Kratom is a plant in the coffee family, native to Southeast Asia, where its beneficial properties have been known for centuries. When you drink a tisane made with Kratom powder or swallow a Kratom capsule, you are undoubtedly hoping to feel the plant’s benefits. Most users gain a sense of general wellness, including more peaceful rest, less bodily discomfort, boosted motivation, and higher overall contentment. These excellent perks of Kratom are due to the alkaloids present in its leaves.
Kratom’s two main alkaloids, mitragynine, and 7-hydroxymitragynine work with opioid receptors in your brain to produce Kratom’s benefits. Whether you are a seasoned Kratom enthusiast or just beginning to use Kratom, it is helpful to understand how these alkaloids work. Find out everything you need to know about alkaloids in Kratom and how they contribute to the properties Kratom users know and love.
What is an Alkaloid?
An alkaloid is a chemical compound that usually contains hydrogen, nitrogen, carbon, and oxygen, which naturally occurs in many flowering plants. Alkaloids interact with the opioid system through opioid receptors, which control discomfort and stress in your body.
You may be familiar with several alkaloids already. Morphine is derived from the poppy plant, nicotine is found in tobacco, and the most commonly used alkaloid of all, caffeine, naturally occurs in the coffee plant.
Each of these alkaloids produces a different effect in your body, depending on how much you ingest and how you take it. Morphine is one of the most potent painkillers on the planet, nicotine produces a heightened sensation in the brain, and caffeine is known for its ability to boost energy and focus.
Alkaloids in Kratom
Kratom is an evergreen plant found in Southeast Asia. Kratom’s official name is Mitragyna speciosa, and it belongs to the coffee family of plants. Like many other botanicals, Kratom contains naturally occurring alkaloids that can positively impact the body. The two main alkaloids in Kratom are mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine.
Mitragynine was first discovered in 1921, but it wasn’t until 1964 that its chemical structure became fully understood. Mitragynine interacts with the mu and kappa opioid receptors, the same receptors that narcotic substances affect; however, mitragynine is different from these narcotics on a structural level.
According to some studies, mitragynine can be found in varying concentrations in Kratom, depending on the source of the leaves. Kratom products sourced from Thailand may be up to 66% mitragynine in their alkaloid content.
7-hydroxymitragynine was identified in 1993. Referred to as 7-OH, it is only found in small amounts in Kratom, typically making up only 2% of the total alkaloid content. 7-hydroxymitragynine works on the mu-opioid receptors and is a highly potent alkaloid.
It has analgesic properties, similar to morphine, which reduce discomfort and soreness in the body. Although 7-OH interacts with the reward centers in the brain, research shows that 7-hydroxymitragynine is likely not habit-forming in low amounts.
Alkaloid Concentrations in Kratom
The concentration of the mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine alkaloids in Kratom leaves is affected by the plant’s growing conditions and harvesting process.
Minerals in the soil affect the alkaloid content in Kratom, as do the light and temperature conditions it grows under. Infiltrating the plant’s soil with nitrogen is thought to increase the alkaloid concentration because the chemical makeup of alkaloids is nitrogen-based. A rich amount of sunlight can also affect the Kratom plant’s health and alkaloid levels. It’s thought that the alkaloids in Kratom form when it is a young plant and continue to be affected by its harvesting conditions as it matures.
Kratom is sold in several different forms, each containing a slightly different alkaloid content. Powdered Kratom contains leaves that are ground into a fine powder. The powder is used in tisanes and smoothies or used to fill capsules. In powdered form, the mitragynine alkaloid concentration in Kratom may reach up to 2%. While the concentration of 7-OH is much lower than mitragynine, there is evidence that its benefits are produced as a by-product of metabolization in the liver.
Kratom is less commonly sold in extract form. In extract products, the alkaloid content is more highly concentrated than in powdered form. Kratom extract may be up to 15 times more potent than powdered or capsule form due to its high levels of 7-OH and mitragynine.
Reaping the Benefits of Kratom’s Alkaloids
The alkaloids in Kratom products are shown to have several beneficial effects on the body. To reap these benefits, it is essential to choose the right Kratom product for you and order from a reputable Kratom retailer. Look for a company that has plenty of helpful customer reviews, sources their Kratom responsibly, participates in lab testing for their products, and provides good customer service.
When you put in your Kratom order online, shop around to find which product works for your needs. Kratom extract is the fastest, most potent way to gain the effects of mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. The alkaloids are found in a more concentrated form and are directly absorbed into your system. Extracts are generally recommended for seasoned Kratom fans who know how their body reacts with the alkaloids.
Mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine are found in lower concentrations in loose leaf Kratom powder, which will produce a slower, more gradual experience of the benefits. This is good for people just starting with Kratom use or who like a more drawn-out feeling of calmness and boosted motivation.
If you’re looking for a convenient option that takes the guesswork out of measuring your dosage, you can also consider trying Kratom capsules. These predetermined quantities ensure you get the same amount of Kratom and alkaloid benefits with each use.
Alkaloids: A Natural Solution
Alkaloids are naturally occurring chemicals that produce beneficial effects in your body. They affect your motivation and alertness, quality of relaxation, and overall sense of comfort and wellness. Mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, the alkaloids found in Kratom, offer a natural solution to stress from a busy work schedule or temporary muscle soreness after a workout. You can take advantage of nature’s fantastic gift by using Kratom to boost your wellbeing.