If you’ve been to Bali, Borneo, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and other Southeast Asia regions, then you might have heard about kratom. In this article, we will look at the benefits of kratom, as reported by supporters and advocates of the plant.
Its benefits quickly spread across Asia and has become popular because of two properties: energy and endurance. People make use of the leaves in different ways:
- By chewing the leaves
- By brewing the leaves
- By drying the leaves ground to form a fine powder
The impact of kratom on some Asian countries has become so great, that some employers were reported to prefer workers who chewed on kratom leaves in order to improve work productivity. Employees who used kratom were found to be more focused and energetic. The effects of kratom were found to be similar to energy drinks.
Because of the high workload, some individuals use kratom to maintain the quality of work that is expected of them.
Types of Kratom
Kratom comes in three types: red, white and green. These do not represent the colors of the kratom leaves, but rather the veins. These vein colors influence the effect of the kratom leaves.
Regardless of the color, kratom can provide both simulating and sedative effects depending on the amount used. However, the color of the vein can provide the particular effect that an individual desires to receive.
The red vein is the most commonly sold kratom type. It provides the most sedating effect, making it the preferred type of individuals seeking to reduce their stress level and have a peaceful mood. Using red vein kratom provides an over-all sense of well-being.
In small doses, it is known to provide energy-boosting effects. However, this type of kratom is most commonly used in large doses because of its calming effect as it promotes better sleep, thereby fighting insomnia.
The red vein is also very popular because it has the strongest analgesic properties, similar to opioid substances as it triggers similar effects of pain reduction.
The white vein has the reverse effect of the red vein as it heightens the mood and alerts the senses. Using it promotes vitality and alertness.
Some individuals choose this type of kratom to help treat depression and anxiety. Using white vein kratom can provide an uplifting mood.
White and red vein kratom types are sometimes mixed together to be used as an aid in providing a better balance of energy.
The effect of green vein kratom is somewhere between the effects of red and white vein. The green vein has a milder effect on both relaxation and energy levels. It is the choice of those who want to have a mild and enjoyable feeling rather than experiencing high levels of alertness and fatigue. In short, the green vein the most balanced type of kratom variety.
The green vein is also sometimes mixed with either red or white vein to create a more balanced effect.
The most effective kratom strains for pain relief include the following:
- Maeng Da
The preferred vein color is red, preferably taken at moderate to high dosage.
Here is a list of kratom strains, and the effects that they produce:
|Maeng Da||This is the most popular strain, providing energy and better stimulation with pain-killing effects|
|Bali||This provides the most euphoric effect among all other strains|
|Green Vein Kali||It is a stimulating strain with pain-killing attributes|
|Red Vein Thai||It is similar to Bali but with fewer negative side effects|
|Red Vein Kali||It has a sedative effect|
|Super Indo||It is similar to Bali with less euphoria|
|Super Green Malaysian||It has stimulating effect, but with little euphoria|
|Thai Essence||This strain is weaker than Ultra-Enhanced Indo with a bit of Maeng Da properties|
|Ultra-Enhanced Indo||This contains the most euphoric effect, and works well in reducing social anxiety|
|Ultra-Enhanced Maeng Da||This is a very powerful extract that has both stimulating and pain-killing properties|
|Full Spectrum Tincture||These are formulations of Ultra-Enhanced Indo in liquid form|
Basically, about one half to three teaspoons of these strains are enough to get the desired effect.
The strains of kratom may be divided into three general groups:
|Effect Categories||Strain Type||Stimulation Effect (1-10)||Pain Relief (1-10)||Mood (1-10)|
|Stimulating||Thai Kratom||8 to 9.5||4-8||6-9|
Kratom has varying degrees of effects on people. Kratom can provide both stimulating and relaxing effects depending on the amount used. Taking kratom in smaller amounts may produce more stimulating effects, while taking in large amounts may lead to relaxation or sedation.
Long-time kratom users reported that they have increased focus, alertness and social confidence resulting from the responsible use of the plant-based substance.
Psychological Effects of Kratom
The benefits of kratom include helping individuals with depression and anxiety, especially when the right strain of kratom is used. However, the effect of the substance may also depend on one’s own personal chemistry.
All strains may cause a mood-lifting effect, but the differences in strain can shift the effects between sedating and stimulating.
Ideally, Borneo is the best strain that can help relieve anxiety. It has a subtle but powerful effect of diminishing anxiety and restlessness. The red vein Borneo strain should be given in moderate dosages.
Thai, Maeng Da and Green Malaysian strains are able to treat depression in moderate dosages.
Not all kratom users suffer from any medical conditions. The benefits of kratom have led some people to take the substance because of its positive effects on the overall well-being.
Kratom has been used to increase energy, focus and alertness, which has become a great help to workers. Strains like Green Malaysian, Thai and Maeng Da are the typical strains for this purpose, usually taken in low to moderate dosages.
Benefits of Kratom
Some kratom users claim that the substance can provide medicinal effects. Meanwhile, other users say that the substance is better than other plant-based medicines. Some of the benefits of kratom are:
- Depression relief
- Energy enhancement
- Immune System Stimulation
- Insomnia relief
- Opiate maintenance substitute
- Opiate withdrawal relief
- Pain relief
Apart from the benefits of kratom mentioned above, the drug is also known to have high amount of antioxidants and vitamins.
Some users sat that it is safe to use for general purposes. After all, some deaths linked to kratom use were associated with taking it in combination of other drugs.
A dose of kratom may vary depending on the strain. A substantial amount of 2-4 grams of kratom or ½ to 1 full teaspoon of kratom powder may be enough to provide the effects needed by an individual. Kratom extract as little as 0.5 gram can provide the same relaxing effect.
Kratom is widely used to treat various kinds of pain, and is believed to be more effective than over-the-counter medications. Because of this, patients suffering from chronic pain have become pharmaceutical-free because of the benefits of kratom.
Kratom has become the alternative medication to effectively reduce pain from conditions such as:
- Abdominal pain
- Back pain
- Carpal tunnel
- Chest pain
- Cluster headache
- Minor injuries such as burns, broken bones and scrapes
- Multiple sclerosis
- Neck pain and soreness
- Torn muscle
Is Kratom Addictive?
Kratom may have been positively introduced to the general public because of the amazing benefits that the drug can provide, most especially to individuals who are suffering from pain.
However, being a close relative of the coffee plant, using kratom daily and in large amounts may be habit-forming. Such kratom addiction is likely to happen with irresponsible use.
Consequently, kratom is also used to treat individuals suffering from opiate withdrawal symptoms. One of the standard drugs used in treating withdrawal symptoms is naloxone, which unfortunately can be addicting if taken irresponsibly.
Kratom as treatment for opiate addiction has become popular as it has helped in combatting cravings and alleviating post-withdrawal symptoms.
Side Effects of Kratom
The benefits of kratom have become reasons why the substance has become popular. However, long-time kratom use can also lead to unfavorable effects such as:
- Loss of libido
- Skin hyperpigmentation
- Respiratory depression
These signs and symptoms are similar to opiate use.
Legality of Kratom Use in the U.S.
Kratom is not federally regulated in the U.S. A legislation passed in 2012 was designed to prohibit synthetic drug use, but this does not include kratom.
Although Kratom was not specifically mentioned, its main active alkaloids were identified – mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine.
Here is a list of states categorized according to legality of kratom use:
- Kratom use is legal: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine. Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.
- Kratom use is legal, but legislation to ban the substance has been initiated: Florida, Illinois, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Utah and West Virginia.
- Kratom use is banned: Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Tennessee, Vermont and Wisconsin.
Is Kratom Safe?
The federal government may have not completely banned kratom use yet, but knowing how its long-term use can lead to undesirable effects should be of concern. Scientists are continuously finding ways to ensure that kratom can be the best alternative medication to opiate users. Weighing between the benefits of kratom over its ill effects may take a while.
For anyone’s safety, it is still best to consult your physician if you feel that you need any help. It may also be safer to stick to prescribed medication. You should also take responsibility before taking kratom, in order to avoid unnecessary intake and eventually addiction and tolerance.
In short, every patient or individual who is under such pain management should carry complete responsibility, regardless if the substance in question is kratom or not.