Pharmacology of Kratom Effects


The activity of the main “alkaloids within kratom” is significantly different from psychedelics, even though they are structurally related to these substances. The overarching and observable results are deemed to have similarities with opium drugs and include cough suppression as well as analgesia. What distinguishes kratom from opium is that the ability to suppress coughing, which as an “effect of mitragynine“, does not have side effects pertaining to dyspnea and emesis. These two scientific names relate to difficulties in being to breathe properly, especially whilst sleeping.

Compared to codeine usage, there are lesser chances of contracting respiratory depression. In a paper written by Prast and Jansen in 1988, it was researched that nalorphine did not antagonize mitragynine. This led to confusion and disagreement amongst researchers about whether kratom acted in a similar manner as opium and other opioids.

Even though this disagreement persisted amongst medical circles, results did continue to show that kratom reduces opiate withdrawal symptoms. Moreover, its results were reversed and turned around by opium antagonists, like cyprodime, naloxone, NA LTR indole, norbinaltorphimine’s and naloxone azine.

The reversal of these effects shows that a major element of this substance’s effects is opioid receptor activity. Furthermore, an interesting facet of these effects is that though naloxone is known to antagonize the analgesic results of kratom within the tail-flick test, it did not show to cause a reversal of analgesia during the hot plate test.

Kratom’s effects on opioid receptors

The “alkaloids within kratom” are highly efficient at reducing pain and work comparatively better when they are consumed orally. Codeine is a substance with comparable quality as well as the strength of effects though many asserts that kratom’s quality is better than codeine. Both mu opioid receptors, as well as delta receptors, help in mediating the opiate-like results of kratom. In tests conducted upon mice, these activities were highly selective, especially for supraspinal opioid receptors.

Moreover, as per database at Micromedex Poisindex, a 50-milligram dosage of pure mitragynine results in giddiness, motor excitement, Romberg IRM as well as tremors in the face and neck. It can also result in tremors in the tongue, loss of feeling in the limbs and a swaying of one’s body or an inability to stand properly without feeling excessively dizzy.

Research on kratom by E. Macko

On the contrary, researcher E. Macko has noted no indication of toxicity such as convulsions or tremors at dosages that can go as high as 950 milligrams per kg in tests conducted on dogs. For the tests conducted on cats, E. Macko discovered that high dosages tended to result in stimulation that was markedly different from the stimulating effects of opiates.

Though kratom leads to enhanced exploratory behavior, the common side effects associated with opiates, such as ‘fear and rage complex’ were not found. This can be attributed as a contributing reason for why the 1994 study, conducted by the Malaysian Health Ministry, found that many individuals seeking relief from heroin or opium addiction sought the “benefits of kratom“.

Moreover, the health ministry also found that users used kratom to get rid of ringworms or tapeworms within their stomach, as well as flush out the toxins in their body. The internal “pharmacology of kratom” is structured in a manner that it has a plethora of benefits that are still undiscovered.

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