As far as misunderstood substances go, kratom is right up there with medical marijuana.
Some people say it’s dangerous and addictive. Others say that it’s a great natural product that can cure all kinds of ailments. Who are you supposed to believe?
As usual, the answer lies somewhere in the middle. There are some risks associated with using kratom, but there are also a lot of benefits. This is especially true for people who struggle with chronic pain.
If you’re interested in using kratom to help heal your pain, keep reading to learn more about it and how to choose the best kratom for pain relief.
What is Kratom?
First, for those who are new to the world of natural healing, let’s clarify what kratom is.
The kratom tree is an evergreen tree that grows in South Asian countries like Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Papua New Guinea.
Kratom leaves have been used for a number of medicinal purposes, including to relieve pain and help dull withdrawal symptoms for those who are struggling with addiction to opioids.
The health benefits of kratom leaves come primarily from two alkaloids: Mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. These alkaloids cause a number of effects in the body and are responsible for kratom’s opioid-like, pain-relieving benefits.
How is Kratom Used?
In countries where kratom grows naturally, many people consume kratom by simply chewing on the leaves. The leaves can also be dried and mixed with water to make tea.
Many manufacturers also sell kratom capsules, pellets, and gums for those who don’t want to chew the leaves or consume the extract outright.
How Does Kratom Relieve Pain?
The alkaloids in kratom leaves relieve pain by binding to the body’s natural opioid receptors. They bind specifically to the delta and mu opioid receptors and act similarly to endorphins, which also decrease pain perception and provide fast relief.
At this point, you might be wondering how, if its compounds bind to the opioid receptors, kratom is different from any other opioid. The difference has to do with the way in which kratom’s compounds interact with the opioid receptors.
Classical opioids like morphine trigger the recruitment of beta-arrestin proteins. Beta-arrestins are responsible for many of the unpleasant effects people experience when they consume opioids.
The alkaloids in kratom, however, do not recruit beta-arrestins. As a result, the effects are less severe. And, there is less of a chance of experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
Best Kratom for Pain Relief
If you’re interested in trying kratom for pain relief, it’s important to make sure you’re using the right strain. As with cannabis, there are certain types of kratom that are better suited to relieving pain.
A strain of kratom’s analgesic properties depends largely on the amount of mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine that are present.
The following are the kratom strains that have the highest concentration of these alkaloids:
Maeng Da is one of the strongest strains of kratom on the market. It’s very potent and is best for people who suffer from chronic pain, severe arthritis, or even cancer.
Maeng Da also has strong sedative effects when it’s consumed in higher doses.
Bali, especially Red Vein Bali, is very high in 7-hydroxymitragynine. This makes it a good pain-killing strain. It’s important to note that people tend to build up a tolerance to this strain faster than others.
Malay is a more mild strain of kratom. It’s best for people who only suffer from mild or occasional pain.
It’s also less sedating than some other strains. People who use it typically notice pain relief along with enhanced energy.
Many people who suffer from chronic muscle or joint pain see improvement when they consume the Borneo strain. Borneo, like Maeng Da, is a very potent strain, though, so it’s important to use caution when measuring out the dosage.
Tips for Using Kratom Safely
If you’re interested in trying one of these strains of kratom, it’s important to take steps to minimize your risk of experiencing negative side effects and/or developing a dependence. The following tips will help you have a safer, more positive experience while using kratom.
Buy from a Reputable Source
First, make sure you’re buying kratom from a trustworthy store like Kratom Exchange. It’s fine to buy kratom online, but it’s important to vet your store carefully before purchasing.
Find out where their kratom comes from, whether or not they add other ingredients to their supplements (and if so, what kind), and how their kratom is sourced.
All of this information will affect the quality of your supplement and your experience consuming it.
Start with a Small Dose
As with most drugs and supplements, it’s best to start consuming kratom in small doses. It’s easier to add more if you need a stronger effect than it is to come down from consuming too much, too quickly.
Most people do well when they start with around three grams of kratom powder (3-8 grams is considered a good dosage for pain relief). If you are using kratom capsules or tablets, start with the minimum dosage listed on the package.
If you don’t notice any effects within an hour, take an additional three grams of kratom and wait another hour.
Most people who struggle with chronic pain take kratom between one and three times per day. You can safely take it up to five times a day, though.
Avoid Mixing with Other Drugs
Finally, be sure to avoid mixing kratom with any other drugs, especially psychoactive drugs, benzodiazepines, anti-depressants, and other opioids.
This increases your risk of overdosing and experiencing negative side effects. In fact, in nearly all cases of kratom overdose, the user had combined kratom with these other potentially dangerous drugs.
If you’re on the hunt for the best kratom for pain relief, these tips are sure to help.
Want to learn more about other health supplements that are great for minimizing pain? Be sure to check out the health, fitness, and diet section of our website today.
We’ve got all the information you need to make the best decisions about your health and wellness.