Studies show that up to 30% of Americans use herbal treatments for health conditions including pain relief. Kratom is one of the popular herbs that has caught the attention of consumers as well as authorities. Its products are readily available online. People are buying it for a variety of reasons including pain relief and helping in the management of opiate withdrawal symptoms.
What is Kratom?
This is a plant that’s native to Southeast Asia in countries like Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia. The plant is scientifically known as Mitragyna Speciosa and is related to the coffee plant. Although it has been used by Southeast Asia natives for centuries, its potential as a herbal remedy has become known to the Western world only recently. Most studies on its use in the Western world are less than 2 decades old. Although only a few studies exist to date, many confirm its potential as an analgesic, and a potential natural treatment for opiate addiction.
In Southeast Asia, the plant has been used in various ways. This is due to the effects it has on the nervous system. Studies show that the leaves contain alkaloids such as mitragynine. The alkaloids work on the nervous system to produce certain effects on mood. The main effects are as follows. When taken in low doses, Kratom has a stimulant effect. The dosage ranges between 1 and 2 grams. The stimulant effects are similar to the effects of caffeine where you are able to remain alert for extended periods. Workers in Southeast Asia countries usually chew the leaves of the plant to eliminate fatigue and enable them to work for long hours. It is also used to boost stamina and increase sexual performance when taken in low to moderate doses. When taken in moderate doses, Kratom is reported to have analgesic effects. The dosage ranges between 5 and 15 grams. When taken in moderate doses, the plant has the potential of providing relief to chronic pain, treat diarrhea, and help in the treatment of opioid addiction. If taken in high doses, this plant has sedative doses. A dose higher than 15 grams is considered higher than recommended for medical purposes. People who exceed the recommended a high similar to that produced by opiates. Many users explain that the effects of taking high doses of this plant’s products produces reverse effects to those they would usually get if they took it in small doses. For example, rather than being alert, they feel tired and lazy. However, it’s stimulant effect doesn’t usually have severe side effects such as a drive to cause violence as is seen in other drugs.
Popularity in the US
In the US, Kratom products are readily available online. It’s mostly available in smoke shops, but most people will buy kratom online because of attractive pricing. Most people seek this herbal product for medical purposes such as pain alleviation and treatment of addictions. It’s popularity can be attributed to its legal status in the US. Currently, it’s treated as an herbal substance by US authorities. It’s not prohibited for use and its labeled as a drug of concern by the DEA. However, it’s not a controlled substance meaning people can buy and use it within the US.
Most products derived from this plant come in the form of powders, capsules and even fresh leaves.