What are the positive effects of kratom?

Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a tropical evergreen tree in the coffee family native to Southeast Asia. The leaves of the kratom tree have been used traditionally for centuries in Southeast Asia for various effects, and in recent years there has been increasing interest in kratom in the West.

Pain Relief

One of the most common uses of kratom is for relief from pain. The main active alkaloids in kratom, mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, interact with opioid receptors in the brain to provide analgesia or pain relief. Studies have found kratom to be effective for chronic pain conditions such as osteoarthritis, back pain, and pain from cancer.

The pain-relieving effects of kratom can often be felt within 10-15 minutes after ingestion and can last for several hours, depending on the dosage. Many users report the pain relief from kratom to be comparable to prescription opioids, but with a lower risk of side effects and addiction.

Mood Enhancement

In addition to physical pain relief, kratom is also used to improve mood and induce a sense of euphoria. At lower doses, kratom can have stimulant effects and increase energy, sociability, and alertness. At higher doses, kratom starts to have more sedative, euphoric, and analgesic effects.

Many users report kratom helping them feel less anxious, more relaxed, and an overall enhanced sense of contentment. For those struggling with depression, kratom can help to lift mood and induce a sense of optimism and well-being.

Energy Boost

Kratom is often used as a natural stimulant to increase physical and mental energy. The stimulant effects are the result of mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine interacting with adenosine and dopamine receptors in the brain.

A dose of 3-6 grams of kratom powder can produce increased alertness, motivation, and sustained energy without the harsh “crash” associated with caffeine or other stimulants. This can make kratom an appealing alternative to coffee, energy drinks, or pharmaceutical stimulants.

Focus and Concentration

Many users also report improved ability to focus and concentrate after taking a small dose of kratom. With the stimulating effects, kratom can help increase motivation and counteract the effects of fatigue or sluggishness.

Students will sometimes use kratom to aid studying by improving focus over several hours. Likewise, some Creative professionals, such as writers or artists, have reported improved concentration when working on projects. However, higher doses of kratom can have a sedative effect that would interfere with requiring focus.

Opiate Withdrawal

One specific promising use of kratom is to alleviate the often severe opiate withdrawal symptoms in people with opiate addictions. Kratom activates the same opioid receptors as drugs like heroin, morphine, oxycodone etc. This allows kratom to relieve withdrawal symptoms and cravings in those dependent on various opioids.

Studies have shown that kratom can help manage withdrawal symptoms like muscle aches, insomnia, anxiety, nausea, and diarrhea. Using kratom can allow someone to stop using the more dangerous and addictive opiate drugs like heroin or prescription painkillers.

Recreational Uses

In addition to the medicinal effects, kratom is used recreationally for its mildly intoxicating effects. At higher doses, kratom can induce a euphoric “high” similar to opioids along with sedation and analgesia.

The recreational use remains controversial, with debate around whether kratom should be banned or regulated like an opioid. However, when used responsibly, many find the euphoric and relaxing effects desirable in a way not too dissimilar from coffee, cannabis, or alcohol.

Side Effects and Safety Concerns

While kratom does appear to have therapeutic potential, there are also important side effects and safety concerns to consider. Reported side effects include nausea, constipation, dizziness, vomiting, and headaches. More severe safety concerns include potential liver damage, psychosis, seizures, and even death.

Kratom may be addictive itself and lead to dependence and withdrawal when stopped abruptly. There are also concerns about purity and contamination in commercially available kratom products.

More research is still needed to better understand the potential benefits and risks. It is best to use kratom cautiously under medical supervision due to the many unknowns and potential interactions with other substances.

Key Takeaways

  • Kratom provides pain relief, mood enhancement, energy, and helps alleviate opiate withdrawal.
  • Potential benefits include pain relief, euphoria, increased energy and focus.
  • Higher doses carry risks of addiction, psychosis, liver damage, and death.
  • More studies are needed to better understand kratom’s effects and potential.
  • Consult a doctor before using kratom, as effects can vary between individuals.


Kratom has shown promising medicinal applications, especially for pain relief, mood enhancement and reducing opiate withdrawal symptoms. However, recreational use remains controversial, and users should approach with caution due to limited research on its effects and safety. Ultimately, kratom appears beneficial for some, but more studies are needed to determine its potential benefits and risks.

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