Is Kratom Safe: Evaluating Concerns & How to Use Safely

Is Kratom Safe

The benefits of Kratom capsules are numerous: this tropical plant contains natural compounds that can uplift your mood, alleviate stress, increase your alertness and eliminate pain. But given all the critical media coverage of Kratom recently, you are not alone if you have questions about the safety of this natural plant. Research shows that Kratom is safe if used responsibly and according to recommended dosing guidelines. One study in the journal Central Nervous System Drugs stated that there were no significant adverse effects from using this botanical and that it did not pose the same risks as other opioids commonly prescribed in Western medicine. There have been instances of Kratom abuse where individuals have taken 10x or more the recommended dosage for months on end. In these cases, some serious negative side effects may be observed like addiction and withdrawal symptoms. In order to safely use Kratom, it is advised that you take the smallest dosage required and only use it on an as-needed basis.

How to Use Kratom Safely
Hundreds of thousands of Americans and likely millions of people around the world have taken Kratom and been able to use it safely. It is often forgotten than in Southeastern Asia, Kratom tea is consumed much like we in the West drink coffee and it is even used as an ingredient in food. Historically, the leaf was chewed throughout the day by workers who took it to help them stay energized while performing physically intense labor. In some parts of Thailand, as much as 70% of the male population uses Kratom leaves which they begin chewing when they are 25 years old and continue for their entire lives. These individuals will consume anywhere from 10 to 60 leaves per day which amounts to between 10 – 80 grams. This amount is significantly larger than what most people in the USA use on a daily basis. Chronic consumption of quantities this large may lead to loss of appetite, anorexia,constipation or bowel blockages.

You can avoid these problems by controlling your dose size and regularly taking breaks from Kratom powder usage. The reason Mitragyna Speciosa is so effective at promoting positive feelings and boosting energy is because it contains alkaloids that interact with the mu and delta opioid receptors as well as the serotonergic and noradrenergic systems in the body. As the alkaloids from this plant interact with these receptors in your central nervous system, it can cause the receptors to become less sensitive over time, developing a tolerance to Kratom. This is known as receptor down-regulation and it may lead to some individuals taking more and more Kratom in order to achieve the same results whether it be for pain or other symptoms. This is a gradual process that can take a long time to develop, much like how one might develop a tolerance to caffeine if you drink excessive amounts of coffee every day for a year.

Kratom Safety Concerns
The concern is that you will then become dependent on larger doses of Kratom in order to get through the day and feel normal. Once you stop regularly taking Kratom, it could lead to the onset of withdrawal symptoms such as fatigue, irritability, anxiety, difficulty focusing and depression. These symptoms are no different than if a “coffee addict” were to skip their morning cup of java after developing a reliance on it. However, if you stick to the suggested Kratom dose and do not take it every day, serious side effects are rare and you will not develop a tolerance or addiction. Ideally, you should not be consuming Kratom more than 5 days in a row and you should take frequent breaks to allow your receptors to reset. There have been several experience logs of individuals taking Kratom for 30 days straight and then stopping cold turkey without any signs of withdrawal or dangerous effects, but it is always better to err on the side of caution.

A safe usage range is considered to be between 2 – 10 grams for Kratom leaves, fine ground powder or capsules. Kratom extract products will contain a higher concentration of active ingredients and should be used based on manufacturer instructions. For example, if taking a 15x extract you should not exceed 700 mg and with a 50x extract you would not want to take more than 200 mg. While there have never been cases of dangerous adverse events or fatalities from overdosing on Kratom in the US, it can lead to some unpleasant side effects like becoming excessively tired, diminished muscle control and mental fogginess. In most cases, if you take too much at any given time, you will simply fall asleep. Mild side effects may include constipation, indigestion, nausea, vomiting, muscle aches and fatigue. If you experience any of these effects, stop taking Kratom for a week or so before beginning to use it again safely.