||Mitragynine / 7-hydroxymitragynine
What is Kratom?
Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a tropical deciduous tree, belonging to the Rubiaceae coffee trees family. Its leaves contain alkaloids which act as the μ-opioid receptors agonists and are used to treat pain and enhance mood. There are two types of kratom, based on the color of its leaf veins (red or green/white). The variety with green veins is supposed to be more potent.
In Thailand, people traditionally chew fresh kratom leaves after removing the central vein. To avoid constipation, salt is added to the leaves. Dried leaves can be chewed as well, however as long as they are quite coarse, people prefer to powder them. The leaves are collected, dried in the sun, and then powdered. The serving is taken with a glass of cold water or brewed with hot water and taken as an infusion. Fresh or dried leaves can be boiled down to a paste-like extract which can be preserved for further use. Small balls made of this paste can be rolled in flour and then smoked from a special smoking pipe, swallowed or dissolved in hot water and taken as an infusion. Some people like to combine kratom infusion with black tea or other herbal teas. Sugar or honey can be added to make those infusions sweeter.
How is Kratom used?
Kratom is a unique plant: medium or low doses will most likely (however not necessarily so) have stimulating action, while high doses are likely to have sedative action. In each individual case, the effects may vary.
Kratom has a toning effect: The mind becomes more focused, the level of physical (and sometimes sexual) energy goes up, and the ability to perform hard monotonous work may rise; the person is normally more sociable and friendly.
Kratom has a sedative effect as well: It results in lower sensitivity to physical and emotional pain, peace of mind, and dreaminess. At the same time, it may cause itchiness, increased sweating, and contracted pupils. You may feel nauseated, but it subsides if you lie down.
Low doses (1.5-2 grams) of kratom have stimulating action, slightly changing perception and causing elation. These effects are more intense at the dose of 4 grams. With the dose of 6-6.5 grams, the medical properties of kratom develop, one of them being its effective pain relieving action. The dose of 9 grams triggers such effects as changes in vision, brighter colors, elation, and the feeling of unity with nature. The plant prompts body and mind to work and study, gives you a sense of general well-being.
Even though some people (mostly, in Thailand) developed tolerance to kratom, the plant in general does not cause addiction, when it is used wisely: the tolerance to kratom may only develop when it is used in doses which are high enough to cause the μ-opioid receptors crossover.
There's data that kratom's side effects may comprise:
- Dry mouth
- Excessive urination
- Loss of appetite
Long term use may lead to:
- Weight loss
- Darkening of the skin, especially on the cheeks
Withdrawal syndrome symptoms include:
- Inability to work
- Pain in muscles and bones
Kratom should not be combined with stimulators (such as yohimbine or caffeine in high doses) due to the risks of excessive stimulating action and blood pressure increase. Kratom should not be combined with depressants (such as alcohol in high doses, benzodiazepine, and opioid painkillers) due to the risks of breathing difficulties. Kratom should not be combined with Syrian rue (Peganum harmala), ayahuasca (Banisteriopsis caapi) or other monoaminooxidase inhibitors: the combination of kratom which contains monoamine alkaloids with monoaminooxidase inhibitors has not been studied yet and may be fatal.
Kratom can be taken along with black tea, poppy flowers (Papaver rhoeas) infusion, and blue lotus (Nymphaea caerulea) infusion. It can also be used along with small amounts of alcohol. Some people state that kratom goes well with tobacco, however smoking and taking kratom at the same time is not safe as there is risk of falling asleep.
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