Is kratom bad for your heart? That is a common question that arises among kratom users and people who are considering using kratom for their conditions or ailments. Unfortunately, the answer is not a simple yes or no. As we will see in this article, it will depend on many factors.
What Is Kratom? Kratom and Its Effects
Kratom is a tree that grows naturally in Southeast Asia, in places like Indonesia, Thailand or Borneo. Its scientific name, mitragyna speciosa, refers to mitragynine, its most abundant alkaloid. It is thanks to mitragynine and other alkaloids, such as 7-OHM, that kratom has so many benefits and properties. These kratom alkaloids act blocking the mu and delta opioid receptors in our brain in the same way opioids do. Because of this process, kratom can be used for many conditions, ranging from anxiety to pain or lack of energy. And all that without the dangerous side effects of opioids, because kratom is not an opiate and in fact, one of its most popular uses is a remedy to mitigate the symptoms of opiate withdrawal.
Kratom and Heart Conditions
Is kratom bad for your heart? In general, kratom is not harmful to your heart. There is no evidence to suggest that kratom can damage your heart or your cardiovascular system. If you are a healthy individual and take kratom responsibly, it’s not considered dangerous for your heart or your cardiovascular system. Nevertheless, it’s wise to take certain precautions when taking kratom to guarantee that it won’t damage your heart.
If you are suffering from a heart condition or you are taking medication that can affect your heart, you must use kratom cautiously. Taking excessive dosages of kratom or mix it with substances (including medication) that can alter your heart rate, could be potentially harmful, as the effects of kratom could be dramatically increased. Also, the type of heart condition you are suffering and the specific medication you are using to treat it might impact on how kratom affects you.
Before you start consuming kratom, you must not forget that there are two kratom effects that can affect your heart rate: the energizing effect and the sedative effect. Because of this, you must be perfectly familiar with how kratom acts and the effects of its different strains, especially if you are suffering from a heart condition.
On the other hand, anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that kratom can raise your blood pressure, which is another point to consider prior to consuming kratom.
Kratom Energizing Effects and Their Impact on the Heart
Because of its stimulant effects, people with pre-existing heart conditions to wonder “Is kratom bad for your heart?”. And indeed, it is wise to have queries and be cautious before trying kratom.
In lower doses, kratom has energizing effects that most users describe as similar to the effects of drinking a cup a coffee (in fact, kratom tree is a member of the coffee family). But it is important to bear in mind that the effects of kratom also depend on the kratom strain, not only on the dosage: there are some kratom strains that are more stimulant, whereas others bring about more sedative effects.
The stimulant effects of kratom are more mental than physical. But despite that, individuals who are suffering from a heart condition and whose heart rate is affected by caffeine should take into consideration that kratom might also impact their heart rate, by increasing it. Not only that: the higher activity level provoked by the energizing effects of kratom could also increase the heart rate and impact the cardiovascular system.
While for most users the impact of kratom in their heart rate will be very mild, people with a pre-existing heart condition should avoid stimulating strains and be very cautious with the dosage.
Also, some users report that kratom raises their blood pressure, even when using relaxing strains. Therefore, if you have a high blood pressure, bear in mind that kratom could slightly raise it.
Kratom Sedative Effects and Their Impact on the Heart
Heart problems are usually identified with high heart rate. Nonetheless, the opposite can also happen, and there are cardiovascular problems related to a slow heart rate.
Kratom can also bring in sedative effects. In some cases, these effects can be very strong.
In higher doses, kratom has relaxing, even sedative effects. When you take a sedative, either kratom or any other substance, your muscles relax, but at the same time, your breathing and heart rate will slow. While this is not dangerous for most individuals, if you are suffering from arrhythmia or are prompted to experience bradycardia (a heart rate slower than normal), and consume a high dose of kratom, especially of a more sedative color strain like red kratom strain, your heart rate could fall substantially. Furthermore, a slower breathing rate could also be troublesome for some individuals, especially for those suffering from apnea or hypopnea.
If you are taking medications (like opioid sedatives) which already cause a slower heart or breathing rate, take in mind that kratom could increase these effects, so it might not be safe to mix them.
Kratom Vs. Opiates Effects on the Heart
Kratom sedative effects can also bring into mind opioids and their dangerous effects on heart and breathing rate. It is true that kratom has an impact on the opioid receptors in the brain. In that sense, kratom works as an opiate. This is the reason kratom works so effectively for many conditions.
However, kratom does not cause the dangerous side effects of opiates. One of the most common dangers of opiates is that they can drastically slow the heart or breathing rate. To such an extent, that it can be deadly potentially deadly. This is, in fact, a very common cause of death among opiate users. Their body “forgets” to breath or their heart rate falls so significantly that their heart just stops working. But even though kratom can slow your breathing or heart rate, it will do it in a less pronounced way. The lack of dangerous side effects is one of the main reasons people who use opiates switch to kratom.