Kratom withdrawal is something that can happen to a kratom user if they abruptly stop taking kratom. Drug recovery centers often liken kratom withdrawal symptoms to those of opioids.
Yet, you may already know that about 92% of news updates on kratom are negatively biased. Therefore you may be wondering if such a comparison is accurate. After all, kratom is not an opioid.
What Is Kratom?
Kratom is a tree indigenous to Southeast Asia. In recent years, kratom has been gaining increasing popularity due to its numerous beneficial effects.
Kratom leaves come with three different types of vein and stem colors – red, green, and white. Depending on the vein color, kratom strains offer different effects. These include pain relief, relaxation, anxiety relief, stress relief, improved energy, greater focus, and more.
Kratom effects are the result of kratom alkaloids. Though studies on kratom are still limited, we do know that there are at least 25 alkaloids in kratom. Two of the primary ones are mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine.
Kratom alkaloids work as opioid agonists. Therefore, they target opioid receptors in the brain resulting in potent analgesic effects. Yet, the alkaloids do this differently from actual opioids. Therefore, they do not cause respiratory depression or addiction associated with kratom.
As a matter of fact, an explicit 8-factor analysis on kratom concluded that kratom is no more addictive than coffee. Curiously, kratom and coffee are both in the same plant family – Rubiaceae. This is why both plants share a few qualities.
In addition to the effects mentioned above, many people use kratom for opioid withdrawal. Kratom is a safer natural alternative that helps people get over their opioid addiction and dependency.
This is where multiple sources, including highly regarded ones, start referring to kratom as a hoax or a treatment method with no health benefits. They claim that switching to kratom is not only ineffective but worse, and warn about kratom withdrawal.
What Is Kratom Withdrawal?
After abruptly stopping kratom intake, withdrawal symptoms may occur as the body eliminates kratom alkaloids.
Withdrawal is an unpleasant reaction of a human body to ceasing intake of a substance, usually an addictive one. Most frequently, we hear about withdrawal from addictive drugs, alcohol, or smoking, including prescription drugs that are supposed to help people.
Nonetheless, withdrawal can also occur after abruptly stopping coffee. Regular and heavy coffee drinkers can experience caffeine withdrawal. Symptoms include headache, fatigue, irritability, drowsiness, reduced alertness, and more.
Kratom Withdrawal Symptoms
Kratom withdrawal symptoms that users most frequently report are:
- runny nose,
- stomach issues,
- restless limbs,
- trouble sleeping,
This doesn’t mean that each person will necessarily experience them all though. Some may only have a runny nose and nothing else.
How Bad Is Kratom Withdrawal?
Not every kratom user experiences kratom withdrawal. Those who manage their tolerance and take kratom once a day have the least chance of experiencing it. Some never go through it at all.
Those who exceed their dose and do not make an effort to manage their tolerance, have a much greater chance of having to go through kratom withdrawal.
People who have previously had opioid withdrawal also have a higher risk of going through a kratom withdrawal too. However, opioid withdrawal symptoms are a lot more severe, which is why people with a prior history of opioid withdrawal usually do not consider kratom withdrawal symptoms as bad.
On the contrary, those with no opioid withdrawal experience may refer to their symptoms as much worse since they don’t have anything to compare them with.
It’s worth mentioning that each body may have a different reaction to kratom. Some people may be more susceptible to kratom withdrawals than others. Therefore, individual experiences may vary.
People who have taken kratom extracts rather than pure kratom powder also tend to be more prone to developing kratom buildup, upping their tolerance, and going through a kratom withdrawal.
How Long Does Kratom Withdrawal Last?
While experiences vary from person to person, most users report experiencing kratom withdrawal from a few days to up to two weeks on average if stopping abruptly. Tapering off can ease withdrawal symptoms.
How to Stop Kratom Withdrawal?
Once you start experiencing kratom withdrawal, there is no way of stopping it until your systems flushes out the alkaloids. However, you can alleviate it easier by drinking plenty of water, eating a healthy balanced diet, and exercising.
Medical, drug abuse, and recovery websites will recommend using prescription medication to overcome kratom withdrawal. Nonetheless, we advise you not to seek that option. Many use kratom to wean off of addictive prescription medication, so using prescription medication to numb withdrawal symptoms of a much safer alternative is counterproductive if not worse.
The best way of going about kratom withdrawal is preventing it from happening altogether. Below are a few suggestions for how you can go about it:
1. Stick to Your Kratom Dose
A common occurrence is when users no longer experience the desired effects and up their kratom dose. Though that’s a quick fix, it is not effective long-term.
Depending on the kratom strain, its duration can be anywhere from 4 to 8 hours on average. However, it takes the human body about 24 hours to flush out alkaloids. So, if you up your dose and add extra doses throughout the day, your body never gets the chance to fully eliminate all kratom alkaloids.
As a result, alkaloid buildup occurs and your initial dose will no longer provide the desired effects.
2. Take Pure Kratom Powder
Pure raw kratom powder is the most optimal way of taking kratom. You can opt for kratom capsules if you have a hard time getting down the powder. However, we (and plenty of experienced kratom lovers) advise you to avoid kratom extracts. There are a few reasons for that.
Kratom extracts make overdosing extremely easy. Even with kratom powder, it’s best to use a sensitive digital scale to ensure you always take the same dose. Even half a gram extra can be too much, especially if you purchase from a quality vendor who sells potent powder.
Since extracts are concentrated, it can be extremely easy to exceed your dose without realizing. This can easily lead to tolerance development.
Moreover, kratom extract doses can be hard to measure. In order to measure your dose, you need to calculate. This can not only take up more of your time, but it’s extremely easy to make mistakes, too.
3. Buy from Reputable Vendors Who Supply Consistently Potent Kratom
Kratom is an organic substance and not all of it will be exactly the same. Potency, alkaloid content, and freshness can vary, and they directly affect the effectiveness of the kratom product.
Because of that, the same dose from a different vendor will not likely deliver the same results. And even the same vendor’s consistency can vary throughout different times of the year. So, each of your orders can be completely different.
Sadly, there are bad players in the kratom industry who will sell regardless. Therefore, you may get a batch from the very same vendor that’s not nearly as potent as the last one. This can lead you to up your dose.
As a result, you may get the results you are looking for; however, the alkaloid content will be much higher cause buildup to occur much faster.
4. Take Kratom Once a Day
If that’s possible for you, limit your kratom intake to one time a day. Moreover, take it at the same time every day. This will allow enough time in between your doses for your body to eliminate the alkaloids. Thus, you’ll have a much lower chance of developing buildup and tolerance.
5. Rotate Strains
If taking once a day is not enough for you, try rotating strains. This means taking different strains throughout the day and week.
Different strains have different alkaloid content in them. Therefore, your body will have a much harder time adjusting to them.
6. Take Breaks from Kratom
This may be the hardest to do since you likely take kratom to improve your quality of life. However, this can be beneficial to keep your kratom tolerance as low as possible and reducing your risk of kratom withdrawal.
Depending on why you take kratom to begin with, you can look at alternatives for the days when you don’t take kratom. If you are looking for pain or anxiety relief, you can try CBD. If more energy and focus is what you need, you can go for good old coffee.
These alternatives may not provide the same results as kratom, but it can help you get through the days without kratom and keep kratom withdrawal risk low.
Have you ever experienced kratom withdrawal? How severe was it? What symptoms did you have? What helped you get through it? Help other kratom lovers by sharing your experience in the comments below.