Kratom By: Rachel Greene
What is Kratom? • Kratom is a tree that is native to Southeast Asia mostly commonly in Thailand. • The botanical name is Mitragyna speciosa • Similar to opioid effects • Stimulating at low doses • Sedative at high doses • Kratom is related to the coffee plant explaining the stimulating effects
History • First discovered in 1834 by Dutch colonist Pieter Korthals • Kratom got it’s name from the resemblance of the leaves to the bishops hat. • Kratom Tree’s can reach up to 50 feet tall and 15 feet wide. • Mainly used by Thai laborers, pheasants, and market gardeners due to the increased ability to work. • Kratom was used for medicinal purposed for a long time in Thailand
Method of Use • Depending on the method of intake the drug usually takes 5-15 minutes to feel the effects and it normally lasts 2-5 hours • Chewing the Leaf (Produces Stimulant Effects) • Making Kratom Into A Tea (Need A Much Higher Dosage) • Taking Capsule Form • Eating the Powder Form (Very Bitter Taste) • Smoking the Leaf (Not Recommended, Need High Dose For Desired Effects)
Effects on the Body • Stimulating at low doses but sedative at higher ones • Inability to Focus Eyes • Analgesia • Increased Energy • Alertness • Increased Social Behavior • Calm and Relaxed • Dizziness • Vomiting or Nausea • Constipation • Respiratory Depression • Muscle Relaxant • Cough Suppressant
Long Term Effects There have been no recent studies done on the long term effects of Kratom, the last one being done in Thailand in 1973. Also Kratom is only found to be addicting if taken more than twice a week. These effects were found in the study in users that chewed about 20-30 leaves a day: • Constipation • Hemorrhoids • Causes Skin Darkening Mainly In The Cheeks • Decrease in Energy A lot of the effects are assumed due to the nature of the drug in the case of constipation and decreased energy
Effects on the Brain • Kratom stimulates the same receptors in the brain that opioids do. • The main receptors affected are the mu- and delta- with little affect on the kappa opioid receptor which is why Kratom is less addicting than most opiates. • Kratom contains 25 different alkaloids, all of which are not fully understood. • Primary active alkaloid is mitragynine which causes decreased gastrointestinal functioning and also helps to relieve pain • Another primary alkaloid is 7-hydroxymitragynine which is thought to be more powerful than morphine.
Use For Opioid Addiction • There have been no studies for Kratom being used to treat opioid addiction, however people have tried self medicating and have found promising results. • Since Kratom affects the same receptors in the brain the user does not feel cravings for opioids. • Withdrawal symptoms can be very painful and Kratom helps to relieve the pain and also other symptoms like diarrhea. • Kratom was originally used in Thailand to help cure opium addictions after it was introduced.
Legality • Kratom Act 2489 was passed in Thailand on August 3, 1943. Made possessing the drug illegal and also ordered all Kratom trees to be cut down and further planting of the tree to be illegal as well. This did not work out well due to Kratom trees being indigenous to the region. • Kratom is now scheduled as a Category V along with marijuana and is the 3rd most popular drug behind marijuana and meth. • It is legal here in the United States and is widely available on the internet. However the FDA has started to show interest in this drug and recently put out a report in December of 2010.
Video • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KO604vjQklc&feature=related
Works Cited • Babu, K., C. McCurdy, and E. Boyer. "NIDA - Director's Report - May, 2008." Director's • Report to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse. May 2008. Web. 31 Jan. 2011. <http://www.drugabuse.gov/DirReports/DirRep508/DirectorReport10.html>. • Devotee, Kratom. "Kratom.net - Mitragyna Speciosa Kratom: a Sedative-narcotic and a Stimulant."Kratom.net - Kratom.net Home. 13 Nov. 2009. Web. 03 Mar. 2011. <http://www.kratom.net/content.php?50-Mitragyna-speciosa-Kratom-a-sedative-narcotic-and-a-stimulant#top>. • "Erowid Kratom (Mitragyna Speciosa) Vault : Effects." Erowid. 19 Mar. 2004. Web. 03 Mar. 2011. <http://www.erowid.org/plants/kratom/kratom_effects.shtml>. • "KRATOM (Mitragyna Speciosa Korth) (Street Names: Thang, Kakuam, Thom, Ketum, Biak)." DEA Diversion Control Program. Dec. 2010. Web. 26 Feb. 2011. <http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drugs_concern/kratom.htm>. • Suwanlert, Sangun. "UNODC - Bulletin on Narcotics - 1975 Issue 3 - 002." United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. 1 Jan. 1975. Web. 28 Feb. 2011. <http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/data-and-analysis/bulletin/bulletin_1975-01-01_3_page003.html>.