1. Kratom, or the leaves of the mitragyna speciosa tree, has been used for centuries by the indigenous people of several countries in Southeast Asia. Recently, its popularity has grown in the western nations of the world as awareness of the plant and its potential benefits have increased.
2. Kratom is commonly used for pain relief, decreased anxiety, mood enhancement, decreased hypertension, decreased fatigue, increased focus, relief of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), and increased energy.
3. Kratom affects the brain’s opioid receptors in a way that is similar to opiates. One of Kratom’s active agents is mitragynine, which may produce opium-like effects, and also acts as a muscle relaxant and anti-inflammatory.
4. Due to its psychoactive effects and concerns about its potential for abuse, Kratom is banned in several countries (Thailand, Malaysia, Australia, and Burma) and 4 U.S. states (Tennessee, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Vermont). Kratom is legal in the other 46 U.S. states.
5. There are 3 different strains of Kratom, each that produce different effects: white vein, green vein, and red vein. The white vein is described as a stimulant, the green vein is commonly used to treat pain and anxiety, and the red vein is touted as a muscle relaxant. Red vein Kratom is also commonly used as a self-treatment to recover from opiate addiction.
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