Much like Marijuana, Kratom has been at the receiving end of both fans and haters. Some swear by it, claiming it has come to their rescue more than once in their lifetime. On the other hand, others claim it is nothing but a dangerous drug that should be done away with.
Owing to the massive success of the Kratom industry, it is pretty evident that the popularity of the drug is unbeatable. By 2016, the industry was worth a whopping $1.3 billion according to an estimate by the Botanical Education Alliance. You bet the figure has gone higher since then.
Let’s go over both the good and the bad of Kratom in this guide. Hopefully, we will give a conclusive answer to the question of why Kratom is both loved and hated.
What is Kratom exactly?
Kratom is basically an extract derived from the leaves of a tree known as Mitragyna Speciosa. Although the tree is native to Southeast Asia (particularly Myanmar, Malaysia, and Thailand), it has been grown in almost all parts of the world by now. Kratom leaves can be consumed directly through chewing or swallowing. It can also be brewed or extracted to make a product in liquid form. The extract is typically what is sold in the Kratom crazy website and other Kratom vendors.
Although Kratom made its grand appearance on the market in recent years, it has been in use for millennia. Apparently, farmers and laborers in Malaysia and Thailand chewed Kratom leaves or brewed them in their beverages to counter fatigue, increase their energy levels, and relieve muscle pain. Kratom was also chewed by Thai natives as an alternative to opium to deal with opioid withdrawal symptoms.
Kratom as A Miracle Cure
Researchers claim that Kratom acts on your opioid receptors. Turns out that taking low doses of the drug can offer tremendous stimulant properties and make you more energetic. Higher doses of the same may help reduce pain and possibly bring euphoria. Many consumers of Kratom thrive in the feeling of euphoria associated with Kratom. Very high doses can sedate anyone and make them quiet and sleepy.
Kratom is also heavily utilized in vast recreational settings for relaxation purposes. Kratom enthusiasts in this capacity claim it is safe and natural since it is plant-based.
The Risks of Kratom
Although there are millions of people who derive incredible value from Kratom, the drug isn’t necessarily safe all through. In fact, as some people would have it, Kratom may present more harm than good. Here are some of the negative effects of using Kratom:
- Overdose: As mentioned before, high doses of Kratom will only do more harm than good. A Kratom overdose can cause you to pass out or cause extreme sedation. People who take other sedation drugs simultaneously are especially at risk of having a Kratom overdose.
- Liver damage: Albeit rare, Kratom can cause acute liver injuries among addicted users. Thankfully, it is possible to make a complete recovery from liver damage once consumption is stopped.
- Addiction: Like other opioid drugs, Kratom is believed to be addictive. People who use it to detach themselves from other harmful drugs often find themselves hooked to it instead. It is believed that once addicted, the withdrawal symptoms are almost always unavoidable. These include aggressive behavior, muscle aches, sleep issues, hostility and irritability, nausea, yawning, diarrhea, and a runny nose.
- Death: From 2011 to 2017, the US poison control centers reported 1800 cases (including 91 deaths) linked to Kratom abuse. Approximately half of the cases caused high blood pressure, seizures, and other negative outcomes.
What does the FDA say about all this?
The FDA hasn’t given a red light to the use of Kratom for medicinal purposes. In fact, it banned its import in 2014. According to the DEA, the drug can easily make one high at best when abused. Kratom is, therefore, listed as a “drug concern.” The FDA has already warned people to avoid it at all costs. Apart from the risk of addiction, dependence, and abuse, the drug has also been falsely marketed. Some of the products contain impurities as well.
Based on research and past use, Kratom seems to lurk by the fence. It possesses tremendous sedative and stimulating effects that cannot be ignored. As a matter of fact, Kratom has been used in Southeast Asia for thousands of years without any reported deaths. The only negative overdose cases reported included addiction and resistance even in high doses.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, the danger of going overboard with consumption is always a matter of concern. Knowing that death is one of the possibilities of a Kratom overdose makes the deal even sourer. This is the reason authorities don’t want anything to do with it. If you are considering using Kratom for whatever reason, watch your doses. Keep it as low as you possibly can.