Kratom, a member of the coffee family, is a tropical tree-like plant (grows upward to 100 feet) native to the forests and jungles of Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. For centuries, the locals have used Kratom as a traditional folk medicine. Typically, kratom leaves are either chewed and swallowed or brewed as a tea to fight fatigue. However, many also use it as an opiate substitute to treat pain or feed their opiate addiction.
Unfortunately, for years, physicians became accustomed to over-prescribing opioids without discretion, despite full knowledge that within a month their patients would be addicted. Patients who tried to live a drug-free became desperate for safe alternatives to counter pain. But there was none, until kratom. In the late 90s, kratom was slowly introduced to the West. Eventually, kratom became known as the natural alternative to opiates but without the addictions.
Now, people searching for post-surgery pain relief turn to kratom. Furthermore, people searching to end their opiate addiction turn to kratom. People searching to manage their anxiety, stress, depression, and anti-social issues turn to kratom. Patients were relieved knowing they could manage pain without the stress of addiction and withdrawals.
While scientists have been studying kratom for over 100 years, kratom’s main alkaloid, mitragynine, was identified in 1921. Recent studies now recognize kratom contains over 54 active alkaloids, but only two predominate: mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine.
Alkaloids in Kratom
The active alkaloid potency derived from these two alkaloids is not fixed in the plant. They constantly fluctuate within a range depending on plant variety, environment, location, and harvest time. Eventually, animal studies proved mitragynine did not cause dependence; though, 7-Hydroxy could. Thus, patients were opting to choose kratom vs opiates and with great success.
Chemically speaking, mitragynine makes up 66% of the plant’s alkaloid content, yielding approximately 1.25% mitragynine. By contrast, 7-Hydroxymitragynine only makes up 2% max of the plant’s alkaloid content, and often yielding between 0.06% – 0.003% 7-Hydroxy. Though mitragynine is more abundant, 7-Hydroxy is far more powerful, harder to extract, and highly addictive. For comparison, mitragynine is 3x as potent as codeine and 1/3 as potent as morphine. While, 7-Hydroxy is 17x potent as morphine! Fortunately, kratom can be purchased without 7-Hydroxymitragynine.
Caution: kratom extracts are 100% total alkaloid fraction including 7-Hydroxymitragynine unless removed, and void of all other plant matter. Therefore, extract consumption should be kept to a minimum and taken only as needed to avoid a habit. Simply said… Consuming Kratom Extract will raise your tolerance.