Mitragyna Speciosa, better known as the Kratom plant, is a herb native to Southeast Asia. It is used here traditionally for therapeutic purposes. The plant has a history of use in these Southeast Asian regions that dates back to a hundred years. This drug is used as a traditional herb which is still neither considered a medicine nor is approved by the FDA.
The products of the Kratom plant are sold in the market in various forms, such as powders, tablets, capsules, and even a brewed tea. These products are ingested as a dietary supplement by some people along with their everyday meals.
When a product or herb is not approved by the FDA and is not designated as a controlled substance by the DEA, you will find no medical prescriptions available for it. This is why it is suggested to start by taking these products in low doses first.
The Kratom plant has gained a lot of popularity in the U.S now. But since the product is a non-native product in the States, there are many misconceptions present about it. These misconceptions are caused by the mixed reviews of different people using different Kratom products and the lack of relevant research.
This article sums up the information about the effects of Kratom in the human body.
What Effects Does the Kratom Plant Produce?
As gathered by the anecdotes told by different people and the claims on the internet, the effects of Kratom are said to be based on its dosage. At low doses, Kratom is said to produce stimulant-like effects.
Stimulants are drugs that boost up the chain of messages between the brain and the body and thus make the body feel more active and awake. Substances like caffeine and theophylline are included in this category.
Now, when it is said that the effects of Kratom are stimulant-like in the body, it should be of little surprise to know that the Kratom trees are related to the family of the coffee and matcha trees. These herbs also produce similar effects on the human body because they have properties similar to that of Kratom.
As gathered by the information based on the available number of shreds of evidence, the effects of Kratom (when taken in high doses) range from analgesia to a sense of euphoria, which throws a human mind in an absolute state of happiness.
Apart from these beneficial effects of Kratom, there are also side effects reported with both low and high doses of Kratom intake on the human body.
The Half-life of Kratom
Each chemical compound has a half-life, which is the time required for half of the drug to eliminate from your body. Each element in the periodic table has its half-life. Hence the compounds possess one too. Kratom is composed of 2 alkaloid compounds majorly. They are mitragynine and 7-hydroxy mitragynine.
Both of these compounds have a half-life of about 24 hours. This means that after ingesting a dose of Kratom supplement, it will take approximately a day for half of that dose to be eliminated from your body.
It takes 5 to 6 half-lives for any substance to completely leave your body. Some evidence says that people who are not everyday Kratom users or use the products on a low dose tend to eliminate the effects of Kratom more quickly from their bodies.
Factors that Influence the Persistence of Kratom
When you consume any product, certain factors influence the persistence of that drug in your body. Some of these factors extend the eliminating time, thus increasing the drug’s stay in your body. Following are these factors:
1) Old Age
The age factor is directly proportional to the elimination of the effects of Kratom from the human body. As with growing age, body mechanisms such as renal function tend to decrease. Renal function is one of the primary mechanisms of drug elimination, as the output for this mechanism is urine.
Urine is composed mainly of water, but it also has all of the waste and foreign substances present in it. When you start to age, your body’s systems tend to become slow, and hence this slowing down of your renal function can cause the herb’s effects to persist longer in your body than that of a young adult.
2) Fat Content of Your Body
The alkaloid mitragynine present in the Kratom plant is a very fat-soluble alkaloid. This property of them being fat-soluble is a key factor in deciding their longevity in the human body.
Individuals who have more body fat than others tend to retain the effects of Kratom longer in their bodies. The excessive fat in the body is likely to retain the metabolites for a longer duration. Thus, heavier individuals have the upper hand in terms of the persistence of the effects of Kratom in the body.
3) Dietary Intake
Kratom has fat-soluble alkaloids, which increase the longevity of the products in a fatty environment. This means that if you ingest a fatty meal after taking Kratom supplements, you will likely speed up the process of reaching the drug’s peak concentration. This will happen because of the fast absorption due to the fat intake.
Urine is a key excretory method for Kratom’s elimination from the body. And it consists mainly of water. So, if your water intake is high after taking in Kratom supplementary products, it is okay to assume that the elimination of these products will happen at a faster rate. This all depends not only on your water intake but also on your urine output.
4) The Amount of Kratom Ingested
A product’s elimination will depend on how much product you have ingested. If the dosage consumed is low, you are likely to eliminate the drug quicker than in the case of a higher dosage.
Use of Alcohol Along with Kratom Products
Kratom products are metabolized in the liver. And the same is the case with alcohol. Both of these items are metabolized in the liver, and thus alcohol consumption can greatly influence it.
Since the body neither has a means to use alcohol nor a place to store it, the liver prioritizes metabolizing alcohol first. So if any Kratom user also has a habit of drinking alcohol, it might take a while for the effects of the Kratom alkaloids to kick in.
The Window of Detectability
To check whether Kratom is still in your body, some tests can be conducted. Normal screening does not detect the presence of mitragynine in your body since mitragynine is not a common substance used for abusive purposes. But there is a 10-panel drug test that is available for Kratom and its respective metabolites.
Using this method, the substance can be detected in your urine for up to several days. The longevity of the substance is decided by various factors like alcohol intake, fat composition, and age. This longer duration can also be caused by slow metabolism in the liver due to some liver diseases.