Kratom has risen to the top as a leading herbal supplement in the United States and other parts of the world. However, the herb is not without controversy which makes many people wonder about kratom pros and cons. Is it a magical herb with a bevy of physical perks or a highly addictive drug? Clearly, nothing is black and white in life. Consumers have to weigh the advantages and disadvantages before deciding. In this article, we will closely examine kratom to let the reader be the judge.
Evaluating the Effects of Kratom
Kratom Pros and Cons
People use kratom products for a wide array of reasons which makes it difficult to pinpoint pros and cons. What is a pro for one person might end up a con for another. Also, health-related pros are very murky. One person might consider kratom a magic supplement that instantly relieves their anxiety or depression but for another person, it might fail miserably due to their physical nature or metabolism. The same is true of pain relief. A chronic pain sufferer could gain instant relief from a small amount of kratom, but other people might feel no discernable difference in their discomfort.
Factors that Impact Kratom Pros and Cons
Other facts we had to consider when making this kratom pro and cons list is a simple fact that not all kratom is the same. Some brands are subpar compared to premium herbs. If you buy a top-shelf kratom product then you might experience significantly different results compared to buying a bag of old kratom powder from a gas station. In addition, the outcome is dramatically different based on delivery methods. Will you be using a toss and wash? Capsules? Extracts? Also, the purity level of the kratom matters when evaluating the effects of the plant material.
Understanding What is Kratom
The Kratom Plant
You have probably seen the herb kratom at vape shops, smoke shops, dispensaries, gas stations, naturopathic stores, or online. It has become remarkably common. However, despite its familiarity, many people truly don’t know what exactly kratom is. The name kratom actually refers to the plant fibers of the tropical Mitragyna speciosa tree.
The evergreen grows throughout much of South Asia and has been favored for centuries as holistic medicine. The leaves of the tree are harvested and then undergo a curing/drying process. They are then pounded into a fine powder or used as tea. Within the leaf fiber are a multitude of alkaloids, the most prominent are 7-hydroxymitragynine, and Mitragynine which are believed to impact the body in a positive way.
Kratom Pros and Cons
Let’s take a look at kratom pros first.
Kratom Pros and Cons: The Pros
For centuries users report the analgesic properties of the herb. The alkaloids impact the body’s opioid receptors in a positive way. They spur the body to release natural hormones which bring rapid pain relief for many. The increased dopamine and serotonin levels in the body can bring pain relief of varying levels. Many users consider kratom as effective as opioids and liken it to morphine, but others do not experience as dramatic of an impact. Many suggest using kratom to treat chronic pain instead of dangerous and highly addictive narcotic pain killers.
Appears to Boost Energy
In low doses, kratom acts as an exceptional energy booster. It also appears to enhance the body’s metabolic processes so that individuals feel like exercising and losing weight. The increased hormone production that is spurred by kratom use also increases the body’s ability to utilize oxygen. The cells in the body feel far more energized with the added oxygen and the user feels wider awake. Kratom is great for anyone suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome or who wants to wake up in the morning. Most users liken the energy-boosting effects of kratom to caffeine and say that it is remarkably similar but without the racing heartbeat and shaking hands. Kratom has become a popular alternative to coffee in the morning for individuals to kick start their day and get the energy boost they need to head out the door.
Immune System Boost
Kratom’s ability to boost the body’s antioxidants is believed to help improve the immune system’s function. It can reduce inflammation and stress substantially which is thought to strengthen the immune system. Herbalists have long favored kratom to assist the function of the immune system. However, clearly, additional research is needed to reveal the overall impact of the herb but for many users, taking kratom is similar to using vitamin C.
Kratom is favored for helping ease opioid withdrawal symptoms. Many people who are struggling to overcome a narcotic addiction turn to kratom to ease their withdrawal symptoms so they can remain clean. One study states, “Withdrawal symptoms are mediated by the opioid properties of the plant’s primary alkaloid compounds and can successfully be treated using an alpha-2 agonist and hydroxyzine as demonstrated by the current case report in which symptom-triggered clonidine therapy was utilized with COWS in conjunction with scheduled hydroxyzine. Physicians should be aware of the growing availability of kratom and its potential adverse health effects, especially its toxicity, addictive potential, and withdrawal syndrome.”
People seeking an anxiolytic substance often turn to kratom as the ‘miracle’ herb to alleviate their stress and anxiety. It also seems to balance mood and help with depression in many users. Pharmaceutical drugs are not without side effects and addictive potential. Many people simply don’t like the way they make them feel. Instead, they turn to kratom because it is a natural herb that boosts the body’s production of serotonin and dopamine so they feel like they can better cope with stress.
When taken in a high dose, kratom can promote sleep. Also, many strains offer relaxing qualities that can help the user fall asleep and gain restful slumber, so they wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
Kratom Pros and Cons: The Cons
Very few things are completely free of side effects and kratom is no different. The herb does have some side effects in certain users such as the following:
- Upset stomach.
Can Cause Side Effects: Kratom Pros and Cons
Users should abstain from using kratom if they are taking prescription medications or pain killers. Negative interactions can occur, and the symptoms might become intense. Prior to using kratom, you should always discuss potential drug interactions with your physician.
Kratom is Unregulated
As with so many herbal supplements, kratom remains unregulated which means the herb could be contaminated or subpar. Ideally, users should only purchase kratom from a reputable vendor and make sure the brand carries out third-party laboratory testing to ensure purity. In recent years, states have started to make strides to regulate kratom to ensure purity by passing the Kratom Consumer Protection Act (KCPA). Several states have drafted the bill in an effort to regulate the herb to keep consumers safe and ensure that they are purchasing a pure, safe product that is free of contaminants.
Kratom pros and cons exist and should always be weighed by the user. However, overall, the pros do outweigh the herb’s cons in a positive fashion.
At My Kratom Club, we sell a wide array of kratom products HERE.
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