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WHAT IS KRATOM?
Kratom, or mitragyna speciosa, is a plant that was discovered by a dutch settler in the early 1800s. After its discovery, kratom leaves quickly became known as a source of energy and endurance by the natives who chewed the leaves on long treks through the jungles of Thailand. The leaves were traditionally chewed raw but may also be brewed into a tea or dried and ground into fine powder. In southern Thailand, the use of kratom has been common practice by natives for thousands of years. There is no stigma or discrimination attached to kratom use there, as its use is as common as drinking coffee in the United States. In fact, Thai employers in the 1800s were said to have preferred to hire workers who chewed kratom because they were found to be more focused and energetic.
Kratom can render both mildly stimulating effects and mildly relaxing effects depending upon the measurement used. At smaller amounts, the effects tend to be slightly more stimulating; and at larger amounts, the effects tend to be more relaxing. Most kratom users report an overall sense of well-being and willingness to work. Some have reported an increase in focus, attentiveness, and social confidence resulting from the responsible use of kratom.
Green & White Vein Kratom: These are your energetic strains, with white (in general) being slightly higher in energy. These leaves produce more stimulating effects than red vein varieties. Green vein leaves are known for providing clearer thinking as well as extra endurance, and is preferred by athletes and labor workers. Some users have reported that green vein leaves have been useful for anxiety and depression symptoms.
Red Vein Kratom: These are your sedating strains. After the initial rush of energy, the calming effects take over. Red vein is often used for pain relief and as a substitute for opiate detoxing. Some users report that it gives them a euphoric feeling.
For more than a thousand years, people have enjoyed a broad range of*health benefits by using kratom. Originating in the rich ecological paradises of Southeast Asia, the leaves of the kratom tree are packed with naturally-occurring alkaloids which deliver a powerful assortment of vitality-boosting effects. Today, kratom is used as an herbal medicinal around the world by people from all walks of life. Check out just a few of the amazing results that kratom powder enthusiasts experience every day:
Lifting energy naturally
Calming the nerves
Achieving a state of euphoria and optimism
Relieving pain and body aches
Lowering blood pressure
Easing symptoms of depression
Enhancing mental ability (nootropic)
Kratom dosage can vary depending upon the strength of differing kratom strains; however the majority of all-natural, organic kratom powders are effect at two to four grams which is one half to one full teaspoon. Kratom extracts can be effective at just one half gram to one full gram which translates to an eighth of a teaspoon and a quarter of a teaspoon.
IS KRATOM ADDICTIVE?
Kratom is a close relative to the coffee plant. Similar to the use of caffeine if kratom is used daily in large amounts, it can become mildly habit forming. Some have reported caffeine withdrawal to be far worse than kratom withdrawal; however, this can vary for each individual.
HISTORY OF KRATOM
In spite of the rich history and tradition of kratom within Thailand, the Thai government passed the Kratom Act 2486 on August 3, 1943. The Kratom Act made planting the tree illegal and required existing trees to be cut down. Currently, despite the government’s effort to control this indigenous tree, nearly 70% of adult males in southern Thailand use kratom daily – a practice that has continued from its origin to today without any reported case of death from overdose or negative side effects. In 1979, kratom was scheduled in category 5 of the Narcotic Act, which also includes cannabis and magic mushrooms and is the least punitive category. As evidenced by the 2010 proposal from the Thai Office of Narcotics Control Board, which sought to decriminalize kratom and recognize its traditional use as part of fundamental Thai culture, the Thai authorities today consider the attempts at restricting kratom use as unnecessary and faulty. The ONCB concluded that decades of widespread kratom use without any negative social impact and no harm found to the health of its users, made prohibiting the leaf counterproductive. The report also officially revealed what many students of kratom’s history have long suspected – that kratom was banned for economic reasons and not due to any concern over the health of the kratom user or its social impact. During the decades preceding the 1943 Kratom Act, the Thai government was collecting substantial tax revenue resulting from the opium trade. Due to the rise in opium costs and the discovery that kratom could relieve opium withdrawals, many users turned to kratom as a means to cure their addiction. This, of course, resulted in a decline in opium use and consequently a decline in tax revenue for the government. The following statement can be found in the ONCB report:
“In Thailand, kratom was first scheduled for control in 1943 under the Kratom Act. At the time, the government was levying taxes from users and shops involved in the opium trade. Because of the increasing opium costs, many users were switching to kratom to manage their withdrawal symptoms. However, the launch of the Greater East Asia War in 1942 and declining revenues from the opium trade pushed the Thai government into action to curb and suppress competition in the opium market by making kratom illegal.”
IS KRATOM SAFE?
When used in the historical sense, there has been no documented evidence that all-natural kratom leaf can cause any harm to its user. In addition, studies about the medicinal uses for kratom are on the rise. It has been long reported that kratom has been used to treat a myriad of ailments including but not limited to: diarrhea, depression, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, stomach parasites, diverticulitis, anxiety, alcoholism, and opiate withdrawal. In addition to the treatment of existing ailments, researchers are also beginning to study how kratom can promote healthier liver function, increased antioxidant levels, and increased levels of melanin for sun protection. Exciting new research about one of the active alkaloids in kratom, Catechin, has been linked to numerous health benefits. Perhaps one of the most intriguing is its effect upon stroke victims. There is a typical two to three hour time frame for the treatment of stroke victims, and epiccatechin was found to limit nuerological damage in mice when administered as long as three and a half hours after the stroke.