How Does Kratom Work its Magic?
Here at MountKratom we strive to make sure that our customers and would-be customers are as educated as can be. In our humble opinion, the best customer is an educated one who knows what they are buying and why.
This article focuses on how kratom works its magic. What does kratom do, how does it work, in what way does kratom affect the brain and why has it piqued the interest of so many here in the west. To understand the science of kratom, one should have at least a basic understanding of chemistry and biology, however, since most of us have neither the time nor the motivation to study these topics we have attempted to take the complex data and turn it into bite-sized nuggets of information so that any person can read & understand what kratom does and how it works with ease.
This article is worded in a way that you can understand and void of the jargon that belongs firmly in the science classroom. Many of us love kratom and the effects it has on us—now let’s find out why.
Meet Kratom and its Family
Many are surprised to discover that Mitragyna Speciosa, or kratom, is a distant cousin of Coffea, or as most citizens of the world know it: the coffee plant. Both stimulating substances are part of the Rubiaceae family of flowering plants which is brimming with pharmacologically useful substances.
Kratom’s extended family is a big one 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 dried and powdered leaves of the Mitragyna Speciosa plant since the 19th century, at the very least, to cushion the pain caused by their hard labor so that they can continue to work.
In such places, the plant has been and continues to be chewed in its leaf form as a traditional medicine 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 like?
Now the Western world wants in. This is because kratom has shown many applications and benefits and the early adopters just could not keep it for themselves. Kratom, one plant, is thought to be effective as a pain reliever, a sedative and a euphoria elicitor depending on its dosage.
So, how is one plant able to be used for recreational, spiritual, and medicinal purposes? It all lies in its biological build-up and pharmacological complexity. Which brings us to our next point…
What is Kratom Made Up Of?
Kratom is able to do what it does thanks to what it’s made of. When we examine kratom closely we find that its main active ingredients are mitragynine which makes up around 60% of the total alkaloid content and 7-hydroxymitragynine which accounts for approximately 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 loaded with antioxidants. They’re found in an assortment of foods including berries, nuts, cloves, soy and beans. Polyphenols are reducing agents that may have numerous health benefits of their own.
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.
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.
How does Kratom affect the brain?
The effects of kratom can typically be felt within 10 to 30 minutes after taking it and these effects generally last between an hour or an hour & a half to up to six hours. Its effects are determined by the dosage and strain. For example, consuming a weaker white vein of kratom or consuming a small quantity of a stronger strain will have similar effects.
In Small Doses Using Kratom Can Result In:
- Brighter mood
- Increase in creativity
- Less anxiety
- Reduced pain
In Higher Doses Using Kratom Can Result In:
- Lowered sensation of pain
- Decreased anxiety
- Vivid dreams
What are the different colors of Kratom?
As mentioned previously, the vein you pick also has a large impact on the results one experiences. Red vein kratom is known for its sedative effects, relaxing properties, and tendency to lead towards opiate-like euphoria. White vein kratom acts more like a stimulant—expect increased energy levels and sharper focus & concentration. Green vein kratom is the middle ground between the two strains by providing a slight euphoria coupled with slight stimulation.
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.
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.