Kratom is purported to be a magic plant with tremendous health and social benefits. From relieving pain, getting you high, and treating a variety of issues such as opioid addiction, anxiety, and depression, the plant is soaring in popularity. Unfortunately, there’s just enough amount of controversy to go with the positive vibes of Kratom. There are numerous studies claiming that Kratom is a toxic substance that is not fit for human consumption. The DEA and FDA have already issued countless warnings to the public to stop consuming Kratom in any capacity listing it as a “drug of concern”. In 2017 alone, the FDA registered 44 Kratom-related deaths, one of which was possible as a result of consuming pure Kratom.
Consumers are particularly concerned about the link between Kratom and blood pressure. Lately, there have been reports that using Kratom may indeed raise your blood pressure. Is this true? Walk with us as we attempt to answer the question.
What is Kratom?
Before we get to the juicy details, let’s take a look at what Kratom really is. Simply put, Kratom is a tropical plant known as Mitragyna speciosa belonging to the coffee family. It is native to South East Asia particularly Thailand, Indonesia, New Guinea, and Malaysia. Kratom leaves have psychotropic effects that can be used to stimulate the brain, treat pain, among other conditions.
Kratom is sold as a green powder, extract, gum, or rarely, as a body lotion. Some people prefer chewing on the leaves of the Kratom plant. Others smoke the leaves or add the powder or extract in their food or drink. There are several names by which Kratom goes by including Thom, Ithang, Biak, Ketum, and Kakuam.
Does It Affect The Brain?
Kratom contains mitragynine and 7-a-hydroxy mitragynine the two compounds responsible for interacting with the brain’s opioid receptors producing pleasure, sedation, and decreasing pain. Mitragynine also interacts with various receptor systems to stimulate the brain. If you consume it in large doses, you will experience increased energy, alertness, and enhanced sociability.
Does It Affect Blood Pressure?
To get a deeper understanding of the link between Kratom and blood pressure, let’s lay certain facts on the table. Kratom contains alkaloids that have been known to cause an adrenergic action that in turn causes the circulatory strain to expand. When you consume Kratom in significantly large doses, your blood pressure will drop the same way it does when you consume opiates. Kratom’s stimulating properties also send a message to the brain to trigger its epinephrine and norepinephrine levels in order to improve your cognitive abilities.
But in actual sense, Kratom modifies the contraction force of your heart thereby bringing down your blood pressure. This response may increase the heart spike and can cause a heart attack or stroke. This is the reason some users report increased heart rates after consuming large doses of Kratom. The heart spike can lead to a deadly heart issue such as Tachycardia, which can be fatal if not treated in time.
Does the Kratom strain matter?
When it comes to the effect of Kratom on blood pressure, research is still unsatisfactory. This leaves open chances for people to speculate and draw their own conclusions. Take for instance this user on Reddit who wanted to know the correct strain that will induce euphoric effects without increasing his heart rate. As expected, this said person received an answer from another user claiming that a certain Kratom strain is safer for the heart.
So, different Kratom strains indeed cause different reactions in different people. You may have a different experience compared to your neighbor regardless of the dosage and strain you consume. This means you need to test things out to know the safest option for you. It is a risky and challenging undertaking but keep in mind that you are safer with Kratom strains that don’t promote more stimulation on fewer quantities. If you have heart ailments, take caution even more. Call a doctor if you experience anything out of the ordinary.
Sure, the internet is filled with Kratom consumers shedding a negative light on the wonder plant but some of these claims are pure speculations. When all is said and done, this topic could do with more research. However, it is clear from the available sources that the plant can cause unfavorable conditions for people with hypertension. This is because it can increase the circulatory strain leading to heart attacks among other complications.
Therefore, before consuming Kratom, be sure to check your pulse rate and keep track of the effect Kratom has on the rate for every strain out there. Generally, if you have hypertension on a normal day characterized by a pulse of 140/90 mmHg or more, tread carefully when experimenting with Kratom. Finally, even if you don’t suffer from hypertension, observe caution when using Kratom.