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The Truth About Kratom: Is it an Opioid?

Mar 12

Kratom is a botanical substance, has been used in Southeast Asia for many centuries. It is a plant that is related to coffee and has the effects of stimulants. Kratom also contains analgesic (pain-relieving) and sedative properties. Kratom has been utilized to treat opioid withdrawal and addiction. The truth about kratom is that it's an opioid. Kratom is composed of a structure which is similar to morphine and interacts with the opioid receptors in the brain. Kratom can cause euphoria or relaxation. Kratom can also cause constipation, respiratory depression and nausea. Kratom is not regulated in the United States does not regulate Kratom however there is growing pressure to ban it. Kratom can be purchased on the internet or in specific stores.

The Truth About Kratom is it an Opioid?

Mitragynine is a key ingredient in the kratom plant. It's an antagonist in part of the mu-opioid receptor. It exhibits certain of the same effects that opioids such as morphine or codeine. Kratom isn't as addicting as opioids and does not create the same level of euphoria.

So, is kratom an opioid? The answer is yes and no. While Kratom may have effects similar to opioids like heroin, it is not considered to be an opioid by the FDA.

What are the potential risks associated with kratom use?

Kratom could pose health hazards. Respiratory depression is the most serious complication that could occur. When kratom is taken in large doses or when combined with other drugs that affect the respiratory system, it can cause respiratory depression.

There are also potential side effects to kratom:

- Nausea

- Vomiting

- Diarrhea

- Constipation


- dizziness


Kratom can also be an effective potentiator of other substances, which means it can enhance the effects of other drugs more intense. This could be risky, especially when kratom is used in conjunction with substances that weaken the respiratory system, like alcohol or benzodiazepines.

Is kratom a drug that is legal in the United States?

The FDA does not regulate Kratom currently. However, it is legal in the majority of the states. There has been calls to ban it and some states have taken actions. In 2016 the state of Indiana had banned the sales of kratom and in the year 2018 the state of Wisconsin adopted the same policy.

What's the bottom line?

Kratom does have some similar effects to opioids, but it isn't considered to constitute an opioid by FDA. While there are some risks associated with the use of kratom, they are usually manageable. Currently the legality of kratom is in the majority of states. But, this may be changed in the near future.

2. The History and Use of Kratom

Kratom is an indigenous tropical tree that is native to Southeast Asia, with leaves which can cause psychotropic effects. Kratom is not legally illegal and is easy to order on the internet. The majority of people consume kratom as capsules or pills. Many people chew the leaves of kratom or brew the powdered or dried leaves to make tea. Sometimes, the leaves can be used to smoke or in food preparation.

Two compounds in kratom leaves, mitragynine and 7-a-hydroxymitragynine, interact with opioid receptors in the brain, producing sedation, pleasure, and decreased pain, especially when users consume large amounts of the plant. Mitragynine also interacts with other receptor systems in the brain to create stimulant effects. People are reported to feel more alert, active and social when they take Kratom in lower amounts. However, kratom may create uncomfortable and potentially dangerous side effects.

The long-term use of kratom is the greatest chance of developing addiction and dependence. Many people struggle to quit the use of kratom even though they wish to.

Certain withdrawal symptoms can include anxiety, cravings as well as stomach cramps, irritability and cravings. Healthcare professionals can treat the symptoms of kratom withdrawal just like they would treat the symptoms of opioid withdrawal.

Patients who take kratom frequently and then cease to take it may feel more anxious, irritable as well as restlessness, aggression, insomnia, and cravings for drugs. These symptoms can persist for a number of weeks.

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