Kratom For Anxiety & Depression
Anxiety and depression are two critical mental ailments prevailing rapidly throughout the world. According to the WHO, 450 million people from across the globe are suffering from mental health problems ranging from mild phobias to severe depression.
These grave statistics are the root cause of continuous research in the field of anxiety and depression treatment. Introduction of new substances to cure mental ailments and physical diseases is one of the crucial research fields these days.
Numerous herbs and plants are known for their relaxing value and are infused with other compounds to treat these ailments. Kratom is one of those plants which are well-known for their calming effects.
Although kratom is native to SE Asia, there is a continuous increase in its demand throughout the world. People consume kratom and an anti-depressant and analgesic compound.
It is a popular topic of discussion in major social forums that whether or not kratom is effective for anxiety and depression. This wave of public interest has led to detailed researches on kratom.
If you are looking for a herbal supplement to treat your anxiety or depression, keep reading:
What Is Kratom?
Mitragyna speciosa is a popular psychoactive plant from Rubiaceae (coffee) family found abundantly in South-East Asia. The plant is usually 4-16 metre high and grows in tropical areas; mainly small islands.
People pluck Mitragyna's leaves and use them in various drinks. Some primary forms of its use are dried powder, brewed tea, and fresh leaves.
Residents of SE Asia make Mitragyna drinks in religious ceremonies and use it as an inexpensive, less-effective recreational drug.
Moreover, the farmworkers drink it as an energy-boosting and pain-relieving drink. This tradition has passed over from older generations as this tree is native to SE countries and islands.
The active substance present in its leaves is an alkaloid called Mitragynine which is extracted and used for various purposes. The common name of its Mitragyna’s compound is kratom that is one of the famous recreational drugs now.
Uses Of Kratom
The regular users of kratom name it as a mild drug mainly because of its short-lived impact and controllable addiction. Kratom has both opioid-like and psychostimulant effects as there are almost 40 alkaloids present in it.
Mitragynine is the primary alkaloid extracted from kratom and is used for producing analgesic effects.
The Thai kratom has almost 66% Mitragynine alkaloid and is best suited for anxiety-prone people and those who want to attain quick pain relief. Speaking of which, let’s discuss the impact of kratom on anxiety and depression first:
1) Kratom For Anxiety
Kratom is beneficial for anxiety mainly because of its opiate-like effects. The medication used in anxiety travels directly to the neurotransmitters in our brain and releases morphine effects.
When we take a simple pain killer or anaesthetic, it moves to our opioid receptors and releases a sense of relief, which makes our muscles relaxed and calm.
During anxiety attacks, the muscles get strained, and a little to no opioid is left in the person's system. In such times, an artificial dosage of opioid is ingested inside the patient's body to stimulate the receptors.
However, most artificial opioid resources, i.e. codeine, morphine, etc. are addictive, and the person becomes dependent on them.
Conversely, the kratom effects are lesser in intensity and not much addictive when compared to codeine or morphine. Furthermore, the impact of kratom substance stays inside the user's body for a shorter duration and fades after 1-2 hours (with a low dose).
The lesser dependence factor and quicker withdrawal make kratom a good substitute for stronger opioids.
The anxiety-prone patients have overcome trembling, raced heartbeat, and hitched breath issues after consuming kratom, as per the study conducted in 2017.
2) Kratom For Depression
Depression is severer than anxiety and is rapidly prevailing in people of all age groups. In 2017, an online study was conducted to inquire about kratom usage in the US and its impacts on people.
The results of that study showed that noteworthy kratom consumers fall in the age group 31-50.
Most of the users had discussed their kratom consumption with their therapists/doctors and argued about its positive effects. And as their bodies were not reacting to kratom, it was considered to be a benefiting substance by the majority.
People were taking kratom capsules/powder/tea as a self-prescribed medication for mood swings and depression. Most of the participants were satisfied with kratom’s benefits and intended to continue this consumption.
However, the dosage-dependence of kratom and pointed at the effects of prolonged usage.
Kratom can be used to calm the nerves, vitalise the thinking process, and boost the energy levels in depressed patients. However, its irrepressible use can make them heavily dependent on kratom dosage for daily life activities in the future.
What Do DEA Guidelines Say About Kratom?
Substantial evidence is not currently available to prove kratom’s therapeutic impact.
However, because of its hallucinogenic effects, the drug enforcement administration (DEA) has categorised kratom as a drug of concern (the drugs which pose a threat to public health if they are abused are called drugs of concern).
Different Strains Of Kratom
Kratom is also known as thang, biak, ketum, kakuam, and Thom; depending upon the local language of its origin, i.e. Malay or Thai. Its effects and side-effects also vary according to the regions.
Some vein colours of kratom are more useful for anxiety and depression while others have a relatively lower composition of alkaloids which make them lesser useful.
Types of veins
Different types of kratom leaves are differentiated according to their vein colours. These vein colours vary according to the number of alkaloids present in the Mitragynine speciosa leaves.
Moreover, their respective effects depend upon the fermentation and drying processes. The variety of these veins helps the consumers in selecting their favoured dosage as all three, i.e. red, green, and white leave veins have varying impact.
According to user experiences on social forum, Reddit, kratom is a miracle plant which helps them regain their balanced mental state and focus.
As per popular opinion, Red kratom is most potent of all three, while white is a euphoric strain. Similarly, green is a mild strain which is perfect for anxiety and depression.
1) Green Kratom
Green colour implies mild dosage of Mitragynine alkaloid. This is the best type to be used for anxious and depressed people. Its impact lasts for 3-4 hours, during which the person's anxiety and depression remain suppressed.
Eventually, the body starts adapting its effects and the intensity of mental health problems diminishes.
People with low self-esteem and confidence issues have reported that green kratom immensely helped them to overcome their fears. Social anxiety is a grave mental disorder which can get severe with time.
A dose of green kratom, along with therapy can uplift the consumer’s morale. Green Malay kratom is best for anxiety according to regular users as it reduces the intensity of anxiety episodes.
2) White Kratom
White kratom has a stimulating impact and works for positive mood-boosting. Depression and anxiety lead to suicidal thoughts, inclination towards self-harm, and makes the patient a severe pessimist.
Users have said that white kratom helped them during depression episodes and works for energy-boosting. It helps the user remain alert, cheerful, and conscious.
Those who face trouble in focusing have regarded white kratom as a great solution. Users regard White Maeng Da as the best strain to eradicate low self-esteem, self-harming thoughts, and depression.
3) Red Kratom
Red kratom is the most popular form of kratom. People consume it to overcome the unsolicited pessimism, stress, anxiety, and hypertension.
Red kratom stays in the user’s system for a more extended period and has slightly higher dependence potential. Its span-of-impact is between 7-8 hours depending upon the person’s enzymes and blood concentration.
For a teenager, the effect of red kratom would last longer than for a middle-aged man. Red Borneo and Red Malay are immensely helpful for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) as per most user reviews.
What Should Be The Ideal Dosage Of Kratom?
How much kratom should one consume is the most significant impact factor in determining its effects. If you take too low or too high dosage, it will disturb your body.
On average, 20 Mitragynine leaves have 17mg of alkaloid kratom, which is the reason farmers used to brew large quantities of these leaves.
In olden times, people used to chew freshly plucked kratom leaves and prevent their fatigue after hard working hours.
With time, however, the ways of consumption changed, and now kratom is being sold according to its weight.
There are levels of suggested kratom consumption by experts:
1) Low Dosage
1-5g kratom consumption initiates a pleasant, stimulating effect inside the body and repels fatigue, sadness, and unnecessary dullness from your body.
Those who are struggling with lethargic behaviour and CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome, a long-term illness which makes your body unable to perform mundane tasks), should prefer a low dose of kratom. Their body will soon adapt this change and start activating the opioid receptors.
2) Moderate Dosage
The 5-15g dose of kratom falls in moderate category and leaves analgesic and opioid-like impact on your body.
This quantity is recommended for anxiety and depression patients as this amount quickly stimulates the neurotransmitters and calm the user’s body immediately.
Anything above 15g is considered over-dosage. It makes the consumer's body dependent on kratom, and standard functionality becomes difficult for him/her.
If you are to start kratom consumption, you should consult a herbalist/expert and ask about the dosage.
As everyone’s blood concentration level is different, the quantity of analgesics should also vary accordingly.
Risks Of Taking Kratom
Prolonged consumption and unregulated use of kratom severely damage body organs and deteriorates the consumer's health.
Nephrotoxic effects (kidney damage because of substance consumption) are one of the most harmful kratom bearings which might become irreversible if the dosage remains unregulated.
Several cases of dependence and overdosage have been reported in SE Asia throughout the years.
Therefore, in Thailand, which is prominent in Mitragynine speciosa production, the uncontrolled possession of kratom has been banned since 1943.
The authorities are concerned about its irrepressible consumption and aim to control its common side-effects.
Kratom’s dependence potential is dangerous, and also the most concerning factor for the authorities.
If someone keeps consuming kratom and enjoying its relaxing impacts without stopping, he/she will soon become addicted to this apparently harmless herb.
Kratom's excess is terrible, and before starting it for analgesic benefits, devising a plan is advisable according to the experts.
Finding holistic solutions for mental problems is always more beneficial and long-lasting. The active alkaloids present in Mitragynine plant affect our brain receptors and help anxiety and depression patients lead healthy lives.
Although more extensive research is required to mark kratom as the permanent end of anxiety and depression, the existing evidence indicates one can rely on it for sedation, fatigue control, pain relief, insomnia, and disturbed vitals.
The pure strains of kratom have positive analgesic influence, and the state-of-sedation fades sooner than other drugs; which makes it a healthier solution, as per some experts.
However, substance abuse is the factor of grave concern for food regulating and drug control authorities.
Although kratom doesn’t damage our central nervous systems like morphine or other potent opioids, its endless use can disturb body vitals.
If you want to opt for kratom consumption, be careful about the sellers and the strain’s purity. As kratom’s impacts vary according to the consumer’s body vitals and immune system, it is prudent that you decide cautiously.