What is cross tolerance?
Cross-tolerance is a natural response of the body which is a differentiated response to individual actions produced by any drug. Most of the times, it happens when two drugs of the same function taken simultaneously, and they hinder the effect of each other by deregulating neurotransmitters. When a person takes one drug, its effects create a tolerance to the consequences of the second drug. For which, the effects of following drugs are masked, and the body do not get any benefit of it.
How to differentiate between tolerance and cross tolerance?
Typically, tolerance is a situation in which the body adjusts itself against a response to any action. It leads to different results after acquiring tolerance than before. Primarily it depends upon the duration of a medicine use, dosage and even time too.
Cross-tolerance is different from tolerance since it is not a naturally acquired tolerance. It is developed eventually due to the action of one drug which reduces the effect of any other similar drug.
So the body is only vulnerable to respond to only one type of drug which cannot be replaced or potentiated.
Is cross tolerance and addiction the same thing?
Tolerance and cross-tolerance are not the addiction, but it can be leading towards it. Users treat their tolerance by increasing the dosage of that particular drug to make it work for you.
The higher dosage may replicate the original effects, but it is responsible for making the body addicted to it.
The body gets adapted to anything which disturbs the natural homeostasis and taking high amounts of that substance would make you addict of that substance and that too in larger quantity.
Kratom and opiates- similarities
Kratom is a natural pain killer with relaxing and psychoactive properties. It is a plant which has specialized alkaloids to promote these effects. Opiates are drugs which are synthetically formulated as the analgesic.
They target to the opioid receptors and control them to reduce the pain. They can be synthetic or semi-synthetic, but Kratom is all natural analgesic.
Functionally both are similar since both Kratom, and general opiates target opioid receptors and produce a similar effect. The difference is their source, formulation, and manufacturing.
How do Kratom and opiate drugs work?
Kratom is a tropical evergreen tree enriched with alkaloids like mitragynine and 7-hydroxyl mitragynine. Mitragynine is an indole-based opioid which is legal to use and trade. It gives the stimulating properties to the Kratom which results in improved mood, reduced stress, and mild analgesia.
7-hydroxyl mitragynine is a terpenoid indole alkaloid which has highly analgesic effects. It is 17 times stronger than mitragynine and all other chemically induced analgesic compounds.
General Opiate drugs include heroin, morphine, Oxycodone Hydrocodone, codeine, fentanyl and much more. They attach themselves to protein-based receptors which are abundant in brain, spinal cord, gastrointestinal tract, and other organs.
Once these drugs are connected, the body’s perception of pain is changed. So they don’t heal the wound but control the response of the body.
Can Kratom and opiate cause cross tolerance to each other?
As per cross tolerance, any opiate e.g. Hydrocodone cannot overcome Kratom’s stimulatory effects. The opioid system has three type of protein receptors to which they attach; Mu, Delta, and Kappa.
Kratom may not hinder to the working of this receptor system, but Mu agonists are highly cross tolerant.
Their effect is of almost similar potency, even the results of premium quality red vein Kratom and Hydrocodone are very similar, but the combination won’t do any miracle since both of them are of equal potential.
The same result can be obtained by increasing the quantity of Kratom.
Effects of Kratom and opiates combined
For the patients of chronic pains, the combination is not helpful, despite being potential. Taking a daily dose of Kratom would be acting to reduce pain, but whenever an opiate would be taken, it would be of no effect since its effect won’t be experienced.
So it is not advised to use Kratom daily for a patient if he often uses analgesics too.
An average dosage of Kratom (3-10g) is still a small amount as compared to the analgesic drugs, but they have equally powerful effects.
How to avoid cross tolerance of Kratom and opiates?
For the people who are at higher risk of tolerance development, it is advised to make a cyclic manner for the use.
The smartest idea is to minimize the days of usage. e.g. only once in a week.
If opiates are taken continuously for the long duration, their effect would be reduced and finally lost. The cycle might not be same for everyone.
An ideal approach is a personal research on effects of whichever strain of Kratom you are using and choice of analgesic drugs.
How often you should be taking both depends upon the body’s requirement (medical only) and the user reviews.
One thing may not work for everyone. “Less is More” applies to all the oral supplements which hinder to the natural mechanisms of the body.
Taking a potential dosage is a good idea but only until it doesn’t cause any side effects, tolerance or cross-tolerance.
The bottom line
The idea of potentiating Kratom is practical, useful and it works most of the times. But for analgesic properties, the precision has to be taken so that a cross tolerance not experienced. Pay close attention to your boy’s responses and make healthy choices for it.