October 16, 2019

A Nootropic Remedy to the Opiod Crisis

If you read health newspapers or visit nutritional supplement stores, you may have come across kratom. It is a supplement available in the market as an energy booster, mood enhancer, pain reliever, and antidote for withdrawal symptoms of opioids.

Kratom comes from the leaves of an evergreen tree named Mitragyna speciose, grown in Southeast Asia. Kratom is available in powder form to brew or swallow, leaves extract, and raw leaves form to chew. Kratom extract is used to make liquid syrups of different concentrations. You can get these from specific retail pharmacies or vitamin shops by prescription to treat muscle pain or spasms, repress appetite, and cure diarrhea. Kratom is also marketed as a therapy for panic attacks.

How does it work?

Kratom contains a chemical substance in it named mitragynine. It works just like analgesic opioid drugs, for example, codeine and morphine.

It mainly works by acting on brain opioid receptors. Kratom acts as a brain stimulant when taken in small doses and makes the person feel more active mentally and physically. It works as a strong analgesic at a moderate dose and relieves pain, plus makes you feel relaxed. When taken in higher doses, kratom works as a tranquilizer and makes consumers sleepy. Some traditional medicine practitioners consider kratom as a substitute for opium.

Some people consume kratom to treat opioid withdrawal symptoms because kratom is easily available than prescription-only opioid analgesics.

Kratom benefits

  •  This drug has gained the attention of the American populace over the last 10 years. People who consume this substance often claim that it may act as a nootropics agent by increasing serotonin and brain dopamine levels. According to some studies, it works as a brain stimulant and makes menial tasks enjoyable. It also works as an anti-depressant and anti-anxiolytic medicine to reduce stress and anxiety symptoms in patients.
  • Kratom is often used for recreational purposes in concerts and other occasions. Defenders claim this to be a natural plant-based and safe alternative to other drugs used for recreational purposes. However, it depends on the amount of active ingredients present in the product. One should be aware of the capacity and concentration of the drug they are consuming; otherwise, complications may occur.
  • The people suffering from withdrawal symptoms of opioid drugs such as heroin, morphine, and many others use kratom for treatment. It is often because kratom is natural and less potent than those drugs, but there is no clear scientific evidence to support these theories.


An expedient dose of kratom depends on several factors like the user’s age, health, and medical history. There is a scarcity of enough scientific studies detailing a reasonable range of doses for this drug. It is a fact that natural ingredients are not always safe and free from side effects. Therefore, a proper regimen for use is essential. Remember to follow instructions written on the product label, consult your pharmacist or other healthcare professionals, and discuss its pros and cons before taking this drug.

Kratom should be consumed in moderate doses because it may cause breathing difficulty, seizures, termers, and hepatic damage at higher doses. Due to the above-mentioned reasons and some other serious safety hazards, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns people to avoid using certain products containing high kratom concentrations.

Side effects

Kratom can cause many side effects when taken orally, such as stupefaction, nausea, vomiting, dryness or numbness inside of your mouth, frequent urination, constipation or bloating, GIT distress, hallucinations, delusions, and thyroid problems.

Safety and Precautions

  • An important thing to be aware of is that it can cause dependence on your brain and body if you consume this drug daily. People who often use kratom in larger quantities and then suddenly stop taking it may experience some withdrawal symptoms like loss of appetite, severe diarrhea, muscle spasms and consistent pain, muscle twitches, swollen eyes, nervousness, insomnia, disorientation, aggression, and increased body temperature.
  • Pregnancy: Kratom is considered unsafe when taken orally during pregnancy. Newborns to women who consumed this drug during pregnancy have shown some withdrawal effects right after their birth. These babies required special treatment in this matter.
  • Breast-feeding: There is no clear-cut and reliable information on whether it is safe to consume while breastfeeding or not. However, you should stay on the precautionary side and avoid its use.
  • Mental disorders: It has been suggested that kratom might worsen patients’ mental condition suffering from some brain impairment.

Bottom Line

It is an old saying that a coin has two sides. This rule applies here, as well. No doubt that there are some significant advantages of kratom, but one should avoid excessive use of this nootropic. After all, it is a drug, and overdose can lead to serious health damage.

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