- Here's what to know about kratom, and whether it is actually beneficial for your wellbeing or not
Holistic health is a booming industry these days. A growing number of people are looking to new herbs and natural medicinal options. However, some of them might be safer and more reliable than others. One plant that holistic health practitioners should be aware of is kratom.
Kratom is a substance that comes from a plant, Mitragyna speciosa. It has psychoactive properties. The leaves can be consumed in many ways and are used by many health experts.
It can be smoked, used to make tea, or chewed. In the west, people have managed to make kratom capsules using the active ingredients in the plant. It has a wide variety of uses. It can be a stimulant and has been used in a non-medical capacity to help people through opioid withdrawal. Allegedly, it is able to reduce symptoms and cravings. With that said, it’s important that people are fully aware of the risks associated with kratom.
Is Kratom an Effective Way to Treat Opioid Addiction? Is it good for your health?
Currently, there is limited data on using kratom to treat opioid addiction. According to people that have used kratom, it gives them energy, helps them to relax, and leaves them with feelings of euphoria. People that have used kratom also report that it relieves pain. One of the reasons that kratom may reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms is that it is actually an opioid. In that sense, it isn’t a treatment for opioid addiction. Instead, people that use kratom are going from being addicted to one type of opioid, such as fentanyl, oxycodone, or heroin, to kratom, which is a different type of opioid.
Kratom is not approved by the FDA for any type of usage. If the substance is being sold, the seller does not have FDA approval. Because of this, it shouldn’t be used as a treatment for opioid addiction or withdrawal symptoms.
Can People Become Addicted to Kratom?
If someone starts to use kratom and then stops, they will go through withdrawal. Symptoms experienced may include anxiety, nausea, depression, irritability, constipation, decreased sex drive, hostility, and feelings of recklessness. If someone uses kratom to prevent symptoms of opioid withdrawal, what they are actually doing is transferring their addiction to another addictive opioid.
Initially, researches didn’t believe that kratom had addictive properties. When rats were given some of kratom’s active ingredients, such as mitragynine, they did not become addicted or dependent on the substance in the same way they would have with cocaine or opioids. After more research was conducted, experts discovered that there is an additional psychoactive substance found in kratom, 7-HMG (7-hydroxymitragynine). Even though mitragynine isn’t addictive, 7-HMG is. 7-HMG is the reason that people experience feelings of euphoria after taking kratom. This substance is also why people can become dependent on kratom and develop an addiction. Once people start using kratom, they will need to increase the amount they take in order to get the same effects.
After the FDA studies kratom further, they learned that, out of the 25 compounds that are most common in kratom, 22 of them bind to mu opioid receptors. This means they are opioid agonists. Even though 7-HMG is the primary substance in kratom that causes people to experience euphoria and become dependent on kratom, it’s likely that other substances have this effect as well.
What Are Side Effects Associated With Kratom?
Kratom is an addictive substance that can cause dependence and withdrawal, and it can also cause a number of side effects. Using kratom regularly over a long period of time can lead to loss of appetite, weight loss, and feeling of depression. Kratom can increase your risk of seizures and can make you more likely to experience symptoms of psychosis, such as hallucinations. In some cases, people that have used kratom have gone into a coma. Furthermore, kratom can have toxic effects on some of the body’s organs. It may cause harm to the heart, liver, thyroid, and lungs. Here is a closer look at the Kratom withdrawal timeline.
Can Kratom Be Fatal?
Yes, it is possible that kratom can kill you. According to the FDA, kratom is an opioid and addictive. This means that people can abuse the substance. Taking it can lead to many severe health problems, and it can even be fatal. In recent years, the FDA has tracked deaths that are linked with the usage of kratom. According to data from poison control, academic studies, and events that the public has submitted to the FDA, there are 44 deaths linked to kratom use that have been confirmed.
Information about deaths linked to kratom usage can be seen in a report from the FDA. In most circumstances, people that died after kratom usage were using it alongside additional substances, such as over-the-counter cold medications or inhalers.
Even though federal agents have worked to prevent kratom from being sold, there is limited information on what is being done to stop online sales.