Kratom is a deciduous, evergreen tree coming from the coffee family, also known as ketum or kratumum and scientifically named as Mitragyna speciosa . It is found growing in Southeast Asia, especially in the Indochina and Malaysia floristic regions, Indonesia, Bornea and Thailand. Kratom leaves are dark green in colour, ovate-acuminate in shape, ie. Round and heart shape at the base and opposite in growth pattern. It has round yellow flowers which tend to grow in clusters at the end of the branches. Kratom leaves have almost 40 active ingredients in it. Though addictive in nature, it’s leaves are used for its several medical properties. Leaves when chewed acts as a mood enhancer. The most important closely related tryptamine alkaloid in kratom is 7-hydroxymitragynine which actually is responsible for the sedative and euphoric effect post-consumption.
The Top Benefits of Kratom Extracts
Kratom , just like other opiates works wonderfully well for pain management especially in the management of chronic pain. Certain tribes of Thailand have been chewing the leaves since ages and have been healing themselves for pain. In low doses it acts as a stimulant and acts as a sedative on high dosage. It is also used as a recreactional drug and in the treatment of diarrhoea. It is also known to increase sleep, heighten sociability, enhance sexual energies and promotes good health.
Legal Status of Kratom Extract
As per the Kratom Act, several countries have strict legal regulations. The Thailand Government has passed the Kratom Act 2468 and finds it illegal to possess kratom leaves or to plant kratom trees. Similarly, in Malayasia, kratom is locally known as, ‘ketum’ is prohibited under Section 30 (3) Poisons Act 1952 and the user may be penalized on possession or usage. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has termed kratom as a drug and chemical of concern.
Very interestingly, kratom doesn’t have many side effects apart from the fact that it is habit forming, and so addictive in nature. However, in certain cases, loss of appetite, darkening of skin colour of the face, or delayed ejaculation have been seen. On chronic use, it might lead to chronic bowel obstruction.
In the native regions, kratom is consumed raw, ie. Fresh leaves are chewed, each leaf weighing approximately 2gm. People consume 10-60 leaves a day. Males consume higher than the females. Following are the dosage pattern of premium quality kratom, if taken orally.
- Threshold – 2- 4 gms
- Mild – 3 – 5 gms
- Moderate – 4- 10 gms
- Strong – 8 – 15 gms
- Very Strong – 12 – 25 gms
Kratom acts as as a μ-opioid receptor agonist, like opiates for eg. morphine, though there is a difference in its effects as compared to other opiates. Kratom used in low to moderate dosage acts as a stimulant and a potent sedative on high dosage. The alkaloids in kratom have both stimulant and sedative properties. The alkaloids act as opiate receptor agonists thus works similar to other opiates like morphine does.