The Benefits and Side Effects of Daily Kratom Use
It’s no secret that Kratom is incredibly popular in the United States and abroad.
Millions of people say that kratom has given them a new lease on life, and many use it to help them manage chronic pain, anxiety and depression and help them kick their addiction to opioids.
For those who have severe chronic pain, or who have been addicted to opioids recently, they may fall into a population of people with whom daily kratom use is part of their routine.
If you’re considering using kratom routinely, it’s sensible to understand the benefits of using it so often. Additionally, anything we ingest has the potential to be harmful. Therefore, it is important that you understand the risks that may go with using it so often.
Read on for more information on the benefits, as well as the side effects of daily kratom use.
What is Kratom?
Before we dive into the benefits and side effects of taking kratom, let’s briefly discuss what it is.
Kratom is derived from a tree called the mitragyna speciosa, which is in the same family as coffee plants. The tree thrives in hot and humid environments, and as such, is indigenous to Southeast Asia.
When people ingest kratom, they are ingesting ground-up powder from the tree’s leaves. The leaves are, unsurprisingly, where all of the effects are.
In Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia and Malaysia where the tree gross naturally, kratom has become a part of the culture. In places where many working-class people performed heavy manual labor for several hours a day, they often chewed kratom leaves to make it more tolerable. The leaves both gave them a euphoric effect, and lessened the pain they felt in their body as they worked. It also upped productivity because of this.
The leaves are used in everything from a cure for stomach problems to a balm for wounds in these countries’ folk remedies.
It is also very popular as a tea in these countries. While the leaves themselves taste quite bitter, with a tea some sweetener, and a little bit of extra flavor, can mask the taste. It’s sometimes used as part of rituals of ancestor worship and as a sign of hospitality to guests.
When drunk as a tea, one can still feel the effects of it.
How Do You Take Kratom?
Kratom comes in a variety of forms, and you can take kratom in a few ways. In the west, kratom most often comes in powders, which are the most versatile. Powders can allow you to make capsules, to take it straight, or to make a tea out of it. You can also make teabags out of the powders, which allows you to make tea out of it whenever you wish easily.
Additionally, you can also put kratom in a variety of foods, which help mask the taste of it. It is most commonly put in yogurt and smoothies.
What Does Kratom Do to the Body?
We know kratom is incredibly popular, especially as an alternative to prescription drugs. So, what does it do to the body that makes people with chronic pain, anxiety, PTSD and other ailments find it beneficial?
Kratom acts as an agonist, and it binds to the mu-opioid receptors in the brain. Unsurprisingly, this is the same thing that happens when you take opioids or even harder drugs like heroin. That’s why kratom has similar effects as opioids.
Although kratom hasn’t been studied extensively to date (there are several studies going on at the moment, but not much data yet), the theory is that the mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine in the kratom attach to the proteins known as opioid receptors. Much like opioids themselves, when this happens, it changes the way the mind perceives pain. As such, instead of feeling pain as something unpleasant, it doesn’t feel it at all.
Since kratom is naturally occurring, unlike opioids that are synthetically produced in a lab, many people prefer to use it. It may also help people who have an opioid addiction come off the opioids. Instead of trying to go cold turkey, using kratom to mitigate the cravings is something some people choose to do.
Other Benefits of Kratom
The benefits of kratom are almost all due to the fact that it acts similar to opioids. For the majority of people who take it, this is the reason they do, and the main benefit of kratom for them. For these individuals, kratom does its job by helping relieve them of pain without having to use synthetic substances.
Kratom can also help people with digestive issues, and although this isn’t one of the main uses for it, some people do use it to help control minor bowel problems.
It can also lower your blood pressure, which makes it an alternative to help people who have high blood pressure.
It may also help control diabetes and can even act as a cough suppressant. The latter should not be much of a surprise, as codeine, another opioid, also acts as a cough suppressant.
Some people find that kratom can help them with anxiety and depression. As the drug can give people a feeling of sedation, this can also help relax people. This can be beneficial for those who suffer from insomnia, especially if the insomnia is related to PTSD or other forms of anxiety. As people who suffer from anxiety often struggle with a form of hyperarousal that makes them on guard all of the time, kratom can help relax them.
Short-Term Side Effects of Kratom
Like anything you put in your body, there is always a risk of side effects. Some of these side effects may be pleasant, such as the benefits we’ve discussed. Other side effects may be less so.
It is important to remember that, again, as with anything you put in your body, the effects will be different for every person. Just because you know someone who felt amazing on kratom, or someone who had a terrible experience, it doesn’t mean you’ll feel either way. As such, it is important to go into it with your eyes open.
In the short-term, side effects are often: feeling calm, alternatively, feeling euphoric, feeling talkative, dry mouth, constipation, nausea, itching, sweating, losing your appetite, sweating, sensitive skin.
Long-Term Side Effects of Daily Kratom Use
There is a marked lack of study when it comes to kratom and its use. As such, there is not a lot known about the effects of daily kratom use. One 2019 study, however, found that daily kratom use was not necessarily adverse.
Many people, it found, who took kratom daily, were also productive members of society. Very few who participated in the study were unemployed, and almost none were because of their habitual use of kratom. Indeed, kratom users live productive, and quality lives with their jobs and their families.
However, long-term use of anything comes with some consequences, and there are some suggestions of long-term effects of kratom on the body.
Taking kratom habitually over a long-term period may lead to a chronic loss of appetite, which is defined as anorexia. This is different from anorexia nervosa, as it is not due to a psychological disorder but a physical use of the drug.
It may also lead to constipation, frequently urinating, constipation and discoloring of the face and cheeks. In some instances, it may also lead to psychotic symptoms, such as delusion, confusion and hallucinations. The latter does not seem to be a frequent occurrence, but it is worth noting that it can happen and you should be aware of it.
If you plan to take kratom, especially daily, it is important that you do research on it. It is also important that you speak to your doctor about using it, and understand the risks and implications. As with any substance, the benefit of the kratom should always outweigh the risk of taking it. For many people, it certainly does.
Is Kratom for Me?
Is daily kratom use for you? This is a question that only you can answer. It may be the answer to some of your health issues and problems. But, it also may not be for you. Everyone reacts differently to kratom, with some people having positive experiences, and other people having very negative experiences. Only you can decide if it may be something that can help you.
If you do buy kratom, make sure you purchase it from a reputable retailer. Kratom bought illegally may be “cut” with other substances, making it dangerous to ingest.
Browse our shop for a large selection of kratom strains, and lots of pure kratom products.