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Kratom - Mitragyna Speciosa

Kratom (Mitragyna Speciosa)is an entheogenic plant with many different possible uses. Lately, due to its euphoric effect, the recreational use of kratom has become ever more popular worlwide. Traditionally however, kratom was only used in Thailand and some parts of Malaysia. Besides as kratom (or krathom) it is also known under the names of ithang, kakuam, thom, ketum and  biak-biak. Kratom has a strong effect on your mood and energy. It helps with weak nerves, while the feeling is described as happy, strong and active, with a calm mind and a strong desire to work. The effects can be felt after 5 to 10 minutes and can last for several hours.

Kratom as opium replacement

Kratom contains a number of active ingredients, of which mitragynine is probably responsible for the most important effects. Mitragynine is a opioid agonist, which means it interacts with the opioid receptors in your brain. These receptors can influence your mood amongst other things. Mitragynine bonds to these receptors, improves your mood and creates an euphoric feeling, just like opiates as heroin and opium.

The big difference between kratom and opiates is that mitragynine stimulates the so-called delta-receptors (or delta opioid receptors or δ-opioid receptors) in the brain, while opiates bind to the mu-opioid receptor (or μ(mu)-opioid peptide receptors). In higher dosages mitragynine will increasingly stimulate the mu-receptors. This is likely the reason kratom has a stimulating effect with a low dosage and a narcotic effect in a higher dosage and that it is not (highly) addictive.

Kratom with depression and anxiety

According to several sources mitragynine also has an effect on your mood and weak nerves. A number of chemical agents in the brain determine your state of mind. The most well-known of these is serotonin. Most antidepressants influence the production of this substance, but the effects of serotonin are relatively weak in comparison with other neurotransmitters like dopamine and opioids, which have a very strong effect on how you feel.

That most regular chemical medications are used to influence the serotinin levels is due to it not being addictive. There is evidence however that hints at a lack of opioids having a greater influence on your emotional states than a lack of serotonin. Kratom could play a role here.


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