Kratom is unusual among many plant highs possessing psychoactive properties, so how does kratom work? While some of today’s legal highs have failed to deliver in terms of branding and are now considered legal, they don’t really offer significant health benefits compared to kratom. Upon closer look, the herb is unique and beneficial in so many ways.
One unusual part of kratom is that its effects on people vary depending on the dosage. It’s difficult to say which dosage will achieve a certain effect since we can only distinguish the differences observe between a lower and higher dose. Factors like body build, overall health, and tolerance levels will also influence the effects of kratom in the body.
How does Kratom Work and Its Dose-Dependent Effect
Kratom possesses a plethora of alkaloids. The most significant being mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. The former is considered to be an opioid agonist, which is under the “true opiates” category. What sets opiates opiates and kratom apart from each other is that opiates are naturally attached to the brain’s mu opioid receptors while mitragynine seek out delta opioid receptors — leading to enhanced energy at low dosages. But when mitragynine strikes a certain level, it automatically goes for the mu opioid receptors to deliver an opiate-like buzz.
Effects at Lower Doses
So how does kratom work at lower doses? In a lowered dose, the herb offers an energizing effect. Mood could be enhanced with a mild euphoric feeling. Some users believe it improves brain function similar to what today’s “smart” drugs are designed to do.
Compared to alcohol, kratom won’t leave you uncoordinated nor will it negatively impact your intellect. Its energizing characteristics is one primary reason why Thai farmers are able to consistently work long hours in the field in treacherous conditions.
Effects at Higher Doses
Effects of kratom are significantly different at higher doses. Sedation can be markedly observed while enabling the brain to remain conscious and alert. A euphoric feeling and overall body warmth can also be felt. Some users even develop a sense relaxation and contentment. These effects aren’t too far off to the low doses offered by codeine. But when the dose gets a little high, you may end experiencing nausea and a “sick” feeling.
It would appear that kratrom naturally works to offer that buzz that some recreational users want. While it does offer many positive effects (aside from nausea and possible vomiting), several research studies show that Thai farmers using the herb for long periods tend to develop dark facial patches and frail bodies.
If a long-term kratom user decides to withdraw from the herb, they tend to go through withdrawal effects which include Restless Leg Syndrome, insomnia, and flu-like symptoms. Some studies even go as far as saying the effects would lead to anxiety and depression (although other studies prove it otherwise).
So the next time you ask, “how does kratom work?” —- you now have a clear idea as to what you can and can’t do with it.