Q: What do kratom and cannabis have in common?
A: Lots of misinformation. And speaking of cannabis, no, kratom is not a drug, it’s categorized as a supplement (myth no. 1 busted).
Cannabis’s case is slowly being cleared up, however, kratom still has a way to go.
From the FDA trying to ban kratom to people calling it a wonder remedy, it can be hard to cut through the clamor and figure out the real truth about this trending supplement.
Those who are thinking about taking kratom are inundated by polar opinions and conflicting information. Fortunately, that all ends today because this guide is about to get to clear on the real facts surrounding kratom, as well as some of the common myths.
For those who want to stop asking “what is the deal with kratom”, keep reading. It’s time for some myth-busting and truth spitting on the topic of taking kratom.
Is Kratom Good?
One of the biggest overarching questions surrounding kratom is whether or not it’s a beneficial supplement or a dangerous drug.
For those wondering “is kratom good for you”, there are a few things to take into consideration.
While there is talk of classifying kratom as a schedule 1 drug, a growing body of evidence is showing that it poses a number of potentially beneficial uses.
Kratom was traditionally used in the East to increase energy and performance, ease symptoms like anxiety and pain, and act as an opiate substitute.
These uses have led to an explosion of self-diagnosis in the West as the supplement has become more readily available. As the use and study of kratom in western culture is fairly new, medical bodies are cautioning against it.
However, use-cases are showing that kratom can potentially help with a variety of issues. These include depressions, opiate addiction, pain, anxiety, and more.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths surrounding kratom that are preventing consumers from taking advantage of it in a responsible way. Let’s take a look at what these are.
Myth #1 Kratom Is a Cure-All
While kratom may be of benefit for various conditions, it is a cure-all.
While some outlets would have consumers believe that kratom is a panacea and a wonder drug, this is not the case.
Just like any other supplement, kratom can hold specific benefits. However, taking kratom is not going to eradicate every health problem one ever had.
Myth #2 Kratom Overdoses Are Common
Although kratom might not be a cure-all, it also isn’t a deadly drug. One of the concerns that people have around kratom is that they might overdose. With “kratom deaths” making headline news, it’s no wonder.
Fortunately, this is not something most people need to worry about.
According to the author of an extensive paper on kratom use and effects, Marc Swogger, “overdosing is almost unheard of.” He states that due to the nature of kratom, vomiting occurs before an overdose can take place.
This means that even if one were to take such a lot of kratom that it could potentially one to OD, vomiting would begin before a lethal amount could be taken.
So how does this then correlate to the bevy of news articles all talking about kratom related deaths? Well, the key here is the word “related.” If one takes a look at the exact reports, the facts indicate that in most cases kratom was used in conjunction with drugs.
For instance, as covered in this article, out of 157 reported kratom related deaths, there were only seven cases where kratom was allegedly the only substance involved.
From this data, one can conclude that while there might be a small chance of overdose, the risk is not nearly what headlines might indicate.
What’s more, if someone is thinking about taking kratom as a supplement, it is highly unlikely that they will run a risk of overdose.
Thanks to its energy-boosting qualities, kratom is over-used in some circles as party fare, similar to energy drinks. As it happens, caffeinated energy drinks have also been pinpointed as having the potential to kill. However, this does not mean that drinking a Red Bull is the same as shooting up cocaine.
Myth #3 Kratom Is Not Addictive
Another burning question and topic of confusion around taking kratom is whether it is addictive.
Kratom enthusiasts often proclaim that the supplement is not addictive, but this is not entirely true.
There have been some reported cases of withdrawal symptoms occurring after stopping the use of kratom. These include:
- Blurred vision
- Changes in heart rate and blood pressure
- Reduced appetite
- Dilated pupils
- Fever hot flashes and sweats
- Jerky movements
- Muscle aches
- Nausea and vomiting
- Runny nose and watery eyes
- Abdominal cramps
But hold on, if taking kratom daily can leads to all this, isn’t it dangerous?
No, not necessarily.
There is a lot more to the story.
First up, many have likened kratom “addiction” to a coffee addiction. Considering that kratom is from the coffee family and has similar energizing effects in low doses, this makes sense.
Furthermore, while there are potential withdrawal effects associated with kratom, research on the use of kratom to mitigate opiate withdrawal states that only a minority of users developed an ensuing dependence on kratom.
This means that even if one takes enough kratom to stem the effects of withdrawing from opiates, one would still only have a small chance of developing dependence.
What’s more, it has also been noted that any withdrawal symptoms from high dosage kratom used, while similar to those of opiate addiction, are significantly mild in comparison.
The takeaway? Yea, one can get addicted to kratom. Just like one can get addicted to coffee.
Myth #4 Kratom Doesn’t Have Side Effects
Another myth surrounding kratom is that it is side-effect free.
kratom has a number of documented side effects. However, these are not all necessarily unwanted. Some of the “side effects” might be the reason why one would want to take kratom in the first place!
Some kratom effects one can expect are:
- Increased energy similar to the effect of caffeine
- A dry mouth
- A feeling of calm
- Feelings of euphoria
- Increase socialness
- Increased urination
- Loss of appetite
- Skin sensitivity to the sun
It’s unlikely that one would be after the kratom effects of constipation or sweating. However, the positive effects, such as euphoria, enhanced energy, and feelings of calm, might make it worth experiencing the negative ones. For instance, if one is taking kratom for chronic pain relief, experiencing a dry mouth or increased urination might not be that big of a sacrifice.
In summary, kratom is not side-effect-free. However, depending on what one is taking it for, these side effects aren’t necessarily a reason to not take the extract.
Myth #5 Most Kratom Users Are Millenials and Gen Zs Looking to Get High
Another of the misconceptions around kratom is that it’s mostly used by millennials and younger generations for the purpose of getting “high”.
This is not the case at all.
According to a recent study, the demographic with the highest use rates around kratom are middle-aged Americans. What’s more, they aren’t taking kratom daily to get wasted. In contrast, this group is predominantly using kratom for chronic pain relief, as well as depression and anxiety.
To drill down into the numbers, 91% of participants in the above study were taking kratom daily for pain relief. A further 67% were taking it for anxiety, and 65% for depression. Overall, participants also reported a high rate of effectiveness.
So while some of the younger set might be taking kratom as an energy-boosting supplement, this is not kratom’s predominant use.
Myth #6 All Kratom Is the Same
For those new to kratom, it’s easy to think that, well, kratom is kratom.
Most types of kratom have similar opiate-like and stimulating effects. However, the exact effects felt can vary significantly between varieties of kratom.
The main categories of kratom are green vein kratom, white vein kratom, and red vein kratom. Green and white vein kratom are known for the energizing and euphoric effects. Red vein kratom, on the other hand, is more commonly used for pain relief. Take note, however, that at low does, red vein kratom also produces stimulant-like effects.
Within these broad types of kratom, there are also a large number of different strains. Some popular strains include:
- White Vein Indo
- Green Indo
- Super Indo
- Red Vein Bali
- Red Indo
- Red Vein Thai
- White Vein Thai
- White Vein Kali
- Red Vein Kali
- Green Vein Kali
- Maeng Da
- Super Green Malaysian
Besides these common strains of kratom, there are also a number of specialties strains on the market, including Yellow Vein Maeng da, Slippery Rock Kratom, and more.
The different strains within each category of red, white, and green vein kratom also produce varying effects. Energy impacts will vary, as well as recommended dosages and the duration of effects.
Now that we have taken a hard look at some of the popular myths that surround taking kratom, let’s get into some truth-telling.
Truth #1 Taking Kratom Can Help People Get Off Opiates
Kratom often gets knocked as being an opiate in supplement form. Yet, kratom is not the opiate. However, it’s unique structure causes it to bind to the same receptors in the brain as opiates.
This is one of the reasons that its effects can be opiate-like in nature, and why it is so effective at pain relief.
Another benefit to this ability of kratom is that it can be used to counteract opiate withdrawal symptoms. Those who have been addicted to opiates know how hard these drugs can be to get off of. However, former opiate users are reporting that kratom can be used to successfully to stop opiates.
Besides these first-hand experiences, published research has also revealed that kratom has, and is, being used to treat opiate addictions. The findings uncovered that in many cases successful cessation of opiate used was achievable when transitioning off with kratom.
Truth #2 Kratom Is Effective at Pain Relief
As mentioned above, many people take kratom for pain. But how effective is kratom really at easing pain? Is it something that could truly replace opiate-based pain medication?
Well, many people who use kratom would say yes. What’s more, research is confirming this. According to this study, participants experienced marked pain relief within 60 minutes of taking kratom.
The study also found that placebo tests were ineffective against kratom and that no signs of withdrawal were observed, even after 10-20 hours of discontinuation of administration by participants.
Truth #3 Some People Use Kratom to Combat PTSD
Another phenomenon around kratom that has been observed is people taking it for PTSD. As any PTSD suffer would know, PTSD (post-traumatic stress syndrome) is a complex neurological and emotional issue, and treatment can be largely hit and miss.
While little research currently exists around kratom’s use for combatting PTSD, thousands of vets and other suffers have come forward advocating that kratom has helped them. Furthermore, research has also established that prazosin, an isolate of kratom, is highly effective at treating PTSD triggered nightmares and anxiety.
Thinking of Taking Kratom?
For anyone who would like some advice on taking kratom, one’s first consideration should be what one is planning on taking it for. Based on this one can then choose between the different varietals.
For first time use, it is best to start with a low dosage to gauge its effect. From here one can try different dosages. Keep in mind that low dosages are usually used for energy boosts, while higher dosages are common for pain relief.
Also, be sure to increase hydration levels to counteract any diuretic effects.
For those looking for a reputable source of kratom, Etanicals is a good option. They have a broad selection of good quality kratom strain extracts and other botanicals. Their customer service is decent, as well as their prices, especially given the quality levels.
Check out their shop here.
Want to learn more about kratom and other supplements such as SARMS and peptides? If so, take a scroll through the rest of the articles on the blog.