What is Kratom?

Photo, Phuong Nguyen.


What is Kratom?

A new natural extract is gaining popularity in the world of nontraditional and alternative medicine, but what exactly is Kratom?

With more and more people finding nontraditional and alternative medicines, there are several products becoming extremely popular in the United States; one of the popular extracts is cannabidiol (CBD). Another is Kratom, also known as Mitragyna speciosa, which you may have heard about online or in the news. This article attempts to compare and contrast CBD and Kratom; looking at the similarity and differences in terms of their usage, side effects, chemical composition, and legality among other aspects.

What is Kratom? Learn About its Health Benefits and More

Photo, Kadarius Seegars.

Composition: CBD is an extract from the cannabis plant. It is extracted in oil form, processed, and sold as capsules, infused with edibles, tinctures among other forms. Kratom, on the other hand, is extracted from a tropical tree, with a similar name and found in South East Asia. It is known to have over 40 compounds with two mitragynine (MG) and 7‐hydroxymitragynine (7‐HMG) getting greater attention. Just like CBD, the two compounds are believed to interact providing therapeutic and psychoactive effects. Kratom is normally ingested raw while dry or can be taken in the form of capsules.

Applications: When it comes to applications, both products are known to help the user reduce anxiety and relieve pain. The majority of CBD users use it for relaxation and management of stress-related issues, but it is also used to alleviate sleep disorders and management of chronic inflammation. It is also gaining traction among the fitness community in aiding in recovery and pain management. Research on the possible treatment of more severe diseases such as cancer, cardiac issues, and epilepsy, among others, is ongoing.

Similarly, research surrounding Kratom’s use in the management of several conditions is at its early stages and no solid conclusions have been made yet. There are a variety of alkaloids in Kratom that have been reported to help with everything from pain to anxiety. However, more clinical trials are required to verify these claims, as well as to have it recognised as a reliable treatment.

Side Effects: Both products are known for their relative benefits, as well as their limited side effects. Mild side effects have been reported among users of CBD, including nausea, drowsiness, and dry mouth. While Kratom has been promoted as a possible solution to opioid addiction, more research is needed to verify these claims. Some users have reported mild effects such as vomiting, constipation, and nausea; while some users have reported more serious side effects. As with anything, talk with your doctor before trying anything.

As for which is better than the other, this entirely depends on the user. It is significant to note the effect each has as far as their usage is concerned. It is also important to note that Kratom awareness and research are still in the early stages, and that means most of the benefits and effects may not be as well known.