If you have been a Kratom user and believe that the product works for you, you may also wonder how it works. Figuring out why a substance works and how it works can make it more transparent and help you figure out the best way to use it in your life. When it comes to the active compounds in Kratom, which make it effective for many enthusiasts, the alkaloids are the star of the show. These are natural phytochemicals that provide the singular effects of Kratom and associated products.
What Is An Alkaloid?
Every living thing on earth is made up of chemical compounds. When looking at plants, there are phytochemicals or plant chemicals responsible for their structure and traits. Alkaloids are a class of these phytochemicals and are prominent in many different types of plants, including coffee, poppy, and of course, the mitragyna speciosa tree, or Kratom tree.
When an alkaloid is ingested, there can be intense physiological effects. Even if you are only taking them in small amounts, the effects can be felt. Depending on the type of phytonutrients you are taking and the concentration level, the effects will fluctuate. In some cases, you experience pain-killing, mood-elevating, or anti-inflammatory effects.
A common alkaloid, caffeine is found in coffee and tea and has been used for centuries to stimulate the body and mind. On the other end of the spectrum, morphine comes from an alkaloid prominent in poppies, and it can be sedating and pain-killing. While, in the beginning, alkaloids were known to be common in plants, there is now evidence to suggest some animals also contain alkaloids.
The Kratom Alkaloids
There are two prominent alkaloids present in Kratom: mitragynine, and 7-hydroxymitragynine. These are the two alkaloids responsible for the effects that many Kratom users have stated they experienced. It is also known that these two principal alkaloids selectively act on the opioid receptors in the brain.
While these are the two most prominent alkaloids, there are around 26 more. However, these two have more significant effects.
Compared to the mitragynine alkaloid, 7-hydroxymitragynine makes up much less of the present active compounds at a mere 2%. However, this concentration will change as a result of various factors. For example, red-veined strains of Kratom have more of this alkaloid, with the most being found in the red Maeng-Da strain. With a lower half-life than the other active compounds, this tends to leave the body quicker.
Unlike the other compounds, mitragynine makes up a vast majority of the present alkaloids at a whopping 66%. Like 7-hydroxymitragynine, some factors will affect these concentration numbers, such as the type of strain and harvesting time. This compound is found in higher amounts in white and green-veined Kratom strains and lower amounts in those found in Malaysia. It also has a higher half-life and may be found in the body up to a week after use.
As the Kratom plant matures, the concentrations of these two alkaloids will shift. That is why there are different strains available. A farmer will choose to harvest a plant at a particular time to control the concentrations of the active compounds better, thus controlling the potential therapeutic effects.
What Are The Alkaloid Effects?
Kratom alkaloids cause several physiological effects. However, there are bans in place preventing Kratom vendors from speaking openly about these effects. Depending on how much of the alkaloids are taken, the effects will change.
As recommendations can not be given regarding Kratom use, you need to exercise cautions and use responsibly. You can conduct your own research by checking out the American Kratom Association or Reddit threads.
The Other Alkaloids Found In Kratom
There has been limited research regarding the other alkaloids present in the plant. It is estimated that there are around 26 others.
Two of which are present at more than 1% of the total alkaloids makeup are:
- Specigoynine at 6-7%
- Paynanthein at 8-9%
The other known 24, present at less than 1%, are:
- Ajmalicine (Raubasine)
- Ciliaphylline speciosa
- Corynoxine A and B
- Mitragynine oxindoles A and B
If you are curious about these alkaloids and other plants in which they are found, you can look them up online or speak to experts at the American Kratom Association.
Invest In High-Quality Products
If you want to ensure you are getting the best products with the right amount of alkaloids present, you need to make sure you are buying from a reputable vendor. Capsules, extracts, and powders will all be useful in delivering you hefty doses of these alkaloids.
While some 26 different alkaloids are present, there are two that stand out amongst the rest, mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. The other two prominent ones, paynantheine, and specigoynin are also present in high amounts, whereas the others are present at a much lower concentration.
Depending on the strain you choose, the amount of alkaloids you get will vary. If you visit a store with plenty of selection, you will have more flexibility when figuring out the best alkaloid amounts for you.
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