Regular consumption of kratom is associated with tolerance and development of dependence.
If Kratom is quit after a person is dependent on it, the user may suffer from Kratom withdrawal.
Kratom withdrawal is a state in which a person has increased cravings for Kratom and suffers from certain physical symptoms that cripple the life.
In such a scenario it is necessary to treat the kratom withdrawal. Many strategies and drugs have been employed for the treatment of kratom withdrawal.
Kava kava is one of them and through this article, we will tell you does kava kava for kratom withdrawal is helpful or not?
What is Kratom withdrawal?
Kratom withdrawal is a condition that develops when a person becomes dependent on the effects of Kratom and then suddenly quits using Kratom.
Kratom withdrawal symptoms start appearing within 6-12 hours of quitting Kratom. These symptoms include restlessness, agitation, anxiety, muscle aches, runny nose, and insomnia and sometimes fever.
If Kratom has been taken for a long period of time and then it is suddenly withdrawn, the user may experience hallucinations and illusions.
What causes Kratom withdrawal?
The opiate receptors present in the central nervous system get desensitized to prolonged consumption of Kratom.
Kratom acts on the delta, kappa, and mu Opiate receptors. The body requires a greater dosage of Kratom to achieve similar effects and this phenomenon is called tolerance.
Desensitization occurs by down-regulation of receptors or loss of affinity between Kratom and Opiate receptors. Now the body requires more Kratom to achieve the desired effects.
The body becomes accustomed to the use of Kratom and it relies on Kratom to release endorphins, dopamine and certain other neurotransmitters, that help in the sleep-wake cycle, muscle coordination and maintenance of mood.
Once you quit using Kratom, you become physically sick as now there is no production and release of the necessary neurotransmitters.
If you have been using Kratom for analgesia, you start feeling severe pain on quitting Kratom.
The severity of Kratom withdrawal depends on the duration of intake, type of Kratom strains used and the body’s natural coping ability.
What is Kava?
Kava is one of the most potent alternatives of Kratom and therefore it can be used for the treatment of Kratom withdrawal.
Scientifically called Piper Methysticum, this plant has calming and relaxing properties and it evokes a sense of contentment and peace in one.
It is known for its sedative, psychostimulant, hypnotic, psychotropic and anxiolytic properties.
It reduces the symptoms of restlessness, insomnia, pain as well as anxiety and panic attacks. It helps in the relaxation of muscles.
It has a number of bioactive ingredients that are responsible for its effects. These are called kavalactones and include methysticin, dihydromethysticin, kavain, dihydro kavain, yangonin, and desmethoxyyangonin.
Other than the kavalactones, Kava has 12 other types of lactones, small amounts of wine, pipermethystine and glutathione.
Kava works by a number of signalling pathways that include; Glutaminergic signalling, GABAergic signalling, Dopaminergic signalling and serotonergic signalling.
Does Kratom cause Dependence?
Yes, Kratom does cause dependence as well as tolerance. Dependence is a condition in which the body gets accustomed to the presence of a drug.
If the user stops taking Kratom suddenly, he will go through the withdrawal symptoms.
To treat Kratom dependence you can use the tapering method where the dose of Kratom is gradually decreased to minimize withdrawal symptoms, or other drugs and supplements are required to detoxify the body and prevent adverse effects and withdrawal symptoms.
This is where kava kava comes into action.
Does kava kava help with Kratom Withdrawal?
Kava kava is an effective treatment option for the withdrawal symptoms of Kratom. Though Kava doesn’t act on the same receptors and has a little varying effect yet kava kava is the best alternative to Kratom.
Kava kava is an amazing detoxifying agent and it is safer as compared to Kratom because it doesn’t cause dependence.
Kava kava doesn’t cause tolerance so you won’t need to increase your dosage to achieve the desired effects. It reduces the cravings for Kratom and alleviates the withdrawal symptoms.
What are the side effects of using kava kava for Kratom withdrawal?
Though kava kava is relatively safer as compared to Kratom, yet it does cause some adverse effects.
For instance, too much consumption of kava kava can cause hepatic disorders. Though scientific data on this side effect is limited, yet one should be cautious.
Kava kava may cause kidney problems too if used in excess. Continuous and regular use of kava kava is also known to cause allergic skin reactions resulting in a scaly rash.
There is yellowish discolouration of the mucosa, skin and nail beds. High doses of kava kava may cause dyspnea.
What other substances can be given for the treatment of Kratom withdrawal?
The best method to deal with Kratom withdrawal is the tapering method. In this method, the dose of Kratom consumed is gradually reduced.
Following substances can also be used as part of medical treatment of Kratom withdrawal;
It should be noted that the withdrawal symptoms of Kratom are short lived and very mild in nature so drugs may not be required for its treatment.
Kava kava can be made into a tea or supplements can be used to get rid of Kratom withdrawal.
The best method is to use a small dose of kava kava on a regular basis till the symptoms of Kratom withdrawal subside.
A Kava shouldn’t be taken in heavy doses and its use should be limited.
How can kava kava help with various withdrawal symptoms of Kratom?
- Nausea: Kava helps in easing nausea but not as strongly as Ginger can. So, you can make ginger tea and mix kava in it to get rid of nausea.
- Sweating: This is experienced at night. For sweating kava may or may not help.
- Agitation: Kava effectively reduced agitation and helps one relax and have calm nerves. Kava reduces anxiety and irritation.
- Aggression: Kava kava is known to soothe one and help in elevation of mood. Kava reduces aggression and makes one think calmly and act calmly.
- Insomnia: Kava kava acts on the sleep centre and helps in the induction of sleep as it acts as a sedative. This action is achieved without causing dependence.
- Pain: Kava helps in pain regulation to a considerable extent.
- Restlessness: Kava is also called ‘Plant of Peace’ because it makes one peaceful, devoid of restlessness.
So what is the bottom line?
However, for pain one may require other drugs as kava is not an effective analgesic. For Kratom withdrawal, taper the dose.
If you still feel withdrawal symptoms start taking kava in a small dose. Once the symptoms subside, gradually taper the dose of kava kava.
Instead of taking other drugs which have many side effects it is necessary to take a herbal supplement that is safe and effective.
- Klohs MW, Keller F, Williams RE, Toekes MI, Cronheim GE. A chemical and pharmacological investigation of Piper methysticum Forst. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 1958;1(1):95-103.