How Does Kratom Work its Magic?

What does kratom do? how does it work? In what way does kratom affect the brain? If you want to understand the science of kratom, you should have a basic understanding of chemistry and biology. Since most of us have neither the time nor the motivation to study topics outside of our expertise, we try to take complex data and translate it into layman’s terms so that you could skip the science lectures and still have a basic understanding.

Meet Kratom and its Family

Many are surprised to discover that kratom is a distant cousin of Coffee. Both stimulating substances are part of the Rubiaceae family of flowering plants which is brimming with pharmacologically useful substances.

Kratom’s extended family is quite large with the Rubiaceae clan being made up of more than 13,000 species! The kratom plant can be found growing along the riverbanks or in the lush jungles of Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea. Southeast Asian farmers have supposedly been using the leaf since the 19th century to cushion the pain caused by their hard labor so that they can continue to work.

They would chew the leaves to increase energy & to help with musculoskeletal pain. On top of this, these very leaves and their extracts have been used by some as local anesthetics, cough treatments and as intestinal deworming agents.

What is Kratom Made Up Of?

When we examine kratom closely we find that its main active alkaloids are mitragynine which makes up around 60% of the total alkaloid content and 7-hydroxymitragynine which accounts for no more than 2% of the total alkaloid content. There is evidence to show that both alkaloids can have muscle relaxant, analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.

While its two main active ingredients are known, kratom has many, many, other ingredients that haven’t been sufficiently researched yet. These other ingredients include a range of additional alkaloids, terpenes, flavonoids and polyphenols.

Here’s a closer look at the ingredients that make up kratom’s genetics:

  • Alkaloids: Made up of mostly basic nitrogen atoms, alkaloids are natural chemical compounds that are made by organisms like plants, fungi and animals. These compounds have significant physiological effects on humans and animals alike. Morphine, nicotine and ephedrine are all examples of alkaloids.
  • Terpenes: Terpenes are organic compounds found in plants but also animals like butterflies and termites. In this context, terpenes are what gives kratom its herby, tea-like, earthy fresh scent.
  • Flavonoids: Found in almost ALL fruits and vegetables, flavonoids are phytonutrients. That means they’re responsible for providing kratom with its green, red or orange coloration.
  • Polyphenols: Polyphenols are tiny micronutrients that are powerful antioxidants. They’re found in an assortment of foods including berries, nuts, cloves, soy and beans. These organic compounds are reducing agents that neutralize free-radicals in the body, which may have numerous prophylactic health benefits.

How Kratom Works

Kratom works much in the same way as certain drugs in that its main active ingredients interact with and bond to the brain’s opioid receptors which creates a reaction.

how kratom works

What does Kratom do?

When consumed, kratom interacts with different neurotransmission systems found within the brain including serotonin, dopamine D2 and adenosine. Neurotransmitters are also referred to as chemical messengers because that’s exactly what they do—send information to and from your nerve cells.

What does Kratom do to you?

In short: kratom bonds to certain receptors of the brain. This bonding can result in decreased pain, increased pleasure and often a sense of sedation.

What are the side effects of Kratom?

As is the case with all substances, those who use kratom at high doses may be on the receiving end of brief adverse effects including nausea, dizziness, dysphoria, and sweating. In some cases, itchiness, dry mouth, constipation, and loss of appetite has also been recorded.

And again, as with most substances, frequent usage results in increased tolerance which means that if you use kratom every day for a long period of time you may not feel its effects anymore, prompting you to increase your dosage.

Final Thoughts

And so, the pharmacological puzzle of kratom has been made a little easier to understand and digest. However, it is incredibly important to understand that research and studies into the natural wonder that is kratom is ongoing & that there is still much to learn about this powerful plant, its numerous benefits and risks associated with it.  

This article was written strictly for informative purposes only. Please consult a doctor before use.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. Mitragyna Speciosa products offered by Mountkratom are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Consult your healthcare professional prior to use if you have or suspect a medical condition. If you are under medical supervision, are using anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medications, diabetes medications, narcotics, blood pressure medication, sedatives, tranquilizers or asthma medication, seek the advice of your healthcare professional prior to use. Do not use if you are pregnant, lactating or under the age of 18 years. Do not take when operating machinery or driving. Keep out of reach of children. These products contain botanicals that have not been classified and approved by The U. S. Food and Drug Administration as a dietary ingredient.

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