Kratom plant scientifically known as Mitragyna speciose refers to a certain evergreen tree specifically which comes from a coffee family and is originally found in the Southeastern part of Asia, which is harvested by picking the leaves which were either ingested or consumed as tea which was brewed from the leaves.
There are several different kinds of kratom with a distinctive feature of some being red-veined and others being white veined. It has been scientifically proven that the Kratom plant’s leaves can be used as a stimulant, which helps in pain relief; hence, a natural pain killer and opioid withdrawal, when it’s also used in high doses it’s highly sedating. Also, research says that the plant also contains notably two active constituents known as mitragynine and also 7-hydroxymitragynine, which interact with other receptor systems in the brain in order to produce the stimulant effects felt by the users.
In many countries, the plant has been branded illegal along with other herbs though it’s legal in the united states government which has placed it under its Drugs and chemicals of concern list which implies that the Controlled Substance Act and Europe do not currently regulate its consumption and distribution and mostly the plant has been used in smoke shops and the internet.
Availability of information about the plant on the internet
Its key to note that internet information on this plant, especially in Los Angeles, has not been scientifically proven to be true. Although after being tested for its effects as a herb and medical uses, the herb has received a lot of attention from people and has been widely spread in the city more, especially on the limelight are the college students.
Several articles have circulated, and some have even been reviewed and published by publishers in the city, for example, Head Norris medical library, which includes its adverse effects on its uses, methods of growing, availability, and the ways or methods in which it’s used. It’s key to note that the sites mostly cite kratom as a medical drug, but also others have taken a keen interest in kratom as a recreational herb used for pain relief. Some even have highlighted Kratom as used for self-management of opioid withdrawal symptoms. Its key to note that since its legal Kratom can be ordered via the internet.
Availability of Kratom in Los Angeles
Although the government has legalized the plant as a herbal product, there is no existent evidence of the plant being marketed by known nutritional supplement chain stores in the city. Its products are specifically sold by individual known head shops, which are commonly known as smoke -shops, which include; Ark Smoke Shop, Blue Dream LA, Loz Feliz Smokeshop, and Teargradens and mostly the orders by its users are made via the internet.
Forms of kratom in Los Angeles
- it contains every leaf material, including its veins and roots. The users mostly consume it with hot water or brew it in tea.
- this is the most reliable form of kratom and the most abused it contains high levels of active and productive alkaloid intact
- the leaves in powdered form are packed in ingestible capsules which makes it efficient and convenient for delivery
- it comes from the concentrated alkaloids in kratom, which is liquefied and diluted with alcohol, which forms a liquid form as an alternative form of consumption.
Safety concerns of Kratom in Los Angeles
Research has proven that kratom can have adverse effects on the use when taken orally; for example, it can make the user vomit. It can make him/her nauseous, can lead to frequent urination, constipation, hallucinations, delusions, and can also cause thyroid problems. It can lead to withdrawal symptoms or even can cause lead to addiction, just like other types of herbs.
It also can affect those people who are addicted, and all of a sudden stop consuming the herb the can also suffer from; loss of appetite, muscle pains and spasms, restlessness and loss of sleep, mood-swing, tension, anger, being over nervous and an uncontrollable fever which may lead to lots of sweating.
The most adverse effect is depression, which has, in most cases, led to suicides in the city, more, especially by the college students. In recent years due to the little scientific research done on kratom, there isn’t a specified method for the treatment of Kratom addicts. Doctors have only suggested behavioral therapy as a remedy, although it hasn’t been backed up with proper research to determine the effectiveness of this treatment method.
The dosing considerations of kratom
In Los Angeles, the delivered kratom can either be chewed [the leave form] or infused [as a pill or powder form] some consumers go as far as brewing the powdered leaves as tea or some smoke it whereby others eat it by mixing its contents with food. The dosing of kratom depends on a variety of considerations, which include; the age of the user, the health status of the user it at all its for medicinal purposes or recreational and the vitality or line of work. Although there is no scientific evidence to back up the right user dosage, it’s important to note that the correct dosage is essential, keeping in mind the fact consuming large amounts of Kratom is harmful to the health of the user.
The uses of Kratom by its users in Los Angeles
Originally in Asia, the plant was not only used to relieve pain but also to stave off fatigue, opioid withdrawal, diarrhea, and cough. Today kratom is used as a stimulant which helps the user increase his/her mental alertness, improve concentration which makes it abused by students during the examination periods. It increases physical energy during work and also has been used as medicine and performs the following functions.
Removal of anxiety helps in the treatment of cough, helps to reduce diarrhea, reduces high blood pressure to normal levels, for pain relief more especially the muscles, reduces the effects of opiate withdrawal, and also helps to improve sexual performance. In its liquid forms also kratom can stop cramps and can be used as a treatment for panic attacks however, its key to note that medical professionals have scientifically proved not all the above medicinal uses.
The effects of kratom by users in Los Angeles
The consumers of kratom, especially in the city after diagnosis, have been reported with the following effects; after taking it usually rapidly feels its impact within a very low time span of between five to ten minutes.
Other effects of kratom on the consumer can also include; loss of weight in a short span of time, insomnia, which is a condition whereby a person is unable to fall asleep or has difficulties staying asleep. It can lead to the rise of dark spots, more especially on the cheeks of the consumer, a lot of fatigue even without taking any task, hostility by the consumer, and rapid heartbeats, which leads to high blood pressure.
When taken in large amounts, kratom has the following effects:
The herb has compounds that mind-changing (psychotropic). It makes the user sees his or her imaginations as real. Delusions can cause accidents or even death if they are not controlled.
Seizures occur when the brain is affected by sudden electrical disturbances. Kratom causes seizures that cause epileptic episodes.
Damage of the liver
Kratom can cause damage to the liver. It can cause scarring of the liver, which can lead to the death of the user.
Just like all other herbs, a common effect is that it causes addiction. Addiction means that one cannot do without the herb. A person addicted to a substance will do anything to have the substance. This can even include stealing or to an extreme, killing.
Once someone is addicted to a herb and is forced to stop or decides to stop out of their own free will, they suffer from withdrawal symptoms. Some of the common withdrawal symptoms include nausea, dizziness, fever, vomiting, headaches, and diarrhea.
Leads to death
Research conducted showed that some cases about death by kratom. Further investigation determined that the people who died used kratom with another herb. Therefore there is no hard evidence that it leads to death.
The herb causes people to lose sleep. People are up all night because of insomnia it causes, and may individuals now get prescribed other herbs to help with insomnia. The use of kratom with other herbs has led to death.
Loss of sex drive
Continued use of the herb over long periods can cause a decrease in sexual desire.
When someone is addicted to a herb, they can do anything to get it. They end up using all their money to acquire a herb. They end up blowing away school fees cash on herbs, money that was supposed to be for rent, or food is spent on buying the drug.
The distraction of families and friendship
Addicts are often dissociated from the social world; they stay by themselves and end up ruining their relationships. They are maybe ashamed of what they have become and would hate judgment from others, especially people they were initially close to.
Other effects of the herb are associated with the condition of the person taking the herb that is whether they are pregnant, alcoholics, or have mental problems.
Research shows that babies born to mothers who were using kratom at the time of pregnancy suffer from withdrawal symptoms. This is hard for babies; withdrawal symptoms can be hazardous to a baby; it can cause death. That being said, the only thing that can be done to save the child’s life is to administer kratom to the child.
People who take kratom and are addicted to alcohol, they show increased tendencies to commit suicide as compared to someone who is using kratom alone. This discovery brings us back to the psychotropic property of kratom that causes mind-altering symptoms.
People with mental problems
Research shows that people with mental disorders and take kratom have a high risk of worsening the current disorder. They also have an increased risk of committing suicide compared to people with mental disorders who do not retake kratom, referring back to the issue of altering the brain properties.