Kratom is a powder from the leaves of a tree by the same name. The tree is found mostly in tropical Asian countries.
The tree is known by many people to contain healing powers. It is known to heal pain, depression, stress, low libido, and fatigue, among other conditions.
Since time immemorial, most of these healing powers were just thought to be unsubstantiated claims. Many around the world thought that people were just making them up to market Kratom. However, things have turned out to be different. Scientific studies have revealed severally that the substance does indeed have therapeutic benefits.
However, many think that although it can treat pain and enhance mood, it cannot surely help with opiate withdrawal. This is because many believe that all opioids are much more powerful than Kratom and that the withdrawal effects they cause cannot be treated simply by the use of a simple herbal supplement such as Kratom. But this is not the truth. Kratom can indeed make it easier for people to withdraw from opioids such as heroin, morphine, codeine, and oxycodone. But how does the raw powder do this? Read on to find out more.
Kratom may be a simple powder that is usually green in color but it is not your average herbal medicine.
Genuine Kratom products have several active chemicals known as alkaloids. The most important alkaloids in Kratom are mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. These two alkaloids are built in such a way that they can bind to receptors located on parts of your nervous system. The binding usually causes that part of your nervous system to react in a certain way bringing about therapeutic benefits.
For this reason, manufacturers often run tests to ensure that the raw powder they receive from farmers in Asia indeed has the two alkaloids. If a powder hasn’t got the two alkaloids, taking it will be as useless as drinking a smoothie to alleviate pain. Therefore, running tests to ensure that there is a good concentration of the alkaloids ensures is a key part of quality assurance that distinguishes good suppliers from the common run-of-the-mill suppliers.
Understanding how Kratom works
To alleviate pain, alkaloids in Kratom bind to opioid receptors in the brain, reducing the perception of pain.
To produce motivation, energy, and excitement (euphoria), the substance chemically induces the brain’s reward system to release hormones that make you feel happy. Hormones such as serotonin, and dopamine.
However, to help with opiate withdrawal, Kratom acts slightly differently. Check out the next section for how it works.
What exactly it does to make things better for those withdrawing from opioids
The main alkaloid in Kratom is mitragynine. It has a chemical structure that can attach to mu opioid receptors in the brain. This is the same type of receptor that opiates such as morphine bind to. This is why the substance causes opioid-like effects such as pain-relief, euphoria, and mood elevation.
The key thing about Kratom is that its relationship with the opioid receptors does not have significant negative ailments in the short and medium terms. In other words, it provides the same benefits as opioids but it doesn’t provide any of the harmful side effects opioids are known to produce when they are withdrawn.
Thus, Kratom can help you to avoid harmful side effects of opioid withdrawal such as depression, muscle cramps, weakness, sleeplessness, excess sweating, nausea, and agitation, especially when introduced in place of opioids as part of the withdrawal process. The thought process behind using the substance this way is to trick the brain that you are still taking opioids while cleaning it at the same time with a non-harmful alternative. This allows your body to heal and prepares you for a much safer and less distressing withdrawal from Kratom.
What is more, Kratom does treat the withdrawal symptoms themselves. It treats the depression, the sleeplessness, and the stress/ agitation caused by withdrawing from opioids. This means it can be introduced even after the withdrawal process has commenced, to ease the process of withdrawal.
Kratom is also thought to attach to additional receptors (in addition to opioid receptors). This attachment is thought to boost its effectiveness in mitigating the effects of opioid withdrawal.
However, as much as Kratom is a natural, safe and effective way of minimizing/ eliminating the withdrawal effects from opioids, it shouldn’t be used for too long. This is because several researchers have found that using it frequently for more than 6 months will result in dependance and that this can also cause almost the same kind of withdrawal symptoms as opioids. Therefore, you should be careful about how long you take Kratom and how much you take to avoid dependence.
The best strains for preventing/ treating the withdrawal effects from opioids
There are a number of strains that are potent enough to give curb the withdrawal effects of opioids. However, the effects of these strains vary from person to person because of factors such as body weight, your diet, administration method and so on.
Nevertheless, the strains we are about to list are good enough to battle the symptoms of opioid withdrawal. They include Green Thai, Red Borneo, Green Malay, Red Bali, and the popular Maeng Da.
As always, start with the lowest recommended dose. If the dose is not recommended, start with one teaspoon if you are brewing the leaves or their powder as tea. At first, you should take no more than 2 cups of the brew. If you feel as if there is a need for more Kratom after 24 hours, use two teaspoons.
As is evident in this article, Kratom is one of the most powerful herbal/ dietary supplements. It treats so many conditions and its mechanisms of action are known. It can treat opioid withdrawal effects by tricking the body that you are still taking the same thing yet you are not. It can then be withdrawn itself within a couple of weeks to avoid making your body dependent on it.
P.S.: This information is provided for informational purposes only. You should always seek advice from a medical professional before beginning any treatment or stopping any treatment.