The question that most people ask is this: What does the kratom high feel like? If you’re like others, and you’re looking to turn to kratom as a recreational drug, there’s some things that you should know. First, the kratom high isn’t quite a high. Keep in mind that kratom is not an opioid. And it’s not a synthetic drug. It’s an organic evergreen tree that grows in Southeast Asia. It goes by the more formal name Mitragyna Specilosa.
While most people use kratom for medicinal purposes (it’s been that way for centuries now) some have turned to kratom as a recreational drug. Now, if you’re chasing that kratom high, there’s a few things that you need to know before you go out there and buy kratom for that purpose.
Currently, in the United States, kratom is an ongoing concern for the DEA. In fact, it attempted, not too long ago, to categorize kratom under the Schedule 1 Controlled Substances Act. That would have put kratom in a list with the likes of some pretty serious narcotics and drugs, such as amphetamines, barbiturates, cocaine, fentanyl, methamphetamines, morphine and oxycodone, for example. Those are some serious drugs.
Now, the reason for the DEA’s concern isn’t quite clear. In fact, the DEA removed its intention to place kratom under the Schedule 1 Controlled Substance Act after a signed petition of over 142,000 people pleading with them not to do so. Of course, the DEA took note. But it’s since turned to the FDA to help determine the efficacy of kratom as a helpful drug.
Is There Really A Kratom High?
Kratom is not an opiate. But it does exhibit properties similar to opiates. To understand what a kratom high feels like, you first have to understand how opioid receptors in the brain work. Keep in mind that there are four major subtypes of receptors, which are primarily located in the brain and spinal course. The four opioid receptor subtypes are as follows:
- Delta Receptor (DOR): Analgesic and antidepressant effects and physical dependence. Located in the brain and the peripheral sensory neurons.
- Kappa Receptor (KOR): Analgesic, anticonvulsant effects, sedation and stress-related. Located in the brain, spinal cord and peripheral sensory neurons.
- Mu Receptor (MOR): Analgesic, euphoria, vasodilation and physical dependence. Located in the brain, spinal cord, intestinal tract and peripheral sensory neurons.
- Nociceptin Receptor (NOR): Anxiety, depression and appetite with development of tolerance towards mu-opioid agonists. Located in the brain and spinal cord.
For example, heroin binds to the mu-opioid receptors in the brain, releasing massive amounts of dopamine and serotonin. Because it binds in the brain, heroin is a very powerful narcotic that deeply alters the neurochemistry and greatly impacts our neurotransmitters. Now, there is a severe high with heroin because of this.
When it comes to the kratom high, there’s also mu-opioid receptor binding. Both mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine (7-HMG), which are the two major alkaloids present in kratom, do bind to the opioid, but they prevent the release of serotonin (not dopamine). Thus, you don’t have the same high as you would with a narcotic like heroin, although there is similar opioid binding occurring here.
What Does It Feel Like?
Kratom differs severely from heroin by only partially activating the mu-opioid receptors. However, it is a full agonist. That’s likely the reason why the DEA is up in arms about kratom. Since it does exhibit opioid like properties, the DEA largely attributes and associates kratom to an opioid. However, kratom has some incredible benefits that outweigh its potential for abuse as a recreational drug.
Now, kratom use does result in some euphoric effects. This so-called kratom high is not the same as the high as you would get with other Schedule 1 Controlled Substances. There’s no release of serotonin, meaning that there’s only a partial activation of the mu-opioid receptor.
That’s important when it comes to classifying this as a narcotic. It doesn’t quite act in the same way. Plus, it’s very difficult to abuse kratom because there are built-in safety mechanisms that provide some serious side effects when attempting to take too much kratom or to use it too often.
Study On Kratom Effects
A study was performed by a very popular website associated with psychoactive substances called, Erowid.org detailing out the effects of kratom use. The interest? What are the effects of kratom? Not only associated with the euphoric (or high) sensation. But also, any other effects, such as its analgesic (pain-relieving properties) and its soothing and calming effects for opioid withdrawals.
The website allows firsthand user-submitted reports from its audience, which helps to details everything from the effects of caffeine to LSD, ketamine, heroin and other drugs. These results are user-submitted. That means, they weren’t conducted by a professional research team. Still, they are firsthand accounts from users of a very popular website. In fact, its founders were profiled in an article in the New Yorker not too long ago.
The important thing to note about this is that a large number of users attribute kratom use to an overall wellbeing and relaxing sensation, very much similar to opioid use. This is especially true in higher doses, something that causes concern for the DEA. However, since kratom does not activate serotonin, it does not deplete the body like some synthetic drugs do.
Kratom Coca-Cola Drink: 4×100
There is one big problem with kratom use in Southeast Asia. Mainly, this stems from Thailand where a popular drink has emerged that uses kratom. To make it, you boil kratom leaves with cough-syrup and Coca-Cola. Then, you add ice to that mixture, making a cocktail of sorts. This results in a rather serious kratom high. Muslims in the country also prefer this drink. Why? Because they can’t drink alcohol and the kratom high from this drink is similar to being drunk (or more).
This has also become a big problem in neighboring Malaysia, where youth have been turning to this drink. Plus, it’s likely spreading to other countries in Southeast Asia now where kratom grows and is cultivated. This is fast becoming a serious problem in the region because overdoses from 4×100 have become common and this drink can easily result in a fatality. Remember, kratom itself is not lethal, but it does have harmful effects when combined with other drugs or substances. Do not drink this drink.
Are There Side Effects To Using Kratom?
There are benefits and side effects to using kratom. Yes, it has its medicinal properties. It also has recreational appeal because there’s an elated sensation that comes along with using kratom. There is something akin to a high associated with this. And, it can easily be abused. Now, since the mu-opioid receptor can create physical dependence, it’s also something that you can become addicted to if you’re not careful.
For that reason, if you plan to use kratom, then you have to be wary of developing a dependence towards it. Do not use it every single day. If in serious pain, and you use it to stave off chronic inflammation or pain in some area of your body, you can become reliant on it over time. However, by developing a dependence to kratom you also risk gaining withdrawal symptoms associated with it. That means if you stop using it, you’ll suffer some serious side effects.
Still, one such study showed that kratom is more effective and powerful than methadone in helping addicts to overcome withdrawal symptoms from narcotics like heroine. If you use kratom responsibly, you won’t really experience a serious high but you’ll also avoid developing dependency to it.
Keep in mind that anything can be abused. Nicotine, alcohol, prescription pills and kratom all change the body and mind’s chemical makeup. In turn, you can become dependent on these drugs if you overuse them. So be careful. Don’t try to chase a kratom high because you might end up becoming reliant on the drug for years to come.