Tuesday October 21st 2014

Effects of Kratom

What to expect when you use Kratom

Kratom is unusual among so-called herbal highs in that it actually has psychoactive properties. So many of these legal highs do not deliver on their branding – that is, although they are definitely legal, they definitely do not get you high. But Kratom is different and unique in that it can produce a euphoric effect.  Read a basic Kratom wiki here.

Another unusual aspect of Kratom is that its effects on the individual vary depending on the dose taken. It is impossible to say at which dose you will get a particular effect and we can only make a general distinction between lower doses and higher doses. Obviously, factors such as tolerance levels, physical build, general medical health and the like will have an effect on what constitutes a low or high dose.  Finally, kratom effect withdrawal will also depend on your use.  If you want to stop Kratom, please leave us your questions and comments below.

Why the effects of Kratom are dose-dependent

Kratom contains many alkaloids (22 at the last count) the most significant for us being mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. The former is an opioid agonist, in the same category as the ‘true opiates’. The difference between opiates and Kratom is that opiates are attracted to the mu opioid receptors in the brain and mitragynine goes for the delta opioid receptors which results in the energizing effect created by low doses (see below). However, when the levels of Mitragynine hit a certain level, it moves to the mu opioid receptors giving the user a more opiate-like ‘buzz’.

Effects of Kratom at lower doses

At a lower dose, Kratom has an energizing effect. Mood may also be enhanced with an accompanying feeling of mild euphoria. Mundane tasks like cleaning the house, filling out tax returns, etc. will no longer seem mundane for these reasons. And, yes, you can fill out tax returns, as Kratom does not impair cognitive abilities. Some even claim that it improves brain functioning in much the same way as smart drugs are said to do.

Unlike alcohol, Kratom does not make you uncoordinated and, as noted above, doesn’t affect the operation of the intellect so unless they know you have taken Kratom, others will be unaware that you are under the influence, so to speak. The energizing properties of Kratom are the main reason why it is used by Thai labourers who have to work long hours in difficult conditions.

Effects of Kratom at higher doses

The effects of Kratom are markedly different at higher doses. There is a sedative action on the body and yet the brain still remains alert. The feeling of euphoria is more intense and a general feeling of warmth and contentment envelops. These effects are not that different than those produced by low doses of codeine. If however, the dose gets too high then you can become nauseous and may well be physically sick. Constipation is also a side-effect of Kratom use.

Long term effects of Kratom

It may seem that Kratom works naturally to produce a buzz and its effects seem to be all positive, leaving aside the nausea and projectile vomiting. Yet, as with all psychoactive substances, there is a dark side to Kratom if Kratom becomes habitual. For example, the very same Thai labourers who utilize Kratom’s positive side also fall victim to its addictive properties. Research has shown that long term Thai users develop dark patches on their faces and a gaunt, unhealthy appearance. If they stop taking Kratom then they go into withdrawal which is characterized by RLS (restless leg syndrome), flu-like symptoms, insomnia, shakes, anxiety, depression and the like.

Can you get addicted to Kratom?

Yes, Kratom can be addictive.  In fact, Kratom addiction is evidenced by certain signs and symptoms.  You can find many reports of people suffering from Kratom withdrawal online, though its severity does seem to vary between individuals. Despite what you might hear some say, Kratom IS addictive, and must be treated with respect/caution. I was addicted to kratom and it was not fun but that’s a story for another week…

Photo credit: longan drink

Leave a Reply

84 Responses to “Effects of Kratom
Jeremy Gilbert
3:49 am August 2nd, 2011

Kratom is actually a tree, an evergreen tree with ripe, deep inexperienced leaves containing certain alkaloids that when swallowed have an enjoyable physical effect. Individuals desire to use kratom thanks to pain, addiction, escape, and boredom, whatever. But I think that Kratom has many wonderful uses no matter your goal. One controversial result of taking Kratom, though, is drug addiction. Relative risk: low.

STUART ARMOR
11:02 am November 6th, 2011

Are the dark spots permanent?

4:11 pm November 7th, 2011

Hi Stuart. I’ve read a little about the skin darkening caused by kratom. It’s not clear whether the skin darkening caused by daily Kratom use is permanent, or not. But from what I understand, it is a long-term side effect of chronic use that may be permanent. You can check out the Erowid description on the Erowid[dot]org site, which describes skin patches on the cheeks. But perhaps you might also ask a dermatologist who can look into the matter more?

Good luck!

Stuart Armor
4:43 pm November 7th, 2011

Thank you. I will look into it further. My depression has been debilitating, with weeks of isolation, leading to thoughts of suicide. I have tried twice in my life to end my life, not for attention, but because I truly wanted to die. I was taking pain pills to not just stop pain, in fact I took them more for my isolation/depression. So I have found Kratom, & it get’s me out of the house, instead of staring at the walls for days & weeks at a time wishing my life would just end. I am 49 years old, & I feel great due to Kratom, prayer, & the support of my family & a badly needed psychotherapist. So for now, I’ve found myself looking forward to a second chance at a happy life. I will continue to do research on this product. Thanks for your kind reply, be well, Sincerely, Stu….

10:15 am November 10th, 2011

Thanks to you, too, Stu.

I can understand the seriousness of suicidal thoughts. I encourage you to continue seeing this great psychotherapist, and perhaps even look into other pharmaceutical alternatives to Kratom like SSRIs. Although I, too, can see the benefits of taking an herbal extract, you may actually have a diagnose-able deficiency of serotonin in the brain. Maybe look into that with the help of a psychiatrist? How does that sit with you?

Eddy Stoward
10:16 pm December 23rd, 2011

Kratom is THE best ( and safest ) kept secret going. I get a day long Adderall like boost with zero crash. I’ve never experienced any stomach discomfort, even with higher doses ( around 10 grams or more) I used it for months, then stopped for months with no signs of withdrawals in between.
Just find a reputable seller that standardizes the dose. Have a good bit of sugar on hand because it tastes pretty bad at first. Despite the taste, I get no nausea and get that Adderall 30mg feeling all day. And no dark patches either!
Get Kratom, it’s the best and safest!

JP
11:32 am December 31st, 2011

Why would you recommend someone use a man-made, unnatural, synthetic chemical over a natural, healing plant that we have co-evolved with? It boggles my mind. Every single alkaloid present in Mitragynia speciosa is important: they work together to create their effects.

And one of the observable interactions between some of these alkaloids is their antagonist effects: as in, (assuming the individual is consuming whole leaf, and not just artificially synthesized specific alkoloids) the propensity to develop a Kratom addiction is modulated.

My eight-month experience taking a pharmaceutical anti-depressant resulted in horrendous withdrawal symptoms, negative psychological and physiological side-effects, etc. NOTHING compared to Kratom, whatsoever. To advocate a substance that neurological researchers can’t even explain “how they work” with any degree of certainty is someone I highly, highly, disagree with and felt compelled to respond to.

1:11 pm January 2nd, 2012

Dear JP,

Thanks very much for sharing your experience and opinion about Kratom. As always, there are always two sides to any story. Thanks for sharing some perspective.

Of course, the medical establishment does have its flaws, especially in terms of synthesizing what is already in nature or in using new chemicals that seem to treat symptoms without knowing long term effects. So we can appreciate that Kratom may be an option to treat depression in some people.

Thanks again.

STUART ARMOR
10:54 pm February 8th, 2012

I wish I had come back to this website to thank J.P. for his reply. I’m trying to afford a Psychiatrist, but I have not found one yet that is under $150.00. I’m still using Kratom daily, It’s time to stop for awhile, but I still will try to use it more occasionally. If I cannot, I unfortunately have to completely put it down. Great website!, a more mature place for information, and it shows that there are people out there that truly care. Thank you, Be well, Stu…

Kent
4:50 pm February 18th, 2012

So I’m trying to quit kratom, ive been using daily for a year now. Is there any trick to quit? Advice? Taper? Please any advice or support you can offer. I’m having a hard time, depressed, restless legs, runny nose, etc. I really need some persoective

3:48 pm February 21st, 2012

Hi Kent. Thanks for your question.

There are only a few reports about supervised detoxification and drug treatment for kratom dependence. However, a recent article about a case report for ktraom detox stated that in treating kratom withdrawal: “a reducing regime of dihydrocodeine and lofexidine proved effective in treating subjective and objective measures of opioid-like withdrawal phenomena, and withdrawal was relatively short and benign.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20798544

I did also ask the author of this article, Charles, to respond with some helpful tips for kratom withdrawal and will link to them from here once published.

Hope this helps!

JP
12:48 pm February 23rd, 2012

Hi Kent,
I thought I’d offer up some advice regarding your difficulty in stopping the use of Kratom. Personally, I’d be wary of replacing it with a synthetic opiate, if you have addiction problems with Kratom (which I suspect is much, much less habit-forming than potent pharmaceuticals, for many reasons including what I’ve mentioned above), you consider trying a switch from plain leaf to a stem and vein version for a taper. As the name suggests, these forms of Kratom contain JUST the stems and veins of the plant, and while they stimulate the receptors just enough to prevent or minimize withdrawal symptoms, they lack the “good” feelings of traditional Kratom leaf – allowing you to bypass any discomfort from cessation while mitigating the euphoric sensations that led you to use it habitually in the first place. And then stop completely, of course.

Also, I would compel you to do some soul-searching on why and how you reached a point with using Kratom that it became so difficult for you to stop. Are you self-medicating, having some spiritual difficulties, depression? Because if you can engage in addictive behavior with Kratom, you can certainly transfer that to another substance, activity, or behavior in the future – addiction isn’t caused by a substance, it comes from the person within, and can trade itself off among various things in life. Even intimacy and food! So you want to be careful that there isn’t an unresolved underlying issue that just happened to manifest itself with your Kratom use.

Good luck, and keep us updated.

Kent
3:10 am March 10th, 2012

Hey all,

So the author and most everyone was right. The biggest problem with addiction is the cause ” why did you open this door”. There is no easy way out and I am on day 4. I
Got some immodium and night time cough syrup but things will never feel the same. In the beginning I felt horribly, mainly because I couldn’t tell anyone about the problem but I found one good friend and I’ve been through hell and back. It’s “do able”. Be strong and don’t give up and make sure to answer that “why” question. All addiction is, is a gap to fill in something else. I will continue and overcome this. I will look to you all for support. Thank you

Mosh
1:47 am April 13th, 2012

Kent,
Be strong and keep us posted!

Also (this one’s to whoever can answer responsibly):
What, in your opinion / from your experience, is a responsible Kratom–consumption regime that will prevent addiction?
(i.e dosage spacing, dosage, method of consumption, etc.)

shannon
5:57 pm May 4th, 2012

does krantom addiction cause awful PAWS like opiates and if so are they months and months long like long acting opiates ?

Howe
3:59 pm May 13th, 2012

JP’s method of using Stem and Vein kratom to BYPASS the aches and runny nose/eyes and just depression of W/D/s! IDK HOW it works, but after two weeks of stem and vein following 8 months 2-3 times a day use, I just stopped. I took phenibut on the first day, and kava on the second (both gaga-b agonists) to help me sleep. Felt TOTALLY FINE in the withdrawal period. NO ACHES. NO RUNNY NOSE. NO RLS!!!! :D Best of all, NO REBOUND DEPRESSION/ ANXIETY! I also took some immodium because I was expecting the usual kratom withdrawal slight diarrhea, but it CONSTIPATED me!! Sorry for all the capitalization, finding stem and vein completely changed how I look at this plant.

And just for the record addiction blog, in my experience any side effects (dry eyes/throat, reddish/dark cheeks) can be solved by drinking extra water, as kratom is a diuretic. Not advocating it, but it helps with the stress of preparing to withdrawal and cease use if people understand.

chris
4:06 am June 18th, 2012

This whole article is nonsense. Been doing kratom for 30 years and am healthy as a horse and can stop anytime. Just more propaganda here.

JP
11:48 am June 21st, 2012

@Mosh
I suppose this depends on what you mean by “addiction” – but I’ll assume you’re referring to how to incorporate Kratom into your life in a way that will prevent you from having any WD effects upon cessation. I think a good guideline is as simple as not using it every single day. Day on, day off. If you’re concerned that you won’t be able to not use it on your “off” days (cravings, self-control, etc), then you could try once or twice a week, spaced 2-3 days apart.

I don’t think the amounts matter so much as ONLY USING PLAIN LEAF. The tinctures/extracts or “enhanced” blends are definitely more potent, and really, the effects from plain leaf are so pleasant on their own, why risk raising your tolerance anyway? When ingesting plain leaf there’s a limit on how much you can do at once anyway before negative effects set in, so (again, plain leaf) Kratom is amazing in that it has some sort-of “built in” limitations. I’d say, stick to once or twice a week or every other day and you’ll be fine :)

@Shannon
Not at all! If you use plain leaf daily, for example, the WD effects are variable from person to person of course but are NOWHERE even NEAR what the stopping of a strong pharmaceutical/chemical opiate will cause. As someone who has experienced the sheer hell of a methadone withdrawal, Kratom was a cake walk. It felt like a mild flu for a couple days, and my consumption was pretty high. If you have a low opiate tolerance to begin with your subjective experience of Kratom WD might be quite uncomfortable for you personally, but it isn’t even comparable to what you’d experience with the stronger stuff… even if you’ve been using it daily. If you’re worried about WD though, you could try using a stem and leaf variety until you’re able to stop without any lingering discomfort.

@Howe,
I’m so glad to read your update, I’m glad it worked for you! Really, I can’t even tell you how happy I am that you got through it so well. I’ll admit, I even feel a little proud to have helped someone else avoid some potential discomfort. Thank you for sharing your experience, hopefully it will help others reading this who are in need of some help as well.

@chris
I’ve realized after a variety of experiences within my life, that any extremist, “one-size-fits-all” perspective on any issue is usually biased to some degree. I disagree with the tone of the article, for sure, if you’ve read my responses here you’d know that I have very few bad things to say about Kratom. I take issue with categorizing a plant with so much healing potential and therapeutic benefit as little more than an “addictive substance” – yet at the same time, minimizing the experiences of others is also something I have a problem with.

Someone can have difficulty with cessation of Kratom usage, it can cause some discomfort when a chronic consumer of this plant stops abruptly. Stating the obvious here does not condemn the plant itself, that’s a logical fallacy. Attitudes like yours are just as much a barrier to intelligent, logical discourse on these subjects just as much as the “prohibit everything” camps.

The discussion should not revolve around whether Kratom has addictive potential or not, of course it does. As I stated previously – so can caffeine or fast food, so can non-substance addictions such as exercise, intercourse, etc. The important question here is whether individuals should have a choice as to what they do or do not put into their bodies. The validity of another person’s subjective experience with Kratom is not your concern – you should be getting upset at the system for controlling our choices as individuals (and those that try to limit our ability to make such decisions), not the experiences of other people that happen to differ from your own.

Steve
3:42 pm June 22nd, 2012

Hi. new to this Kratom stuff. Just heard that it might help my rumatoid arthritus. Ant thruht to that? Little worried about that addiction thing you all talk about.

Richard
7:12 am August 4th, 2012

Steve,
I have psoriatic arthritis and have been taking kratom for about a year. It won’t do miracles, but it can help you forget about your pain for a while. For me, just feeling human every now and then really helps my outlook on life. Plus, it relieves me of some of the social anxieties from having severe psoriasis.
I don’t want to discount anyone’s addiction, but for me it really isn’t an issue. For one thing, I figured out that you don’t need nearly as much as most people use. When I take it in the morning, a quarter to half a teaspoon is my optimal dose. Sometimes I’ll take up to a tablespoon in the evening, but then I usually do something healthy and active, like going for a long walk and cooking a good meal. I will say that even at low doses, I get a little weird if I use it every day for too long– emotionally volatile and my eyes get screwed up.
All in all, kratom has significantly improved my quality of life. I exercise more and have a more positive outlook. Stick to lower doses, stay away from the extracts, and take breaks from it. Used with some caution and respect, it could help you.

Howe
5:13 pm August 4th, 2012

Richard — “All in all, kratom has significantly improved my quality of life.” couldn’t agree more! It’s a plant that many people would loose money on if kratom was commercialized I’m America, hence the extremely negative stigma. When I see people on the news giving sub or bupe to people “addicted” to kratom, I feel bad for the patient because I know to me and many other that the withdrawal is much more of a “this sucks, no kratom” then having cravings and obsessive thoughts about it while in pain for days like opies.

I wish the best to anyone withdrawaling from it the first time because it can be scary with the negative changes, but I urge you to buy stem and vein, black seed oil, and valerian root. Finally if I may add one more taper tool, phenibut obliterates ALL symptoms of withdrawal for me, including watering everything (eyes, nose, pores, diarrhea). It all stops, along with almost all anxiety from not taking kratom. The worst part of withdrawal for me was always sleep, and this makes you sleep like a baby. Basically it works on most the receptors as kratom, except GABA B Instead of opioid receptors like kratom does. If you go this route ensure you do not take daily as it is addictive but of you need to quit kratom, it is the most painless way at this time IME. This blog has become my friend after seeing how many it helps. Good luck everyone!

Jerry
11:24 am August 10th, 2012

Not too sure why it’s so hard for people to quit? I’ve been a daily user for 2 years now, and have no issue quitting for weeks at a time! I guess it depends on the strength of the user do I’m not bagging on anyone for their issues with this herb, but if you have it in your mind that it’s gonna be hard to quit, then it will! To me it just isn’t that big of a deal, my job is very physical so I take it to cope, but I’m truly happy in my life so I guess that has a lot to play in it. Btw, I use around 2-4 oz per week so it’s not a casual thing for me! Good luck to you all! Word of advice, don’t make it harder than it needs to be

SteveATL
12:06 pm August 11th, 2012

Hello:

A week or so ago I added stem & vein to my Bali powder (50/50) and have tapered to 3.5 g twice daily. At this point, do you advise switching over to pure S&V for two weeks, tapering down, and stopping? Also, generally, how long does the PAWS depression last? 

Thanks much for your advice in this blog!

YummiLeafi
10:35 am August 19th, 2012

I’ve become dependent on kratom over the last year plus. It started as recreation, but I stepped down from the enhanced products to straight leaf powder as the higher potency stuff had too many side effects for not enough benefit, and to put it plainly, the untweaked leaf lasts longer and has a much smoother effect duration curve, if you get my meaning.

I was a bit unhappy about still being dependent on it until I started thinking about it, and realized that since I started kratom, I managed to quit a psych med that I’d been trying to get off for nearly 10 years due to chronic side effects. I finally did it; meanwhile, kratom has had a better effect on my mental health than any pharmaceutical medication I’ve ever used – and they’ve tried many on my moody self – besides basic anti-anxiety meds. I’m far less reclusive, I make conversation with strangers (unheard of), I’m much happier at work, I went back to school to prepare for grad school, and generally I am in the best mental shape of my life. I’m the most productive, too, and life has thrown more stress at me than in years before. Between kratom and vitamin D, I’m handling things now (with a smile!) that would have made me fold under pressure and go hide in my bed and bemoan life just a couple years ago. No pharmaceutical has ever come CLOSE to that.

My problems: it wears off too quickly (straight leaf is better than any enhanced product, though) and then I get cranky, so I end up taking small doses every 2 to 4 hours. And, of course, I’m physically dependent. But a doctor prescribed me that pharma I was trying to quit for 10 years. It yielded similar but much weaker benefits as kratom, but also caused major cholesterol effects, weight gain, and endocrine problems. And the WITHDRAWAL. 4 days off kratom and I’m good. The pharm was still practically intolerable after 6 WEEKS when I tried to quit it cold turkey – again, on advice from a doctor! Kratom withdrawal isn’t even in the same league as that sh*t and there are doctors (who should be stripped of their license to practice) prescribing it as a SLEEP AID.

As far as how I use it, I don’t really control my dose of pure leaf, and I notice that it does tend to follow a pattern. The dose increases, increases, increases to the point of mild side effects, then something happens — either I get a cold or something, or lose my taste for it for a couple days, or even simply run out and have an unpleasant but bearable couple days, and my dose drops back by about 1/2 to 2/3. Lather rinse repeat ad infinitum. Probably if I controlled the dose I wouldn’t have that problem.

One thing I strongly suspect is that the low-dose preferential binding to delta opioid receptors vastly eases the withdrawal compared to a traditional (morphine-like) full agonist. I think the kinetics are such that you can experience some acute withdrawal, but enough of it hangs out at the delta receptors to make the descent into physical withdrawal much easier than with traditional opiates. I can see how people can and do use this to step off addictions to oxycodone, heroin, etc.

The other nice thing about the delta-to-mu crossover is that you can, with trial and error, find a dosage that doesn’t have any euphoria but keeps the physical withdrawal at bay. Thus it’s pretty easy to do a taper that’s barely noticeable if you want off it for good and don’t want to deal with a few days of unpleasantness.

It definitely has opiate withdrawal symptoms, though. Irritability, hot flashes, sweats, restless legs, aches, sometimes an extra couple trips to the bathroom. But I got food poisoning when I was taking WAY higher doses than I’m on now and went cold turkey off it and even then… 4 days and done, and I mostly just slept a lot and drank salted orange juice. :P

I dread the day the idiots in the Government get around to banning it to “save the children.” Given how long it takes to bring a pharma to market and the completely bass-ackwards legislative approach to anything that so much as looks sideways at a receptor that might make somebody feel pleasant, there won’t be anything useful and kratom-based on the market for mood disorders for years. My main hope is that all the people skills and associated coping mechanisms and whatnot that I’m learning now will carry over once I can’t get it any more.

Brittney
1:35 am August 21st, 2012

I use kratom around 3-4 times a week. It helps with my anxiety and depression.

leesa
12:50 pm August 29th, 2012

Hello.. Ive been using kratom for about 7 1/2 months first starting out with capsules then moving to powdered bali recently i take a very loe dose i want to quit any suggestions?

James
5:07 pm August 29th, 2012

I have struggled with ADD for years. Pharmaceutical stimulants help me focus but make me extremely irritable and aggressive, make it hard to sleep, and erase any feelings of joy or wellbeing from my life. Thai kratom has been an absolute godsend in treating my ADD. It helps me to be extremely productive but actually REDUCES anxiety and promotes a feeling of wellbeing, unlike doctor prescribed medication. Kratom has improved the quality of my life dramatically.

I hope the day never comes when the tyrannical US government tries to take this wonderful plant away from those that its helped so much. The DEA serves the interests of the pharmaceutical industry (amongst others) and I feel that a kratom ban is almost inevitable. More and more people are finding a safe, natural way of treating various ailments. This must be taking business away from the pharmaceutical companies and doctors who push horrible brain and body destroying chemicals as a way of treatment.

Ben
12:40 am September 12th, 2012

Hey All,

So I have been using Kratom on and off for about 6 weeks now, and I enjoy it for all of the reasons listed above. I have never experienced withdrawl symptoms from it, but I attribute that to the fact that I only use it about 3 days a week. But there is one thing I have experienced with the Kratom that has been a big downside, and that is the constipation. I will spare you all and refrain from going into any more detail than that, but what I was wondering is if anyone else who has had that experience has any tips on how to avoid it?

Thanks to everyone for your helpful posts.

Jorden Tidrick
12:56 pm September 20th, 2012

I am trying to stop using heroin. Well, in fact, I have been trying for several years now. I have been to prison 17 times and each time I come out, clean, I still go and use and get a “habit” again.
Why do I do this? The simple answer is that I feel nothing else I have ever experienced compares in the slightest, nothing in my life seems worth stopping for, there is no light at the end of the tunnel, it’s just too hard to stop.Imagine feeling good about yourself, life seems good too, then when you wake up all that has changed, life is shit again until you have a bag of gear.
I wake up each day and think I don’t want this life anymore – out stealing and scoring, I look at the Subutex – a way to change and stop and I just want to have a hit of “brown.” I don’t inject it, just smoke it.
I am here now typing this having taken two 8 mg tablets of Subutex and all I can think is why did I take them? Now I can’t do heroin for at least 16 hours – as Subutex blocks the effects of the gear. I am going crazy just sitting here trying to be normal, I don’t think I know how anymore. I’d rather go out and risk my liberty for some money for gear.
Heroin gives you a feeling of everything is OK, nothing is that bad and everything can wait until tomorrow. Without it life is shit. Now i have a strong addiction to Kratom and i dont know that to do. my life is about to end becaus my supplier went to jail. i dont know what to do….. help me please .

benny
8:17 pm November 1st, 2012

I know where your coming from. I think life is better when I use heroin. Feel better,function and all that but since the laws won’t let me have what I think I need I am now on subutex. I feel like I was a born opiate needer. I remember as a kid thinking there’s something out there that would make me feel better. Physically and mentally. All the (bad) about it is the laws. They don’t want people to feel good. Back in the day it was known as the elixir of the gods. I think if it makes life easier than they should make it available. Methadone is worse on the body than heroin. Why don’t they open heroin clinics???????? The laws ruin a lot of lives. They have saved a lot also but I think it should be the individuals right and decision what to put in there bodys. It does belong to us and no one knows how you feel but you. There is never going to be a world without heroin. There have been wars fought over it. The opium wars with China and the British. The Govt. lets it in the country, gets their cut and don’t care about the lives they ruin with their double standards. I’m 55 now and feel older in my body but if I have some opiates in me I feel like a kid again and can do things I can’t usually do because of the old man syndrome. I’m detoxing from subutex right now but the bad effects haven’t set in yet. Not on a low enough dose yet. 7mgs. I just watched or am watching my son detox from subutex and so far so good. He feels like crap but it will pass. This is his 2nd day with nothing. He detoxed pretty slow. 3 months. I just hope the end doesn’t last long. 2 weeks can seem like forever. He’s young so he has that going in his favor. Good luck to all.

majjdii
9:18 pm November 9th, 2012

Hey Jorden Tidrick, to help with pain, just drink a lot of water and jogging, even on night, just make some thing that make you wet. And tired sleep. I maintain this abput 3-4 days now it ok.. or just take matadhone

Robert
5:18 pm December 5th, 2012

Hi all,

Just wanted to put in my 2 cents, I started kratom a couple days ago to prevent w/d symptoms from prescription pain killers. So far I feel fine, no vomiting or diarreaha.

All I can say is I get deathly sick every time I try to come off the pain meds…one time it lasted 8 days…8 days of RLS, vomit & diareaha at the same time, insomnia, cold sweats and the rest of the fun that comes with opiate addiction & w/d. I even had a mild heart attack the last time I went cold turkey.

Whatever else kratom does, it has saved me from the horror of w/d. If it can relieve my pain (which is constant, chronic & acute) I will gladly use it instead of going the opiate route with all its inherent troubles. Won’t get into that here and now.

As far as becoming addicted to kratom; while I do have an addictive personality, being addicted to a natural substance can’t be anywhere near the nightmare of opiate addiction. And if I do develop a dependency on kratom, I will handle it accordingly.

john withers
2:02 pm December 6th, 2012

I suffer from horrible chronic pain now for over three years and is permanent. I was shot 2xs and the second bullet is lodged @ my tailbone and severed nerves leaving me incontinent( foley cathiter, diapers, if needed) but unberable pain. I take opiates on and off, but need them permenently. I’ve been through wd sickness many times and it sucks. Also the more often I take them the higher dosage I require to do the job. I’m talking about hydrocodone, oxycodone, dilaudid, morphine,etc. I’d love to try this as a replacemet and am contiplating as I write. I also suffer from extreme anxiety and depression which I take meds for, yet the depression still haunts me. If I do in fact try this I will post back about my experiences.

Danny
7:17 am January 5th, 2013

Kratom saved my life, it helped me overcome addiction and depression.

Lisa
6:32 pm January 26th, 2013

I just recently recieved Kratom and the results have been positively awesome, I’m not sweating from withdrawl of suboxone.
my first and second day it’s working. Thank you

Benny
1:57 am January 31st, 2013

I posted my first blog on Kratom while I was detoxing myself from subutex (Buprenorphine). I took my last little dose of it on January 17th and had the Kratom on hand since I had done a lot of research on it before I decided to stop the very expensive subutex. I will say it does work very well. I had been a heroin addict for years before switching to Methadone. Was on Methadone for 20 yrs and tried to kick it many times but had to go to prison to get off of it. I was only in prison this time for 40 months but never really felt like I got over the Methadone. I was out for 2 yrs before my first relapse but knew better than to turn back to Methadone. I heard of the new supposedly almost non addicting subutex and suboxone from the younger crowd. In my area heroin is almost an epidemic with the young. Anyways I took that route. 1st suboxone then got switched to subutex by a more sympathetic Dr. knowing the difference in cost and also have 2 herniated disks and arthritis in my lower back. I don’t really like the way the meds made me feel and got tired of being trapped again. So to make a longer story shorter I ordered 1000 grams of Kratom (Mang Da) and take 5 milligrams 3 times a day and it really really helps. I feel pretty rough in the mornings when I wake up but after taking my dose of Kratom within a hour I feel pretty normal. I also take small doses of Xanax for anxiety and it helps some for sleep. I am prescribed 4 milligrams a day but rarely take that much. The script reads 1,2 milligram tablets twice a day but I never take a whole bar at once. It seems to work better if I take them in halves through the day and rarely exceed 3 milligrams in a day. I don’t like the hungover feeling I get if I take a whole bar at one time. I have went cold turkey many times but now that I am older it gets harder. So take it from an old dope fiend, Kratom can and will help you get through it. Actually without it I believe I would still be on Subutex. On a little side note here I did ask the Dr. that if suboxone wasn’t like Methadone and he said absolutely not but to me it’s not all that much different except it doesn’t hold you as long as Methadone. So if withdraws scare you like they do me find a web site that sells Kratom in bulk and use it. I got my 1000 grams for $275. At a head shop one dose costs about $20 and at that price you might as well keep using because the withdraws from the Bup can last several months depending on how long you have been on it and how long you have been an addict. This is my true experience and Kratom has made this the easiest withdraws I have experienced. As far as the Kratom addiction goes I guess I’ll deal with it when I get over the Bup. Good luck to anyone fighting addiction and God Bless You All.

BB
7:12 pm March 25th, 2013

Hi,
Wanted to know where to buy this Kratom from? A health food store. What kind should I get? I use to smoke weed many many years ago for recreation. Retired now….home all day…..but can’t use weed now because of emphysema, which sucks. I can now try anything cause I no longer work or have responsibilities but now I can’t breathe either. Life sucks…..couldn’t wait for retirement because now it is my time….crap!! Life isn’t fair, thats for sure. So where can I purchase this, anyone care to reply? Thanks

Benny
4:40 pm March 26th, 2013

You can order Kratom over the internet. Just Google Kratom wholesale distributors. Shop around because prices and quality differ from sight to sight. Lately a lot of sights have raised their prices. I was purchasing it from a sight called Kratom Wholesale but they just recently raised their prices almost $100 a pound so I found a sight named Indigo Rising and their product is comparable but much cheaper when buying by the pound or kilo. It can become a very expensive habit but does help with withdraws,anxiety,depression and other things as listed in other posts. I don’t know what the withdraw effects are like yet from Kratom but have decided to try and give it up soon. The worst of the withdraws from the Subutex are going away. It’s been 3 months since I took any Subutex which is a very nasty substance in my personal experience. Anything that keeps you in withdraws for several months is nasty.

Benny
4:42 pm March 26th, 2013

Thai Mang Da is one of the strains that seems to be the strongest from all the research I’ve done.

Stuart
3:48 pm March 28th, 2013

I am a true believer in Kratom and its many uses. I can say without a doubt it has changed my life. I have no urge to drink anymore, if you want to stop any narcotics, kratom is the best. I’ve helped others stop pain pills by telling them about kratom. it’s a great natural way to help with many different things. thanks for everyone’s posts. Be well Stu…

Jan
6:12 pm April 1st, 2013

I’ve been using Kratom for about a year now. I definitely experience withdrawal symptoms when I don’t take it. In that time, I’ve taken my dosage down to the tiniest amount, and I’m needing to do that again. I plan to cut myself off for a while and see what life is like without any “help”. My main concern is the “gaunt” look I’ve read about. Lately, my tear troughs (under-eyes), have been noticeably sunken. Does anyone know if this is permanent? Will my eyes “puff” back up after I discontinue regular use? I can’t say for sure if Kratom is the cause, but it’s the only thing I can point my finger at.

Terri
11:28 pm June 9th, 2013

My son takes Kratom and a lot of it, He is very much addicted He wants to get off of it but doesn’t know how. When he doesn’t have the kratom he take xanax…UGH!! I’m very worried he has depression and bad anxiety. He has bad knees from doing floors and that also affects his back. Please what can I do to help my son?

Jess
7:56 pm June 10th, 2013

I have been using Kratom for about 2 years now. I had a bad habit with any opiod I could get my hands on. I heard that kratom helps with withdrawls. Kratom has saved my life, not only did I get off opiods with basically no wd’s, it as also helped with depression and anxiety. Kratom is the only thing I have ever taken that helps with all my problems, and I have not had any problems with my skin. I do stop using here and there, and the only problems I have are not sleeping well and restless leg syndrome. Much easier to deal with than opiod wd’s. Kratom allows me to face the world, and do it with a positive outlook, user for life!

Ann
12:50 am June 13th, 2013

Kratom-you should see my son on this crap. He just left. Wants to kill people, all women are whores, he hates everyone, started a fist fight with his brother, wanted to fight with his dad, yelling at his mother about how things should be, while throwing things all over the house, packed up and moved out in about 10 long mins.,and we will never see him again, and people what to know where to order? I checked his garbage, this is what I found. I wish they would ban this, you say you been on it 30 yrs and its great, don’t you know how to act on your own? you never said anything about getting off, good luck!!! I Hate Your Kratom!!!

Benny
8:10 am July 6th, 2013

Ann, I don’t think your sons problem is just kratom.

Jordan
11:09 am July 11th, 2013

Ann – There’s no way that only kratom would make some one act like that. It’s just not that kind of a substance that can drastically change behavior, it can change peoples lives drastically by helping with pain or depression but there’s no way it would put someone into a rage or out of their minds. If anything kratom is mind calming and would put someone in a calmer state. I’m sorry to say your son is probably on something else much stronger and mixing it with kratom.

Kratom is amazing and has helped me greatly with chronic pain. Check it out if nothing else works. It’s a great natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. I get it in the capsules which makes it nice and easy to take.

Richard S
9:41 pm July 12th, 2013

Terri:
Your son is a lot better off on kratom than xanax. Since there’s no immediate health risk with kratom, I would suggest tapering off rather than cold turkey. It does sound like there are some underlying issues with him that might make quitting harder. But if he’s serious about quitting, he should figure out how much a day he’s taking now and gradually reduce the dosage over a month or two.

I’ve never taken kratom in high doses, so I can’t say how applicable my experiences might be. I’ve never experienced any craving for kratom, but there are withdrawal symptoms that tend to linger longer than I expected. The first couple of days of going cold turkey are like having a cold, but then there’s emotional neediness that’s hard to shake.

Kratom has helped me in some ways, so I’ve been a guinea pig to see what would help the wd’s. Here’s what’s helped:

Choline: A huge difference, both physically and emotionally. I’ve tried both Alpha GPC and Choline Bitartrate. Alpha GPC penetrates the brain-blood barrier more easily, so it’s faster acting, but can get a little heady in higher dosages. The cheaper bitartrate does the trick, and is a little more stable, but it isn’t as noticeable. I would guess that other forms, such as Choline CDP would work just as well, and might be a good compromise. A good choline source is your first step.

Ibuprofen: I would have expected relief from some of the flu-like symptoms, but it also provides some surprising emotional stability that you don’t get from aspirin or tylenol.

5-HTP: A noticeable improvement of mood, but there’s a limit to how much you can take. Exceed the recommended dosage by too much and anything in your stomach comes right back up.

L-theanine: The amino acid that gives tea its calming effect. Some calming benefits.

N Acetyl Cysteine: Someone suggested this. Inconclusive on most counts, but does help with congestion.

Someone else suggested phenibut. It might help through a bad weekend, but use with extreme caution. Too much or for too long, and there’s a much bigger problem.

Good nutrition is always helpful and as well as exercise, but realistically a long jog is probably not going to happen.

I’m interested in knowing what others have tried and how successful they have been.

LindaSlatten
1:32 pm September 9th, 2013

My sister wanted to know about this natural drug she is in pain all the time and a co worker suggested it. She is a diabetic how will that interfere with what she takes. Thanks

tim
3:25 am October 21st, 2013

I hear that kratom is a good herb.

val
11:15 pm January 5th, 2014

I had been addicted to Methadone as well as Buphenorphine for 13 years. I wanted to stop but the painful detox was always to much and if i did get through the accute withdrawal, I would always end up relapsing because of the post acute.
Now that I have switched to Kratom I am more allert and i dont have to worry about overdosing and DYING!

Benny
9:45 pm January 6th, 2014

I’ve been using Kratom for a year now. Started it to get off Subutex. It helped. Now I’m stuck on Kratom. It is addicting but at least it’s a natural plant. I was given Subutex for pain because they don’t want to give me any opiates because of past drug problems. Never had a prescription drug problem though. I take it all as prescribed because I know better then to run out. I would like to be “normal” but for some of us that’s not a reality. I would say over all it has helped me with my pain, depression and helps keep me clean from other opiates. I have cut my dose to 3 grams twice a day. I would say the addiction is equal to about 400 milligrams of Tramadol a day, for me anyways. I have lost a lot of weight since I’ve been on it though. Almost 30 lbs. It kills my appetite. I have to make myself eat. I went from 225 lbs to 185 lbs. My son used it for the same reason but recently stopped. He’s doing fine now but he’s half my age and that does make a difference.

katy
11:33 pm January 27th, 2014

Please do not be fooled. If you are an addict, then do not use this drug. It has ruined my physical and mental health. I have been taking kratom daily for 2 years and now I am paying the consequences. Trust me, there are psychical withdrawals. There is very little research on this drug…

lily
12:41 am January 28th, 2014

It is addictive!!! I’ve been taking this shit for years W/D is terrible!! Don’t replace one addiction for another! Read posts carefully!! Almost everyone singing it’s praises just replaced one addiction for another! Including myself! I’ve been laying on couch all day sick as hell because my order is late! I’ve tried every OTC remedy online for opiate wd and I’m still sick!! You will get same wd as opiate pills if you take enough of it long enough! That I promise!

brian
2:17 pm February 10th, 2014

this sounds very confusing,i have been on methadone now for about ten years and dread coming off it,is this any good for coming off that stuff? are the withdrawls similar? what withdrawl symptoms are there exactly….yours hopefully. bry

Sol
3:17 pm February 11th, 2014

Brian, The withdrawals of Kratom are NOTIHING similar to Methadone,, and yes it can help you get off Methadone. It will make it a lot easier if you are taking Kratom while tapering down on Methadone and then just switch to Kratom, but don’t be fooled you stilll have that methadone withdrawal waiiting for you when u decide to stop Kratom.

Sol
3:25 pm February 11th, 2014

Lilly, speak for yourself. I have used Kratom for years to interrupt my cravings for opiots.
I agree that it can become addictive but it can also help addicts like me stay CLEAN!
I don’t take it everyday but when I do im sure glad it wasn’t a Vicodin or I would be back in the cycle of addiction.

lily
6:16 pm February 12th, 2014

Sol?
please re-read my post I said you are trading one addiction for another! You said it’s addictive ?
So how are you CLEAN? Quit taking it for a few days and see how “clean” you are ….first day or two is easy! Just wait till your on day 3!! Clean to me is free of all drugs – it’s legal “for now” … very soon it won’t be! You’ll see! You said it’s additive what’s the diff if it was Vicodin? You are trading one for another!
I wish I never touched the stuff!!!!

Benny
10:14 pm February 12th, 2014

Yes, Kratom is addicting but it’s not as bad as methadone or subutex and lots of the other pharmaceuticals out there. I used it to get off subutex. I still went through some pretty awful withdraws. I know I’m dependent on Kratom now but I look at it as the least of the evils. I have 5 herniated discs and arthritis so it does help with some of the pain. I was just approved for SSI so I will be looking for a pain management Dr.

sol
10:59 pm February 12th, 2014

Hi Lily, I should have explained better, my bad. I fully detoxed off opiots a few years ago but when I have strong cravings for opiots, I will use Kratom to interuot that craving. I do not use Kratom everyday and since I did a full detox before I started taking kratom I have not switched from one to another. My point was is IF I take something like vicodin I am positive I would not be able to stop. Kratom does not give me the same feeling as Vicodin that would end up leading me right back to the Methadone clinic. I have used Kratom for years but not on a daily basis so I have never felt any withdrawal from it. I believe Kratom truely does help interrupt cravings, I am saying this because this can help others, I have never been able to remain clean in the past till I descovered this herb. I might add I allso smoke medical cannabis so what you call “clean” and what I call “clean” might be two different things. I have had way to many friends overdose. I do not take anything that I can overdose on and kill me.

Benny
9:43 pm February 13th, 2014

Oklahoma has a bill in their senate right now to make Kratom illegal in Oklahoma. The distributors I get mine from are in Okla. but are opening up shop in Oregon. Kratom is great for detoxing off hard drugs but it’s not worth being addicted to. It has no high to it but it does give you a feeling of calm when taken in the right doses. Don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone OD’ing and dying from Kratom.

YummiLeafi
2:49 am February 15th, 2014

There IS a difference between kratom and most opioids, and that difference is likely the reason that withdrawals are easier and that kratom dependency – while a very real thing – is also fairly self-limiting in a way that opiates are not. This is based on extensive research I’ve done, mostly reading peer-reviewed journals. I’ll try to boil it down a bit.

There are two opiate receptors in your brain and body that matter when it comes to addiction and withdrawal. One is the delta receptor. When an opioid “plugs in” to delta, it causes mostly side effects. The other is the mu receptor. When an opioid plugs in to mu, it causes mostly the high, euphoria, sense of well-being, whatever you want to call it.

Most opioids (heroin, morphine, etc) plug into mu and delta receptors without much discrimination and in no particular order. Once they plug in, they “light up” the receptor as if flipping a switch from OFF to ON. This is called a “full agonist.”

Kratom is different in two important ways. First of all, it plugs into the receptors in a particular order: first, it plugs into delta, then as a lot of those are occupied, it plugs into mu. This is why you get strange dose-dependent effects with kratom, like not getting an opioid-type “high” at all until you cross a certain dosage. But very importantly, WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS ARE MOSTLY DUE TO DELTA RECEPTORS BEING EMPTY OF AN OPIOID. Because kratom plugs into delta receptors FIRST, a low dose can keep most w/d symptoms away without nearly as much high – which if you’re trying to get clean is a good thing. Also, kratom takes longer to “unplug” from delta than it does from mu, which explains why modest amounts of kratom can keep W/Ds away for a surprisingly long time after you stop feeling any effects of the kratom itself.

Secondly, kratom apparently does not flip opiate receptors from OFF to ON like a light switch (full agonism). It’s more like a weird springloaded dimmer switch – the more of it in your system, the brighter the “light” (the effect on your receptors) gets, but it also blocks its own action at higher doses. This is called a “partial agonist.” This is actually quite important, as it makes it more difficult to overdose on kratom than on most other opiates, and – just like marijuana, for anyone who’s familiar with the “you can’t get any higher” level of high from marijuana, it eventually stops getting you any higher if you just keep taking more. This is very much NOT the case with heroin, morphine etc which will kill you if you just keep taking more.

Hopefully some of this can explain why kratom works really well as a substitute for heroin, vicodin, percocet or whatever for people fighting addiction. In the words of one commenter, you may be trading one addiction for another, but kratom is way less likely to kill you if you make a mistake, so in my opinion it’s a good trade.

I am dependent on kratom, but I have noticed one other thing that may help some people out. For me, if I stay off it for more than the usual few hours between doses (I take many small doses because I get cranky if I take fewer bigger ones), say I get sick or something and I’m miserable anyway, so I’ll take an opportunity to “cold turkey” for maybe 6 hours after sleeping for 8 hours. The tolerance drops really fast! Then I can take less kratom to keep the W/D away and reduce my total dose, in less than a day (and really really reduce it a lot if I manage to go a whole day).

If you keep a notebook of how much kratom you take every day, which you should if you’re trying to quit, wait for one of these opportunities when you can stay away from the kratom as long as possible and then reintroduce it hours or days later at a much lower dose once you can’t stand the W/Ds any more. You will see your dose “step down” over time with less pain and misery than a traditional taper.

I used to take super potent kratom extracts, roughly equal (with some guessing) to maybe 15 teaspoons of leaf a day. I’m now down to 3 teaspoons a day by this method. Good luck to everyone.

YummiLeafi
3:13 am February 15th, 2014

I also want to add one other thing which may be helpful to anyone suffering from an opioid addiction, not just kratom but any opioid. Again, this is based on both researching peer-reviewed science (real science, not BS in magazines etc) and by personal experience. Cites at the bottom.

Some marijuana users may have noticed that smoking reduces opiate W/Ds. There is now some early research indicating that CBD, one of the major chemicals in (some) weed, has a significant effect in reducing drug-seeking behavior in various lab animals addicted to various substances, including heroin. I have personally obtained marijuana that was lab-tested and verified to contain CBD (not all marijuana has enough, more on that later) and have used it by smoking and by creating a tincture, and found that it drastically reduces cravings for kratom, and also reduces my daily intake (I keep logs, as I mentioned in my previous comment).

Here’s what you need to know.

1. A lot of cannabis grown for recreational use contains almost no CBD. This is because, to simplify it, in most cases the more CBD a plant produces, the less THC it will produce, and THC is what gets you high. (CBD has a lot of effects but does not really get you high. It does appear to modulate the high and greatly reduce paranoia and anxiety in some people though.) So, people growing weed for recreational use bred CBD production out of many many strains over the last 20-30 years, and most drug strains have very little.

2. To RELIABLY create marijuana (the drug, not the plant in general) with a reliable CBD content requires one of two things. Either you MUST have hybrid plants – so crossing an all-THC plant with an all-CBD plant, and growing the seeds from that; or, you must have a source that combines a lot of plant material from a mixture of plants which produce CBD and THC. The former is how you’re most likely to find a CBD-containing product in the USA. The latter is pretty much only reliably found in OUTDOOR hashish (hash) – not bubble hash, or oil or butane products made from trim, but real outdoor hash sourced from places like Morocco, Pakistan, etc. This is because the plants in the fields are a natural variety, they have not had all the CBD production bred out. It is really hard to get this kind of hash in the USA but it is fairly common in Europe, it’s the brown hard stuff that’s imported.

3. Medical marijuana producers have finally come around and started to understand that a ton of the medical effects from marijuana are due to CBD, and that they need to be growing all kinds of marijuana for different uses – pure THC, mixed THC/CBD, and pure CBD strains. This started earlier (and thus strain breeding and seed availability) started earlier in Europe, but it is finally hitting the USA. In some areas where medical marijuana has been legal a long time, such as California, dispensaries will lab test their products and tell you on average how much THC and CBD are in the product. YOU WANT A BARE MINIMUM OF 1% TO 2% CBD IN YOUR PRODUCT OR IT IS NOT ENOUGH TO HELP YOU WITH OPIATE WITHDRAWAL.

4. There is one strain of a THC/CBD hybrid on the US black market for recreational weed (and on the medical market). It is called Blue Dream. If at all possible, you should try to obtain Blue Dream (or anything claiming to have CBD) from a dispensary or medical source, preferably a lab tested one, because dealers will call their weed anything to make it sell faster, and if you get weed with only THC it’s not going to work very well for opiate W/Ds.

5. Because Blue Dream and all other THC+CBD strains is a hybrid, YOU CANNOT SAVE SEEDS FROM IT AND RELIABLY GROW THC+CBD PLANTS. You must always clone it or obtain fresh seeds from a reputable breeder. If you save seeds, you will get a mixture of THC, THC+CBD, and CBD plants, and unless you blend the product from all of them, you will get an inconsistent product. This is the same as for hybrid tomatoes, vegetables, etc.

6. Making a tincture from weed with CBD results in a much longer action against opioid withdrawals than smoking or vaporizing. The effects may be more subtle, especially if you’re trying not to get too much of a cannabis high, but they last for many hours compared to only a couple hours for smoking.

7. If you get a real product with actual CBD in it, you will likely notice less paranoia or anxiety if you ever have trouble with that, a gentler, longer high, and more “couchlock.” If you can stand it when high on cannabis, drinking tea or even coffee in moderation can help with the “couchlock” but it does tend to make people sleepy until used to it. If you are older and smoked weed back in the 70s, 80s, even mid 90s before all the CBD was bred out, you might notice that the high from a CBD containing product is similar to the old high you remember when you were young! Less heady and intense than THC only.

So, if you can, get your hands on some weed with at least 1-2% or more CBD from a reputable, lab-tested medical dispensary. If you can’t source it that way, try to find Blue Dream from a dealer you can reasonably trust to not be bullshitting you and not be bullshitted by his/her suppliers. And try edibles or tincture rather than smoking for best results.

Here are some articles for you all to read if you like understanding some of the science. This is pretty new research but I am damn sure – Blue Dream works for me. I said in my last post I went from about 15 teaspoons of kratom a day to 3 teaspoons. I’m heading toward 2 teaspoons, and before I got a reliable medical source of Blue Dream, I kept bouncing around 5 and it was hard to go lower.

Best of luck, all.

Ren, Yanhua, et al. “Cannabidiol, a nonpsychotropic component of cannabis, inhibits cue-induced heroin seeking and normalizes discrete mesolimbic neuronal disturbances.” The Journal of Neuroscience 29.47 (2009): 14764-14769.

Parker, Linda A., et al. “Effect of low doses of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol on the extinction of cocaine-induced and amphetamine-induced conditioned place preference learning in rats.” Psychopharmacology 175.3 (2004): 360-366.

Wiedemann, Claudia. “Addiction: Cannabis against heroin?.” Nature Reviews Neuroscience 11.1 (2010): 3-3.

Jeff
7:33 pm June 16th, 2014

I was having pain problems in my back and Dr said I had gallstones causing the pain in back and shoulders. But they would not give me any medication for pain and I was suffering bad, so I did some research and found out about kratom. I ordered some and within one day I was pain free and felt great. I do want to watch my dosage and not get where I can only function with kratom. One Dr didn’t even do any tests and wanted to cut me open three days later. I really think a second opinion would be best fro me. For the time being, I will use kratom.

Christine
9:24 pm June 26th, 2014

We all know that kratom’s primarily used as a pain reliever. At lower doses, kratom can induce stimulation and energy boosting, while at higher doses, effects can include sedation and euphoria, and an overall sense of well-being. Its just a matter of knowing how to use it in a proper way

Josh
1:05 am June 28th, 2014

Kratom use is a weird thing. I’ve read countless stories of people who have successfully used it to wean off opiates. For this reason, I am happy that it is available here in the US. With that said, I have been using kratom off and on for 7 years now. I’ve been through withdrawals more times than I can count (probably close to 2 dozen times), and while I understand that, for many, the withdrawals are benign – this has not been my experience. I have struggled with depression for pretty much my entire life (I am 42), so I am no stranger to it, but the depression I suffer during kratom withdrawal has at times been nothing short of crushing. Additionally, the physical symptoms are pretty rough – 5 sleepless, completely sleepless, nights, RLS that bordered on maddening, gallons of sweat, etc… My reason for posting here is to warn potential users that kratom is, in fact, addictive. If you’re like me and have suffered with addiction previously (alcohol), think hard and do your research before you jump in. It’s certainly better than heroin or a pill habit (been there too), but the effects on my life have been far from benign. I have had months were I have spent close to a grand on this s**t – not because I am ignorant of how cheaply it can be bought online, but because I didn’t want to order it in bulk quantities. Any addict here will understand the “I’ll just do it today” song and dance – when you tell yourself that for months on end and, like me, buy it at the local headshop so that you won’t have a month’s supply – you open the door to serious financial stress. Other than that I have little to add that hasn’t already been said, but I wanted to post to counter all of the “Kratom is totally non-addictive” BS that pops up online when one searches kratom. Depending on your situation, kratom may be a godsend, but make certain you read both the good and the bad (a search for “kratom withdrawal is where you’ll find the bad) before making your choice.

One last thing: If you’re quitting kratom, loperamide (Immodium AD) makes quitting MUCH easier. I read this many times before trying it because most of those posting only talked about it helping with the diarrhea. The truth of the matter is that loperamide is an opiate, but one that does not cross the blood/brain barrier. Accordingly, large doses (for me at 185lbs, 12 2mg pills) all but wipes out the most unpleasant withdrawal effects. If you’re trying to quit, give it a shot, it has saved me all kinds of torment.

Jonna
7:43 pm June 30th, 2014

Is Kratom good for getting off high doses of opiate pain killers? If so, what’s the best route?

Benny
11:45 pm July 4th, 2014

Kratom does help with the withdraws but getting off high doses of any kind of opiate your still going to have to go through it. There’s no magic anything except maybe Ibogane, which I have no personal experience with, that will get you out of having to go through some withdraws. I started Kratom to get off subutex and it helped enough where I haven’t had any for a year now but now I’m stuck on the Kratom. Don’t let anyone tell you Kratom isn’t addicting in itself because it is and coming of it is no joke either. I’m a long time opiate addict and have always had a problem staying completely clean so I decided that Kratom does help me and it’s legal and cheaper then a Dr. and taking the addicting crap they give you for an addiction problem. I’m also on SSDI for 5 herniated dicks and a prior broken kneck and the Dr. I see won’t give me anything stronger then a 800mg ibophrene so I kinda self medicate with Kratom. I only take 3mg’s twice a day which is a very low dose and even at that low of a dose if I don’t take it I sweat like a pig and feel like I’m starting to go into withdraws so as soon as I make up my OJ and Kratom drink within 15 minutes I feel normal. My son was on subutex for a couple years and used the Kratom to help out coming off that crap and then stayed on the Kratom for about a year then detoxed himself off Kratom and said it only took him about 2 weeks to get over it and it wasn’t all that bad. Mostly sweating, feeling scroungy even though he showered and low energy. He’s been totally drug free now for several months and is a different kid. So it has it’s positives and negatives. He’s young and got over it faster then someone twice his age would but lots of us folks just trade one addiction for another which is my case. I look at it as the lesser of the evils and it does have some therapeutic values to it for me. I am prescribed 4 milligrams of Xanax a day but never take over 2 because the Kratom also helps with anxiety.

Jonna
10:48 am July 7th, 2014

I agree w/ lesser of 2 evils. I would like to not constantly run out of my other meds. It would be nice to have them in case I need them or to have something to replace them all together. I need energy, I never ever feel like I have energy; maybe when I take a good dose of meds and drink an energy drink, I feel some energy. Subtext, sub oxen, right? I take meds for pain management and am mostly controlled, so no rehab drugs for me. They just have me in pain management and monitor me. You don’t go to addiction treatment unless you say you have a big problem! 800 mg Motrin huh, are you with a military dr? That’s what they tend to give for pain! :-). Thanks for sharing and good luck with you and your son and your continued recovery.

Kelli
1:11 pm July 11th, 2014

Question.. I am not an addict so some of this article I was not able to relate to. For instance I have never felt the “need” to take any particular drug. I do however use Kratom when my back pain is so severe that it is impedeing my ability to work. Hate the feeling of pain killing drugs like codine or oxycodone and aleve or advil don’t seem to touch it. But 2 caps of kratom make the pain go away for 6 to 8 hours with seemingly no adverse affect. You didn’t cover pain in your article only the psychological effects, like euphoria and the “high” people feel. What are your thoughts about its use as a treatment for pain?

Gina
5:06 pm July 14th, 2014

I myself am trying to get off methadone which I’ve been on for 8 years. I just tried to detox from it but was unsuccessful. I’m at 80mg’s now. When I started I was at 95 mg’s & got down to 45 when I started feeling really lousy so I had to stop the detox. I was wondering if Kratom could help me get off methadone. I don’t want to get addicted to it, maybe if I can start at a low dose I don’t know. All I know is methadone is one he** of a strong drug to get off of. Please, Help In Amarillo.

Gary
3:09 pm July 31st, 2014

Hi Gary , I am considering using this for pain , not recreational purposes . I have read up on it threw many different sites and quite a few swear by it for pain . My use of it will be in the evening only , when in pain and to help me rest . And will never be around Brody when using it , of course not . Will you give me your opinion on Kratom ? Thanks Gary . Have a great day . :) Peggy

rama
10:51 am August 1st, 2014

nice! and i really appreciate this post

Sean
1:13 pm August 1st, 2014

head shops, stores are very expensive and way less potent compared to the fresh powder you can get off certain websites … I been using kratom on/off for about 2-3 years … the most potent kratom I have ever tried was fresh green thai in powder form … 2 tablespoon fulls and wash it down with something to drink … 15 minutes later and it kicks in very strong and lasts twice as long as the expensive priced cheap quality commercial store bought kratom … however the strongest kratom of all is expensive and you only need to take a very small amount and its called Ultra Enhanced Extract … I have a high tolerance to kratom, but I am a little nervous about this type … super strong! … just research it, you will see … Jesus Peace!

Andrew
12:25 am August 23rd, 2014

Hi Jeremy. I enjoyed reading your article very much. I am a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan and have Bern struggling with PTSD for many years. I’ve done all sorts of counseling and have taken many different antidepressants with no luck. I was medically discharged from the service last year and entered a downward spiral of depression and isolation. Due to my anxiety, I rarely left the house. My wife had to pretty much force me to get out. It was a dark time in my life. Anyway, one day I was talking to a friend of mine who also suffers with mental health related issues and he told me about Kratom. I was skeptical at first and did not want to take drugs but I gave it a shot. All I can say is wow. It totally changed my life. It relieved my anxiety, boosted my mood and gave me all sorts of energy. Im a completely different person now; outgoing, happy and motivated. I since went back to counseling, found a job and improved my relationships with my family and friends. Ive had better results than any antidepressants I’ve been on. I take a low dose everyday. I’ve gone days without it and it didn’t bother me but I know I can’t rely on it forever. The long term effects like the dark spots bother me. Are you aware of any of other long term effects?

Ahamd
4:35 pm August 23rd, 2014

Hi just wana share.. I have take kratom for 6 year. Never have chance to stop.. But i have stomach issue and hard to breath middle 2012. Since that i stop smoking ciggaret and stop kratom. I hold a pain for two month without kratom. Drink lot of water and pee a lot too for 2-4 month. Now it almost 2 year im free from kratom. And i just smoke 2 ciggret a day. If u feel great dringking kratom for avoid from despression side effect another drug. Just go on with kratom for few month just to drive away another drug withdraw. Then lower your dose of kratom. For me i add one bootle pepsi with one packet kratom. Then lower to half packet kratom add with one bottle pepsi. After 2-3 week u can stop kratom. U can handle the pain in two week. For long term it will effect your kidney and stomath

Sting Ray
10:52 pm September 1st, 2014

My 2 cents about Kratom.
I used to self medicate with opiates for depression. I don’t seek therapy because I don’t have insurance. I am not going to pay $200 to have someone make me feel guilty about how ‘other people have it worse than you’.

I have quit opiates now for 2 months after using for 15 years. I have been using Kratom for the past 6 weeks.
I take 5mg twice a day. It has helped my anxiety and depression greatly, but not completely. Right now, I am more than happy with that. Kratom rounds off the edges, my thoughts no longer race about different worries, and other negative thoughts. I am not using Kratom to get ‘high’, but it does definitely relax you.

I notice everyone commenting about how it makes them high. One of the biggest benefits of Kratom, is it keeps my blood pressure down.
I have hereditary hypertension, had it for 20 years. I have been on 6 different prescriptions for blood pressure. I cannot tolerate these meds. They make my depression worse. My doctor thinks I’m crazy because I cannot take them the way other people do. I was getting very frustrated (that doesn’t help) that I could not find a BP med I was happy with.
I hate to sound like a spam ad, but I have quit taking my blood pressure meds and started Kratom.

When I started using Kratom my BP was averaging 140/87-92, that was WITH prescription BP meds. With Kratom dosing my BP is now 116/75 average. Plus it calms my thoughts, and I am able to function better in my daily life.

I am glad Kratom is still legal. I now need it for my blood pressure.
Thanks

Chris
9:39 am September 2nd, 2014

“The discussion should not revolve around whether Kratom has addictive potential or not, of course it does.” Ummm, no it doesn’t.

Shanna
2:50 am September 4th, 2014

I bought some Kratom today from a local head shop. I didn’t buy much since I have never taken it before and I am extremely cautious of taking new things. I have never taken any drugs recreationally in my life. I drink a few beers a week, that’s about it. I do however have a script of pain meds that I have been on for years for knee pain and ovarian cysts. If I get oxy’s, I start off with an initial dose of about 7.5 mg’s and then take 5 mg’s every 4 to 5 hours (if I have hydro’s, I start off initially with about 15 mg’s and then take 12.5 mg’s every 4 to 5 hours). I do use them for pain, but I am also aware of the slight euphoric feeling it gives. According to some people I know that take opiates recreationally and also the people at the head shop, I am taking a fairly low dose considering what “most” people take. I have been considering getting off the scripts and trying Kratom. But I am so nervous as to how it’s going to make me feel or how much to take. I want my pain to be dealt with but I would like to still get a slight euphoric feeling. In reading a lot on this, I have noticed people saying that they are looking for an “intense” high or they WANT to take so much that they “nod” of or makes them a little sleepy. I have never gotten that feeling from any pain med I’ve taken (the extreme HIGH or super sedating feeling) and that’s not what I’m looking for with Kratom. I bought 2 small pouches of capsules: 1 of Maeng Da, 10 capsules equaling 4 grams for all 10 capsules, and 1 of Green Malay, 10 capsules equaling 4 grams total). I just don’t know how much to take and of what. Do I take 1 capsule of each? I would rather under do it than overdo it and feel sick or weird. Any suggestions? Thanks so much for listening to me ramble on and on.

YummiLeafi
12:57 am September 5th, 2014

If you take the time to read all the comments, you’ll see a wide range of effects.

* A few people can use it daily for years and stop with minimal withdrawal.
* Many people can stop, once dependent, with a few days or weeks of misery.
* Some people may develop depression, etc after withdrawing.
*A few people do get classically addicted in the sense of ever-increasing doses, damage to daily life, etc.

There are strong genetic differences in susceptibility to opiate addiction. I’ve actually had private genetic testing done and do have one gene variant which is more likely to be present in heroin addicts than random people. So, I have a bit of a predisposition to opiate addiction. And kratom withdrawal isn’t nearly as some pharmas I’ve been given for depression, etc.

The point is, any drug will act different among different people. Kratom DOES cause dependency in many people who take it daily, period. However, if they were on heroin, subox, oxy, etc and switch to kratom – that is WAY less bad than the traditional opiates, and it works for many opiate addicts to keep them off the heavy stuff.

Kratomatic
10:11 pm September 5th, 2014

YummiLeafi, your comments are insightful and well thought out. A++++
Great explanation about the mu and delta receptors. That’s good stuff.

I take kratom about twice per week for obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety, depression, etc. I also take 1mg Xanax a couple times a week and smoke pot off and on. I was on Zoloft for 9 years, almost 10… and I recently stopped taking it for about 6 months. This was the first time I went more than a couple of days without it in nearly 10 years. When I decided it was time to get back on, I started by taking only 1/2 of the dose I was taking previously. Within about 4 days, I started having what I know now to be a serious case of serotonin syndrome: couldn’t sit still, pacing back and forth, heart racing, sweating palms, thoughts racing, feeling like I was dying… I had a 2+ hour “panic attack” that was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. It was no coincidence that I had just started taking that pharmaceutical garbage again a few days before. Even at that lower dose, the 6 months I quit taking it had somehow reset my brain chemistry to trying to live without it. I’m not 100% sure about how Zoloft works (and I don’t think the doctors are, either.) but it is definitely an unpredictable drug. Who knew that a few months off after NINE YEARS would cause me to completely freak out when I started taking it again? I still have the same bottle sitting here from over a year ago, and I never plan on taking this crap again. My OCD and anxiety came back full force after getting off the SSRIs, and I have for the most part learned to manage it without doctor intervention. If anyone else suffers from OCD, depression, or anxiety, my recommendation is to take a daily supplement regimen of: vitamin B complex (B6 & B12), Magnesium, GABA, Zinc, and N-AC. Adding Kratom a couple times a week is a big booster for me, and helps my depression quite a bit! Significantly, and noticeable results. I take anywhere from 4 to 8 gr of powder once or twice a week. I recommend you keep drinking a lot of water every day, and try not to take Kratom more than 2/3 days in a row to avoid the “withdrawls” (basically a couple of nights with little to no sleep, and very very restless legs) – Anyway, that’s my personal story. Take it for what it’s worth, but I have had better results with supplements, kratom, and marijuana than I ever have with any pharmaceutical drug. I have taken several antidepressants and anti anxiety drugs in my life, and they are always uncomfortable and leave me feeling hollow or angry or in the worst cases, MORE DEPRESSED.

Sally
2:29 pm September 6th, 2014

My son, 28 has been diagnosed as Schizzoaffective. He takes Depakote, 2 x 500mg, Abilify, 1 x 30 mg & Zoloft, 1 x 50 mg. He has been taking American Krotom daily, @ 6 pills. Is this ok for people who take pay medications?

val
8:56 pm September 10th, 2014

When did you start getting these dark spots Stuart? We’re they just there one day? Do you work in the sun? The only thing I have heard about dark spots and Kratom is that they were attributing it to people who worked in the hot sun all day.

Rachel
11:58 am September 18th, 2014

Im slowly detoxing off methadone for heroin addiction
anyway I really don’t want to relapse, nor do I want to stay on s**tty arse methadone for the rest of my life. So anyway I’ve kicked both cold turkey in my.younger days, and its awful. I also find that opiates are the only thing that keep my depression at bay….a friend recommended this to me and I’m thinking about trying it when I need to later, but I was wondering about withdrawal: is it possible to sleep? That was always the most horrible part about coming off dope, is feeling so bad and then not being able to sleep for days. I’ve always thought in normal sane not heroin land when people get sick they sleep to feel better, but in crazy town (well in my case addicted but not depressed town. Its tough because I don’t like being a junkie, but being bipolar is worse in its own way. ) you don’t get to sleep while you’re kicking. So I was wondering (fingers crossed) if this magic leaf that sounds like an evil corporation in a Sci fi.book/movie allows you to sleep during withdrawal? And does it work? Serious? I’m still flabbergasted by this because its legal and natural…usually that means

Darlene
2:54 pm September 18th, 2014

Rachel, I can help you in anyway possible! I was on methadone for 13 years and got off. It isn’t easy but perhaps if we talk I could give you a lot of tips. I hope you get in touch with me as I am one in the 2% that make it without using heroin again and I would like you to be in that 2% also. I really do care!…yes it is a bit harder to get off of than heroin…but maybe with some support from a long time user can help. I have been clean since 2007!

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About Charles Somerville

Charles Somerville is the writer of The Alcoholism Guide, a website that looks at alcoholism in all its forms and the effects of alcohol abuse on mental and physical health.