-documented that this is less true in individuals have taken kratom to quell opiate addiction as opposed to those who turn to it for recreational use.
Sometimes, it might be necessary to either reduce the dosage ingested, or to switch strains of kratom in order to reduce the dizziness associated with it. You might also try to change the medium of ingestion. For example, switch to drinking kratom teah in the beginning as opposed to ingesting the powder or powerful extracts of kratom.
Headaches from kratom
Headaches and migraines are ubiquitous to most known drugs. Generally, these are an onset of changes to blood pressure. For example, intracranial vasodilation (decrease of blood pressure) and vasoconstriction (increase of blood pressure). When the smooth muscles inside the cell walls relax, vasodilation occurs. Since certain strains of kratom, such as red-vein kratom, are more sedative, it forces this type of dilation to occur.
Migraines are especially tough to control. Once the blood flow in the brain is impacted, rectifying it becomes quite an uphill battle. Again, this boils down to dosage. Higher doses of kratom are more likely to result in these adverse side effects as opposed to lower doses. Be very wary, especially at the outset, of just how much kratom you’re willing to ingest, especially when we’re talking about kratom in its powder or extract formats (i.e. liquid or paste).
Clearly, if you have a history of experiencing headaches and migraines, you’re going to be more susceptible to it when taking kratom. If you don’t want this to happen, stay properly hydrated. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to ensure that this doesn’t become a persistent problem. Most normal headaches can be avoided by properly hydrating.
Severe weight loss from kratom
One other side effect of taking kratom is severe weight loss due to a loss of appetite. Kratom’s influence on gut microbiota plays a role in the loss of appetite. For those who are regular consumers of kratom, this is far more rampant. Both the gut microbiota and the brain’s neurochemistry is impacted. Plus it affects the central nervous system activation, likely signaling a more severe loss of appetite.
Also, considering that nausea and headaches are other forms of side effects, it likely plays a role in the loss of appetite. When you’re struggling with nausea, it’s rare that you feel hunger pangs whatsoever until those feelings have subsided.
Sweating from kratom
One of the adverse side effects of kratom is sweating. There’s an increased production in the sweat glands, likely brought on by irregularity in the brain’s neurochemistry along with the body’s central nervous system. No one knows precisely why kratom makes you sweat profusely. But it’s certainly an embarrassing byproduct. That’s especially true when you’re dealing with social settings or you’re on the job.
Most kratom users report that they sweat profusely through the night and wake up with soaked bedsheets. Research tends to indicate that there’s an increase in temperature caused by kratom. This occurs because the substance is both a mu-opioid receptor agonist along with a kappa-opioid receptor antagonist, both of which contribute to that temperature change in the body.
For those who sweat profusely while using kratom, it might also be related to possible allergic reactions from the compounds prevalent within the structural integrity of kratom. For example, this might be more obvious if the sweating is accompanied by other symptoms that would likely signal an allergic reaction such as hives or shortness of breath.
Hallucinations from kratom
It’s well-known that kratom causes visual impairment. For example, most that take kratom experience blurry vision and hallucinations, along with poor vision at night. This is probably due to changes to the central nervous system and an overall sedation and dilation of blood vessels. Depending on the dosage, these hallucinations can go from mild to extreme.
Fear often grips those who experience hallucinations from kratom. And understandably so. They think that it’s somehow damaging the integrity of their eyes. But it’s not something that offers up any permanent damage according to well-documented use of kratom.
Sedation from kratom
While possibly not considered a side effect by some who use kratom, sedation is most certainly one of the effects that are produced when using kratom. This is especially true for red-vein kratom. Sedation, and even the onset of sleepiness, is largely something that effects most people who use particular strains of kratom.
Of course, due to sedation, we often have trouble with motor skill coordination. Thus, if you plan on taking kratom, it’s imperative that you not drive or operate heavy machinery. If you do so, you might not only be putting others at risk, but also putting your own life on the line.
How To Make Kratom Tea
The crushed leaf is one of the more popular forms of kratom, used in brewing tea. Kratom is viable as a tea because the alkaloid, mitragynine is able to reach high temperatures while retaining its stability. There’s no need to worry about the structural integrity of kratom breaking down when using it to brew a tea. For that reason, many people who use kratom often make it into a tea by crushing its dried leaves.
Similar to any other tea, kratom tea leaves would simply soak in hot water to give a similar sensation to drinking a normal, say, black tea. Now, the amount of kratom you use to make the tea can have a significant impact on the dosage that you receive when drinking it. Remember, if you use a high does, you’re likely to suffer some severe side effects, especially if you’re a newcomer to kratom. Be wary on how much you use, especially in the beginning.
What you’ll need:
- 3 to 5 grams of kratom powder or crushed leaf
- 2-1/2 cups of water
- Tea filtration system
- 1 tablespoon1 of lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons of honey
- 2 cubes of brown sugar
To make your kratom tea, add the kratom powder or crushed leaf into a tea filtration system. Either use a tea bag that you can fill or use a system for making tea, which you can get at your local store such as Target or K-Mart, Walmart and elsewhere. You can also order the items on Amazon as well.
Once you have collected all the items, bring the water to a boil in a pan or kettle. Once water has boiled, add the tea and allow it to simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the honey and lemon juice once you turn off the heat, and allow it to cool. Prior to serving, add the required amount of brown sugar or other non-sugar additives.
Keep in mind that drinking kratom tea on its own has a very bitter taste. For that reason, you’ll need honey and sugar and lemon to taste. If you’re into sweeter drinks, then add more sugar and honey to cut the bitterness down. At the end of it, it’ll seem more like you’re drinking a stronger green tea.
How Much Does Kratom Cost?
The price of kratom can differ drastically depending on where you buy it from, the strain (i.e. red-vein kratom versus white-vein kratom), the medium (i.e. liquid, extract, powder, etc.) and the vendor. Keep in mind that you’re looking for 100% genuine kratom without any additives. Oftentimes, some vendors will sell kratom that’s not 100% genuine. It contains other enhancing additives, so be wary.
Keep in mind that if you find a price too good to be true, it most likely is. Kratom is sold by the gram. So if you find a serious deviation from the average pricing, dig into the supply chain a bit more. Also, it’s important to ask and collaborate with others when trying to check the validity of any vendor. And if you’re seeking more information, check out sites like Official Kratom Forum to garner more information about typical costs.
Now, if we’re talking about average prices, let’s look at Kratom-K, which is one of the leading sources for kratom supply in the United States. Kratom-K has a Green-Veined Bali Blast Kratom Powder for sale of 28 grams for $18.95. That’s roughly 68 cents per gram of kratom powder. They also have a Red-Veined Bentuangie Kratom Powder of 28 grams for $21.95. That’s roughly 78 cents per gram.
Now, that doesn’t mean that all kratom will cost you 68 to 78 cents per gram. Once again, it varies, while also depending on the quantity of kratom that you buy. If we look at say the kratom capsules, we can find White-Veined Indo Supreme Kratom Capsule of 56 capsules for $24.95. That comes to roughly 45 cents per capsule. The claim is that each capsule contains roughly 0.5 grams. That would make the per-gram price roughly 90 cents per capsule.
Of course, this shows you that kratom is not too expensive, especially in limited quantities. However, the price does add up over time when purchasing kratom on a frequent basis.
Kratom Powder vs Kratom Leaf
If you’re asking yourself whether to buy kratom powder or to buy kratom leaf, there are some pros and cons of both approaches. Consider this for a moment. When you’re buying kratom leaf, you can clearly see what you get. It’s not something that suppliers or vendors can really alter by placing additives inside. However, the answer to this question also depends on whether or not you’re an experienced kratom user.
For example, if you’ve never taken kratom before in your life and you’re just trying it out for one of the first times, it’s best to stick with the kratom leaf. Why? Because, it’s less potent than the kratom powder. And far less potent than the kratom extract. That’s why it’s best to start out with kratom leaf if you’re in the early stages of becoming introduced to kratom.
However, purchasing the actual kratom leaves is far more difficult. Yet, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to buy. You will find the price to be a bit higher if you do come across it. It averages at roughly $1 per gram, whereas the powder ranges in at around 68 to 78 cents per gram and the capsules roughly 90 cents per gram.
Kratom powder is oftentimes better for more experienced users. It’s more potent and oftentimes available in an enhanced variation that artificially pumps up the level of alkaloids. Once again, it’s far better to ensure that you’re getting 100% genuine kratom if you do choose to buy it. However, the effects of the artificially-enhanced variation of kratom powder can double or triple the potency of its effects.
However, if you were to choose between the two, it’s always better to opt for the fresh kratom leaves. This way, you always know what you’re getting. That’s always best. But you’ll also find this far more difficult to source.
Is Kratom Safe?
The question that most people often ask is the following. Is it safe? Not only is it safe to buy kratom, but it’s a very safe and legal drug. And for those who have absolutely no experience with kratom, that’s most certainly a very valid question. They have no idea on its uses or side effects or anything else for that matter. Now, no one has ever proved that kratom was solely responsible for a death. There has been an instance in Sweden of 9 deaths, but that wasn’t solely related to kratom.
The FDA claims that 44 people have died from the use of kratom from 2011 through 2017. However, nearly every single one of those cases that the FDA claims to attribute to kratom also involved other substances. And, even if that were true (which it’s likely not), 44 deaths is an incredibly low. Want to hear some other statistics?
Well, every year, roughly 38 people die from shark attacks. That’s every year. Not in the history of sharks. And, did you know that falling coconuts are responsible for 150 deaths per year? Yep. Every. Single. Year. How about hippos? Do you know how many people hippos kill every single year? 3,000. Yes. Every. Single. Year. Here are some more statistics that will give you some pause:
- Elephants kill 100 people every year
- Drunk driving kills 10,220 people in the U.S. every year (that’s 28 people per day).
- Dogs kill 25,000 people every year
- Snakes kill 50,000 people each year
- Cigarette smoking kills 481,000 people in the U.S. every year
- Mosquitos kill 725,000 people each year
Is Kratom Dangerous?
Why is the FDA and DEA so fixated on something that helps more than it harms anyone or anything, when thinking about those numbers? Plus, traditional medicine in indigenous regions where kratom grows, has used it for hundreds of years. If you think about those statistics and all the other controversy surrounding kratom, it makes you really wonder why something that has had a largely beneficial impact on the public would be in the limelight.
Although kratom is safe and legal in most of the United States, antagonists still purport that kratom is dangerous. Yet, the truth is that most the controversy surrounding kratom largely stems from the fact that it hasn’t been thoroughly studied. In fact, when the DEA removed its intention to make kratom a controlled substance, it also asked for more feedback from the general public.
In November of 2017, the FDA started a campaign against kratom that’s likely to last into the foreseeable future. Back then, they cited numerous claims stating that kratom was not a safe or effective drug, nor was there ever any evidence to support kratom as a treatment for opioid disorder. The issue at hand is that there are no FDA-approved variations of kratom for the treatment of anything.
However, the FDA took this a step further. In February of 2018, they actually released a statement “describing further opioid-like properties of kratom and that it should not be used for any medical treatment or recreational use.” Further, in 2018, the FDA has continued its onslaught against kratom manufactures both in Missouri and in California. In Missouri, the FDA aided in a “voluntary destruction” of kratom dietary supplements by a nationwide distributor.
Will Kratom Show Up On A Drug Test?
No. To answer that question, kratom will not show up on drug test results. First of all, kratom is completely legal. So there is no reason for drug test manufacturers to test for kratom in the system. Second is that kratom does not have the same properties exhibited in illegal narcotics. Even when you take the 10-panel urine test, you will not test positive as long as you’ve only used kratom and no other drugs.
Kratom will not show up on a drug test. The plant Mitragyna Speciosa does not exhibit the same chemical attributes as other drugs on the DEA’s Schedule 1 Controlled Substance Act. The drugs that you will find on that act are as follows:
Scientific Studies About Kratom
Studies detailing kratom’s effects are very limited. The DEA and FDA continuously cite this fact in their statements. However, in June, 2008, a study was conducted entittled, “Self-treatment of opioid withdrawal using kratom (Mitragynia speciosa korth)” by Edward W. Boyer, Kavita M. Babu, Jessica E. Adkins, Christopher R. McCurdy and John H. Halpern.
In the study, it was concluded that “the self-treatment of chronic pain and opioid withdrawal with kratom. The predominant alkaloid of kratom, mitragynine, binds mu- and kappa-opioid receptors, but has additional receptor affinities that might augment its effectiveness at mitigating opioid withdrawal. The natural history of kratom use, including its clinical pharmacology and toxicology, are poorly understood.”
It also found that “kratom attenuates potentially severe opioid withdrawal, yet cessation of kratom administration itself appears to be associated with modest abstinence symptoms.” To translate, it essentially means that kratom reduces the effects of withdrawal from opioids and that stopping the use of kratom itself, once opioid withdrawal has subsided, is not as difficult.
Is Kratom Legal In My State?
The question that most people in the United States asks is whether kratom is legal in their state. That’s certainly a valid question. However, before we look at the legality of kratom in the United States, let’s look at an overview of what countries have deemed kratom as legal and what countries have deemed it as illegal.
The following countries have deemed that kratom is illegal:
The following states in the United States have banned kratom altogether:
- District of Columbia
- Rhode Island
Additionally, there are cities in the United States (even in states that allow kratom) where there are ordinances in place deeming kratom to be illegal:
- Denver, CO
- Jerseryville, IL
- San Diego, CA
- Sarasota, FL
Is There Withdrawal From Kratom?
Kratom users can develop dependence on the drug and therefore find that there are some withdrawal symptoms that result from kratom. However, they are minimal when compared to the withdrawal symptoms suffered from other opioids. Significant dependence can develop if kratom is abused as a recreational drug, where withdrawal symptoms are far more severe and pronounced.
Also, a study by the New York State Office Of Alcoholism And Substance Abuse Services found that kratom impacts opiate receptors in the brain, very similar to a drug like morphine does. For that reason, some withdrawal symptoms naturally occur when kratom is introduced for prolonged periods, then removed. Those symptoms include things like muscle aches, irritability, aggressiveness, mood swings and runny nose for instance.
Keep in mind that psychoactive drugs like kratom have a large impact on the neurotransmitters of the brain along with its neurochemistry. Whenever you remove a substance like kratom from the body, the brain tries to compensate to make up for its loss. Instead, rather than trying to stop taking kratom suddenly, ween yourself off of it.
Is Kratom Very Addictive?
Kratom is addictive. Especially when abused. Several studies find that that a serious dependency develops with kratom use for extended periods, . When the length of use is 6 months or more, there are severe withdrawal symptoms. 80% of users who tried to stop taking kratom were unsuccessful in doing so. However, it was also found that while half of users did develop a dependency, 45% did not.
Can You Overdose On Kratom?
There is no evidence to suggest that you can ever overdose on kratom. And there have been no reports of overdose on solely kratom itself. Kratom is legal in most states in the U.S. and did not make it onto the Schedule 1 Controlled Substance Act list. It’s almost impossible to actually overdose on the powdered leaf variation of kratom. The reason is particularly due to the two prominent alkaloids that are present in kratom.
Mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine help to produce severe side effects when consumed in mass quantities. For example, if you take too much kratom, severe vomiting for hours, migraines and irritability can occur. This happens at roughly the 28-gram level. In essence, it makes it almost impossible to take more than an ounce of kratom without feeling absolutely terrible. This applies to those who also have very little tolerance for kratom.
Does Kratom Work?
While research on kratom is still in its very beginning stages, the court of public opinion is certainly out on kratom. When the DEA attempted to classify kratom as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance, the public went up in arms. Subsequently, a few months after its intention to do so, the DEA dropped the cause. Instead, it solicited the public’s opinion on kratom and their experiences with this drug.
Now, if you know anything about kratom, you know that there are a variety of purported purposes for it. However, one of the biggest benefits that people have experienced from kratom is in its usage to help mitigate the withdrawal effects from harmful opioids such as heroin. In fact, kratom’s unique composition allows it to bind to the opioid receptors in the brain, thus minimizing some of the harmful withdrawal symptoms that occur in the wake of quitting these drugs.
Kratom also works well for withdrawal from other Schedule 1 Controlled Substances like Methadone, Oxycodone and others. If you’ve ever struggled with addiction from opioids, then kratom can work when used responsibly. However, like other drugs, kratom abuse is a real possibility. When abused, the body can also develop dependencies, effectively exchanging one drug dependency for another.
What Is The Chemical Makeup Of Kratom?
Not all of the chemical makeup of kratom is yet clear. However, there are two primary compounds:
The following are the known compounds amongst the 40 or so that exist in kratom: