Kratom is used in a variety of ways. The psychotropic effects of kratom leaves can be felt from smoking the substance or using it in a tea. Different strengths are used to achieve different psychological effects, but its impact lasts long after the high has worn off.
Different Uses of Kratom
Depending on the way Kratom is used, the effects may vary. Popular reasons people use kratom include:
- Pain management
- Opiate withdrawal
Kratom was originally used as a stimulant by Thai and Malaysian natives. Since then, many Southeast Asian countries have outlawed the recreational use of kratom. By chewing the leaves, low doses of kratom could boost energy and increase work productivity. In the United States, it is commonly used in both low and high doses to experience an altered state.
Higher doses are frequently used for anxiety. Although it is a stimulant, kratom can have calming effects that may ease anxiety in the short term. Unlike many types of anxiety medication, this form of relief often produces extreme side effects. Once kratom has left the system, anxiety is likely to return.
Kratom that is used for depression does not actually treat the disorder. By masking depression or producing a euphoric-like state, this substance can temporarily take away feelings of hopelessness. If kratom use becomes more frequent, it can lead to a constant cycle where the individual must continue to use the substance or risk facing a deeper depression.
Physical pain is another common reason for using kratom. Much like opiates, kratom can ease extreme physical discomfort. Some people use kratom to ease the withdrawal effects of opiates. Certain medications that are used to help those with substance use disorder can also help with kratom withdrawal because of their similar natures.
There is currently no scientific data to support the use of kratom for medical purposes. Regardless of how it is consumed, it is not advised to use this substance for pain relief, opiate withdrawal, anxiety, or depression.
A Timeline of Effects
To understand how long kratom stays in the system, the methodology of use is important. Those who are using kratom to stay awake will typically take smaller dosages. Green Malay kratom is thought to boost energy and is generally taken in capsule form.
Capsules are filled with different doses of kratom powder. Kratom capsules will take longer to digest than other methods. Typically, capsules take one or two hours to produce effects. Adding food can slow down the process. Even at low doses, side effects frequently occur. These can include frequent urination, high blood pressure, vomiting, and kidney problems.
To produce pain-relieving effects similar to morphine, higher doses are needed. This produces a sedating effect and can trigger euphoria. Side effects are common with this dose and can include digestive problems as well as headaches, nausea, loss of libido, and heart palpitations. Higher doses can be taken by capsule or by inhaling smoke.
Smoking kratom creates quick results and is considered even more dangerous than capsules. Not only are potential side effects a possibility, but there is also a chance of developing lung cancer and various other lung-related diseases.
Kratom tea can be used at any strength and stays active in the body for several hours. While tea is usually thought of as an organic drink with health benefits, this tea can cause a severe reaction. Nausea and indigestion can affect people of any age who consume kratom.
Regardless of the form, kratom is a powerful substance that can dramatically affect the mind and body. How long it takes to work is not an indication of the safety of a particular method.
The dosage has a direct impact on the timeframe of its effects and how long it stays in the body. Kratom effects typically last for three or four hours, but the drug still affects the body for hours afterward. Even when the euphoria wears off, negative effects can linger.
How Does Kratom Affect the Brain?
While the euphoric effects only last a few hours, the substance can largely impact the body for days after. Itching, sweating, constipation, tachycardia, drowsiness, and changes in appetite are common and may need treatment.
Kratom affects the brain in multiple ways. Unlike morphine or cocaine, this substance can act as both a stimulant and a depressant. This combination of effects can be particularly dangerous for those with cardiac or mental health issues. Even if an individual is healthy prior to using kratom, he or she can still develop both physical and mental health problems.
The two main compounds in kratom leaves are mitragynine and 7-a-hydroxymitragynine. These two ingredients interact with opioid receptors to produce euphoria, sedation, and decreased pain. Use of this substance can cause withdrawal symptoms.
Many individuals who use kratom develop a tolerance. Even if kratom is used to overcome opiate withdrawal, the substance itself can cause physical dependence. By using increasingly higher doses of kratom, the side effects will usually worsen and can potentially cause serious health conditions.
How Long Does Kratom Last in the Body?
The half-life of kratom lasts approximately 24 hours. Because the effects of kratom have not been studied as rigorously as some other substances, the exact half-life is unknown. For an individual to get rid of 50% of the kratom in his or her body, he or she must wait approximately one day. To fully eliminate kratom from the system, the body needs at least five days without the substance.
There are a few common factors that will play a part in how fast kratom is eliminated from the body. Age, weight, diet, and genetics are key aspects when understanding the physical health impact of kratom.
Specific kratom alkaloids can be detected in certain drug tests. Urine and blood tests may detect the substance if the drug hasn’t been fully eliminated from the body. Withdrawal symptoms can last several days and may be difficult to overcome without professional help.
During the period in which kratom is still in the system but the individual is no longer actively using it, negative side effects may appear. After kratom withdrawal, these symptoms may lessen over time before they completely go away. Depression, fogginess, anxiety, and muscle aches are common.
Symptoms of Kratom Withdrawal
While some businesses may market kratom as an organic substance, this does not mean it’s safe. Kratom can cause physical and mental withdrawal symptoms that can impact quality of life and even the ability to fully function.
Similar to opiate withdrawal, kratom produces several prominent withdrawal symptoms. Some common ones include:
- Indigestion – Stomach upset is an expected withdrawal symptom. This can take the form of nausea or cramping. Constipation and/or diarrhea may be persistent for several days after withdrawal.
- Hot flashes – Many people experience excessive sweating. This can occur indoors and at night. Hot flashes can disrupt the ability to concentrate, especially if it is coupled with nausea.
- Muscle aches – Restless legs and muscle soreness are withdrawal symptoms from kratom. These sensations can cause individuals to move even when they are tired in order to combat the discomfort. Restless legs have also been known to exacerbate insomnia.
- Tremors – Involuntary shaking is usually minimal but can be a problem. Tremors may indicate additional issues like dehydration or malnutrition. While tremors are a common withdrawal issue, medical help may be necessary for any underlying health conditions.
- Depression – Mood can plummet during withdrawal. For depression that lasts longer than withdrawal, certain non-addictive medications can be prescribed. This is also true with severe anxiety.
How to Handle Withdrawal
Substance withdrawal can be extremely difficult to do without help. Certain detox programs can manage substance use disorder with the necessary medical options available. Drug detox can be managed with a variety of tools to make the experience more comfortable for those struggling with substance use disorder. Granite Recovery Centers provides medical detoxification for people who do not need immediate medical intervention, are not a danger to themselves, and are capable of self-evacuation in the event of an emergency.
Handling withdrawal successfully means utilizing all the right resources. Therapy, counseling, meditation, medication, and group services can increase the size of a positive support network. With multiple outlets to find comfort, safety, and optimal health, individuals with substance use disorder can find help with dignity.
Granite Recovery Center offers detox treatment for a variety of individuals. Individuals who are still under the influence are welcome to check in before they begin the detox phase. Programs that involve a wide variety of treatment options can be accessed quickly for a speedy recovery from kratom addiction.
Granite Recovery Center
Granite Recovery Center focuses on several approaches to substance use disorder. Depending on the individual and his or her preferences, several resources can make a long-lasting impression. 12-step programs are a highly popular approach for ongoing support and a feeling of community. This method is part of the core foundation to a healthy life inside and outside of treatment.
Co-occurring mental health disorders are present with many individuals struggling with substance use disorder. Depression, trauma, and anxiety are just a few health issues that can be treated while healing from substance withdrawal. Supplying individuals with the right counseling and medication is another core component to a successful recovery.
Partial hospitalization is a service that can benefit both individuals with substance use disorder and their families. Granite Recovery Center offers an intensive clinical experience that does not involve residential services. After spending the day in various programs, individuals can go home to their families and their own homes at night.
Services available include group therapy as well as family therapy. Substance use disorder can cause relationship problems inside and outside of a family structure. By providing trained counselors who understand substance use disorder, the conversation can be productive and meaningful. A professional clinical team will also lead group therapy sessions that are offered throughout the entire day.
Medication management is an important tool when handling kratom withdrawal. There are non-addictive medications that can ease discomfort and anxiety for those who are struggling with both physical and mental health issues. Depression and other co-occurring mental health disorders may also be treated with the assistance of medication.
Is Kratom a Medical Treatment?
Kratom is not currently controlled under the Controlled Substance Act, but this designation can be misleading. Depending on state regulations, kratom is prohibited in some places. Since the FDA has not approved this substance, the use of kratom for medical purposes is not validated.
Kratom is a potentially addictive substance that produces effects similar to opiates. The withdrawal symptoms echo those that are found in narcotic detox. Drug-seeking behavior and hostility may happen when the drug begins to leave the body’s system. This often leads to loved ones feeling confused and hurt when they don’t know what to do.
Kratom can be misleading. Many people market kratom as a health product. Using the substance as a tea may also give the impression that this is a safe drug to use. Anyone can become addicted to kratom. Because it is not necessarily illegal, many people assume it’s safe enough to drink. While it can be sold over the counter in many retail shops around the country, its effects can be extremely dangerous.
Warning signs that a loved one may be addicted to kratom include:
- Different sleep patterns
- Increased aggression
- A change in friends
- The presence of pipes or rolling papers
Granite Recovery Center can help in an intensive but individualized setting. We create a safe place to get the help that is needed to overcome addiction. The list of medications used to help with substance use disorder does not include kratom or other non-approved drugs. By using regulated medication prescribed by trained physicians, we can ensure proper treatment for all who need it. When you are ready to get help for you or a loved one, contacting us at Granite Recovery Center can be your first step toward a brighter future.