Kratom Explored: History, Uses, Strains, and Scientific Perspectives on Benefits and Risks

Everyone feels pain at some point in their life; no wonder “painkillers” became so popular. The days of “grin and bear it” and “no pain, no gain” are a thing of the past. Pain harbors more pain, so it’s critical to intervene quickly. Pain management is not all-encompassing. For many people with pain, standard medications can be a good option, but there are also many efficient nondrug therapies available.

Kratom Powder

Kratom Powder Credit: Ingenium

Magic leaves?

Kratom, also known as Mitragyna speciosa, is a potent herb that has been used in the herbal medicine industry since the 1800s. Originating from Southeastern Asia, it has opioid-like, stimulating, and anti-pain effects, which make it desirable among the population. At low doses, it creates a stimulating effect, while at higher doses, it produces sedation.

Read Also: From Leaf to Extract: Unpacking Kratom’s Multifaceted Impact and Potential Risks

Kratom contains alkaloids that are responsible for most of its effects; mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine are the major alkaloids. Historically, it’s been recorded that people used the herb to drink tea, smoke, and chew. The leaves are also used to heal wounds, as energy boosters by laborers, and even as a ritual snack in some cultures.

Kratom is also utilized recreationally for its euphoric effects. Individuals who use kratom for relaxation say it’s natural and safe because it comes from plants. But because active ingredients vary widely, it can be challenging to determine how much of a given dose will have an impact.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made a statement in 2019 saying that there is no proof that Kraton is effective or safe when used to treat ailments

Strains of Kratom

Depending on the type, kratom can have different effects. There are three main strains of Kratom: the white, green, and red strains. Also, depending on the southeastern regions they originate from, they could be Malaysian, Sumantra, Indonesia, etc. So we have strains like Indo, Green Malay, Thai, Malaysian, Maeng Da, Bali, and Borneo. Users have purported that the Bali strain has the most opioid-like effect and Red Borneo has more sedating properties.

Kratom supplements

Kratom supplements, including capsules, powders, tinctures, tablets, gums, and extracts, vary in quality and cost. High-quality Kratom, often more expensive, ensures better potency and purity, while cheaper options might compromise on these aspects. Capsules and extracts usually cost more due to their concentrated nature, whereas powders are generally more affordable. It’s crucial for consumers to buy from reputable sources, as the Kratom market lacks uniform regulation, leading to significant variations in both price and quality.

Read Also: From Leaf to Extract: Unpacking Kratom’s Multifaceted Impact and Potential Risks

What does science say?

According to a survey carried out in the U.S. by researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the utilization of Kraton could be more beneficial. The survey was carried out on individuals who use Kratom, and they say that adverse effects are less likely to develop compared to regular opioids when used to treat pain and other ailments.

However, these products are not standardized, and we can’t be too sure that they’re not causing harm to our organs. The survey involved about 2,800 people who take Kratom for pain, anxiety, and depression. Although results show that the herb is effective, concerns are still being raised about its adverse effects and high rate of abuse and addiction.

A comprehensive review carried out by the departments of psychiatry at the Rochester University Medical Centre and the University of British Columbia confirmed that Kratom can be a substitute for regular opioids, especially for addicts. The withdrawal symptoms that come with opioid use are less with Kratom.


Pain can be very traumatic if not managed appropriately. Kratom has become popular due to its ability to induce mild withdrawal symptoms. Today, it is used to cure all kinds of pain and make a person feel good about themselves. Whether good or bad, you can’t stop people from titling to what brings them pleasure, and relieves their pain.


Natural herb Kratom may have therapeutic effects and a relatively low potential for abuse or harm, according to a user survey. (2020, February 3). Johns Hopkins Medicine. Retrieved November 18, 2023, from

Swogger, M. T., & Walsh, Z. (2018, February 1). Kratom Use and Mental Health: A Systematic Review Drug and alcohol dependence Retrieved November 18, 2023, from



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