WHAT IS KRATOM?
Kratom is a tropical tree native to Southeast Asia. Consumption of its leaves produces both stimulant effects (in low doses) and sedative effects (in high doses), and can lead to psychotic symptoms, and psychological and physiological dependence. Kratom leaves contain two major psychoactive ingredients (mitragynine and 7-hydroxymytragynine). These leaves are crushed and then smoked, brewed with tea, or placed into gel capsules. Kratom has a long history of use in Southeast Asia, where it is commonly known as thang, kakuam, thom, ketum, and biak. In the U.S., the abuse of kratom has increased markedly in recent years.
How is it abused?
Mostly abused by oral ingestion in the form of a tablet, capsule, or extract. Kratom leaves may also be dried or powdered and ingested as a tea, or the kratom leaf may be chewed.
What are the effects?
At low doses, kratom produces stimulant effects with users reporting increased alertness, physical energy, and talkativeness. At high doses, users experience sedative effects. Kratom consumption can lead to addiction. Several cases of psychosis resulting from use of kratom have been reported, where individuals addicted to kratom exhibited psychotic symptoms, including hallucinations, delusion, and confusion.
What does it do to the body?
Kratom’s effects on the body include nausea, itching, sweating, dry mouth, constipation, increased urination, tachycardia, vomiting, drowsiness, and loss of appetite. Users of kratom have also experienced anorexia, weight loss, insomnia, hepatotoxicity, seizure, and hallucinations.