Kratom or Mitragyna speciosa (also known as ketum) is a tropical tree from the coffee family, and it comes from Southeast Asia (Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Papua New Guinea). It was made globally famous by American Podcast host and (anti) conspiracy theorist Joe Rogan when he attacked the FDA (Federal Food and Drug Administration). He accused them of collaboration with pharmaceutical cartels over a ban on a plant that has remarkably benevolent results on long-term heroin addicts.
Namely, the Kratom acts on the same opioid receptors as opium, or in other words, its psychoactive component morphine (just like heroin, or the most potent drug in the world, fentanyl).
So it simulates the so-called heroin effects and is far less addictive – which logically opens up a significant way for the treatment of heroin or much more dangerous methadone addiction. One can also use it as a great painkiller. The problem arose when recreationists craving an opioid stimulant began using the plant for their sessions in combination with other narcotics. Thus, the FDA took the number of deaths (36, from 2010) from Kratom as the main argument for the ban, skillfully omitting the extremely significant fact that it was a ‘combo’ use with drugs that are themselves very dangerous.
Kratom is traditionally taken by chewing the leaves, crushed into a powder, as a hot tea, or in the form of gel capsules. In traditional medicine, it was used for the treatment of diabetes, diarrhea, fever, and pain. People have used it for centuries because of its stimulating effect, especially plantation workers and sailors. Also, in the 1940s, its use was recorded in Malaysia and Thailand for the purpose of substituting opium intake or as a therapy for withdrawal symptoms (abstinence syndrome).
It is great for pain for which nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs do not help, as well as to help with withdrawal from other, stronger opioids. Excellent for increased energy with reduced anxiety and depression, and entertainment (recreational use). In short, SNRI is an opioid whose effects science has not yet been able to comprehend. Namely, kratom contains a number of alkaloids that have various effects on various receptors and neurotransmitters.
In some studies, after a few days of taking it, it will reduce the analgesic and euphoric action of morphine. It is not because of the tolerance acquired by consuming kratom, but because of the blockade or, more precisely, the antagonism at the opioid receptors.
Kratom can deliver analgesia up to 10 mg of oxycodone or 20 mg of morphine. It also shares a lot of characteristics with opioids, but with one significant difference – those characteristics are much less manifested. Due to the simultaneous action on serotonin, dopamine, and adrenaline, kratom gives a specific subjective feeling.
There are several types of Kratom, and depending on what you need, you can choose the best option. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages, and they also differ in potential from supplier to supplier. Sometimes the difference is visible with the same supplier. However, it is a plant and is not standardized.
In the traditional way of sorting kratom, the color refers to the vein on the leaves and indicates how mature the leaves are at harvest time. Red is known to have the most time to ripen, white has the shortest time, and green is in the middle. The secondary name is the region in which the product was grown or where the strain originated. Some of the names you will probably recognize are Sumatra, Bali, and Borneo.
- Bali (actually Borneo because in Bali it can no longer be grown)
Users report that short Bali becomes intoxicating and very relaxing in larger doses while providing a more stimulating effect when taken in small dosages (analgesia 10/10, euphoric 7/10, energetic 4/10).
- Thai – The short-term effects of Red Thai are the most lasting duration and to be the most sedative of all short-volume strains (analgesia 8/10, euphoric 8/10, energetic 9/10).
- Sumatra white and Red white analgesia 4/10, euphoric 6/10, energetic 10/10.
- Red analgesia 6/10, euphoric 6/10, energetic 6/10.
- Malay (Green) analgesia 7/10, euphoric 9/10, energetic 9/10.
Green Malay is the only one that lasts 6-8 hours, and because of that and other qualities, for most people, Green Malay is the best choice during the day. The Malaysian kratom is said to be almost identical to the Balinese kratom. In the evening, it is best to opt for Bali kratom or Bali + Red Sumatra.
It is one of the most dominant strains of kratom in the way of providing sparks and relief. Back ingestion in large doses usually works seductively. But everyone should be careful, as it can lead to an addiction pretty quickly. As a user, you may need to limit the frequency of use to avoid that addiction and tolerance. Green Malay is the best for people who have anxiety.
Some of the other advantages of this strain are less bitter taste, bright green color, and a rather pleasant aroma. Most users find that it helps them fight fatigue, improves concentration, and better endurance. Most people turn to this type of kratom when they get tired of weaker strains.
To summarize, the effects of Kratom are well known for centuries, but sometimes we forget about all the things people used before. When it comes to Kratom, there are different types, and while some offer stimulating or calming effects, the others grant a mixture of alternative feelings. Whether you plan to use it for medical or recreational purposes, if you know the potential and power of different strains, you will determine which ones are best. In the end, all that gathered knowledge will help you in how and which one to use.