One of the most controversial topics in the world of “drug alternatives” comes from the leaves of the Mitragyna speciosa tree in Southeast Asia. The drug produced from the leaves of this tree is known today as Kratom.
Kratom has a long history of usage in cultures throughout Southeast Asia. Historically it had been used to help alleviate pain. It can be chewed or consumed in tablet form. It can be grounded into a fine powdery substance. Some individuals today purchase powdered extracts for consumption, while others prefer to incorporate the leaves into a homemade tea.
Because of Kratom’s long history as an apparent pain management remedy, researchers today have been studying the Mitragyna tree in order to make any medical applications. In fact, studies have moved towards the implementation of Kratom in withdrawal treatments.
Unfortunately, there have been some reports to the contrary as some who have used Kratom to manage opiate withdrawal have become addicted to Kratom. Considering Kratom’s historical significance in Southeast Asia, has Kratom been approved for any medical use today? According to Drugs of Abuse – a DEA Fact Sheet:
The FDA has not approved Kratom for any medical use. In addition, DEA has listed kratom as a Drug and Chemical of Concern.
Why? Perhaps this has to do with the opioid-like effects on the body. Though Kratom is not an opioid by definition, it works on the body in a similar fashion. Many have considered self-medicating with Kratom based products to assist in ailments such as muscle soreness or subsiding abdominal pain.
Does Kratom Block Pain?
Some claim that consuming either Kratom extracts, or leaves have in fact helped them overcome the pain associated with serious health conditions. Although more research is needed to determine whether the Mitragyna tree or its components are a proven method in blocking pain, many who have taken the substance stand by their decision to use it.
How do doctors feel about Kratom, however?comments on the question of whether people with cancer will benefit by taking Kratom. He states:
“One problem with kratom is that it is a mixture of many different compounds whose levels can vary from preparation to preparation, making it quite difficult to determine what dose should be used,” Dr. Pasternak says. “People with cancer receive more effective and reliable pain relief with established painkillers.”
Still, some who no longer have access to established painkillers have sought out Kratom products claiming that the effects are indisputable. Researchers have taken into consideration the effects that Kratom has on the human body. In fact, Kratom use has many significant effects on the body, however, not all of them are good.
What Does Kratom Do to the Body?
What kind of effects do Kratom and its components have on the body? If taken in small amounts, it has been known to boosts energy, alertness, and sociability. High doses cause sedation and euphoria with opium-like narcotic analgesic effects. As mentioned, Kratom consumption has many similarities to opioid consumption. How so?
There are 2 compounds found in kratom leaves that bind to the opioid receptors in the brain, (7-hydroxy mitragynine, and mitragynine). The compound mitragynine, in particular, is a stimulant and 7-hydroxy mitragynine is a sedative with analgesic effects.
What will happen if one consumes large amounts of kratom leaves? Individuals will experience sedation and sensations of pleasure. Prolonged usage will dull the perception of pain, with some unpleasant side effects.
Short-Term Kratom Effects
It’s difficult to determine the short-term effects of kratom. It certainly may vary from person to person. What determines the effects, or whether it will act as a sedative, stimulant or produce opiate-like effects depends heavily on the amount taken. Also, it’s important to consider the physical condition of the person that is taking it as well.
At the Stimulant Level (low dose: 1-5g),
The effects kick-in within 10 minutes and last from 1 to 1.5 hours. In which case:
- The mind is rendered more alert
- Mood is improved
- The person becomes more sociable, talkative and friendly
- Sexual appetite may increase along with the general physical energy boost.
At the Analgesic-euphoric-sedative Level (Moderate to High Doses: 5-15g),
Effects Last for Several Hours and Are Less Intense than Those Caused by Other Opioids:
- Becomes Less Affected by Physical or Emotional Pain
- Cough Suppression
- Feels an Overall Sensation of Comfort and Pleasure
- Flushed Look
- Increased Appreciation of Music
- Less Intense Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms
- Looks and Feels Calm
- Loss of Motor Control
- May Become Dreamy While Staying Awake
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Some Sweating or Skin Itching
- The Pupils May Become Slightly Constricted
The effects of Extremely High doses of more than 15g mimic the effects caused by high doses of opioids.
- Extreme sedation
As more research is still taking place, the Mitragyna plant, and it’s components have not been associated with any fatal overdose. Moreover, Kratom products are more readily available for purchase either in stores or online. However, commercialized products are sometimes laced with other dangerous compounds that have been proven fatal in some rare cases.
Long-Term Kratom Effects
Being an emerging drug in the United States, there is limited research material on the long-term effects of Kratom other than those obtained from users in Thailand. Still, it has determined that users may experience:
- Hyperpigmentation, or Darkening of Facial Skin
- Anorexia and Weight Loss
- No evidence yet has so far indicated that chronic use has caused permanent internal organ damage.
The fact that the FDA hasn’t approved Kratom for medical use hasn’t prevented individuals from self-medicating for pain and stress management. In fact, because of its accessibility and legality, sellers have been taking liberties with their promotion of Kratom related products. In fact, the FDA has been cracking down on companies that market Kratom as a dietary supplement or a treatment for conditions. In an FDA News Release featured on fda.gov, it states:
“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued warning letters to two marketers and distributors of kratom products…for illegally selling unapproved, misbranded kratom-containing drug products with unproven claims about their ability to treat or cure opioid addiction and withdrawal symptoms.
The companies also make claims about treating pain, as well as other medical conditions like depression, anxiety, and cancer. The companies receiving warning letters use websites and social media to illegally market kratom products, making unproven claims about the ability of the kratom drug products they distribute to cure, treat or prevent disease.
Though many people have claimed to experience relief from moderate to regular use of the drug – from either its extracts or other forms, there is still no medical application that claims it is a proven treatment for any known condition. For those who are considering the purchase of these based products, it is still recommended to scrutinize the label and spend some time researching before making the decision to use.
Is Kratom Illegal?
Some speculate that Kratom’s success has to do with its accessibility, however, there is something to be said about its legality as well. Is Kratom legal to purchase? Is it legal to sell? In short, it’s not completely illegal in all states. In fact, it is legal in all but six states.
At the time this article was written, there are currently six states in which kratom is labeled as a controlled substance. In these states, it would be illegal to grow, sell and posses. There are also a few cities and counties in legal states in which use and possession are banned.
Today you can purchase Kratom products from local smoke shops. Of course, one can easily purchase capsules or other extracts through online retailers as well.
Kratom Legality Map Taken From speciosa.org
How Long Does Kratom Stay in Your Body?
As mentioned, Mitragynine is the main active ingredient in Kratom. It is around 13 times more potent than morphine and is responsible for the opiate-like effects it has on the body. According to harmonystuart.com, “Kratom and its metabolites have a half-life of about 23 hours.” This means that after 23 hours, the body has eliminated about half of the substance that was initially taken.
They also go on to mention that it’s difficult to know the exact metabolization process of kratom, as most mitragynine studies have taken place with animals. However, research does tell us that kratom itself is not passed through the body, but it is broken down into metabolites during the metabolization process.
Does Kratom Show Up on a Drug Test?
Do Kratom Drug Tests exist? The short answer is: yes. Kratom is a relatively new emerging drug and is considered legal in many states. Because of this, there aren’t very many tests that are designed to detect it. However, because of the effects that this drug has on the body, there are a few Kratom drug tests that have been created to detect both use and overuse.
When considering the standard panel drug tests like the 12 Panel Urine Drug Test, many of the most statistically abused drugs are detected, like THC and Oxycodone for instance. However, Kratom is not usually one of them. There are a few Kratom Drug Tests that detect only Kratom use. These tests are easy to get if you know where to find them.
How To Use Kratom Test Strips
Urine Drug Testing Strips have proven to be a fast and reliable method of drug testing due to its convenience and accuracy. In this case, a Kratom Urine Test would be appropriate for those who are seeking a simple and easy method for kratom testing. The Kratom Test Strip from 12 Panel Now is no exception. For these Test strips, the process is very simple.
- Kratom Test Strip Procedure:
- Remove the Test Strip from its sealed pouch, or remove from the canister, and use it as soon as possible. For the best results, the test should be performed within an hour.
- Hold the KRA Test strip by the end, where the product name is printed. To avoid contamination, do not touch the strip membrane.
- Holding the strip vertically, dip the test strip in the urine specimen for at least 10-15 seconds. Do not immerse past the maximum line (MAX) on the test strip.
- After the test has finished running, remove the strip from the specimen and place it on a non-absorbent flat surface. Start the timer and wait for the colored band(s) to appear. The result should be read 5 minutes. Do not interpret the result after 10 minutes.
- Yields a positive result when the concentration of Mitragynine exceeds the 300 cut-off level
- Detects (-)-Mitragynine 500ng/ml & 7-Hydroxymitragynine 500ng/ml
To find out more on this Kratom Test kit or purchase one for yourself, visit 12 Panel Now!
How to Use Kratom Cartridge Test
If you’re considering another kind of Kratom Urine Test that is easy to use while delivering fast results, you may want to consider the Kratom Cartridge Test. The Kratom Cartridge Test is another simple Urine test that is both accurate and easy to use when testing for Kratom usage.
As mentioned, most urine drug tests to not include Kratom on the list of detected drugs. This is why the Kratom Cartridge Test would be an easy addition for the drug test administrator. After the donor completes a standard urine drug test, the administrator can utilize that sample, extract the specimen and apply that to the Kratom Cartridge test.
If you’re interested in seeing firsthand how this Kratom Cartridge Urine Test works, click on the video below for a detailed walkthrough!
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If you are concerned about your levels or would like to test someone you know, we have Single Use Drug Tests available as well. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us or send us an email!