Kratom is currently one of the most talked-about substances in the world. Similarly to marijuana, it’s riddled with misconceptions, controversy and even misinformation. Some people believe that it’s a gift and a viable form of alternative medicine, while others believe that it’s so dangerous that it should be placed on the scheduled substances list.
Whatever camp you find yourself in, there’s no denying that Kratom is a polarizing subject.
With that being said, it’s equally undeniable that thousands of people seem to benefit from the plant’s medicinal properties, particularly its ability to relieve pain. As with anything, it is taking Kratom comes with a certain level of risk, especially if you take a larger dosage than recommended.
If you’re thinking of taking Kratom for pain, read on to find out more about this hotly debated plant based on research and available factual data.
How Can Kratom Help Relieve Pain?
Kratom contains powerful alkaloids that bind to the body’s opioid receptors to release endorphins that trick the brain into thinking that it’s no longer in pain. The naturally-occurring receptors which Kratom binds itself to include the delta and mu receptors that offer quick relief from pain when triggered.
How does Kratom for pain differ from taking other opioids if it binds itself to opioid receptors? The truth is that Kratom is worlds apart from the other opioids because the plant’s compounds interact differently with the receptors.
While morphine activates beta-arrestin proteins, Kratom does not. That’s why Kratom has less severe effects and consuming it doesn’t lead to any withdrawal symptoms as you’d find with other opioids.
There are several different methods to consume Kratom for pain, and your preferred technique should be your personal choice. The most popular way to consume it is through the traditional “toss and wash” method, which entails tossing the required amount of Kratom into your mouth, followed by a drink of water. You mix the two in your mouth and swallow. You may need to go through a few swigs of water to get the desired effects, but this is the most straightforward way to take Kratom for pain.
Alternatively, you may take Kratom capsules just like you would any other pill. The only problem is that capsules don’t work as fast as the powder because they’re covered in gelatin, and you might need a bigger dose to get the same result.
You may also sprinkle the powder into your food or favorite beverages to minimize the bitter flavor of Kratom, which is quite an acquired taste. Another standard method of Kratom consumption is to brew it as a tea. Just be sure to take Kratom on an empty stomach and as directed on the packaging, especially if it’s your first time.
Best Kratom Strains for Pain Relief
If you’re reading this, then you probably want to find out how to take Kratom for pain relief. The most important thing is to take the right strain because different Kratom strains offer various benefits.
Kratom’s ability to relieve pain depends on the amount of 7-hydroxymitragynine in proportion to mitragynine within the plant. We did some research and found that the following strains come highly recommended for pain relief, as they contain the highest amount of these alkaloids.
Maeng Da is a favorite Kratom strain thanks to its powerful effects. It’s great for alleviating chronic pain associated with conditions like cancer and arthritis. When taken in high dosages, Maeng Da tends to have sedative effects as well.
The Bali strain contains high concentrations of 7-hydroxymitragynine which means it’s very effective at fighting pain quickly. Be sure to opt for the Red Vein Bali strain in particular because it’s the most effective of them all. But a lot of people have reported developing a tolerance for Red Vein Bali more than any other strain, so keep that in mind as well.
Malay Kratom is milder than the other strains in this list which makes it perfect for people that want relief from occasional pain. It doesn’t have sedative effects but it might spike your energy levels a bit, and this is in addition to relieving your pain.
The Borneo strain is mostly recommended for anyone that struggles with joint pain or chronic muscle pain. Just be sure to take it in moderation because this strain is very powerful, so a little goes a long way here.
There’s no golden rule when it comes to Kratom dosage, just because it’s contingent on the individual. You have to consider factors like your weight, health circumstances as well as the potency of the strain. Also, there’s not enough clinical research data on Kratom to determine the correct dosage. Plus, you have to consider the fact that Kratom is still illegal in many parts of the world, and that slows down the rate at which research can be conducted on its effects.
The most important thing is to purchase your Kratom from a reliable and trustworthy vendor who sources their product from a lab-tested grower. Also, make sure to stick to the recommended dosage, as taking too little, or too much can lead to detrimental effects. Don’t forget to consult with your doctor or relevant healthcare professional to make sure that Kratom doesn’t interact with the medications that you’re taking.
It’s worth noting here that not all Kratom vendors are consistent when it comes to dosage and measurement. For the best results, invest in a high-quality digital scale of your own that you can use to measure dosages at home.
Here’s a guideline that might help you figure out the right dosage of Kratom to take.
Disclaimer: This information is not set in stone so please take it as a general guideline only.
- Powdered Kratom leaf dosage: 1 gram = 0.035 ounces; 50 grams = 1.75 ounces; 100 grams = 3.5 ounces
- Bali Kratom powder dosage: 1 tablespoon = 6.2 grams; 1 teaspoon = 2.3 grams
- Crushed Kratom leaf dosage: 1 tablespoon = 2.7 grams; 1 teaspoon = 0.9 grams
- Green Malay Kratom dosage: 1 tablespoon = 6.9 grams; 1 teaspoon = 2.4 grams
- Maeng Da Kratom powder dosage: 1 tablespoon = 7 grams; 1 teaspoon = 2.6 grams
As a beginner, you may struggle with figuring out the right dosage of Kratom to take for pain. We recommend starting small and working your way up to a higher dosage as your body gets more acquainted with the plant.
In the beginning, it’s okay to take just 2 or 3 grams, while making sure to consume the Kratom on an empty stomach. It’ll probably take about 40 minutes for you to start feeling its effects. If nothing happens after that, feel free to take an additional 1 or 2 grams. If nothing happens after that, then you should probably consider changing your vendor because it means you’ve bought a rather weak strain.
Take into consideration your weight when deciding on a Kratom dosage because it will play a role in the effect you get. For example, a dosage of 1.5 grams is enough for anyone that weighs less than 149 pounds, as that will give you the desired effects without forming a tolerance.
Kratom Regulations in the US
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced on the 30th of August 2016 that it would be taking steps to regulate Kratom as a Schedule 1 substance by the end of September of the same year. This would’ve placed Kratom in the same category as substances such as MDMA and heroin, both of which are considered to be dangerous substances that are not accepted for medical use due to their high potential for abuse.
However, the DEA was forced to retract this notice of intent by October 2016 due to backlash from the political sphere as well as from the general public. A public march was held at Lafayette Park in Washington, D.C, which concluded with the submission of a petition to oppose the ban which had 120,000 signatures. During the event, a director from the Botanical Education Alliance voiced his concerns over the DEA’s misguided targeting of the Kratom plant.
The DEA stated that the reasons for their concern over the plant were rooted in the presence of the mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine alkaloids in Kratom. If the DEA had succeeded, Kratom would’ve remained in the schedule 1 drug list for two years, thus slowing down research and fair inquiry into the plant.
These events didn’t stop the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from issuing a public health recommendation against Kratom though, citing certain risks as the motivation behind the recommendation.
Research Made on Kratom
Available evidence on Kratom shows that this plant is an effective pain relief medicine and offers a safer alternative to addictive opioids. The International Journal on Drug Policy published a study in 2010 which showed that Kratom users consider it to be an accessible and safe substance to take for pain, and it doesn’t come with any adverse side effects. This survey was conducted with a focus group of 136 active Kratom users, and it didn’t test for any of the herb’s potential dangers and side effects.
Meanwhile, a 2014 report from the Drug and Alcohol Dependence journal showed that it’s possible to develop a Kratom dependency over time. The study was conducted with 293 regular users of Kratom, half of whom reported experiencing withdrawal symptoms whenever they stopped taking the plant. The symptoms included sleep difficulties, tension, anger, and muscle spasms.
The Journal of Medicinal Chemistry published a study in 2016 that was conducted on mice which indicates that Kratom can trigger slow breathing reactions similar to morphine. This is important to consider because most of the deaths associated with Kratom happen due to overdose-induced breathing problems. This is why it’s essential to conduct further research into Kratom, and for current users to avoid overdosing.
Can Kratom Be Used as an Alternative to Opioid?
As we all know, the US is going through a major opioid addiction epidemic which has been going on for quite some time now. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the sale of prescription opioids has quadrupled since 1999, while the number of death associated with opioid addiction has also quadrupled.
Opioids caused more than six out of ten of the overdose-related deaths in America.
Still, Kratom advocates believe that this plant presents a unique solution to the opioid problem. It offers people a safe, non-addictive yet equally powerful pain relief method that can help them to avoid opioids.
How to Safely Use Kratom Products
Currently, U.S. citizens may purchase Kratom online, where it’s sold as a dietary supplement.
Here’s what U.S. legislation has to say about dietary supplement intake:
- According to federal US law, manufacturers of dietary supplements are not required to provide proof of safety before they can sell their product.
- There’s no law to stop suppliers from omitting certain ingredients from their packaging. This means vendors may easily add fillers and additives to their Kratom supply without telling consumers about it.
- Dietary supplements are just that – supplements! They don’t purport to heal or cure disease in any way, and combining any dietary supplement with your regular medicine may lead to health complications.
- Just because a product has the word “natural” on the label doesn’t mean it’s safe.
In light of this information, it might be a good idea for you to speak to a doctor or health professional before you take any dietary supplement, and that includes Kratom!
Legality of Kratom
Likewise, check what your local, regional and state laws say about Kratom before you purchase it because there may be discrepancies between them. Kratom is banned and considered illegal in some countries, while it’s unregulated in others. Make sure to keep up with the latest regulations so that you don’t find yourself on the wrong side of the law.
No-one wants to live with pain because it can have devastating effects on your quality of life, and your ability to enjoy life to the fullest.
If you’re thinking of taking Kratom for pain, be sure to consult with your doctor first.
There are plenty of open-minded health facilities that are exploring Kratom for pain relief as an alternative method that can be used together with other types of pain treatment.