The Truth About Kratom
3 min

The Truth About Kratom

3 min
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Kratom is a herb originating from the forests of Thailand and has multiple, practical applications. Read how this innocent herb came to be misunderstood through poorly researched reporting and scare tactics.

Kratom is a naturally occurring plant native to Thailand that offers an alternative to mainstream medicine, offering pain relief and helps to combat drug addiction and depression. It has little representation in western media; very few people have heard of it, and those who have tend to believe it is a drug much like heroin or cocaine. However, this could not be further from the truth. Years of misinformed reporting and constant rumor mills have created a negative connotation to kratom, when it is in fact nothing more than an herbal remedy that has been used in traditional medication for thousands of years, since the earliest civilizations of mankind.

Kratom is not an opiate.

Hundreds of people have called kratom a ‘legal street drug,’ or an alternative to hard drugs that can’t be obtained legally. However, there are distinct differences – heroin and other drugs that are abused in that fashion are opiates. Kratom is not, despite generating similar results. Kratom contains alkaloids, a form of nitrogenous compound that can produce a soothing effect, and these alkaloids bond with the same receptors that opiates might. The difference between kratom and heroin is a simple one; kratom only interacts with a select group of receptors, and does not generate the dependency that heroin does. It is able to produce real, measurable results as a treatment for depression and pain, without the risk of dependency that is so inherent with actual opiates.

Kratom is used to treat drug addiction.

For as many people call it a legal drug, and equal number are being treated for drug addiction through its use. Drug withdrawal symptoms are caused by a physiological need for the drug due to the relationship that opiates build with the receptors; when the receptors are not provided with the opiate, symptoms begin to appear. Kratom soothes the receptors and provides them with the same relief that an opiate would, but with healing qualities; over time, kratom eliminates the receptors’ need for the opiate, curing the addiction. This isn’t hearsay; it’s been advocated by major institutions such as the Institute of Thai Traditional Medicine and through Dr. Oz’s television program.

Kratom is not physiologically addictive.

Addiction comes in two forms: physiological and psychological. Physiological addiction is a physical addiction; it is a literal changing of the cells within your body to depend on the drug. Without it, the cells begin to die. This causes the severe withdrawal symptoms and delirium tremors you have come to associated with drug withdrawals.
However, there is a second form of addiction: psychological. This is due to dependent personalities, people who are more likely to become addicted. For people like this, habit forming medicines should be avoided due to the risks. The only treatments for psychological addiction are therapeutic methods to help them overcome their imagined need for it.

Kratom does not generate a physical dependency; the body would be fine if a user stopped taking it one day and never touched it again. There would be no withdrawal symptoms, no sign that it had ever been consumed. However, it can be habit forming; for people who suffer from depression, kratom offers instant, intense relief, producing feelings of happiness. When it produces relief such as that, it can be hard to stop taking it. However, it should only be used occasionally and responsibly, not as a remedy; the true source of the depression still needs to be treated so that the problem can be overcome permanently.
It is very rare for anyone to report a dependency on kratom, and that usually results after they have taken far more than the recommended dosage for long, extended periods of time.

Kratom can be used as a treatment for insomnia.

In today’s world, insomnia is a common problem – the pace and stress of day to day life leaves many people unable to turn off their brain when it comes time to lie down at night. Prescription sleep aids can help, but often do not produce very effective results. On top of that, they are extremely habit forming, running the risk of making a person unable to sleep without their help.

Kratom possesses a sedative effect that can help you to unwind and fall asleep at night. Unlike a sleeping pill, it doesn’t knock you unconscious – it works with your body’s natural processes to reduce stress levels, which makes your body release cortisone and put you at ease. Using kratom with the intent of passing out will result only in disappointment; instead, it should be used to naturally fall asleep.
Kratom is best used only when needed, as your body can build up a tolerance to it which reduces the effectiveness of the chemicals. Next time you have trouble falling asleep, say, after a long week at work, take a dose of kratom about two to three hours before you intend to lie down at night.

Kratom is perfectly safe.

Panic-filled media articles and reporters who haven’t bothered to do their research have resulted in people everywhere thinking that kratom is a dangerous chemical to consume. It’s been in use for thousands of years in southeast Asia, and if that isn’t enough proof for people, studies have been done that show there are no links between liver toxicity or poisoning of any kind from the consumption of kratom.

That’s not to say it’s impossible to overdose while using it; while it would be difficult and require almost purposeful effort do so, it’s possible to overdose on anything. But even in the case of an overdose, the worst that can happen is that you feel dizzy, possibly nauseous, and fall asleep. There never has been any fatality linked to Kratom.

Kratom is legal almost everywhere in the world.

Although it does have opiate connections, you can clearly see that Kratom is not the new opium and does not need to be feared. While Kratom induces a mild high, the idea of it being a dangerous opium-like street drug is hurting potential medical advances and usage that could be used to treat people who are suffering. Next time you hear something about kratom, do your research before taking the media at face value. It’s always best to be informed truthfully.

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