Kratom, an Ancestral Remedy and a Modern Day Drug

When it comes to substances, most of them are considered harmful. I mean, even the word “substance” sounds like a poisonous chemical compound put together in a lab. Now, considering this, not all substances are harmful to the human body. Those that you can smoke, inhale or force into your body though, those are pretty bad, no matter what it is. You could literally inhale a not-so-harmful substance like sugar and, even though it won’t hurt you that much, it would be a horrible decision, and it would end up harming your body in some type of way. We aren’t here to discuss the side effects of inhaling sugar though, we’re here to discuss what KRATOM is and if its powder should be smoked.

What is kratom?

Kratom, like many chemicals, sounds a little like an alien substance. The difference is, it’s not a chemical (or an alien substance), it’s a herb. Kratom comes from southeastern Asian countries, it grows naturally there. The herb is related to coffee, and just like coffee, it grows on trees. As a member of the coffee family, kratom works as a stimulant. When referring to a stimulant, I mean it has the ability to keep someone awake, more conscious, providing them with energy to be able to keep up physical activity for a longer time. In small doses, kratom can also work as a mental stimulant, providing energy to keep someone at bay, not letting them drift off into sleep. In higher doses though, it has the ability to act as a sedative, drawing people to a sleepy state, and keeping them in that state for a while, not just physically, but mentally too. As you can see, kratom is a double-sided knife, it has the ability to do two very different things that appear opposites, by just changing the dosage of consumption.

Just like every other substance found on earth, kratom is made from chemical compounds, a lot of chemicals compounds. Out of all of the chemical compounds that make kratom up, there are 3 primary ones that stand out.

The first one is Mitragynine. Mitragynine is an alkaline compound that’s responsible for taking away it’s user’s pain, just like a painkiller. It is also the most abundant alkaloid found in kratom, making it the primary active compound in the herb.

The second one is called 7-Hydroxymitragynine. 7-Hydroxymitragynine is another alkaloid found in kratom, it’s responsible for all the feelings one would feel when consuming the herb. This is because it binds more effectively with our bodies’ receptors.
Last but not least, we have Epicatechin. Epicatechin is yet, another alkaloid; it has a very important role in the effects kratom has on the human body. It can mimic Insulin, a compound used to control blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. From this, we can obviously guess that this compound has the ability to lower and control blood sugar levels in the user’s body.

Kratom can present itself in many ways, the most common one is as a herb, but it can also be found in a powdered state. As a powdered state, kratom isn’t exactly considered a herb anymore. I mean, who sees powder and thinks it’s a herb, no one, no one does, we would all think its a drug. There’s probably a good reason for that though, as a powder, kratom is in fact considered a drug, only not a strong drug like cocaine, more like a recreational drug, like marijuana. Thanks to this, the herb is many times compared to recreational marihuana, and just like its comparison, this herb can be smoked.

CAN YOU SMOKE KRATOM POWDER?

This is a tricky question; simple answer? Of course, you can do whatever you want. Unfortunately, though, there’s a much more complicated answer to this question. As mentioned above, kratom is often compared to recreational marijuana, but when it comes to smoking it as a powder, it’s a comparison with opioids is much more effective. Just like opioids, smoking the herb’s powder has side effects. In fact, these side effects are very alike, here is a list of what to expect:
– Itching
– Loss of Appetite
– Dizziness
– Dry Mouth
– Constipation
– Anxiety
– Nausea
– Hypotension
– Agitation
– Excessive Sweating
– Tachycardia
– Stress

These side effects are very similar to those you would experience when taking opioids. Abusing the consumption of kratom could also result in psychosis and seizures, but these aren’t direct side effects from a healthy dosage of the substance. Some of these effects can be related to the herb’s stimulant properties; as a close relative of coffee, kratom has the ability to cause side effects like anxiety, stress, dizziness, excessive sweating, agitation & nausea, which are all mentioned above. The rest and even some of the side effects linked to the stimulant properties of kratom can be linked to the rest of the chemicals that can be found in the substance.
Another reason why the user might experience some of these side effects is that of the abnormal way of the substance’s consumption. By smoking the herb, the smoke and particles emitted from the substance go through tubing in the human body that isn’t designed to have smoke or chemicals passing through it; not to mention all those particles go straight to the lungs, which are made to only hold oxygen, and that can result in some of the side effects mentioned above.

What does kratom do, exactly?

Although kratom can be considered a modern drug, it used to be one of the most useful substances in the past. The herb can be used for many things, but the main two reasons people consumed it was because of its stimulant and pain relieving properties. Because kratom can act as a painkiller, it was used to treat injured people and those who suffered from the disease, looking at it from another point of view, kratom was used in a similar way to coffee, to maintain people alert and awake. This allowed our ancestors to keep their energy levels high throughout the day and especially through the night. Another property kratom has, which is ironically the exact opposite from the caffeine-like property it has, is as a sedative. In a very high dosage, kratom can be used as a very strong sedative, draining people of their energy levels and keeping them unconscious for somewhat of a long time.

Overall, kratom isn’t a very harmful substance. Yeah, it has potential to be dangerous, and its side effects can be pretty nasty, especially if over-consumed; but used carefully and responsibly, the herb can also have a small positive on the human body & mind. Some of its properties have amazing uses that can actually be further studied to excel in modern science. As a herb, kratom is very useful and not that harmful, but when used as a powdered substance, mostly by smoking it, it can be a dangerous and harmful drug. I don’t personally recumbent trying kratom as a drug, for it can be hazardous to your health. As a medicinal drug, to treat some kind of disease or intense pain, kratom, as used in the past, can be very useful, but one should never abuse it as a substance or herb.

* I do not advice at any time during this article to use kratom as a drug, recreational or otherwise. If you seek to do so I recommend you do it carefully and at your own risk.