Is Kratom the CBD of Opioids?
CBD is a part of the cannabis plant, but it is a specific cannabinoid that doesn’t have psychoactive effects. It won’t get you high, but it delivers other benefits, such as pain and anxiety relief and energy boosts. On top of that, sticking to recommended ranges rarely causes any side effects, let alone severe ones.
You could use a similar description for kratom, a plant that comes from Southeast Asia. Kratom is one of just a few sources of plant-based opioid alkaloids. It belongs to the same family as the coffee plant, which implies it has mild stimulant properties. Depending on the dose, it can also act as a substitute for opiates.
Traditional medicine utilizes kratom to deal with muscle pain, depression, fatigue, and other physical and mental health problems. These days people use it for anxiety and pain relief, but also during the opiate withdrawal process.
The legality of the plant varies from one country to another. Even the DEA added kratom to the list of Schedule I substances. It is because of the alkaloids included in the kratom plant, especially mitragynine and 7-hydroxy mitragynine.
Kratom Contains More Than 20 Alkaloids
Kratom has more than 20 alkaloids and a few of them managed to attract the attention of the scientific community and authorities. Mitragynine is the primary alkaloid since it counts for two-thirds of this plant’s extract. That compound is important because it has analgesic properties, and is as effective in relieving pain as codeine.
It is interesting to note that mitragynine works best when combined with other kratom alkaloids. That is why this compound might not be as effective in providing pain relief on its own. Mitragynine interacts with opioid receptors in the human organism, but it doesn’t share the same structure as opioids.
While opiates bind to receptors, mitragynine doesn’t do that. That is why many consider it as a better alternative to opioids, which frequently cause addiction.
A study published in 2012 confirmed that the analgesic characteristics of kratom aren’t directly related to mitragynine’s interaction with the CB1 receptor for cannabinoids. The same study mentions that the compound interacts with opioid receptors, and several other compounds mediate the plant’s physical properties. Those include GABA, serotonin, and dopamine.
Kratom has anti-inflammatory characteristics that involve reducing the production of prostaglandin. It works in a similar way as CBD, which is why people are frequently comparing these two compounds. Is it possible that kratom is the CBD of opioids?
What Does the Science Say?
The majority of studies related to kratom and its alkaloids like 7-OH-MG and MG were conducted on animals. Although there are not enough studies on humans, the existing research indicates that sticking to a certain dose of kratom ensures that this plant doesn’t have any toxic properties. The toxicity issue was what the DEA used when they decided to put kratom on the list of controlled substances, and these studies offer material to question that decision.
When given a single big dose of mitragynine, researchers didn’t notice any toxicity. Even when they gave rats regular 50mg/kg doses of the same compound for 30 days, the animals didn’t exhibit evident side effects.
As for dogs, they were given a dose of 16 mg/kg of mitragynine per day, and the results were the same, which means side effects weren’t noticed. It is worth noting that the findings did conclude there was a blood cell disorder called dyscrasia in dogs who took bigger doses for a longer period. Similar to codeine and morphine, extremely high doses can cause animals to fall into respiratory depression.
When it comes to people ingesting kratom, this plant isn’t connected to respiratory depression, and it is also not a potential reason behind pulmonary edemas, comas, and other serious health issues. In the South Pacific, kratom was a popular beverage for a long time. During that time, there were no adverse consequences for those who consumed the plant. Furthermore, it wasn’t noticed that it affected the social functioning of the consumers noticeably.
Should You Consume Pure Kratom?
It is important to note that other compounds found in kratom products are often the main reason for issues when consuming these items. If you have the luck of living in South Asia, you can purchase fresh kratom and enjoy a fine beverage and its benefits.
However, manufacturers for the Western world need to be creative to prolong the lifespan of their products. That is why they resort to concentrates, tablets, capsules, and other items. You will often find that these also other ingredients include caffeine and even synthetic compounds like Tramadol.
That is why you should only stick to using pure kratom variants and choose your products carefully. The exact benefits will depend on the strain, but make sure to pick potent variations like green vein kratom.
The kratom market isn’t well-regulated, and that is why this plant’s reputation suffers. Many manufacturers distribute fake products under the kratom’s name, and they use strains that are not fresh in their products.
As long as you use kratom the way it was meant to, and choose your products wisely, the plant is completely safe. Furthermore, it can deliver multiple benefits for physical health and well-being.
Since it belongs to the coffee family, kratom is capable of acting as an energy stimulant. That can come in handy for those tiring days when you didn’t get enough sleep, but you need to push through demanding tasks.
Kratom could also put you in a better mood thanks to its anti-depressant properties. That is why people who are dealing with anxiety and depression are using it.
Finally, this plant is also suitable for pain relief. That makes it an opioid alternative that could be particularly useful because it doesn’t cause addiction, and is free of toxic properties at recommended levels. That being said, it is important to follow the instructions for taking kratom. Apart from choosing pure kratom products, it is the best way to maximize its benefits and avoid any potential side effects.