Since kratom has become so popular in the US among individuals looking to relieve pain, anxiety, opiate withdrawal symptoms and other conditions, many people are looking for information about this herb and its safety. There are still many who think that kratom is a substance of concern, due to the misinformation that the FDA and some news portals are spreading about the plant. But, since kratom is relatively new in Western countries, there is still not much research on the herb. However, we have been able to find some kratom scientific studies which show the potential of the plant. Keep reading to learn more.
A Kratom Overview
Kratom, or Mitragyna speciosa, is a tree that grows mainly in the South Pacific areas. People from those regions have used the plant for different purposes, i.e.: to combat pain and fatigue and as a natural energizer. However, the plant is still relatively unknown in Western countries.
In the US, most kratom consumers use the plant to alleviate the following conditions:
- Chronic pain
- Anxiety and stress
- To combat opiate withdrawal symptoms
However, despite the efforts of many kratom advocates, the FDA and some news sites are constantly spreading misinformation about the herb.
Today, the plant remains legal in most US states. And the American Kratom Association is meeting with legislators, scientists and other authorities to try to pass a bill which purpose is to protect consumers from adulterated kratom products, whilst allowing them to have access to kratom.
But, due to the lack of research, keeping kratom legal is not an easy task. However, some early studies show promising results.
Scientific Studies on Kratom’s Effects
Although there is still a lack of research on kratom, some studies have already shown its potential to treat conditions such as pain, anxiety relief and as a substitute to opiates. Moreover, the American Kratom Association conducted an independent 8-Factor Analysis which proved that kratom has pain relieving properties, without causing respiratory depression. This study from 2016 confirms this argument. Additionally, another study from the same year got to the same conclusion.
Kratom Withdrawal Symptoms Studies
One of the arguments used against kratom is that it produces withdrawal symptoms similar to those of dangerous opiates. But is this true? There are some studies about this matter which show that kratom withdrawal symptoms are not nearly as hard.
Pain and Sleep Problems
A study from 2017 evaluated two of the main kratom withdrawal symptoms: sleep problems and pain. According to the research, participants experienced moderate pain and sleep problems. However, contrary to opiate withdrawal effects, the severity of these effects was milder, and they weren’t prolonged in time. Additionally, these effects were linked to the amount of daily kratom consumption. According to the research, people who took 4 or more kratom teacups per day have higher odds to suffer from these symptoms than those whose daily intake where 1-3 cups.
Anxiety and Stress
Research on the anxiety and stress symptoms during kratom cessation shows that most people who participated suffered mild to moderate anxiety or depression. But there were no reports of high anxiety or depression. Additionally, like the above study, these symptoms were related to higher daily kratom consumption (more than 4 times per day).
So, to avoid or minimize undesirable withdrawal symptoms, it is wise to say that you should stick to the lower kratom dose possible to achieve the desired effects.
Psychological Kratom Scientific Studies
Finally, other studies show that kratom is a fairly safe herb regarding its psychological effects on people.
This study from 2015 proved that, contrary to opioids, kratom doesn’t impair social functioning of consumers. On the other hand, another study reflects that the performance of kratom users was comparable to that of the control group.
Additionally, another research shows that kratom’s potential as a harm reduction tool as a substitute for opioids among addicted people. According to this study, kratom’s withdrawal symptoms are much milder than those of opioids.
It is obvious that more studies and research on kratom is needed. However, it is safe to say that the herb has incredible potential. And its ban could very negatively affect both research and consumers who depend on it to conduct a normal life.
However, to compensate for the lack of research, kratom advocates are voicing their opinion and experience on this matter. And to us, there is no better way to explain the benefits of kratom than letting people know how kratom has improved people live with these kratom real stories.