What are the pros and cons of kratom? Kratom is a natural product that has helped millions of people. Kratom can help combat pain, relieve anxiety or alleviate the symptoms of depression. But this substance also has some negative points. In this article, we will deal with kratom pros and cons.
Mitragyna Speciosa: Some Basic Information
Kratom is actually a tree, Mitragyna speciosa, native to Southeastern Asia. M. speciosa is an evergreen tree in the same family as coffee that grows naturally in the humid jungles of Indonesia, Malaysia, or Thailand. The name Mitragyna speciosa was first given to this tree back in 1839, although it has always been known as kratom. Other popular names of kratom are ketum, thom or thang.
For many generations, the indigenous population of Thailand or Indonesia used the fresh leaves of kratom to fight pain or increase their energy levels. Kratom allowed them to cope better with the difficult working conditions they had to endure. But kratom also became popular as a natural remedy to cope with opium cravings.
Kratom has now become popular in America and the Western World. Of course, bringing and storing fresh leaves of a tree would be a difficult task. Hence, the leaves are first dried and then ground into a fine powder before traveling abroad.
Millions of people in the Western world have found in kratom a remedy for many health issues, such as chronic pain, anxiety, depression, fatigue or insomnia.
Kratom Pros and Cons
Kratom is a safe product when used properly. It can help relieve many conditions, and the number of kratom users grows every day. However, kratom also has its cons; it has side effects and is also banned in some places, let alone the controversy that surrounds it. But what are kratom pros and cons?
The pros of kratom come from its effects. Kratom has plenty of effects, including:
At low doses, kratom effects are more energizing. On the other hand, they are more relaxing at high doses.
Kratom effects come from its active compounds, especially from alkaloids mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. These alkaloids activate the opioid receptors in your body. When opioids or other substances, such as kratom or even dairy products like cheese, act on these receptors, they can produce a series of effects that range from analgesia to euphoria. Its action on these receptors is one of the reasons why kratom is often referred to as an opioid. However, unlike opioids kratom is not an addictive substance and does not cause the respiratory depression usually associated with opioids related deaths. But let us explore kratom pros more closely.
A vast majority of kratom users arguably take kratom to relieve pain, especially in cases of chronic pain. Despite being a natural product, kratom is an incredibly potent analgesic. In fact, many kratom users coping with fibromyalgia, arthritis, Lyme or other chronic conditions have gained their life back thanks to kratom analgesic properties. All kratom strains have analgesic effects. However, most users agree that red strains are usually the best when it comes to relieving pain.
Anxiolytic and Relaxing Effects
Mitragyna speciosa is also a great ally to fight the symptoms of anxiety. Kratom calms the mind, relieves stress, and promotes sleep. But kratom also improves sociability, which may help people with social anxiety.
Euphoric and Mood Boosting Effects
Users praise kratom for its euphoric effects. Kratom promotes happiness and a sense of well-being. Thanks to these properties, kratom also helps depression patients mitigate the symptoms of their condition. Usually, green and white strains are the best kratom types for euphoria.
Kratom for Lack of Energy and Fatigue
Kratom also has stimulating properties. By consuming low doses of kratom, you will get an energy boost that will even encourage you to perform tasks. Furthermore, unlike caffeine, kratom won’t make you jittery. If you want to use kratom for energy, white strains are usually the best choice.
Kratom for Opiate Withdrawal
Thousands of people fighting an opioid addiction have found that kratom helps them cope with the symptoms of withdrawal and cravings. Thanks to kratom, these people have recovered their lives, relationships, job. Even the NIDA has awarded the University of Florida several millions to study the potential use of kratom for treating opioids addiction.
Kratom also has its cons. Its use can cause unpleasant side effects, there is a lot of misinformation about kratom, and it will not heal your conditions. Below, you will find the main disadvantages of kratom.
Kratom Side Effects
Yes, kratom does have side effects. Some people think that a natural product, a herb, cannot have side effects, but the truth is that herbs and plants also have side effects. However, in the case of kratom, these side effects are often the result of an improper use. High doses and frequent use can produce these kratom side effects.
- Constipation: Most regular kratom users experience kratom induced constipation. To avoid it, eat many vegetables and fruits, take fiber supplements, and try using a mild laxative as soon as the symptoms begin.
- Dehydration: Kratom can also cause dehydration, which implies dry skin and dry eyes. To fight kratom dehydration, drink plenty of water, apply moisturizers on your skin, and use over-the-counter eye drops if necessary.
- Dizziness: High doses of kratom can cause dizziness. The best way to avoid kratom dizziness is by using lower dosages.
- Nausea: Kratom nausea can be due to high doses or to take kratom on an empty stomach. If you are prone to nausea, eat something before taking your kratom dosage. Also, combining kratom with ginger, chamomile or peppermint can also alleviate the symptoms.
- Eye Wobbles: Kratom can cause an involuntary twitch of your eye muscles. Eye wobbles are usually the result of very large doses of kratom. Moreover, the only thing you can do after eye wobbles start is to wait until they go away.
As you may notice, the best way of preventing these side effects is by avoiding high doses of kratom.
If you start increasing your kratom dosage and take kratom regularly, you will notice that the effects are less noticeable. Thus, you will need higher doses so your body notices kratom’s effects. Kratom tolerance occurs quite frequently, especially when you consume kratom every day and use large doses. What’s the best way to prevent kratom tolerance? Yes! Avoiding high dosages and not taking kratom every day.
Kratom Legal Status
Unfortunately, kratom is not legal everywhere. There are countries, states, and cities where kratom is not legal. These bans are usually the result of all the misinformation that surrounds kratom. But whether they are fair or not (and they’re not), kratom possession or consumption in a place where it is not legal could bring you some serious consequences. Also, most kratom vendors won’t ship their kratom products to places where kratom is banned.
Sometimes, the quality of kratom is not as good as it should. In spring 2018, an outbreak of salmonella brought kratom in the spotlight. Some kratom batches contained salmonella bacteria, and this even resulted in kratom vendors closing down their stores. This issue also put in evidence that there could be a problem with kratom’s quality.
In order to find high-quality kratom products, look for reliable, trusted vendors. Quite likely you may find vendors who offer the (allegedly) same products than other kratom vendors for a much lower price. Before buying anything from these vendors (or from any other vendor), make sure they are a reliable source. Look for reviews, check their website… Sometimes, very cheap kratom may be a scam.
Social Stigma and Bad Reputation
The controversy and the misinformation surrounding kratom has made that kratom has a bad reputation. Sadly, most media seem to be against kratom and won’t even investigate the rumors and false information about this natural product. If anything, they keep spreading it. This bad reputation is also putting a stigma on kratom, and many people identify kratom users with addicts or criminals and think kratom is a dangerous drug. If you want to protect kratom and become a kratom advocate, talk to your relatives and friends about its benefits, but also share your kratom story on blogs or even in local newspapers. You can even reach to journalists that are sharing misinformation about kratom to let them know how kratom has helped you. If you do so, remember to be always polite. Additionally, you can also share your own kratom story in this blog!
Kratom Won’t Heal You
No doubt kratom can help you improve your life drastically. It can relieve pain or reduce the symptoms of anxiety or depression. But kratom won’t heal you. Its effects are only temporary. The moment its effects go away, the symptoms will come back. And the disease or condition that is causing those symptoms will remain there. But this is how opiates, analgesics or antidepressants work. They won’t heal you; they’ll just relieve the symptoms for a while.
Is Kratom Good for Me?
After reading the pros and cons of kratom, you still may have a lot of questions about kratom and its safety. As we said before, kratom is safe, as long as you use it properly and cautiously. However, if you want to know if kratom is the right choice for you, you should consider whether kratom’s effects are what you are looking for. But you should also bear in mind kratom’s cons to use it safely and to find a good-quality kratom.