Nowadays, people find it difficult to question the validity of Kratom withdrawal, especially online. Broaching the subject creates a division of responses.
On one side of the debate, you have outright aggressive opposition. Those people say you cannot get addicted to Kratom.
On the other side of the dispute, opposing arguments get hurled back. They say Kratom is highly addictive, but, there is no scientific data to support that.
So, instead of listening to both extremist groups, Kratom Geek wants to lead you to the truth, which is somewhere in between both sides.
Most consumers never deal with Kratom withdrawal. And that’s fine. I’m one of those people. Still, that doesn’t mean that Kratom withdrawal doesn’t exist. Any substance that causes physiological changes in behavior can cause physical dependence – and that includes Kratom.
Before we continue this discussion, we should cover some of the basics about Kratom first.
What is Kratom and What Does it Do?
Most likely, your Kratom product is a greenish powder. But, what is kratom?
Well, Kratom comes from leaves, but not just any leaves. It’s the foliage from a tree called Mitragyna speciosa. Most people call it a Kratom tree. Kratom trees grow indigenously in the tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia, but farmers have started planting them for immediate access.
Farmers harvest the mature leaves. Then they put them through drying and fermentation processes. Those production methods are the building blocks for all the various Kratom strains you find on the market. Fermentation procedures alter the chemical composition of the Kratom. And that formulates how each strain affects the consumer.
When the Kratom strain has gone through fermentation, the farmer sells the leaves to a supplier. Those suppliers use industrial equipment to crush and grind the Kratom leaves into a fine powder. That gets packaged and exported to the states where a Kratom retailer buys it. And finally, it gets to you.
How Does Kratom Work?
There are several phytochemicals in Kratom. Many of them are psychoactive. And the fermentation and drying process alters those molecules, too. When you ingest Kratom, those compounds get metabolized by your digestive system and they enter your bloodstream.
The Kratom alkaloids react with several receptors in the brain to produce therapeutic benefits, but different Kratom strains generate various effects, so the type of Kratom you take creates an altered reaction inside your body. Take the time to learn about each product and its reported effects before purchasing it. That way, you get the type you need.
There are over 40 active alkaloids in Kratom, but the two main alkaloids in kratom are the ones that have the most impact. Those alkaloids are mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. However, there are other alkaloids with high concentrations that are also beneficial. Paynantheine and Speciogynine fall under that category. Some of the minor alkaloids found in Kratom, like mitraphylline, play significant roles in the effects, too.
The primary alkaloids act as partial mu-opioid agonists in your brain. That’s responsible for any discomfort relieving properties you receive from taking Kratom. The compounds also react with several neurotransmitters in your brain to produce a wide range of additional effects.
What Are the Effects Associated with Kratom?
According to scientific research, Kratom has dose-dependent properties. That means the amount you take of the supplement can change the outcome of the effects. Kratom at low serving sizes produces a stimulating influence over your mind and body. Kratom at higher serving sizes performs the opposite function. It provides a relaxing state.
However, there are other factors besides the serving size. The type of Kratom leaf you use changes the effects, too. Primarily, there are three colored veins of Kratom strains. They are green, white, and red.
Different Kratom Leaf Veins
- Green Vein Kratom — Green-veined Kratom strains usually have a more moderate reaction with our bodies. They are both stimulating and have calmative properties.
- White Vein Kratom — Usually, the white-veined Kratom strains produce energetic feelings after it kicks in. They’re great for getting your day started.
- Red Vein Kratom — Mostly, a red-veined Kratom strain has more relaxing and relieving effects than others.
Not all Kratom effects are present with every strain. Some Kratom strains are used for various therapeutic purposes because the concentration of phytochemicals in that variety is preferable to another. Learn about each product and its purported effects before you buy it.
Kratom is a relative of the coffee plant, and both produce alkaloids that provide energy. That’s why most Kratom consumers start their day with a cup of Kratom tea. They use it as a coffee substitute. However, Kratom products do not contain any caffeine. Instead, its alkaloids have an affinity with the norepinephrine receptors in your brain and that boosts your energy.
Kratom works as a pre-workout supplement, too. So, you can take it right before you go to the gym.
When using kratom for energy, you should use less of it (smaller serving sizes). Smaller amounts of Kratom trigger the energetic benefits you seek. Larger servings produce the opposite.
Besides providing your body with a jolt of energy, it does the same thing to your mind, too. It’s a type of nootropic. Taking it can hit your brain with a spark of enthusiasm and mental clarity. Kratom sharpens your focus, allowing you to boost your cognitive abilities to their highest levels.
That puts you at the peak of your game throughout the day, especially if you find yourself lagging because of a lack of sleep. Take some Kratom before a big boardroom meeting or a daunting task to help you get the upper hand in the situation.
Sometimes, we find our mental outlook lingering behind the rest of us. And it might not even be our fault.
Mentally taxing events happen. Life is unpredictable. There are things outside of our control. Fortunately, herbal products exist that even the playing field.
Kratom can help uplift your mood. It tackles negative feelings while producing a mild happy feeling that helps lighten the load. No matter what rages on in the world around you, your positive mood can act as a barrier. That’s the type of emotional balance we desperately need to thrive.
After work, we want to sit back and unwind. Who can blame us? Tomorrow, we do it all over again. It’s enough to stress anybody out.
Thankfully, kratom can help us relax. Scientific studies suggest the alkaloids in Kratom have extremely relaxing and comforting effects. It helps calm our nerves and allows our bodies to de-stress even through stressful scenarios.
Most consumers hear about Kratom through reports of its discomfort-relieving properties. They’re seeking out alternative ways to get relief from discomfort without going to the doctor and getting prescribed narcotics.
Kratom may help with discomfort. It doesn’t matter if you suffer from moderate discomfort, chronic aches, or something more serious. People swear by Kratom.
Lots of people have problems either falling or staying asleep. Our fast-paced society might have something to do with that.
We rarely have time to unwind before bed. We are constantly glued to our computer screens or phones. Those blue light waves restrain melatonin production, a hormone that regulates our circadian rhythms.
Consumers look to sleep aids or herbal products to help. Fortunately, Kratom falls under that umbrella. Some strains have sleep-inducing effects. Kratom can help you get a good night’s rest. Unlike when taking kratom for energy, you would want to use a little more (larger serving size).
Kratom for Opioid Withdrawal
Lots of Kratom users say it helps against opioid withdrawal. Nevertheless, others won’t entertain the notion. You see, the subject of using Kratom for opioid withdrawal is a hot topic in the Kratom community. Some would bypass the discussion altogether because of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Federal regulations prohibit the claim while trying to sell Kratom products. But at Kratom Geek, we follow the science. So, we’ll delve into the matter together to see what the latest scientific research implies about the possibility.
Recently, the College of Pharmacy at the University of Florida investigated the effects of Kratom on opioid dependence as an option for aiding withdrawal. The results showed real promise, too. The scientists gave lyophilized Kratom tea (LKT) to mice with naloxone-precipitated morphine withdrawal. The kratom significantly reduced the withdrawal symptoms of the animals while not producing physical dependence on the Kratom itself.
Kratom shows promise against opioid withdrawal since it reacts with mu-opioid receptors in the brain. However, we need to keep in mind those results come from one independent study. The scientific community needs to continue more tests to strengthen or contest the outcome. Hopefully, more studies will tackle the subject in the next few years.
How Much Kratom Should I Take?
When people start taking Kratom, they’re curious about serving sizes. Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer for the matter.
The chemical composition of alkaloids inside the various Kratom products varies. A different kratom strain or product can alter the equation. Also, each person’s body can react differently to a botanical substance. So we have to consider that, too.
Still, there are a few guidelines to help you discover the ideal serving size that you’ll need.
For starters, you want to begin with the smallest serving size possible. If you’ve never tried Kratom before, start with a gram—at the most. Then wait around for approximately 45-60 minutes. That’s the amount of time it takes for Kratom to start working.
At that point, determine if the required effects are present. If not, add another gram and see how that works. In time, you’ll figure out what Kratom dosage works best for you.
Most importantly – make sure you don’t take too much. Taking an excess of Kratom (10-15 grams or more) at once can lead to undesirable side effects like nausea. It can also lead to your body becoming dependent.
And that begs the question: Does Kratom dependency mean it’s an addictive substance?
Is Kratom Itself Addictive?
Finally, we get to the loaded question. And to answer it, we must unweave any preconceived opinions that we might have on the subject and allow reason to dictate the response.
So, first off, what makes any substance addictive?
All addictive substances create both a physiological and psychological need for it. And that occurs through a neurological change in the reward pathway within our brains. Those substances cause a rush of dopamine to flood our system, producing euphoric feelings. And our brain becomes accustomed to it. That’s the psychological part. However, physical addiction comes from transformations in brain functions that control stress responses. Together, we have a recipe for addictive properties.
But we should understand the nuances of the classification of an addiction.
Medically speaking, a substance with addictive properties doesn’t necessarily mean it leads to addiction. For example, a physical dependency can form over coffee consumption. But nobody diagnoses them as coffee addicts. Instead, they call it a coffee habit.
Well, that’s how Kratom works, too.
Now, that’s not to downplay Kratom dependency. We understand that the more you take, the likelier it becomes that you might build up a tolerance to Kratom. And that leads to you taking even more Kratom. Before long, a dependency starts to form.
But luckily, there are ways you can manage Kratom tolerance to keep it in check.
Managing Kratom Tolerance
Some Kratom consumers build up a tolerance to Kratom. Their regular serving size doesn’t get the job done anymore. So they increase it. That creates a downward spiral, leading to more tolerance. And it will continue until they stop.
Thankfully, there are ways to manage Kratom tolerance. If you feel tolerance has become an issue, try some of these options below.
- Rotate the Kratom strains you purchase and use.
Every strain has a unique alkaloid concentration thanks to fermentation processes and growing conditions. Rotating products allows your body to constantly adjust to the compounds instead of becoming tolerant to them.
- Use Kratom potentiators instead of increasing the serving size.
There are other ways to increase the potency of the Kratom without taking more. You can always add a Kratom potentiator instead. Those substances make Kratom more effective. That way, you use less kratom.
- Take a break away from Kratom to let your body adjust.
The most beneficial way to combat Kratom tolerance is to cut it out of your diet for a few days. That lets your mind and body reset back to their normal conditions. Afterward, you will feel its full effects again.
Symptoms of Kratom Withdrawal
Allowing Kratom tolerance to build up to unmanageable levels can lead to more unfavorable conditions. For starters, letting Kratom tolerance go unchecked can trigger symptoms associated with Kratom withdrawals.
Yes, Kratom withdrawals can occur in rare cases. People that use more Kratom than needed or abuse the supplement are prone to the condition. It’s no different than people who experience coffee withdrawals. Some unpleasant symptoms are present for a short time.
Now, most Kratom consumers never experience withdrawals.
But, if it ever happens to you, here’s a list of some of the symptoms one might expect.
Kratom Withdrawal Symptoms
- Fatigue—feeling overtired and lacking energy
- Anxiety—an intense or excessive feeling or dread or worry
- Sweating—releasing more perspiration than average
- Irritability—frustration or anger over insignificant things
- Muscle or joint aches—muscle aches or pain in the extremities
- Restless leg syndrome—an uncontrollable urge to move your legs
- Nausea—a feeling of unease in the stomach or the desire to vomit
Now, more symptoms might occur. However, these are the ones that are most likely to happen.
How Long Does It Take Before Kratom Withdrawal Symptoms Start?
Once dependency takes hold, you can feel withdrawals after Kratom has left your system. So the half-life of Kratom determines that amount of time.
Biological half-life refers to the time it takes for the plasma concentration of Kratom alkaloids in your bloodstream to decrease in half. With each half-life timeframe, the leftover concentration gets halved. That process continues until completely removed from your system.
Kratom is a newer substance for the scientific community which means that the number of studies on the half-life of Kratom is limited. Unfortunately, the results are all over the place. For example, one study suggested the half-life of Kratom was approximately 4 hours. However, another study showed it was closer to 10 hours. Still, some reports indicate the half-life sits around 24 hours.
Those half-life claims are too far apart for a small window of leeway in the data. So no consensus can come from the results. But if I were a betting man, which I am, then I would lean toward the 4-hour timeframe as more reliable. Most psychoactive alkaloids found in nature tend to have an estimated half-life in that range. The odds are in its favor.
With an estimated half-life of 4 hours, Kratom should be out of your system around the 24-hour mark. That’s close to the time that withdrawals would occur in such a case. As luck would have it, anecdotal reports indicate Kratom withdrawal begins close to a whole day after their last serving.
How Long Does Kratom Withdrawal Last
Subjects have reported Kratom withdrawals set in approximately 24 hours after their last serving. Once that happens, withdrawal symptoms last for about 2-7 days. In rare instances, withdrawals may linger around for a couple of weeks. Daily intake and other biological factors come into play.
The average case hovers around the 3-day range, though. Longer reported claims involved subjects that repeatedly used more than the recommended serving size. Always keep your kratom serving to the smallest size possible. Larger-than-recommended servings have a higher probability of adverse effects.
The Timeframe of Kratom Withdrawals for Dependency
- The symptoms occur 24 hours after the last serving.
- The most perceivable symptoms happen within 1-3 days after the onset of withdrawals.
- Some lingering symptoms may persist until day 7.
Steps to Take for Kratom Withdrawal
Kratom withdrawals are manageable. On average, those side effects pass within a day or two.
However, everyone is unique. Some people’s bodies are more sensitive to physical burdens than others. The mental anguish can become too much for some to bear as well. Luckily, there are various coping mechanisms to help thwart intolerable symptoms.
Here are a few tips or suggestions to help ease the discomfort of Kratom withdrawal symptoms.
For Kratom withdrawals to occur, a consumer must continuously take very high servings of Kratom over an extended time. They need to reduce their Kratom intake gradually. Not only will this help decrease the Kratom tolerance, but it also diminishes the withdrawal symptoms whenever they discontinue it.
So, try to get the serving size down to a level where you no longer feel the effects of the Kratom, but it still keeps any withdrawals symptoms from becoming noticeable. That way, Kratom withdrawal becomes more manageable.
Some people feel nauseous during withdrawals. So they refuse to eat. However, the body needs nourishment to heal and restore itself. So stick with an easily digestible diet. Doctors recommend the BRAT diet: bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast.
Nevertheless, bodies are different and some stomachs give no leeway. Times of distress complicate that matter, but those bodies still need vitamins and nutrients to combat withdrawal symptoms. It’s best to try to get nutrition from supplements, protein shakes, and healthy beverages.
Those nutrients are the building blocks your body needs to get you over any withdrawal symptoms.
People with nausea cut back on liquids, too. But that’s also problematic. Your body sweats even more during withdrawals. Plus, it leads to frequent urination and possible diarrhea. That creates more dehydration and exhibits additional symptoms. It makes Kratom withdrawal even more unbearable.
Your best bet is to increase your water or fluid intake. Try to drink juices that have vitamins and nutrients in them. Drink beverages like Pedialyte that contain electrolytes. That way, you kill two birds with one stone.
Get adequate sleep. It helps mediate the symptoms of Kratom withdrawal. A rested mind copes better with the additional stress. Also, your body recovers while you’re asleep. Otherwise, fatigue will creep in and that prolongs the symptoms.
Sleep also helps to pass the time it takes to get over withdrawals. However, Kratom withdrawals can make it harder to fall asleep. And that becomes self-defeating. But fortunately, you can rely on over-the-counter medications to help if needed.
Become Active in a Support Community
A support community allows you to become a member of an outreach program designed to assist people with your symptoms. You can find many online. Social media apps like Facebook or Twitter have thriving communities already. Search through them and try to make a connection.
Online resource information answers some basic questions, and community members are a great source of inspiration and advice, too.
However, if online groups don’t appeal to you, try to find locals to help. Sometimes you need to vent to someone. That’s fine as well.
Engage in a Hobby / Stay Busy with Extracurricular Activities
While going through withdrawals, try not to focus on the symptoms. Keep your mind preoccupied. Engage with activities you enjoy.
Go on long walks and appreciate nature. The fresh air and sunlight are healing tools.
Extracurricular activities allow you to enhance your mental well-being. And exercise works out your body. You can even practice yoga or meditation.
Become productive while you recover.
Always Use Kratom Responsibly
Indigenous tribes used Kratom safely for centuries, but abuse of all substances exists. Kratom contains several active compounds that have psychoactive properties and those alkaloids can create dependency if not used responsibly.
The John Hopkins University School of Medicine put out an article stating Kratom has a low potential for abuse. Nevertheless, dependency can occur and our actions dictate that outcome.
Take small serving sizes of Kratom. Use the least amount necessary. That reduces the risk of you experiencing Kratom dependency and that helps to maintain its legal status in our country.
The Federal and Drug Administration continues its war against the plant. So we all have a personal responsibility to use it prudently.
Many people in our country need it. Chances are, so do you. Kratom is more than a plant to a multitude of people. It’s an opportunity to get a piece of their life back. All of us should treat it as such.