The Science Behind Kratom: How It Works in Your Body
Kratom is one of the supplements gaining momentum in North America, especially in the US and Canada. It’s a supplement deemed essential by users for different functions ranging from pain management to opioid withdrawal. Since the plant has been used for hundreds of years in South Asia, its arrival in the western hemisphere has seen an explosion in usage.
There are many reasons why many people are embracing the use of kratom. Since it’s legal in Canada, you can use it without restrictions. Available as a supplement, it is available in stores and online pharmacies. Before you can opt to use Kratom, this guide explores the science behind the supplement and how it works on your body.
What Is Kratom Supplement?
Kratom is a tropical tree scientifically known as Mitragyna speciosa and belongs to the Rubiaceae family. The tree originates and grows in Southeast Asian countries such as the Philippines, New Guinea, Thailand, Indonesia, etc. Traditionally, kratom is a stimulant to combat fatigue and increase working hours.
The utilized parts of the tree are the leaves, which are chewed when fresh or dried for brewing, smoked, or ground into powder.
When kratom is used in small quantities, it causes body and mental stimulation. However, when consumed in large quantities, it can cause narcotic-like effects.
Due to the perceived benefits of kratom, you can buy the product online. Specifically, some leading sellers like Canada Kratom Express allow you to place an order in the comfort of your home.
What Is Kratom Chemistry?
Kratom is an herbal product with opioid-like effects on users. According to laboratory analysis, the tree has over 40 alkaloids, which include flavonoids, polyphenols, terpenoids, and others. Of these chemicals, the active ones are mitragynine and 7-hydroxy mitragynine.
Of the two active phytochemicals, mitragynine is the most prevalent, accounting for 2% of weight by mass. However, the chemical accounts for 66% of all the alkaloids in the kratom plant.
How Does Kratom Work in the Body?
When you take a kratom supplement, it gives you an opioid-like feeling. Actually, you feel like a person under the influence of cocaine for small doses. However, the product has a sedative feeling in huge quantities, like you have taken morphine.
The reason why kratom makes you feel like you are under the influence of opioids is because the Phytoactive compounds target opioid receptors. The active alkaloids, i.e., Mitragynine and 7-hydroxy mitragynine bind opioid receptors.
Using the supplement works in different ways in your body, as explained below.
Interaction with Opioid Receptors
The active compounds in kratom provide analgesic properties similar to those offered by opioids. When ingested, the supplement is known to be an agonist against opioid receptors such as µ (MOR), δ (DOR), and κ (KOR).
Kratom is used to manage pain by binding the receptors, just like opioid analgesics. However, the weaker nature of kratom means its effects aren’t as strong as in opioids; hence, it is easier to withdraw than opioid-based drugs.
Kratom is used as an analgesic substance due to the presence of Mitragynine, a chemical that has undergone clinical trials to ascertain its effectiveness in pain management. The chemical achieves analgesic effects by binding to the MOR receptors.
Interaction with Adrenergic Neurotransmitters
Apart from binding to pain perception receptors, kratom interacts with adrenergic receptors. This interaction with adrenergic neurotransmitters is crucial since it makes the supplement ideal for pain management and the perfect treatment for opioid withdrawal symptoms.
Through studies, scientists established that mitragynine and speciogynine compounds in kratom had binding affinities to alpha-2A, 2B, and 2C adrenergic receptors. The interaction is said to provide antinociceptive effects.
Dopamine Receptors Interaction.
Taking kratom has also shown strong interaction with Dopamine neurotransmitters in the brain. Dopamine receptors control emotions, memory, learning, sleeping, and decision-making.
Using kratom has shown that mitragynine has antagonist effects on dopamine receptors. Specifically, the compound targets D1 and D2 receptors, which control memory, impulses, locomotion, and other functions.
The binding of dopamine receptors by kratom has shown that the supplement has shown effectiveness in anti-addiction, antidepressant, and antipsychotic effects. These qualities make the plant an alternative for people seeking to withdraw from opioid addiction.
Interaction with Parasympathetic Nervous System
The Parasympathetic Nervous System is involved in regulating body activities. Mainly, the system regulates rhythmic activities such as breathing, blinking, intestinal wall contraction, and relaxation, among others.
Kratom is known to interact with the parasympathetic nervous system. Through this action, you can benefit from slowed peristalsis, which is essential for reducing intestinal muscle contraction to counter diarrhea.
Kratom and Serotonergic Effects
Serotonin is a hormone neurotransmitter that carries messages between cells in the brain. These neurotransmitters control happiness, learning ability, sexual behavior, and body temperature.
Taking kratom can affect the serotonin receptors, which helps in boosting mood. In conjunction with dopamine, the hormone enhances sleep, reduces anxiety, and improves sexual wellness.
Does Kratom have Side Effects?
The interaction of kratom with different neurotransmitters makes it perfect for managing various issues. However, taking kratom overdose can lead to effects like:
- Appetite loss
- Dry mouth
- Low heartbeats
- Stomach upsets
Kratom is known to interact with different neuroreceptors, which makes it important for treating various issues. Being an herbal supplement, it is gaining popularity among people seeking to withdraw from opioid addiction. The general use of kratom aims to improve well-being.
However, before using the supplement, it’s best to seek advice from professionals to avoid unwanted interactions.