Kratom is one of the safest herbal supplements known to carry profound effects. In terms of substance recovery treatments, kratom has a low addiction rate and a very forgiving tolerance. In its pure, unadulterated form, kratom is very safe, until recently not even being classified by the FDA as a scheduled drug.
In many areas of the world, it remains unmoderated, being valued immensely by traditional Southeast Asian medicine. Even when kratom is abused, the side-effects pale in comparison to opiates and opiate-substitutes.
Here we’ll be showing you the side effects of kratom, both short and long-term, while divulging the less common risks as well. Once we’re done, you have a comprehensive overview of all of the important information concerning this valuable supplement and the risks that it could bring.
Table of Contents
What Side Effects to Expect
Kratom acts like a central nervous system stimulant at low doses, but gives central nervous system depressant side effects and effects at high dosages. You can expect to feel a heightened level of cognitive alertness, a boost in physical energy, more talkativeness, a heightened interest in social behavior, and a drop in appetite at low dosages. As soon as you take too much, you’ll begin to grow lethargic, experiencing far less anxiety and stress, less pain, and a relief of withdrawal symptoms (if present), but you’ll most likely end up in bed. Here is a list of completely normal, safe symptoms to expect when taking kratom:
• Increased urination
• Loss of appetite
• Short bouts of confusion
• Dry mouth
Possible Short-Term Side Effects
Kratom has been known to cause certain negative side effects, mainly because of existing underlying medical problems such as liver damage. Chemicals present in kratom are known to have interactions with other drugs during the metabolism of these compounds.
Certain users have found nausea and anxiety to arise, rather than settling your stomach and dropping depression. Should this occur, cease use completely. The only time that this typically happens is when the user is currently administered a course of prescription medication which is taxing on the liver. Other street drugs which are high in toxicity, such as heroin and methamphetamine, are also contraindicative to kratom use.
Possible Long-Term Side Effects
Due to kratom being metabolized in the liver, high-dose long-term use can lead to liver damage and kidney failure. If you notice any darkening of the urine, or yellowing of the skin and eyes, then cease use immediately as this is a hallmark of liver and kidney damage. Your liver is known to take strain first. As it becomes unable to filter toxins, your kidneys take over the role, something which they are not used to.
Long-term abuse of kratom (maintaining a high dose consistently over a long period) can lead to anorexia, constipation, insomnia, and a string of withdrawal symptoms which mimic that of opiate abuse.
Rare Side Effects of Kratom
In selective cases, a range of other side effects have been seen. Insomnia is the most common of these afflictions, resulting mainly from a user’s attempt to abuse the substance rather than supplement with it. Hyperpigmentation can also at times occur. If you notice patches of your skin becoming darker than the regular pigment of other areas of the body, then you should stop using kratom completely.
A kratom overdose is hard to hit thanks to the way that this herb acts as a sedative at high dosages. Junkies have however been known to steadily maintain a low-dosage of kratom throughout the day, keeping up a slight high for consecutive short periods of time without a break between dosages. The toxicity of kratom is very low compared to other drugs, with the biggest risk arising being the damage which your liver and kidneys take over time.
Should an overdose occur, listlessness will be experienced, as well as tremors, jitteriness, and social anxiety. A tendency for aggression also arises, followed by delusions which can form to the point of hallucinations. Nausea typically felt throughout the overdose. Kratom alone has caused no fatalities with the only complications arising being the result of combining this natural supplement with other, dangerous prescription and illicit drugs.
Addicition and Withdrawal
While addiction to kratom is rare, it can happen. A physical dependence can form which will require most sufferers to undergo a supervised medical detox along with a course of behavioral therapy. An addict will begin to feel aches and pains throughout their body, as well as a crawling of the skin and irregular itching, as soon as kratom runs low in their body. Both nausea and vomiting can occur in severe cases, while diarrhea is also possible.
Most people hooked on kratom will find it hard to become motivated in daily life, as their body adjusts, while sleeping is just as hard to find. After many months of dependence, kratom addicts can develop anorexia nervosa. In these extreme causes, the restricted caloric intake characteristic to this eating disorder in combination with far too many hours awake, can lead to death.
Anyone battling with impaired liver or kidney function should refrain from using kratom. It should also be used with care by those suffering hypothyroidism, tachycardia and low blood pressure, anorexia, and people currently taking antipsychotic medications. The active compound mitragynine found in kratom is known to have a fatal interaction with the prescription painkiller Tramadol.
While boosting the narcotic effect greatly, it did kill a user in Sweden over a one-year period of use. This otherwise-safe stimulant and analgesic seems to have the most dangerous interactions with opiates, and medications which mimic the effects of opiates. It should also not be used with loperamide, otherwise branded as Imodium. On its own, kratom is one of the safest herbal treatments around, however, only when pure.
“Backyard chemists” and less-than-reputable large manufacturers often cut kratom with other substances leading to a string of undocumented complications. It is best to stick to 100% natural kratom powder to guarantee complete safety and no surprise contraindications.
When to Cease Use or Adjust Dosage
Nausea, a headache, and slight constipation are the most common side effects of taking kratom for the first time. Adjust until you find the dosage which suits you best. There should be no discomfort. Start at 1 gram and increase incrementally by 0.5 grams at a time, waiting 45 minutes between each dosage to evaluate how you feel.
If you don’t get the right dose within three tries, try again tomorrow, and never take more than 8 grams of kratom. Give up on the strand and try it at another time if it doesn’t work for you within 8 grams.
Hope these tips help if you’re experiencing side effects from kratom. Be smart and be safe!