What is Kratom?
Kratom is a tree native to South-East Asia and has been used by native peoples in those areas for up to or greater than a millenium. Kratom has come to the USA and has created quite a controversy in the medical community, the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency), the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), HHS (Department of Health and Human Services), and NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse).
Quoted from Kratom Science.org:
"Mitragyna speciosa (kratom) alkaloid content varies quantitatively from geographical location, and from month to month, at different leaf harvest times, which has lead some teams (Shellard et al. in the 1970s) to conclude that there may be different geographical variants within the same species. Alkaloid content can vary even from the same trees due to a variety of environmental and human factors, such as when the length of the rainy or dry season, the amount of time elapsed since the last rain, when the leaves were harvested in relation to the dry season, and the period of time between harvests.
Typically the highest mitragynine content is present in leaves from frequently harvested trees, especially those that were harvested during the first growth spurt when the rains return after a long dry season. This is due to a combination of reasons. During the dry season, the leaves do not grow as much, so mitragynine and other alkaloids build up in the leaf buds. After the first rain, the leaves experience a growth spurt, and these alkaloids are then deposited into the leaves. These leaves can often have a red-ish appearance.
The frequency of harvesting also affects the alkaloid concentration, particularly mitragynine. It is thought that Mitragyna speciosa produces mitragynine and other alkaloids as a defense mechanism to deter animals from eating the leaves. If the leaves are not being harvested, the plant doesn’t waste energy producing the alkaloids. However if the leaves are frequently being removed, then Mitragyna speciosa produces more in an attempt to prevent this.
The Chelsea College Pharmacognosy Research Laboratories collected thirty samples of Kratom from Thailand, Malaysia, and Papua New Guinea between 1961 and 1970. All contained mitragynine, but also proved to have considerable variation in the alkaloid makeup. For red and green / white leaved plants of Thailand, the most common alkaloidal profile was mitragynine, speciogynine, speciociliatine, paynantheine, traces of ajmalicine, traces of (C9) methoxy-oxindoles, and traces of other indoles.
Yet other Thai plants contained distinct alkaloidal profiles, some with many more alkaloids. In the Malay specimens, one contained mitragynine, speciofoline, and other indoles and oxindoles, while others contained mitragynine, ajmalicine, speciogynine, speciociliatine, paynantheine, traces of indoles, and (C9) methoxy-oxindoles. Specimens from Papua New Guinea contained mitragynine, speciogynine, speciociliatine, paynantheine, specionoxeine, and isospecionoxeine.
Prior to the late 1990’s, nearly all chemical studies of Kratom activity focused on mitragynine with the assumption that mitragynine was the main active alkaloid. With 7-hydroxymitragynine now clearly identified out as the principal psychoactive alkaloid in Kratom, many elements of these studies need to be revised. Takayama et al. also found that Thai and Malay Kratom had the alkaloids mitragynine, speciogynine, speciociliatine, paynantheine and 7-hydroxymitragynine in common. In both Thai and Malay samples, mitragynine was the most abundant alkaloid, yet it made up 66% of the total alkaloid in the Thai Kratom sample, while it made up only 12% of the alkaloids from the Malaysian sample. The Malay Kratom sample had mitragynaline and pinoresinol as major components, as well as mitralactonal, mitrasulgynine and 3,4,5,6-tetradehydromitragynine.
In 1986, researchers Peter Houghton and Ikram Said found 4 new types of indole alkaloids (corynantheidaline, corynantheidalinic acid, mitragynaline, and mitragynalinic acid), in very young leaves of Malay Mitragyna Kratom plants. The variety of alkaloids discovered in diverse Kratom samples to this day still calls for further studies and experimentation, investigating their specific activity, effects, and potential applications.
Through its makeup and tradition of use, it is clear Mitragyna speciosa Kratom is much more... (than originally thought) Many of the secondary chemicals found in Mitragyna speciosa are present in small, yet appreciable, quantities, and their synergetic role and activity in the general pharmacology of Mitragyna speciosa is not yet fully understood, as thorough research has only just begun."
Too Many People Focus on Mitragynine Content!
The truth is that Kratom is a complex plant with many components and most in nearly imperceptible amounts. Yet they work in a synergistic way which is why Laughing Lion Herbs never sells any product that removes the whole plant's micro alkaloids. We believe that they play a vital role in keeping Kratom the fastest growing herb sold in the US! We do believe that the way God created the tree is the way we should consume and use it. Yet we need to do it responsibly, sustainably, and carefully. We still know so little about the pharmacological effects that we cannot say with certainty that "Kratom is safe". No, but we can say that there is mounting evidence from science that it stands the potential to be an amazing plant to help people with many struggles in life.
Is Kratom Safe?
That's such a difficult answer. Science seems to indicate the relative risk of kratom is low. The science being published of late seems to tell us that while there is risk to everything, there seems to be less risk of addiction and less chances of serious complications from it. Personal testimonies abound stating there are no side-effects. But that is not proof. Side Effects exist in everything. The question is then, how bad are they? Do the benefits outweigh the risks? Only time will tell.
Laughing Lion stands at the forefront of the Kratom industry making sure that we abide by all local and federal guidelines for Kratom. We make sure that we treat it as if it were an approved supplement by having a cGMP Qualified facility, ensuring our labeling is FDA compliant (based on their requirements for supplements, which Kratom is not recognized as one), and by setting standards of quality and excellence in all we do. Laughing Lion stands for truth in labeling, accuracy of our testing, and making sure that we do nothing to contaminate or adulterate kratom. ALWAYS CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE TRYING KRATOM! This is vital! You do not want to use something that could cause issues for you based on existing health conditions or possible contraindications with other medications/herbs.
What is "in" Kratom?
Kratom is simply a leaf. But the pharmacology of that leaf is what makes it so fascinating and desired by millions all over the United States. While it does not provide any sort of an "high" like marijuana, it does have psychoactive effects. These are a result of the more than 40 alkaloids present in the leaves of the plant.
What is an Alkaloid?
According to Wikipedia: "Alkaloids are a class of basic, naturally occurring organic compounds that contain at least one nitrogen atom. This group also includes some related compounds with neutral and even weakly acidic properties. Some synthetic compounds of similar structure may also be termed alkaloids"
Alkaloids are present in Kratom (mitragyna speciosa) and it's cousins as well such as mitragyna hirsuta and mitragyna javanica. The currently identified alkaloids in kratom are listed below.
(All info below sourced from: www.kratomscience.com/mitragyna-speciosa-kratom-alkaloids-effects/ )
Corynoxine A and B:
Diastereomer (C3 stereoisomer) of mitragynine. Weak opioid agonist. May inhibit acetylcholine release from presynaptic nerve through means other than opioid receptor stimulation. 0.8% to 1% of total alkaloid content of kratom leaf. Unique to Kratom.
Little data available at this time. < 1% of total alkaloid content found in Kratom leaf.
Mitragynine oxindole B.