Nature has many beautiful products that serve many purposes. Before the invention of modern medicines or supplements, ancient men survived and treated diseases using these natural products. Today, many drugs and supplements given are by-products of these natural plants, and many still refer to using the raw versions due to their many benefits.
Kratom, a tree whose leaves have various benefits, has been used by many before technology came. However, the term “Kratom use Tolerance” has become popular among people, and Kratom use Tolerance is an addiction to the use of this wild-growing plant.
Perhaps, you have never heard about this plant, here is a definition for you.
- 1 Understanding What Kratom Is
- 2 Forms of Kratom
- 3 Raw Powder
- 4 Uses and Benefits of Kratom
- 5 Cons of Kratom
- 6 Types of Kratom Strains
- 7 What is Stagnant Strain Syndrome?
- 8 Kratom Tolerance
- 9 What are the Signs of Kratom Use Tolerance?
- 10 How to Prevent Kratom Use Tolerance
- 11 Legality of Kratom
- 12 Can Kratom Be Detected in a Drug Test?
- 13 Kratom Dosage Tips
- 14 Conclusion
Understanding What Kratom Is
Kratom, also called (Mytragyna Speciosa) is a 4-16 meter high tree whose leaves serve as a medicinal or recreational drug. The leaves are either chewed, induced in tea, or dried to form powders or supplements to boost physical strength or elevate mood (euphoric). The coffee tree is mostly found in South-East Asian countries like Indonesia, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, and Malaysia.
Kratom has other common names like Herbal Speedball, Biak-Biak, Ithang, Thom, Ketum, etc. It is used during socio-religious ceremonies to treat various medical conditions like Morphine Dependence in Thailand and as an Opium substitute in Malaya.
The name, Mitragyna, was given by a Dutch Botanist, Willem Korthals because the leaves and stigma resembled the shape of a bishop's miter. After being imported into Western countries, it gained the name Novel Psychoactive Substance (NPS).
Forms of Kratom
You can brew Kratom into tea, capsules, powder, or extracts.
Capsules: this is the most convenient form of Kratom to use. Kratom has a very bitter taste, which can make it detestable; however, with a tablet, you do not feel any of this.
It also helps you maintain your accurate dosage and reduces the possibility of an overdose. It is readily available in the market, but you need to pay attention to the seller and the contents thoroughly.
This was the method used in ancient times; the leaves are dried and crushed to form a powdery substance. While using the raw powder, the Toss and Wash method are the best, and this is done by swirling water in the mouth after the powder before swallowing.
You can add the powder to yogurt, protein shake, and Kratom tea. You need to be careful while using this because it is difficult to ascertain the right dosage, and it can also lead to waste.
Extracts: Kratom is boiled in water, added to Citrus liquid or alcohol. This method is not advised to be used at all.
Uses and Benefits of Kratom
Kratom leaves have many benefits in the body, and it was used for medicinal purposes and sickness about 2000 years ago. It can improve sexual energy, increase physical strength, ease anxiety, depression, and body pains. Here are the explained uses of Kratom:
It serves as Energy Booster: People, who may often feel fatigued or tired after a busy day, can make use of Kratom to make them feel relaxed and prepared for the next day. It increases the circulation of oxygenated blood to all parts of the body and eliminates all feelings of depression and anxiety from the body.
Diabetes: Diabetes has become a common disease in many people today. Until currently, there is no cure for the disease, and it is caused when the sugar level in the blood is extremely too high when compared to the insulin. Many diabetic patients, however, use other herbal and natural ways to reduce the activeness of the disease in the body. One of the natural remedies that can be used is Kratom leaves or powder because it controls glucose in the body and helps maintain insulin level.
Boosts Immunity: You notice that doctors give newborn babies injection doses to help build a healthy immunity level that can withstand any virus or bacteria invading the body. It also helps build a robust cardiovascular system. Using Kratom leaves or powder can help boost immunity levels.
Improves and Maintains Heart Health: The heart is one of the essential organs in the body, and once it stops beating (working), the person becomes dead. Based on this importance, there is a need for individuals to keep the heart healthy and stop eating harmful foods. Kratom can remove all forms of bad cholesterol from the body and has components that prevent the cardiovascular system from heart attack and strokes.
Natural Painkiller: Kratom has alkaloids that help alleviate pain in the body because of the analgesic components in it. The leaves work with the opiate receptors, which sends neurotic messages to the brain to release enzymes like Dynophins, Endorphins, and Encephalin to suppress pains like rheumatoid arthritis, backache, joint pains and many more.
Although, International Journal of Drug Policy states that:
"The situation is analogous with respect to the management of pain, where Kratom has not been approved as an analgesic medicine, but the relief of pain is among the commonly reported uses."
"Nonetheless, the results of observational studies of Kratom users in the United States converge with the case descriptions use in South-East Asia to suggest that Kratom does have utility as a substitute for potentially more dangerous classical opioids in treating pain and should be studied in well-controlled clinical trials for such indications."
Opiate Withdrawal: Today, many people, especially youths, are addicted to the use of hard drugs and find it difficult to withdraw from it. Kratom contains some unique alkaloids that help lessen withdrawal pain and reduce cravings.
Therefore, Kratom powder is in high demand in substantial quantities in several countries, especially the United States of America and Canada due to this peculiar benefit.
Mitragynine and hydroxy mitragynine are the main alkaloids that are very useful in this area, and also serves as a home remedy to withdraw from hydrocodone, oxycodone, OxyContin, and suboxone.
In a paper published on May 16, 2019, International Journal of Drug Policy, Anecdotal Reports suggests that it is sufficient for reducing Opioid dependence, but “Kratom has not been evaluated in the types of multicenter controlled clinical trials that are required by regulatory authorities, such as the US FDA, to conclude that the drug is safe and effective for the treatment of an opioid disorder or other indications.”
However, a study of some Malaysian men in 2009 showed that regular use of Kratom helped reduce withdrawal symptoms and also the use of other drugs.
Cons of Kratom
Although Kratom is a highly medicinal plant and powder, it has highly dangerous effects in the body, which can lead to long-term problems. Moreover, it is sometimes regarded as a stimulant that serves purposes for other hard drugs.
Also, some people have several reactions whenever they use Kratom. Some of these reactions are puking headaches, stomach upset, and slight sedation. However, many of these reactions are temporary. The side effects of Kratom is not limited to these reactions; here are others:
Kratom is an unregulated commodity. Thus, it is easy for users to purchase fake ones (powder and supplements).
It is challenging to use Kratom with other drugs. It has been reported that most Kratom deaths have been associated with Kratom taken in conjunction with hardcore drugs. Some Kratom chemicals interact with how the liver metabolizes other drugs, thereby leading to liver damage and seizures.
Mental Disorders: Using Kratom for mentally challenged people can increase their problems and also lead to patient suicide.
Information and research about Kratom, its uses, benefits, side effects, and dosage are limited. For a beginner, it might be difficult getting the right information needed and this can lead to abusing the drug.
Although many specialists and researchers are now delving into this area, for example, the University of Florida received a 3.5 million grant from the National Drug Agency (NDA) to research Kratom.
Also, Lance McMahon, Ph.D., pharmacodynamics at the University of Florida’s College of Pharmacy, told Inverse that his lab research could lead to human trials within five years.
Furthermore, just like other drugs, Kratom sellers sometimes mix other substances with it, to give a more euphoric feeling by increasing the energy capacity. One type of this mixture is called Krypton; it contains Kratom and other substances found in hard drugs like tramadol. Using this can lead to respiratory failure, and eventually, death in the worst cases.
Types of Kratom Strains
There are different types of Kratom strains. While the origin of Kratom remains the South-East Asian country, many local farmers have duplicated the growing and harvesting of Kratom in several other countries. Also, these types of Kratoms can be mixed to provide various soothing effects. Mainly, there are three types of Kratom Strains — White Kratom, Red Kratom, and Green Kratom. Others include Thai, Borneo, and Indo.
White Vein Kratom: This strain has a unique taste from others. Although, its high concentration may be detestable for newbies, however, it is more appreciated and used by experienced users that have tried other strains.
The veins are whitish. Perhaps this is the reason why it is called White Kratom.
The leaves are harvested when they are young and dried inside, where there is no ray of artificial or natural light.
White Kratom is highly potent of all strains — asides Maeng Da — and should not be used by beginners in Kratom use.
Red Vein Kratom: Many Kratom users prefer this strain because it gives sedative feeling and pain relief. It is the mildest of all strains and not classified as a stimulant.
After harvesting, the leaves are processed using a high amount of sunlight or UV lamp.
The leaves can be fermented to form a new strain called Bentuangie Kratom. Effects: Slight Sedation.
Green Vein Kratom: This is between White and Red Kratom, and it has similar effects to White Kratom.
Leaves are left to mature before harvesting. Afterward, they are dried indoors in an air-conditioned room for some time before being transferred outside.
It boosts energy and strength to focus on tasks with increased endurance.
Some other types of Strains are:
1. Maeng Da Kratom: This species was ordinally grown in Thailand before it spread everywhere. It combines the effects of both White and Red Kratom and has a high concentration, which boosts energy level.
2. Bentuangie Kratom: A radiant product from fermented Red Kratom, and it is best known for its pain-relieving abilities.
What is Stagnant Strain Syndrome?
This is a defect in the body system caused when a Kratom user limits his dose to a single strain. The Kratom Strains have different uses and effects on the body. Only focusing on only one strain can lead to the body developing immunity for it without performing the function needed.
Therefore, to reduce Stagnant Strain Syndrome, you should mix up different strains to reduce the potency of the product in the body. For example, in a week, you can take up to three different strains in little doses, after considering how your body reacts to each of them. This will help you avoid Kratom use Tolerance.
Many people have a daily routine that has become a lifestyle and cannot be missed — for example, taking a cup of coffee every day, etc. When you start taking coffee, there is this activeness you feel, but as time goes on, it doesn’t have the same energizing effect on the body. You have not built a tolerance to coffee.
Kratom use tolerance can be defined as a state of increasing the dosage of kratom to achieve feelings enjoyed from a smaller dosage. Tolerance is not limited to Kratom alone. There are stages to the development of Tolerance of Kratom.
Stage 1 - Honeymoon or Zero Tolerance: This is the beginning of the journey. A new beginner is in the euphoric stage and is now just starting to get used to the product. It is a stage where the kratom begins to perform its work by erecting reactions inside the body. It can also be called “the newbie, hug.”
Stage 2 - Happy Phase or Proper Kratom Lifestyle: At this stage, the work of the Kratom is felt, and the user enjoys the feeling. For an opioid user, he will enjoy a more tolerable withdrawal process. The user may feel more comfortable using Kratom compared to the former hardcore drugs.
Stage 3 - It doesn’t work anymore: After the Kratom user might have passed through the first two stages, he no longer feels the pleasurable effects of the product. There is a need for more or an increased dosage to feel the work inside the body, and then the user may feel that Kratom is not as effective as before.
This is because the body has become used to the product and has excessive alkaloids stored inside the tissues, which interact with opiate receptors to reduce the effectiveness. More so, users may result in buying and mixing other hard substances to get the feeling again. This is called the Kratom use Tolerance stage, and it is extremely dangerous to the body.
Therefore, the presence excess of Mitragynine and 7-hydroxy mitragynine alkaloids responsible for pain relief causes Kratom use Tolerance.
What are the Signs of Kratom Use Tolerance?
As a Kratom user, you should notice your body reaction and these signs each time the product is used.
1. You’ll notice reduced effects when using your usual dosage. This sign occurs at every stage, even Happy Phase, because of changes in diet or environment. However, if the feeling continues daily, you may want to seek medical attention.
2. Whenever you notice a need to take a higher dosage to achieve the same effect, your body is becoming tolerant of Kratom. Dosages can increase gradually from 2g - 3g - 4g etc. or drastically increase from 2g-7g.
Any time you notice these two signs, you are Kratom Tolerant.
How to Prevent Kratom Use Tolerance
Kratom use tolerance does not happen overnight; it develops gradually and can be challenging to handle the withdrawal process like other opioids. However, you can prevent Kratom Use Tolerance by following these steps:
Take the Right Dose: Follow a prescription from a doctor or take advice from a ‘responsible’ Kratom user. This is still the best way to prevent Kratom Use Tolerance as well as maximizing the use. As a beginner, you can start by taking 2-3g per day, depending on how strong the Kratom is for your prescription.
Afterward, check your body for any reactions or side effects. You can slightly increase the quantity if it doesn’t perform well.
Record your Intake: Many have Kratom Use Tolerance because of assumption. When using Kratom, measure the quantity used either in grams or by any other means. If you fail to do this, you might end up taking Kratom any time or day without proper records.
For easy tracking, make use of journals or online applications that help you keep records so you won't take more than what your body can handle.
Take Kratom Potentiators: To avoid Kratom Use Tolerance, you can make use of supplements that reduce the effect in the body without hindering its performance. For example, Magnesium is a very supplement that serves this purpose.
Avoid using only Kratom Extracts: Using Kratom extracts alone can make you tolerant of Kratom powder. Moreover, there is a difficulty in measuring and attaining a certain quantity with Kratom Extracts.
Exercise frequently: Taking a long walk for sunlight and fresh air helps you produce more Serotonin and prevents Kratom Dependence.
Avoid taking Kratom drugs at bedtime: The drugs at this moment do not perform any function in the body, and it stores up excesses easily.
Lastly, space out the days to use Kratom. The alkaloids in Kratom take a long period before being expelled from the body. When you use Kratom daily, the alkaloids store up and become excessive, thereby leading to Kratom Use Tolerance. However, when you space out the dosages, the body has the opportunity to breathe and work processing and alleviating the alkaloids before you take more Kratom.
Without commitment and discipline, these preventive measures can be challenging to follow. However, Kratom Use tolerance can lead to severe problems in the future. It can cause:
Liver Damage: This can happen after two to eight weeks of constant use. The liver is very essential to living; damaging your liver can lead to infirmity and death.
Opioid Relapse: For a person trying to withdraw from opioids, Kratom Use Tolerance can lead to a relapse and, in extreme cases, death.
Peradventure, as a user, you have developed Kratom Use Tolerance as a result of negligence and other factors, and it’s difficult to withdraw, consider these options:
1. Rotate the strains of Kratom used.
2. Take a complete break from using Kratom for a while to reduce the tolerance level in the body. Also, notice the body’s withdrawal symptoms. When all side effects have been decreased, you’re safe to reuse Kratom.
3. Visit a rehabilitation or residential treatment facility for assistance. They have specialists and counselors that help patients that struggle with substance use disorder.
4. Remember, you also have to be committed to making this process work.
Legality of Kratom
Many states implemented and banned the use, sale, purchase of Kratom based on the side effects. However, some states have legalized and approved their use, while others are indifferent or alien to the drug.
In Asia, Israel, Japan, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, and Vietnam have banned the use of Kratom. For Thailand, Kratom has been declared illegal alongside Marijuana since 1943, and it is classified as Category 5 Substance. However, changes in drug policies may occur in the future.
Australia and New Zealand, the commonwealth nations, have banned the use of the drug totally; it can’t be prescribed by a local doctor or imported.
The use of Kratom is legal in all North American and Central Latin American countries.
Some European countries have also banned the drug; however, Kratom can be used based on legislation exceptions in Italy, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. The laws for Kratom usage in Africa are in a state of influx.
Health-based agencies are testing the usefulness of Kratom. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is an agency with the United States Department of Health and Human Services that protect the public health by accessing the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological substances for human and medical use, has stated that a new drug for opioid withdrawal will be prescribed to substitute Kratom use because the effects are untested.
The Drug Enforcement Administration also decided to classify Kratom and its derived drugs as Schedule 1 controlled substances. Before this, it was a legal herbal drug under the United States Food and Drug Administration. However, the increased use showed that the drug had been used mostly for opioid withdrawal and pain relief.
This made the DEA announce plans to move the drug to Schedule 1 substance with drugs like Heroin and LSD. The citizens revolted and demonstrated against this, stating how beneficial the medication is for various ailments. The plan was then placed on hold after a petition with over 142,000 signatures was submitted to the agency.
PBS Newshour, in a video, explained the reasons why Kratom may still be banned. People explained the use of Kratom for withdrawal as substituting, one hard drug for another. The DEA and FDA are yet to get a definite conclusion regarding its intensive research. Thus, Kratom is still considered harmful and dangerous.
However, for people struggling with opioid withdrawal, medical professionals suggest other substances like Suboxone and Methadone.
Can Kratom Be Detected in a Drug Test?
Because of the unregulated nature of Kratom, there is a limited amount of tests conducted to catch users. Kratom does not appear in many drug tests like SAMHSA-5, but it can be detected during urine or blood tests.
For the urine tests, lab personnel can detect Kratom particles one week after drug usage. Preferably, employers and health professionals like this method for easy detection.
The blood tests are more invasive. They will break down exact usage, the amounts, and quantities will further break down the result and show more details like how much was taken and the percentage of concentration used.
Hair Follicle Test
Lab associates can detect drug usage with hair strands. Since hair follicles are tested for the detection of other hard substances like heroin and fentanyl, it can also be used for Kratom. However, medical research from hair follicles is minimal.
Since Kratom is an unregulated drug, there is limited information on the right dosage for individual users.
How Do You Take a Dose of Kratom?
There isn’t a general rule for every person. Everybody is different. However, scientists have recommended that, after taking 2-3kg of Kratom, rest for 20-25 minutes, and study the body’s reaction. If you do not feel anything, increase the dosage by 0.5 to 1g and monitor the body’s response again.
You also need to note that Kratom functions as a stimulant in low doses and as a sedative in high doses. The excess doses will lead to increased sedation with euphoric feelings.
Kratom Dosage Tips
Here are some tips on Kratom Dosage:
For energy and focus, mix 3-6g of Kratom in grapefruit every day for better results.
For pain and anxiety, beginners are to start from low doses, but a dose of 7-9g will work depending on the body’s reaction.
For Opiate Withdrawal, start with 7-9g for the first three days, the reduction of the dosage to 3-5g on the next day, then use 2g on subsequent days.
Kratom is best used on an empty stomach.
For detoxification, follow the instructions of your health professional.
Kratom is hugely beneficial and useful for so many reasons. Nevertheless, you could develop Kratom Use Tolerance without proper monitoring. As an individual struggling to find a solution to common health problems, make sure you follow instructions and seek advice from Specialists before embarking on this new journey.