Mitragyna SpeciosaKratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a deciduous tree of the coffee family that is native to Southeast Asia and Thailand. Its leaves are mainly consumed for their numerous health benefits. The botanical is available in many varieties depending on the region of origin such as Bali, Thai, Malaysia and Maeng Da. It is available in different forms including powder or crushed leaf. Several extracts are available as well. These include oil, resin or tincures. Kratom extracts are usually more concentrated than powder, which is made by milling dry leaves into a fine powder.

Many people in Southeast Asia chew the leaves picked directly from the tree. An average leaf weighs about 2 grams. In certain parts of Thailand, it is not uncommon to find 70% or more of the male population aged 25 years and over chewing 10-to-60, or more leaves per day.

Uses of Kratom

Many Kratom users (in places like Thailand) use up the botanical to boost their energy levels. The botanical is said to kindle a happy, strong and active feeling with the capacity to work for long hours without feeling tired or drained. This is believed why it is popular with rice field workers in Southeast Asia. The user can atmosphere uplifting derivatives just 5-10 minutes after partaking. The beneficial effects can last for several hours.

Thai Kratom PowderMost other users of the botanical describe its derivatives as stimulating at lower doses, but sedative at higher doses. This can be explained by the fact that the mitragynine compound works on the brain by stimulating the delta δ-opioid receptors when opted in small quantities. When used in larger quantities, mitragynine stimulates the mu opioid receptors. Nevertheless, use of the botanical is not known to induce mind-expanding activity as is common with many alkaloid drugs. Its main derivatives are closely related to those of opiate drugs including analgesia (pain relief) and cough suppression. The derivatives are roughly equivalent to what a person would understand familair of codeine.

Different varieties stimulate different reactions due to the differences in the formations of indole and phytochemical compounds.

Here are advantages for the different breed varieties:

Thai: This variety is reputed to have the longest-lasting derivatives, and the most mollifying of all breed varieties. It is now available in other countries apart from Thailand where it was banned several years ago.

Bali: This variety induces stupefacient-like derivatives. It has a very relaxing upshot at high portions, and acts as a stimulant in lower portions.

Malaysia: This variety is almost identical to the Bali variety.

Maeng Da: This is the most robust variety available. It has rich energizing derivatives though not very long-lasting.

Compared to other stupefacients, the botanical is about 30%-80% more economical depending on the breed variety and use frequency.
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Kratom is derived from the scientific word Mitragyna Speciosa. It is a tropical tree that is native to Southeast Asia including, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand. These islands that kratom grows upon have also given names for this tree that also mean kratom such as, ketum, kratum, kakuam, and Ithang. This tropical deciduous plant is in the Rubiaceae family also known as the coffee family.

Kratom was first decribed by the Dutch botanist Pieter Korthals. Korthals named this plant Mitragyna because the stigmas in the first species he had examined resembled the shape of a bishop's mitre. He also explained that the Mitragyna speciosa tree shared similar biochemistry to the genera Corynanthe and Uncaria flowering plants that are part of the Rubiaceae family.

Mitragyna Speciosa trees can grow to a height of 12 to 30 feet tall and can be up to 15 feet wide. Some species can reach to 40 feet tall. This species of trees can either be deciduous or evergreen depending on the climate in which it is grown. The stem of the tree is erect and branching with leaves that are ovate-acuminate in shape with flowers that grow upon it that are yellow and round. These flowers tend to grow in clusters on the end of the branches and are 3 to 5 centimeters long. The leaves that grow on the end of the branchlets are pointed at the tip and grow between 2 to 4 centimeters long.

During the rainy season, leaves grow abundantly. And in dry season, the leaves fall. Despite the fact that the Kratom tree has been growing naturally in Thailand for decades, it has been outlawed for 70 years. It was originally banned from Southeast Asia because it was reducing the Thai government's tax revenue from opium distribution. The possession of Kratom leaves is illegal in Thailand, and the Thai government passed the Kratom Act 2486 on, August 3, 1943. It made planting the tree illegal and required the exisiting trees to be cut down. The law was not effective due to the tree being indigenous.

A program the Thai government had initiated included the destruction of Kratom trees by burning forests or chopping large sections of the forests down. The leaves are used (by the traditional culture) for medicinal purposes. There are more than 40 biological active compounds in Mitragyna Speciosa leaves, including many alkaloids according to EMCDDA. Mitragynine was once thought to be the primary active constituent; however, mitraphylline and 7-hydroxymitragynine are currently the most likely candidate for the primary active phytochemical compounds. The amount of mitragynine within the leaves depend on many factors, one of which is the location of the tree.

When grown in Southeast Asia, the levels tend to be higher. When grown elsewhere, the levels are low or non-existent. Studies concerning the pharmacokinetics of Mitragyna Specisoa in humans has not been well studied due to the various aspects such as the half-life, protein binding properties, and other properties (such as the elimination or metabolism characteritics) are not known. As traditionally used, Kratom is not seen as a drug; and there is no stigma or discrimination against Kratom users. Reportedly, Kratom has been used as a substitute for opium as well as for self- management of opium withdrawl.
Maeng Da Extract

Kratom Extract is done through a process using alcohol, water, or citrus. The leaf of Kratom is extracted to a liquid form, dried, and ground into a powder or paste. The extract is often found in strengths that range from 15x to 100x concentration. Extract preparation contain concentrations of the active phytochemicals from the kratom leaf. This process is used to produce a more consistent, robust and effective product.

Most extracts of Kratom can be purchased in forms of powder, tincture or resin. For example, Kratom 15x means that it takes 15 grams of Kratom powder to produce just 1 gram of Kratom extract. It does not mean it is 15 times as potent.

There are many factors that must be taken into consideration when choosing a Kratom extract. It is not just the Mitragyna phytochemical that is responsible for the desired effects of Kratom. The Kratom plant is complex. Extracts are based on an average phytochemical content. The plant has been extracted for centuries to a concentrate, or to make the active component more available to the user. In the Journal of Ethnopharmacology [volume 123, Issue 3 16 June 2010 p. 344-349] found:

"Neuromuscular junction and compound nerve action potential. Kratom methanolic extract present at 0.1–1 mg/mL and mitragynine (0.0156 mg/mL) decreased muscle twitch. Muscle relaxation caused by Kratom extract (1 mg/mL) was greater than the effect of mitragynine. Concentrations of kratom extract (10–40 mg/mL) and mitragynine (2 mg/mL) blocked nerve conduction, amplitude and duration of compound nerve action potential."

The majority of natural essences are obtained by extracting essential oils from the blossoms, fruit (seed pods), and roots of plants.

During extraction, botanical benefits are pulled out of the leaves to make a condensed phytochemical mixture. Extract is made from freshly picked Kratom leaves to ensure formidably. Robustness varies; it is measured by the amount of leaf that is reduced to a gram of extract. Therefore, Kratom extract robustness is the total quantity of Kratom leaves reduced to one gram of powder. Some extracts take the form of resin, and mix easily with all liquids.

Resin is the original extract form of Kratom. The resin is a clay-like substance that is condensed. Fresh leaves produce a finer extract because all phytochemicals are kept within the leaf. There are many extraction methods, which produce many products. The methods can range from alcohol and water extractions, high pressure CO2, and acid to base extractions. These methods lead to a variety of different kratom extracts, which all have unique effects based on the concentration of specific phytochemicals and the base leaf used.

The most common types of Kratom extracts are water based. Most extracts of this variety are performed by a simple water extraction and will become apparent if it dissolves almost instantly when placed in warm water. An acid to base extraction can also yield the same results; however, in this type of extraction, the majority of its phytochemical and phytochemistry are lost. The standard water extraction is most effective, and is more stimulating than any other variety. It is a good idea to know the type of leaf from which the extraction was made. The user should educate themselves on the natural effects of Kratom and extracts to learn the phytochemicals the leaf contains at in rich concentration.
Green Thai Kratom Powder

Kratom has been a part of traditional culture for thousands of years. It is most common in cultural performances and agriculture. In Southern Thailand, users would begin chewing the leaves starting at around the age of 25, and continue to chew the leaves for the rest of their lives. Kratom, also known as Mitra Speciosa has seen therapeutic use in Thai as a treatment for opiod dependence.

EMCDDA pharmacology on Kratom points it has substitute capabilibty for opium in management of opium withdrawal. Incidences of Kratom use appeared to be increasing among those who had been self-managing chronic pain with opiods. Kratom behaves as a u-opiod receptor agaonist, similar to morphine, although its effects differ from those of opiates. Kratom does not appear to have significant adverse effects, and it does not appear to cause hypoventilation like other opiods.

The phytochemical [mitragynine] affects the mu-opiod receptor of the brain, and can give a certain effect such as stimulation seen in depressing traits. The process on how these phytochemicals work and affect one's behavior is yet fully understood. Research is still need to show that Kratom can act as a painkilling agent, which lessens withdrawal symptoms of those with opiate and/or morphine dependence. An alternative to opiates in rehabilitation therapy that provides milder withdrawal symptoms compared to that of opiates remains open.

Today, the medical world is giving attention to Kratom.

It is ventured that Kratom can restore energy, making you active, and stronger. Declared to have a strong effect on your mood, energy, and anxiety levels. Kratom tones anxiety levels (feelings are described as happy, strong, and active with a eager desire to work). Concentration described as calm. Natives of Thailand would use it to get through a hard day at work.

Derivatives of Kratom would come within five to ten minutes after using up, and last up to several hours. Describers chronicle the derivatives stimulating and euphoric at lower doses and sedating at higher doses. This no doubt reasoned by the fact that mitragynine stimulates delta opiod receptors when used up in small quantities, and increasingly stimulate mu opiod receptors when used up in larger quantities. These are the identical receptors that are stimulated when using opiates. There exists no psychedelic activity, although the most important phytochemical compounds are related to psychedelic substances.

EMCDDA reports that medical use effects seem to be similar to opiate drugs, which include analgesia and cough suppression. derivatives can also be comparable in body to codeine. Acute possible negative derivatives may include, dry mouth, increased urination, loss of appetite, and constipation. Mitragynine does not cause nausea or vomiting, in most cases. Heavy use of Kratom can result in prolonged sleep. The health risks of Kratom are small, unless it is used up in large quantities everyday. Just like any other therapy currently available, by prescription or OTC, a person's reaction may vary; along with, some people  possibly having an allergic or other unusual reaction to Kratom even if used responsibly.
Mitra Speciosa

Mitra Speciosa or Kratom has been miscategorized as a "dangerous street drug." It has also been incorrectly categorized as a synthetic such as "bath salts" and other dangerous products such as "K2." It has already been placed on Schedule 1 by 3 states. The Botanical Defense Group intervened and with the help of our voices, Kratom was removed from the bill.

NIH has pointed out that Kratom has no acute apparent toxicity that needs clearer perspective. Kratom also contains constituents that have exhibited immunomodulation properties and contains constituents that have exhibited anti-cancer properties. There are many reviewed studies and clinical trials that can attest to the medical potential of this plant. Kratom does not present any significant threat to human health or safety on any level.

The botanical has been used for centuries by the natives of the tree and is considered to be very safe when used as directed. Some people abuse it by using excessive amounts or relying on it everyday for an extended amount of time. The same can be said for using coffee or other natural products with phytochemicals. If the use of this plant is controlled, the development of any addiction or suffering of any sort of withdrawal, or tolerance issues will not occur. The unique mix of Kratom's advantages comes from the diversity of phytochemical compounds in the leaves of the tree.

There are over 25 different phytochemical compounds, which combine together, and 40 total active compounds. Most prescription drugs will only give you one chemical at a time that only acts in one way and could easily cause addiction, an overdose, or tolerance threshold. Compared to pharmaceutical pain killers, the counterbalancing natural phytochemicals in Kratom can prevent the risk, and less likely to cause addiction. The phytochemical compounds also act as channel blockers in the brain, which may reduce the addictive potential of this plant; therefore, preventing a person from developing a dependence on the natural compound.

Pharmaceuticals do not have the same dynamic mix of effects, and leads to heightened risk of tolerance and dependence. Thailand is considering leagalizing Kratom again as a safer alternative for meth addicts, and the U.S. researchers are studying its potential to help opiate abusers without the side effects from withdrawal. According to Scientific American,  pharmaceutical company did take a look at Kratom, but the compound was not sufficient enough to be brought to the market; however, with many addicts in the U.S., it might be worth a second look by pharmaceutical companies.

Researchers now are studying Kratom's ability to help wean addicts from much stronger drugs, such as heroin and cocaine. Some studies show that a compound found in the plant could serve as the basis for a methadone alternative in treating addictions to opiods. Additonally, researchers are now delving into the plant's potential to help drug addicts. With Kratom's legal status under review in Thailand as well as the U.S., professors of medicinal chemistry and pharmacology have also been studying Kratom to better understand whether Kratom use should be stigmatized or celebrated according to EMCDDA.