Kratom alkaloids provide diverse effects and benefits and are one of it’s most astonishing features.
Users report feeling differently after using different strains and strain varieties. And even different doses of the same strain can have one experience distinct effects.
This occurs due to the different alkaloids that are present in the kratom leaves.
What Are Alkaloids?
Alkaloids are naturally occurring nitrogen-containing molecules in plants and fungi.
Some hypothesize that they protect plants from insects and animals. But, it’s not entirely clear what exactly alkaloids do in plants.
What we do know is that they have powerful medicinal properties. They have unique effects on the human body and diverse health benefits.
Alkaloids can treat pain, inflammation, immune disorders, and even more. However, some can also be toxic.
Because of this, alkaloids are popular in conventional medicine. Some of the popular alkaloids you may be familiar with are ephedrine, quinine, morphine, strychnine, and nicotine.
The Main Types of Kratom Alkaloids
It’s believed that kratom’s leaves have at least 40 different alkaloids. But, there have only been limited scientific studies on kratom.
In actuality, the number of kratom alkaloids may actually be a lot higher.
The variety and amount of kratom alkaloids both depend on various factors. These can be the type of strain, where and in what conditions it grows, how it is harvested, and more.
While there are many different alkaloids in kratom, two of the most powerful ones are mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. Both of these alkaloids are different in terms of the benefits that they provide. But, they both are responsible for the pain as well as opioid withdrawal relieving effects.
Mitragynine and Its Effects
Mitragynine is the most abundant of all alkaloids in the kratom leaves.
Mitragynine’s stimulating effects are much smoother and much more stable than those of other stimulating substances, such as caffeine.
Yet, stimulation is not the only benefit of this alkaloid. It has a variety of different properties.
Mitragynine effects slightly vary from person to person. It mostly depends on their sensitivity towards kratom. Nonetheless, its overall effects are quite consistent. A few of them are:
- Anti-tussive (relieving or stopping cough altogether)
- Pain relief
While mitragynine provides pain-relieving properties, they are lower than those of 7-hydroxymitragynine.
Also, its effects can vary according to how large a dose is. Lower dosages generally provide more stimulating effects, while higher dosages result in less stimulating, but rather more pain relieving and relaxing effects.
Due to its versatile nature, mitragynine still needs to be scientifically studied in more depth to understand the full breadth of its potential.
7-Hydroxymitragynine and Its Effects
7-hydroxymitragynine is more concentrated in sedating kratom types, such as red-vein strains. It is less versatile and present in much lower amounts than mitragynine, but a lot more effective than mitragynine.
In fact, it is the most potent alkaloid found in kratom.
Some believe it may even be 30 times stronger than mitragynine. And more than 10 times stronger than morphine. The later yet needs more research done to more precisely pinpoint its effectiveness in comparison with morphine.
The most common effects of 7-hydroxymitragynine include:
- Powerful pain-killing effects
- Opiate withdrawal relief
Other Kratom Alkaloids
As we already know, kratom has a lot more than just these two alkaloids. Though there are numerous alkaloids present in its leaves, some of these need to be studied in more detail.
Sadly, studies on kratom are still quite limited at this time. Therefore, we’ll need to do more research to be able to pinpoint all the effects of all kratom’s alkaloids in a lot more detail.
Below, you’ll find a few of the important alkaloids that are inside kratom leaves. Although they appear in kratom in much smaller quantities, they are working together with each other to create the unique effects of kratom.
- Ajmalicine is a muscle relaxant as well as an anticoagulant (a blood thinner that can prevent blood clots).
- Ciliaphylline works as a sturdy analgesic.
- Corynoxeine serves as a calcium channel blocker. It helps to relax blood vessels and lower blood pressure.
- Corynoxine helps dopamine move throughout the body.
- Corynantheidine is an antagonist of the opiate receptors. It blocks opioid receptors from responding to opioids and endorphins. That can help with opioid addiction.
- Epicatechin has numerous functions. It is an anti-leukemic alkaloid. In addition, it also has anti-cancer, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. It also helps to prevent fat cells from clogging the arteries and controls blood sugar levels.
- Paynantheine is a muscle relaxant.
- Speciophylline has an anti-leukemic action.
- Speciogynine gently releases the muscles.
- Tetrahydroalstonine has an anti-adrenergic (can help with anxiety, heart disease, and high blood pressure) and hypoglycemic activity (can lower blood sugar).
Note that these are only a few of the alkaloids present in the leaves that we know more about.
Even though the effects and benefits of kratom can be life-changing, we may only be scratching the surface when it comes to understanding kratom’s full potential.
Common Misconceptions about Kratom Alkaloids
Much attention is drawn to the fact that kratom alkaloids hit the same receptors as opioids. That does not mean that the kratom alkaloids themselves are opioids. But rather that they target the same receptors that opioids do.
Opioid use comes with a dangerous side effect of affecting the user’s respiratory system. It slows down the breathing and can result in death.
Kratom does not have the same side effects.
As a matter of fact, kratom is actually an opioid antagonist. It can help to minimize opioid withdrawal symptoms as well as overcome opioid addiction.
Chemically, the structure of alkaloids resembles that of the psychedelic drugs. However, kratom users do not actually experience psychedelic effects.
Instead, they feel pain relief and euphoria among other effects and benefits. Ones that are already discussed above.
What kratom strains have you used and what effects have you experienced?
Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.