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What is Kratom: properties, characteristics and comparison with CBD

CBD has by now become popular in Italy and all over the world for its healing properties. The fight for the recognition of its beneficial and re-equilibrating qualities isn’t over yet, although the stigma against CBD is slowly giving out against scientific evidence. Here at Cbweed we like to think of CBD as a trailblazer for other kinds of natural treatments which are still prohibited by the law, one of them being the Kratom plant. At the moment, kratom is considered an illegal plant in many countries around the world, and for this reason there are just a few scientific studies investigating its properties. However, kratom is traditionally used to treat addictions, chronic pain, and psychological diseases, as well as being an effective booster and strengthener. All these characteristics are recognised and accepted by the traditional medicine of many southeastern Asian countries, even though kratom also causes fairly intense side effects and it is associated with a strong psychoactive component.

Let’s analyse both the pros and the cons of this plant whose properties are so similar to CBD’s.

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What is Kratom?

Kratom is a plant originally from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Papua New Guinea. Its scientific denomination is Mitragyna speciosa, commonly known as kratom. It has always been considered a sacred plant with healing powers: in the past it was also used in the textile industry (just like hemp), while today it is commonly used to re-equilibrate energies and treat different illnesses. In the countries of origin kratom infusions are even used as an alternative to coffee, thanks to its stimulating power, even though the effect you’ll get if you consume concentrate dosages is very similar to opioids’. Kratom leaves contain some alkaloids similar to the ones found in opium, and they can be chewed, smoked, or used to make an infusion according to the tradition. Nowadays they’re also concentrated as oil or capsules to make them easier to consume. Unlike cannabinoids, kratom leaves don’t need to be heated up in order to be activated, but their sour taste makes them hard to consume if you’re not used to it. The mytraginine in the plant is a strong analgesic which acts on the same receptors as opioids, giving very similar effects on the body and brain.

Differences between kratom and CBD

Even though CBD and kratom are very different compounds, their effects are pretty similar: their main action consists in limiting or blocking the pain perception and inflammatory mechanisms altogether. For this reason both kratom and CBD are used to manage diseases characterised by chronic and neuropathic pain. While the efficacy of CBD treatments have already been proved by numerous studies on cannabis byproducts, the efficacy of kratom therapies only relies on the tradition of alternative medicine and on the word of mouth of people who already tested them. It is also known that kratom can help limiting the different symptoms of abstinence, like CBD. However, we don’t suggest using this substance to those who struggle with this kind of problems since it is possible to develop another addiction, as opposed to cannabis byproducts. On top of that, kratom’s side effects are way more dangerous than CBD’s, and it can provoke strong interaction phenomena. Kratom can cause heavy sleepiness, alterations in the user’s psychophysical state, and it can also provoke negative reactions if used together with other drugs. Other unpleasant effects of kratom could be stomach ache, nausea, vomit but also arrhythmias, convulsions and liver issues. CBD, on the other hand, is safe and effective, as well as having no psychoactive effects. It only has few mild side effects. Another issue related to kratom is the fact that the illegal products which can be found on the market in Europe and USA are often cut and treated with dangerous substances, which makes them even more harmful. Unlike CBD, which acts over a certain amount of time and which activates through accumulation, kratom leaves have a shorter effect, but they usually start working one hour after the consumption. This makes them perfect for the immediate management of pain but unsuitable for a continuous treatment. As a conclusion, kratom’s functioning as a natural treatment is much more similar to the action of opium than it is to the one of CBD. Also concerning side effects, the Asiatic plant is not currently a completely safe product, especially when bought illegally.
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