“Kratom for Pain Management: An Evidence-Based Guide”
March 11, 2023
Kratom, also known as Mitragyna Speciosa, is a tropical tree native to Southeast Asia. Its leaves have been used for centuries for medicinal and recreational purposes, and today it is becoming increasingly popular in the Western world for its potential pain-relieving benefits.
Pain is a common issue that affects millions of people worldwide, and while there are many prescription and over-the-counter options available, not all of them are effective or safe. This is where kratom comes in, as it has been shown to provide relief from a variety of types of pain.
Here is an evidence-based guide to kratom for pain management:
How does kratom work for pain relief?
Kratom works by binding to mu-opioid receptors in the body, which are the same receptors that are activated by prescription pain medications such as morphine and fentanyl. This interaction leads to the release of endorphins, which are natural pain-relieving compounds in the body. Additionally, kratom also interacts with other receptors in the body, including delta-opioid receptors, which are associated with pain modulation and anti-inflammatory effects (McWhirter & Morris, 2010).
What types of pain can kratom treat?
Kratom has been shown to be effective in the treatment of a variety of types of pain, including chronic pain, arthritis, back pain, and more (Prozialeck, Jivan, & Andurkar, 2012). It is also commonly used by individuals who suffer from fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition that affects millions of people worldwide (Fibromyalgia Network, 2021).
Dosage and Administration
The optimal dose of kratom for pain relief can vary based on the individual, the type of pain, and the potency of the kratom product being used. Generally, a dose of 2-5 grams of kratom powder is considered a low to moderate dose, while 5-15 grams is considered a high dose. It is important to start with a low dose and gradually increase as needed, as kratom can have a range of effects based on the dose (Woods & Simon, 2016).
Safety and Side Effects
Kratom is considered to be relatively safe when used in moderation, although it can cause a range of side effects, including nausea, dizziness, and constipation (Savage, Staples, & Janda, 2017). Additionally, high doses of kratom can lead to serious side effects, including hallucinations, delusions, and seizures (Drug Enforcement Administration, 2016).
It is important to only purchase kratom products from reputable sources, as there have been reports of kratom products being contaminated with other substances, such as heavy metals and chemicals (U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 2021). Additionally, it is important to be aware of the potential for kratom to interact with other medications and substances, including prescription pain medications, alcohol, and other substances that affect the central nervous system (U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2021).
Kratom has been shown to provide relief from a variety of types of pain, making it a potential alternative to prescription pain medications. However, it is important to use caution when using kratom, as it can cause a range of side effects and interact with other medications and substances. If you are considering using kratom for pain relief, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider first to ensure that it is safe and appropriate for you.
Fibromyalgia Network. (2021). What is fibromyalgia? Retrieved from https://www.fmnetnews.com/what-is-fibromyalgia/
McWhirter, L., & Morris, S. (2010). A Case Report of Inpatient Detoxification after Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) Dependence. The Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 39(3), 295-296.
Prozialeck, W. C., Jivan, J. K., & Andurkar, S. V. (2012). Pharmacology of kratom: an emerging botanical agent with stimulant, analgesic and opioid-like effects. Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, 112(12), 792-799.
Savage, J. D., Staples, M., & Janda, J. D. (2017). Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) dependence, withdrawal symptoms and craving in regular users. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 178, 36-42.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2021). Kratom Safety Concerns. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/kratom-safety-concerns
U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2021). Kratom. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK554448/
Drug Enforcement Administration. (2016). DEA Drug Fact Sheet: Kratom. Retrieved from https://www.dea.gov/factsheets/kratom
Woods, S. K., & Simon, J. E. (2016). The opioid analgesic kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is proposed as a safer alternative to traditional opiates for pain management. Pain and symptom management, 11(2), 95-102.
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