Kratom’s inner chemistry and benefits are such that many have wondered whether it can lead to high addiction. Research shows that addiction can be a plausible possibility when high dosages of kratom are abused or administered. Common kratom withdrawal symptoms include jerky limb movements, inability to work, wet nose, aggression, hostility, muscle and bone aches as well as a constant flow of tears.
It was in 1957 when research by L. C. Thuan revealed the first formal case of kratom addiction. The patient had started to suffer from kratom withdrawal symptoms when he quit using kratom, which he had been using for a long time. L. C. Thuan reported him as ‘quite normal’ when it came to physical and mental health, and that his body was functioning normally. His weight was normal and within the average category and had never fluctuated with increased dosages.
The kratom withdrawal symptoms he was suffering from were dizziness, paleness, and anxiety; all of which are not deemed to be that severe.
Results by A. Marcan
Furthermore, A. Marcan also conducted studies on kratom users in 1960s in an attempt to study the substance’s withdrawal symptoms. His study was limited to Malaysia, where kratom usage was extremely common and did not carry a negative social stigma. Reports showed no negative effects on the subject’s physical health or characters.
Interestingly, he discovered that many users had what is known as a ‘placebo effect’. What this entails is that a user is told and made to believe that he will suffer from kratom withdrawal symptoms after stopping kratom usage. Though physically and mentally he does not suffer from any symptoms, he still thinks that he is suffering. His thought process causes him to firmly start believing that he has dizziness, weakness or anxiety, even though this is not the case scientifically.
This was an insightful and interesting discovery made by A. Marcan and silences all the critics of kratom who deem the substance to be harmful.
Aside from A. Marcan, the European biologist Claude Rifat also conducted experiments with small dosages of three smoked kratom leaves. He discovered that the effects of kratom resemble those of serotonin re-uptake blockers within the human brain, such as fluvoxamine and zimelidine.
The chemical mitragynine, which is present in large amounts within kratom, primarily reduced motivations within the body and induces feelings of indifference. This is coupled with a strong feeling of lethargy and laziness, causing the person to feel perpetually bored and uninterested. Hence, the dose of three smoked kratom leaves is not enough to lead to anything greater than threshold activity or placebo.
Fresh western research
As kratom becomes more easily and increasingly available outside of Southeast Asia, it has become possible for researchers and biologists to conduct further studies. Various new strains of kratom, such as green, white vein and red, have been discovered. It is pertinent for researchers to conduct experiments upon the withdrawal symptoms and dependency, if any, associated with various strains. Because most of the new users hail from Western countries, biases or traditional cultural notions and beliefs will not hinder the data garnered from fresh research.
Moreover, the biologist will not have to go through the filter of ethnobotanical experimental papers or research data. This is because there now exists a large body of first-hand anecdotes taken directly from users of kratom.
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