How safe is Kratom?
Despite the somewhat negative attention kratom has gotten recently in the news media, few people realize the many benefits associated with its regular use. In fact, there are at least 10 extraordinary kratom benefits that many folks don’t know about. However, the general consensus is that kratom isn’t as safe as it is effective. Yes, this plant is quite potent but that doesn’t mean it’s risky to enjoy.
According to the numerous studies on kratom’s effectiveness and safety, there are only a handful of negative side effects and they’re all relatively innocuous. A very marginal percentage of people experienced things like hallucinations and delusions, and some of the people who became dependent on kratom experienced slight withdrawal symptoms like jitteriness, insomnia, and upset stomach. The majority of those studied, however, had no negative side effects at all.
So, it begs the question as to why kratom is strictly controlled or outright banned in 16 countries, some of which are where kratom naturally grows. This negative publicity is giving kratom an undue bad name, especially considering its impressive effect on brain function, libido, and blood sugar. With a little research, one will come to discover that the cautiousness and blatant bans have more to do with economics and less to do with kratom’s safety.
History of Kratom
Mitragyna speciosa, better known as “kratom,” isn’t as mysterious as it sounds. Grown primarily in parts of Indonesia, Papau New Guinea, and Thailand, this wide-leafed, basic-looking plant has been used for centuries by locals and curious travelers. Not until recently did pop culture catch a clue about its many health benefits, but once word spread the sales of kratom went through the roof. Typically sold as a dried leaf, extract, as a capsule, or in powder form, kratom can be legally obtained without a prescription and is not regulated by any government agency (yet).
What Is Kratom Used For?
Kratom may not be in society’s everyday vocabulary, but it soon will be. After the population gets wind of the things that this potent plant can do, it’s lights out for traditional pharmaceuticals. People use kratom for a wide variety of things, as its versatility is just one of the many impressive qualities of it. However, the most common uses include:
- To manage anxiety
- To relieve pain
- To reduce stress
- To regulate sleep patterns
- To balance blood sugar levels
- To boost the metabolism
- To increase energy levels
- To improve sexual performance
- To bolster fertility
- To streamline immune system functionality
- To enhance creativity
- To ease the symptoms of opioid withdrawal
- To expand cognitive function
- To lift mood
- To increase blood flow to major organs
The list of potential benefits is surprisingly long considering all the misguided information circulating. “Is kratom safe?” should not be the question. The question should be, “Is kratom for sale anywhere?” Unfortunately, a portion of the public still believes kratom is dangerous and ban-worthy.
Is Kratom Safe?
The short answer: yes, kratom is safe. The long answer: you shouldn’t even think about using kratom in any way, shape, or form if you are not at least 18 years of age. Even in countries and states where it’s unregulated or legal to use, possess or distribute kratom, underage participants are strongly discouraged. Not only is it illegal for minors to partake in kratom use, but it’s also dangerous. There are no studies that clearly determine the effects of kratom use on children.
With all that said, a healthy adult is safe to enjoy kratom at will as long as they’re prepared for both the positive and potentially negative side effects. Because kratom is unregulated, it’s vital that you obtain your supply through only the most trusted sources. Regular use is generally viewed as fine. In fact, some people chew or smoke as many as 60 leaves per day. As with anything, however, be responsible and understand the risk of dependency, albeit slight.
Is Kratom Safe for Pregnant and Nursing Mothers?
Unfortunately, pregnant women and nursing mothers are not exactly prime candidates for kratom use, regardless of quality, potency or frequency. As mentioned above, there have been no conclusive studies on the effects of kratom on children, let alone the unborn variety. Furthermore, the chemical compounds present in kratom create a strong euphoric sensation that mimics opium and is potentially habit-forming. So, while there are lots of healthy side effects and vital nutrients found in kratom, it’s not the best thing for little ones (or the ones caring for them).
On the bright side, very small doses of kratom mixed into tea can serve as a sleep aid, energy booster, immune system enhancer, or relaxant during your post-partum struggles if you choose to bottle feed instead. There are no secondhand side effects unless the leaves are smoked and the sensations don’t last for very long (hence why some people consume 60+ leaves per day).
Is Kratom Safe for Individuals on Prescription Medication?
According to the most recent information, there are no major drug interactions associated with pure mitragyna speciosa. Alternatively, knock-off products and low-quality supplies dictate whether the substance is safe for everyone. Again, where you buy your stash makes all the difference.
While we’re on the subject, it’s important to note that kratom effects the heart rate, the metabolism, blood flow, blood sugar levels, the hormones, your mood, and your sex drive. So, if you take prescription medications for any of those things, then using kratom may have an undesirable effect. Either you will feel nothing from the kratom or you’ll feel things too intensely. To be on the safe side, it’s probably best for you to speak with your doctor before adding any substances into your routine.
What Are the Main Side Effects of Kratom?
Kratom, albeit generally safe and effective for a variety of common ailments, does have a few negative side effects that are experienced by a small percentage of the population. Especially when the quality of the kratom is substandard, these side effects may become more prevalent. They include, but may not be limited to, the following:
Depending on your body’s chemical makeup and the quality/potency of the kratom you ingest, the severity and duration of those side effects with vary widely. Moreover, those who use kratom on a regular basis may find themselves feeling dependent on the plant. While this is relatively rare, it is something to consider before ingesting the leaves in any manner.
Kratom users who become dependent or addicted to the substance may experience the following symptoms during withdrawal, but cases also vary widely:
- Muscle spasms
- Loss of appetite
It’s important to respect dosage suggestions and use kratom responsibly at all times. Regardless of whether it’s safe or not, anything that affects your mind and body should be enjoyed alongside a hefty dose of common sense. Kratom is no exception despite its relative innocuousness.
The Final Verdict
Overall, kratom is a remarkable plant with extraordinary capabilities and a long history of serving mankind in a variety of ways. Its list of health benefits is extensive, while its list of potential side effects is short. For unpregnant, non-nursing adults living intolerant parts of the world, kratom is a unique alternative to opium, muscle relaxers, sleep aids, energy boosters, and diet pills. Interestingly, kratom’s benefits can be tailored to suit your desires – blood sugar regulation, weight loss, sexual enhancement, etc. Perhaps that’s why the plant is becoming so popular and globally accepted as one of the safest and most effective natural substances on the planet.