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    Unlocking the Mysteries of Kratom: A Beginner's Guide to Its Benefits and Uses

    Unlocking the Mysteries of Kratom: A Beginner's Guide to Its Benefits and Uses

    Everything You Need to Know About Kratom

    Kratom has been used as a source of medicine, as well as for its recreational effects, in countries throughout Southeast Asia for centuries.

    It was first described as a medicine in the 19th century by a Dutch botanist named Pieter Willem Korthals. But it wasn’t until the last two decades that Kratom burst onto the holistic wellness scene in a significant way.

    What is Kratom?

    Kratom is a tropical tree that is native to Southeast Asia and belongs to the coffee family, sharing similar stimulant properties (depending on the dose taken). It is grown in Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia, where its leaves are dried and used to make tea and extracts or encapsulated and sold as supplements in many vape shops and smoke shops throughout the United States.

    What are the effects of Kratom?

    When taken in low doses, kratom produces a stimulant effect, with many users reporting experiencing increased alertness, heightened focus, and a noticeable boost of physical energy.

    At higher doses, Kratom is an opioid-like substance with compounds in it that affect the brain’s opioid receptors, which many claim can aid with pain relief, relax muscles, relieve depression, calm anxiety, and even act as an anti-diarrheal.

    In some instances, Kratom has been reported to have psychotropic effects, including hallucinations.

    Let’s look at a few of the effects of Kratom in more detail.

    Pain Relief

    One compound found in Kratom, called 7-hydroxymitragynine, is exponentially more potent than morphine. Kratom targets the brain’s opioid receptors just like morphine and codeine do, but it does it in a way that many believe is more tolerable than typical opioids with far less intense side effects.

    Mood Enhancement

    While at present, there is little in the way of scientific research when it comes to Kratom, some early studies point to the plant’s anti-depressant effects. One such study found that Kratom lowered the corticosterone levels in mice. Increased corticosterone levels are associated with depression in humans, so a correlation can be drawn, though more research still needs to be done to make any conclusive claims.

    Increase in Energy

    This is one of the more popular reasons people are trying Kratom. Many enthusiasts claim to feel the rapid onset of an increase in energy with just small doses. They often say they feel more alert, in tune with their surroundings, adaptive to situations, and even more focused on work or other tasks.


    At different doses, usually on the higher end, Kratom has been reported by many to have a calming effect and even provide a bit of a soothing high that many people find pleasurable.

    Reduce Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms

    Kratom has been used to treat symptoms of substance abuse disorders, most specifically to minimize the impact of opiate withdrawal. More research needs to be done regarding how effectively Kratom can help with withdrawal, and there is currently no approved use of Kratom for this purpose.

    How Much Kratom Should I Take?

    Smaller doses of Kratom, below 5 grams of raw plant material, are believed to provide that quick boost of energy many people are looking for. It usually requires more of the substance, between 5 and 15 grams of raw plant material, to experience feelings of pain relief or extreme relaxation.

    Is Kratom an Opioid?

    Technically speaking, Kratom is not an opioid. However, it impacts the brain and body in the same way. Additionally, like opioids, Kratom is an addictive substance and must be used with caution.

    Is Kratom Legal in the United States?

    According to the Food & Drug Administration, Kratom cannot be marketed in the United States as a drug product, dietary supplement, or additive to conventional food.

    The agency has concluded that there is inadequate information to provide reasonable assurance that kratom, as well as its two primary chemical components, mitragynine and 7-hydroxy mitragynine, do not present a “significant or unreasonable” risk of illness or injury.

    Can Kratom Be Dangerous?

    An online article by News Medical Life Sciences points out that small and controlled doses of Kratom rarely have any adverse impact on health. Larger doses or continued Kratom abuse, however, can lead to agitation, vomiting, insomnia, hallucinations, and even seizures in some instances.

    Kratom can also have the following side effects: sweating, itching, dizziness, and dry mouth. Cases of kratom-related liver damage have also been reported. Additionally, Kratom is an addictive substance and, when abused, can lead to a condition called Kratom Use Disorder (KUD) that resembles the withdrawal symptoms from opioid abuse.


    Kratom is a naturally occurring substance found in a tropical tree native to Southeast Asia. It has been used medicinally and recreationally by individuals throughout this region for generations. However, Kratom is a relatively new phenomenon in the United States, and there remains a lack of conclusive research or information to make any definitive claims – either positive or negative about the substance.

    What we do know is that Kratom can be potent and must be used solely by adults of legal age who are equipped to make health and wellness decisions for themselves. It is also wise to speak with a personal physician before trying Kratom, particularly if you experience any health concerns, such as high blood pressure or heart disease, or are currently taking any prescribed medications.

    As with many substances, the key to effectively using Kratom is doing so in moderation and an understanding of what to expect when you take it.


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