Kratom refers to a type of tropical tree native to certain regions in Southeast Asia, Africa, and off the coast of Australia. The word kratom may refer to the tree, but if you hear about it in everyday conversation, kratom is more likely to refer to the extracts and preparation of it.
The tree is a part of the evergreen and coffee plant family, and it’s been used as both a stimulant and pain reliever in the regions in which it grows and around the world. In some cultures, it’s used in ceremonial or traditional rites of passage. The active ingredient of kratom is found within its leaves and known as mitragynine. Mitragynine is not an opioid, but it does share certain opioid characteristics, such as pain relief and mood-boosting capabilities. (A dry kratom leaf has about 2% of this compound.) Today, consumers around the world take kratom capsules, kratom powder, and kratom tablets.
The botanical products of kratom have received attention in the past few years due to their perceived benefits. Some people use it to give them energy throughout the day. Some have used it to combat the symptoms of opioid withdrawal. Others have even used it in place of opioids as a less dangerous way to relieve pain. Kratom has been the subject of some controversy in the public eye, particularly in certain states. We’ll take you through the types of kratom, the history of the plant, and its future.
As mentioned, kratom was originally used to give laborers enough energy to make it through their day, but it has a long history of being used for a wide variety of purposes. In practically all of the regions in which it’s found, people made use of kratom in some way. Leaves might be chopped up, dried, made into tea, or chewed straight off the tree. If someone was dependent on morphine in Thailand, they might be given kratom to combat the withdrawal effects of the morphine.
Larger doses were given to stimulate pain relief while smaller doses were given to stimulate energy. Documentations of the natives using the plant date back to the 19th Century, but it’s clear it was being used long before that. Native used it in place of opioids, but they also used it for a variety of other conditions, including nausea and diabetes.
When it came to the cultivation of kratom leaf (e.g., white vein kratom, red maeng da kratom, yellow kratom, etc.) beyond the standard uses, the practice was not widely used prior to the plant gaining popularity around the world. In other words, the distinctions between the leaves, veins, and forms aren’t weren’t necessarily acknowledged by people in the native habitats of kratom. However, the types of kratom and its potential effects are now widely advertised in Western countries.
Kratom types like red kratom, green malay kratom, and red borneo kratom have received some poor press as of late, leaving an uncertain future for kratom. The powers that be haven’t made it a priority to learn more about the realities of this plant, leaving an ever-shifting landscape when it comes to the legalities kratom. world is attempting to adapt to this new plant, meaning that the legislation on kratom is constantly shifting.
The lack of regulations and general understanding of the plant have led to some rather unpleasant stories in the news, giving kratom its controversial status. Many of the names given to kratom were marketing terms only, or laced with harmful substances to enhance the plant’s effects. The general confusion and lack of research has led to some states banning the substance outright.
Despite this, some states have legalized kratom and some scientists are dedicating themselves to the research of this long-used plant. Regardless of what happens in Western countries, it remains legal for the native people who have used it long before it became widely available anywhere else.