Kratom, also known as Mitragnya speciosa, is a tropical evergreen tree native plant to Southeast Asia. The leaves of the kratom tree are harvested and used as a botanical, which is also referred to as Kratom. But is smoking kratom safe? In Southeast Asia, it is commonly used as a wellness supplement to help increase the feelings of energy and productivity in the consumer.
This substance is also used in religious functions and events as a traditional activity. In Western countries, Kratom is often brewed into a tea and added to protein shakes or other food items, taken orally by tincture or capsule. Nowadays, there is a lot of buzz around smoking kratom. People want to know whether smoking kratom is safe or not.
As for other herbal leaves, it is technically a possible option to smoke Kratom; however, as with any smoking, this carries numerous health risks for the consumer. The smoking of this substance may reduce the desired effects of using Kratom products in the first place. Kratom Enthusiasts and retailers have often provided alternative ways to prepare or enjoy Kratom sleep products without smoking.
But first, it is important to understand why smoking kratom is both a health hazard and potentially a waste of good Kratom.
How Does Kratom Interact with the Brain?
Kratom, as a herbal substance, can cause effects similar to both opioids and stimulants. Two compounds in kratom leaves, mitragynine, and 7-α-hydroxy mitragynine, have been reported to interact with opioid receptors in the Brain. This results in producing a feeling of sedation, pleasure, and decreased pain. The effects of the substance are better understood, especially when users consume large amounts of the plant.
When the receptor system of our brain interacts with the Mitragynine it produces a stimulant effect. With the increase in the dosage, it had been noted to increase the level of energy, and alertness in place of sedation effects. However, it can also cause side effects and uncomforted sometimes.
Is it Possible to Overdose on Kratom?
There have been multiple reports of deaths in consumers who had ingested Kratom, but most have involved other substances. There has been a study in 2019 consisting of a paper analyzing data from the National Poison Data System found that between 2011-2017. In that study, it was found that there were 11 deaths associated with kratom exposure.
However, Nine of the 11 deaths reported in this study involved Kratom plus other drugs and medicines, such as diphenhydramine (an antihistamine), caffeine, alcohol, cocaine, fentanyl, and benzodiazepines. On the other hand, two of the deaths were reported following exposure to Kratom alone with no other reported substances.
In 2017, the FDA, a regulatory board regarding Drugs and medicines, had identified at least 44 deaths related to Kratom, with at least one case investigated as possible use of pure Kratom. The FDA reports noted that many of the deaths associated with Kratom appeared to have resulted from adulterated products.
Some reports of Kratom were packaged as dietary supplements or ingredients laced with other compounds, which caused the deaths. It is advised that people check with their healthcare providers about the safety of mixing Kratom with other medicines.
Reduction of Efficacy by Smoking Kratom
There have been Various modes of research into the active compounds in Kratom, are ongoing. However, there is some concern among various kratom users about whether extreme heat can break down the alkaloids responsible for Kratom’s beneficial effects. From a reason of having perspective, a popular kratom preparation involves making tea.
The process is made by brewing the kratom leaves into an edible beverage in the form of tea. The water boils at 212°F (100°C) before the kratom leaves are added. In contrast, the temperature of a conventional lit cigarette can be close to 1652°F (900°C). Thus, smoking Kratom exposes the leaf to such extreme temperatures that it could easily damage or eliminate any active compounds before being ingested by the consumer.
While tea preparation has a long history of being a delivery mechanism for Kratom, the involved temperatures have been reported as too hot for smoking Kratom and significantly reduce the risk of destroying the product or eliminating its active compounds.
Some confusion may arise because one of the common places where Kratom is available for purchase is smoke shops and head shops. This association is, unfortunately, misleading. This seems to be a counterintuitive act for a place dedicated to smoking to sell a product that should not be smoked.
However, due to Kratom’s relative novelty in the market and its lack of regulation, this association has led to the idea that smoking is a viable way of consuming the substance. This is why the best place to buy Kratom is not from a smoke shop but from a reputable dealer specializing in Kratom. There has to be a sense of the industry and product knowledge to advise you on the best strains and methodology for the usage.
What are the Side Effects of Smoking Kratom?
The side effects of using Kratom can be fatal and harmful if not controlled by the consumer. The lung tissue of human beings is thin, full of capillaries, and highly absorbent. They have to be in such a condition for people to be able to breathe.
This makes inhalation one of the fastest delivery methods for an ingestible product like a herb. However, this is another reason that makes lungs so vulnerable to damage. Because the lungs are so good at absorbing what is being inhaled, smoking can allow many other chemicals.
This includes carcinogens generated through burning carbon-based matter, like leaves and other combustible elements involved in the process of smoking. When smoke is inhaled through the lungs, any chemicals or compounds present easily seep into the bloodstream via the lung tissue and quickly travel to the Brain.
Though there are not enough studies or evidence specifically pointing to the bodily dangers of smoking kratom, the smoke from the substance has been reported to be dangerous to lung health. It may cause other health effects such as:
- Early signs of cardiovascular diseases are identified in the consumer, and there have been reports of damage to blood vessels from the unregulated consumption of the substance.
- There is an increased risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and even cancer.
- With an overdriving limitation on the consumption of the substance, there is an increased risk of lung disease from smoking.
- Reduced blood flow to the skin and legs can give rise to various other problems for the consumer.
- If consumed in great amounts, the substance has the potential to trigger asthma and asthma-related problems in the consumer.
- There is heightened concern regarding the increment of the risk of having COPD due to the excessive consumption of the substance.
- Smoking the substance causes heavy and fatal impacts on the teeth and gums of the consumer.
Alternative Methods of Taking Kratom
While there is a possibility of smoking kratom, there are potential risks involved with this particular method of consumption, which is smoking. To fully enjoy the benefits of Kratom sleep products without the additional risks of inhaling smoke, the following methods can be useful. The following methods include the alternative method of consuming Kratom.
The process of incorporating kratom powder into food or drinks has been reported to be a popular method of consuming the substance instead of smoking it. Kratom powder can also be consumed with coffee or protein shakes. The two caveats are that Kratom is known for its bitter taste, so it must typically be sweetened to become palatable, and that the heat from cooking or baking with Kratom may reduce its desired effects.
Consumers can render the effects of the substance by taking kratom capsules, which is probably one of the easiest and most discreet ways to take Kratom. The other benefit of taking Kratom capsules is that the doses of Kratom powder are regulated from the time they are manufactured. This prevents overdosing by mistake unless the user wants to increase the doses of the substance.
The method of Toss and Wash is also a strong contender in choosing the best and most secure way for Kratom Consumption. This method is really simple and may help the user feel the desired benefits more quickly. The method includes the consumer directly chewing the leaves of the kratom plant. After chewing, the kratom paste and the saliva are kept in the mouth cavity for about thirty seconds before gulping with a glass of water.
The most popular method of consuming this substance is by brewing the leaves into kratom tea. However, various consumers who drink kratom tea have been reported to add other types of tea, botanicals, or sweeteners to alleviate the bitter taste of Kratom. Kratom can also be added to coffee for an extra energy boost when the substance reacts with caffeine.
The most primitive and basic way to consume kratom leaves is by chewing them directly. Chewing dried or fresh kratom leaves is a traditional consumption method that has been part of traditional medicine for centuries. The inhabitants and plantation workers used to consume this to combat the severe working conditions and weather changes.
With the advent of modern technologies, manufacturers have made various products that have been induced with the extracts of Kratom. The process of chewing kratom gum or tablets has been well accepted due to its sensitive nature. Some kratom sellers offer gum or tablets that make taking Kratom simple and discreet, which is the simple reason for the popularity of this substance.
The method of using kratom tinctures or extracts in the form of essential oils. Kratom tinctures and extracts are typically higher in potency than the other types available in the market. This can be taken directly from a dropper bottle or added to food and drink to render the maximum effect but in a regularised and controlled dosage mechanism.
While various users may be tempted to try smoking kratom, this is considered uncommon in traditional usage due to its harmful effects. However, the presence of safer and more effective ways to enjoy Kratom enables the users to avail of other options that are smoking the substance.
It has been proven to be a fact that smoking any substance can introduce carcinogens into your bloodstream, which has been reported to damage your lungs and cause potentially serious and lasting health effects.
Can Kratom be Used as Medicine?
In recent years, various people have been reported to use Kratom as a herbal alternative to medical treatment. This has been done to control withdrawal symptoms and cravings caused by addiction to opioids or other addictive substances, such as alcohol.
However, due to the legal stature of the substance, there has been a great deal of lack in the process of proper research and studies regarding the reactions of the substance to the consumer. In this case, further research is required, as there is no scientific evidence on whether Kratom is effective or not.
Kratom is, however, reported to be psychoactive, which means even a mild dosage can cause sedation. Thus, it is better to be aware when deciding to smoke kratom. The problem with smoking kratom is that there is no perspective on the right dosage. Thus, it is better to consider other ways to smoke this compound, including vaping the substance.
Surprisingly, millennials like to infuse Kratom in foods, beverages, edibles, snacks, desserts, and skincare products. With time, the number of stress levels has considerably increased and has changed their types as well.
Kratom is known for its stimulating and sedating effects, depending on the usage of the substance. With a lower dosage of the substance, the consumers render a stimulating effect that can be beneficial for the consumers in various ways. Whereas if the dose is increased, then the effect of the substance becomes seating in nature.