Kratom Uses, Pharmacology, and Risks
The use of kratom is being highly debated among the drug regulatory authorities. This is a medicinal plant with many benefits associated with it, however, the policymakers and consumers remain widely divided concerning the safety and use of the plant.
This miraculous plant is said to be an alternative of opiates. Opiates are drugs which are taken to relieve the pain but are addictive and have ominous implication for the patient’s health. It is believed that kratom can replace opiates in a longer run.
Before out-rightly embracing kratom, it is pertinent for the people to address several questions that often spring up in the mind. The following are the much-debated frequently asked questions regarding this medicinal plant.
Why and how is kratom used?
Kratom is popular for its psychoactive properties, it can be consumed in various forms, the efficacy and route of each intake route differ. The answer to the basic question that why this plant is used is that it is a potent pain reliever. People tend to relieve extreme levels of pain use opium which is a highly addictive narcotic, kratom is being mulled as a less harmful replacement of opium which has an equal level of potency in relieving pain. Various research institutes attest to the fact that the therapeutic potential equates opiates and can act as a viable substitute.
It is widely used and marketed in the form of pills, powder, or dried up leaves.
What is kratom's mechanism of action?
There is not a consensus among scientists regarding the mechanism of action of this drug and its pharmacology. It is however well established that this does not come under the general definition of opiates. Kratom acts by binding to the opium receptor in the body. Upon the binding, the compound mitragynine gets activated. The function of this compound needs more debate and research.
It is markedly different from opiates as it does not induce a numbing effect rather it acts as a stimulant in lower concentrations, which maintains that it cannot be used as a sedative and cannot be abused the way opiates are.
What are the risks associated with kratom?
The risks emerge in cases of overdosing as in the case with any other drug or medicine. The risk includes bad stomach and vomiting but they are less threatening and markedly low when compared to the side effect of opiates and other pain-relieving drugs administered. Moreover, people cannot abuse this plant in terms of overdosing because vomiting will take place before lethal levels are accumulated in the body.
Kratom is a viable replacement for opiates and is legal in various countries. The health care industry is now waking up to the miraculous nature of this plant and various researches are being carried to study the efficacy of each strain. This plant shows real promise in the fight to battle various challenges faced by the health care industry.