Kratom: What is it?

Kratom: What is it?

Kratom might not be the first name you think of when you think of dietary supplements or of opioids, but it is known as being both. The Kratom plant is native to Southeast Asia and is part of the coffee family. This supplement is found in Canada and since it is an ethically produced product, many people are interested in using it. However, the plant has some shocking properties for people who are not ready for them.

This plant is actually illegal in some countries, because it has psychoactive properties. The plant is illegal in Thailand and has been for over 70 years. But, since the plant can help people stop using other drugs, the government is reviewing their policies with it. Some find that using kratom helps people stop using heroin, methamphetamines, and other strong drugs. Kratom is legal to buy and use in Canada and it is legal to use in the United States. However, the US officials can seize kratom if it is used as anything other than a dietary supplement.

Kratom has some serious side effects. They include physical problems like severe and prolonged vomiting and nausea, along with respiratory depression, lethargy, constipation, tremors, sweating, and itching. Psychological effects can range from edginess and nervousness to delusions, hallucinations, and paranoia. Psychotic episodes as well as aggressive and combative behavior are common experiences, too.

There are addiction effects and withdrawal effects with kratom, too. Those who are addicted often experience constant cravings for the drug, loss of weight and sexual desire, as well as facial skin darkening. The withdrawal effects include physical problems like diarrhea, muscle tremors and pain, restlessness, and sleeplessness. The psychological effects include depressions, crying, panic, irritability, and sudden mood swings.

Kratom plant leaves are used in the supplement. They can be used to make tea and they can be chewed. Some people will grind the leaves down so they can smoke them and some people inject kratom. In Eastern countries, kratom leaves are chewed in small doses to increase productivity since they act as a stimulant. Users compare the effects of kratom to drinking strong coffee throughout the day.

The trouble with kratom comes when it is ingested in higher doses. The plant has an opiate effect on the brain because the chemicals in the leaves will bond to opioid receptors in the brain. Due to this, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration has been watching this plant. They consider it a “drug of concern” because they worry that people will become addicted to it. Some researchers have found that those who use it regular can develop a tolerance so they will need more kratom to get the same effects, just like other opioids.

In the United States, the National Institute of Health has commissioned some studies on kratom and addiction. Those who have been researching the drug have found that it behaves like other opioids. Because of this, it does slow the problems that come from opium withdrawal. Kratom binds to serotonin receptors, so it helps with treating depression, opioid pain, and sleepiness.

There are several communities that do not think kratom should be regulated or banned by government agencies. Those groups claim that the drug is safe and people have been using it for hundreds of years. Some groups have found that kratom helps people with fibromyalgia and other painful conditions tolerate their pain.

Kratom continues to be legal in Canada and the United States. There are some individual states in the US that have banned the plant. If you are thinking about taking kratom, it is important to be aware where you are getting the plant. People have been found lacing the leaves with opioids like oxycodone to increase the effects.

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