What Is Kratom?
Kratom is a herb obtained from a tropical tree called Mitragyna speciosa that is originally grown in regions of South Asia and Africa. The plant from the coffee family is also native to Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
The locals of these regions have been using Kratom as traditional medicine since the 19th century. As it underwent extensive research and experiments to explore the potential effects, surely it reached new levels of fame.
In previous times people usually chewed raw leaves or brewed tea. As the demand considerably increased all over the globe, multiple Kratom vendors and companies were launched that sold Kratom in various forms. Now it is available as capsules, pills, tinctures, powder, extract shots, and much more.
What Is An Alkaloid?
Alkaloids are organic compounds that naturally occur in plants or any substance that has originated from plants. Kratom consists of several alkaloids that are responsible for its effects. They have at least one atom of nitrogen along with oxygen. Alkaloids are colorless, complex, and bitter in nature.
List Of Alkaloids Present In Kratom
To date, it has been discovered that there are around 40 different alkaloids present in Kratom, out of which the most prominent ones whose mode of action has been discovered are enlisted below.
Kratom alkaloids include the following.
It is found in the largest quantity in Kratom as it takes around 66% of the total alkaloid content. It is responsible for most of the effects that the Kratom plant has on the body.
The total amount of Speciogynine in Kratom ranges from around 6.6% to 7%, making it one of the abundant alkaloids. It is a diastereomer of Mitragynine that has reduced affinity in comparison.
The C3 stereoisomer of Mitragynine makes only 0.8% to 1% of the Kratom total alkaloid content. As far as the urine drug test is considered, Speciociliatine and its metabolites can not be identified in it.
The second most abundant alkaloid in Kratom is Paynantheine that makes 9% of the total amount. This alkaloid also shows up in the urine drug test.
Ajmalicine is also known as Raubasine or δ-yohimbine.
Making about 2% of the total alkaloid of Kratom, 7-HMG supports and strengthens the effects of Mitragynine. It has almost 5 times greater affinity as compared to the primary alkaloid, Mitragynine. It is lipophilic in nature and can penetrate the body barriers, and thus has increased potency.
Corynantheidine or rauhimbine occurs in a quantity of less than 1%. It has similar effects but with 10 times higher affinity.
Akuammigine is similar to Mitragynine in its structure. It also has a similar impact as Akuammigine on the human body.
The oxindole alkaloid is concentrated in the bark, root, trunk, and stem of the Kratom plant.
Despite being chemically derived from Mitragynine, it has reduced affinity with the receptors. Thus, it has diminished effect comparatively.
Isomitraphylline is found in the root, trunk, and stem of the Kratom plant in great quantities. However, it still makes less than 1 percent of the total alkaloid content
Epicatechin is the only flavonoid yet discovered that increases the potential beneficial effects of Kratom.
It is an indole alkaloid that is found in the leaves, trunk, and roots of the Kratom plant. Adding on, it shows its presence on a urine drug test.
Corynoxeine occurs in two forms, Corynoxeine A and Corynoxeine B, both making less than 1% of the total alkaloid. The latter is an oxindole alkaloid.
This alkaloid is usually found in the bark, root, and trunk of the Kratom plant.
Mitrafoline is an oxindole alkaloid found in the leaves of the kratom plant.
Mitraversine was discovered in 1921 in Mitragyna speciosa along with Mitragyna parvifolia. This makes it among the alkaloids that were isolated at the very beginning of Kratom research.
The oxindole alkaloid is very much similar to Ajmalicine in its properties and mode of action.
Stipulatine is an oxindole alkaloid that has mild to moderate effects
It is also an oxindole alkaloid with much milder effects as compared to other alkaloids.
Though it only makes 1% of the total alkaloid content, it still has pronounced effects.
Other alkaloids that occur in minute quantities and are still to be researched include;
- Mitragynine Oxindole B
- 9-Hydroxycorynantheidi Corynoxeinene
Popular Kratom Strains And Their Alkaloids
Alkaloids present in popular strains of Kratom are compiled in the table below.
|KRATOM STRAIN||ALKALOIDS PRESENT|
|1||Maeng Da Kratom||
|2||Red Vein Bali Kratom||
|3||Green Malay Kratom||
|4||White Vein Kratom||
|5||Red Malay Kratom||
Fun Facts About Kratom
Though Kratom has been used for decades, it is still under research. Scientists are still investigating it and discovering new things about it every day.
Some of the unknown facts about Kratom are;
- The two forms of Kratom which gained our attention are Kratom vape and Kratom cola. However, it is not something we commonly see.
- It does not show up on a random drug test except for a 10-panel drug test performed with either blood or urine sample.
- Kratom strains get their name from the place they are grown in and the characteristic color. For example, Red Malay Kratom is red in color and grown in Malaysia.
The effects produced by Kratom entirely depend on the presence of alkaloids in it. While Mitragynine (MG) and 7-Hydroxymitragynine (HMG) dominate the total alkaloid content, numerous others are also present.
Whether you are a novice or an expert kratom user, always start low on a new kratom strain and gradually add up to your dose until your desired effects are achieved. However, it is recommended to always consult a physician or consultant before consuming Kratom and make them aware of all the medical conditions. This allows them to correlate it with the effects of alkaloids and avoid any kind of side effects.