How kratom works in the body

It is relatively easy to describe the sensations that kratom produces in our organism. Although some people need only 1 gram to obtain the desired effect when taking their kratom, others, when ingesting 10 times the same amount will feel the same effect; therefore it is virtually impossible for us to define a specific and universal dose of Mitragyna speciosa, since each organism reacts differently to the alkaloids of the herb. It is recommended that each person should gradually find his or her own personal dose, starting from the bottom.

So far, everything is relatively simple: by trying kratom and finding one’s own dose, the desired analgesic effects will be achieved and the needs of the seeker will be satisfied. The same can be said with regard to stabilizing mood, controlling anxiety, intensifying concentration, stimulating sleep or seeking an energy boost: whatever the desired effect, everyone will have to find his or her own personal dosage. In general, low doses provide an energetic stimulus, while higher doses are usually sedative.

But how does kratom provide these effects to our organism? Many studies and users of kratom often compare some of its most important effects to those of opioids. The truth is that this makes a lot of sense: although kratom has absolutely nothing to do with opium, some of the activated areas in our brain actually coincide, and that is why there are a significant number of former opioid users (both legal and illegal) who have quit drugs with the help of kratom without suffering quite strong physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms.

“It is worth understanding what actually happens in our body when we ingest kratom.”

To understand it better: we all have opioid receptors in our nervous system, which allow the transmission of information from one neuron to another by synapse (in a process called neurotransmission). Three types of opioid receptors have been identified: Mu (μ), Delta (δ) and Kappa (κ); each of them responsible for transmitting different sensations that certain substances provoke in our organism.

In summary, Mu and Delta receptors have strong implications in analgesia (beyond psychoactive effects of opioids), while Kappa influences pain perception, consciousness, motor control and mood, and their imbalance can lead to addiction to different substances. While opium and its derivatives act directly on these receptors, kratom does so partially: mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, two of the most active alkaloids in kratom, are partial agonists that produce morphine-like effects by activating the Mu and Delta receptors.

However, kratom is a Kappa receptor antagonist, which would explain its low addiction potential. It has also been reported that kratom does not interact with beta-arrestin-2, which is associated with classic opioid side effects such as respiratory depression, euphoria and the development of tolerance. Some studies show that other kratom alkaloids possess antagonistic properties at the Delta receptor.

The neurochemical complexity of kratom explains its interaction with the human organism and is reflected in its physiological effects. Beyond what we experience sensorially, it is worth understanding what actually happens in our body when we ingest kratom. Several studies have demonstrated the potential of alkaloids that are unique to Mitragyna speciosa to fight discomfort and pain, something that its users have known empirically for a long time. It would be enough to address the issue using the honesty of science for mankind to take advantage of what this incredibly benign plant has to offer. We keep on striving for this goal.

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