If you’ve already been welcomed into the world of kratom, or even if you’ve just been keeping your eye on the national news, you’ve likely heard that kratom is most often used in pain management. But what is it about this natural plant that enables it to rival opioids, the long-time standout in the realm of analgesia?
How Does Kratom Relieve Pain?
People who have chronic pain are usually undergoing a daily struggle – not only do they need to mentally deal with the fact that their bodies seem to be betraying them, they also must balance the need for relief and the fear of addiction to that relief, especially prominent today as the opioid epidemic washes through North America, leaving ruined and lost lives in its wake.
Kratom has been touted as a natural alternative to prescription pain medications thanks to its status as an “opioid agonist”. The plant contains alkaloids that play nice with the opioid receptors in the body – the ones to which true opioids like morphine and fentanyl bind.
The compounds that relieve pain in kratom are less highly concentrated than those found in medicines made from opium, but both appear to be quite effective in relieving nociceptive pain, which is usually brought about by injury or physical damage.Kratom contains many different alkaloids, which can act as:
- Adrenergics (simulate the sympathetic nervous system to release epinephrine)
and many other preventative measures.
Mitragynine and 7-Hydroxymitragynine are the two most prevalent alkaloids in kratom, with the former offering more of the fatigue-fighting and mood-boosting qualities, and the latter primarily serving in pain management and sedation.
The Difference Between Kratom and Opioids
If kratom works just like opioids, you might wonder why people don’t just keep using opioids or, on the flip side, why kratom seems to be perpetually on the verge of federal ban.
To answer the first question, kratom has (at least) one very promising step up on its narcotic competition: anecdotal and scientific evidence strongly support the fact that kratom does not cause respiratory distress or failure – the leading cause of opioid deaths.
Though there have been reports of people dying after kratom use, almost every example involves either various other drugs in addition to kratom (we always recommend against combining our kratom powders with other medications) or extremely high levels of kratom, as much as 10x our recommended maximum dose of 6 grams.
As far as why kratom is under fire by many governing bodies, the non-cynical viewpoint suggests organizations like the FDA and DEA are concerned about the safety of Americans if kratom continues to be widely available without any regulations or required tests, not to mention further research. Unfortunately, banning the substance – as we saw with cannabis – makes it incredibly difficult to research and test.
(The conspiracy viewpoint? The FDA is in the pockets of the pharmaceutical companies!)
Best Kratom Strains for Pain Relief
At Original Harvest, we carry more than 50 kratom strains, so it should come as no surprise that we can set you up with an effective pain relieving option. Of course, different physical makeups require different quantities and strains, but here are three of the best choices for managing chronic pain, available as powder, leaf, or capsules!
- Bali 10x Kratom Extract is a high-powered strain that relieves pain as well as stress and anxiety with only a small dose.
- Borneo Red Vein kratom powder eases pain and offers quite heavy sedation, which can also help patients fight insomnia and anxiety.
- Maeng Da Green Vein kratom capsules are a good choice for those who want to ease their pain during the day, but still remain active. This strain can increase energy (similarly to caffeine) and enhance mental focus.
Disclaimer: There is little published scientific research on kratom at this time. The potential benefits of kratom outlined in this article and on this website are based largely on anecdotal reports from people who use kratom. Please research all avenues fully before beginning any kind of natural self-treatment, and speak to a medical professional, especially if you are already taking medication. Original Harvest is not a medical site and this article and all articles on this site are provided for educational purposes and interest only.