It is said that Kratom is similar to opiates in action, as well as effects. How true is this statement? To identify the facts, Kratom‘s properties and alkaloids should compare to that of various narcotics including opiates. The common question that we across on drug forums is that ‘can you get high off of Kratom similar to opiates? That has answered to a considerable extent. According to some users yes it does and then there is a group of users who claim that opiates are way stronger than Kratom. Before you make an opinion let’s figure it out together.
What is Kratom?
Kratom is the new sensation in medical as well as the recreational world. Also, called Mitragyna Speciosa, Kratom has two major alkaloids known as Mitragynine and 7-Hydroxy Mitragynine. These two alkaloids are the agonist at the opioid receptors present in the central nervous system. They act primarily on the mu and kappa receptors. This result in signal transduction and the effects produced are similar to that of Opiate. These effects include stimulation, boosting energy levels, euphoria, increase in cognitive functions and sedation at higher doses.
What are opiates?
Opiates from one of the classes of Narcotics that have depressant properties which affect the human brain and body. Drugs affect the central nervous system by interacting with the opioid receptors and bringing changes in the sympathetic nervous system. Along with this, opiates interact with receptors leading to release of endorphins which promote euphoria, enkephalins which suppress pain and serotonin which increases pleasure.
Opiates have been used medicinally for years in hospitals for therapeutic purposes. One of the drugs Heroin was previously used as a prescribed pain killer, but now due to its high abuse possible, it has been made illegal.
Is Kratom stronger than opiates?
According to users, Kratom is a solid substance that can cause intense euphoria and stimulation. It doesn’t makes anyone high and never gives one uncomfortable feeling. It’s more stimulating than sedating. The users enjoy Kratom and it makes someone high only in case of a higher dosage (10-plus grams) and the buzz begins quite quickly, within 15 minutes of consumption. Therefore, a user at erowid.org highly recommend to purchase an accurate measurement scale even for a moderate use of Kratom.
According to a study, Kratom shows effects within 5-15 minutes after consumption, and it remains valid in most cases for up to 5 hours. Opiates at small doses show effects higher that that of Kratom i.e. increase in sociability and alertness levels.
According to Daniel Siebert on sagewisdom.org, Kratom is sedative at high doses and highly effective for the treatment of opiate addiction, anxiety, arthritis, fibromyalgia. Along with this Kratom will lower pain sensation and cause muscle relaxation.
Additionally, Kratom doesn’t produces a ‘high’ or euphoria effects at lower doses and effects not similar to opiates. The person feels mellow and free from anxiety with safe use of Kratom. However, it should note that Kratom is not an opiate. It works on the same receptors, produces similar effects or even stimulates more, yet it has less abuse potential and is less addictive. Thus Kratom cannot be considered an Opiate.
Kratom is a natural botanical and is part of the coffee family.When taken in appropriate amounts, Kratom can provide increased energy, minor pain relief and many find relief from a variety of other mental and physical ailments. Kratom is a safe herbal supplement that’s more akin to tea and coffee than any other substances. (American Kratom Association)
Some users who have taken both opiates and Kratom are of the view that opiate is way stronger than Kratom and it makes one more high as compared to Kratom. The onset of action of IV heroin compared to Kratom is way faster, and thus the effects show up quicker for opiates.
What are the opiate-like effects produced by Kratom?
People often think that Kratom is a type of opiates as it produces similar results. What are these similar effects that people talk about? Some describe it in this way that when they take Kratom, they feel high in a similar fashion to that of Opiates. Others state that it’s the euphoria that is similar. So basically, when Kratom acts on the same opioid receptors in CNS like that of Opiates, it produces a sense of relaxation. There are mental clarity and analgesic effects. The stimulation isn’t similar to that produced by narcotics like heroin, hydrocodone, suboxone, etc.
What makes Kratom unique as compared to opiates?
One may say that the ‘high’ produced by Kratom is similar or even greater than that of opiates, but Kratom is unique, provided that it was way safer than opiates. Kratom has shallow abuse potential and addiction. The tolerance produced to Kratom is very less as compared to that of opiates. The chances of getting dependence syndrome are less. Therefore, Kratom is unique, and it is not a narcotic.
Summing up, Kratom can produce the euphoria that is produced by opiates but the dose matters. Kratom shows stimulant action at small doses. However, in many cases, it produces less euphoria as compared to Opiates. The reason being opiates have more affinity to the opioid receptors as compared to Kratom.
Kratom has relatively more affinity to mu and kappa opioid receptors while opiates show an affinity towards all three types of opioid receptors.
Philip Fairbanks is a freelance writer, voice actor, and herbalist who has been studying ethnobotanicals for over 20 years. Philip has more than 15 decades publishing experience covering entertainment media, news reporting, investigative journalism and health, supplement and technology topics primarily. His work has appeared in print in the US, UK, and Australia including announcements like SUNY’s journal Afterimage, entertainment publication Ghettoblaster and many others.