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Alkaloids in Kratom: A Complete Pharmacology

by Aksh
7 minutes read

Today, Kratom is the most investigated and explored topic because of the enormous clinical attention it has garnered. Many of these benefits, its proponents say, remain true as long as the medication is administered effectively, but many of the drugs’ stated benefits remain unproven. These include better mood, relaxation, vigilance, and increased vigor and power. Some people believe that the alkaloids in Kratom plants produce stimulant-like effects in low dosages and an opioid-like high when eaten at larger levels and that these two effects are the same.

Although many benefits of taking Kratom have yet to be scientifically proven, anecdotal data strongly supports these claims. There is some evidence to support this since the FDA says it affects mu-opioid receptors in the brain. These are the same receptors that are activated when you use painkillers.

Pharmacology of Kratom

The alkaloids mitragynine and 7-hydroxy mitragynine, which are both found in significant amounts in kratom leaves, are two of the most essential phytochemicals. One is an opioid receptor agonist, and the other is not. This stimulant-like action is thought to be caused by kratom’s involvement with another alkaloid since both of these chemicals interact with the same brain receptors that opioids do.

Alkaloids in Kratom: A Complete Pharmacology - Kratom Blogs

Most kratom proponents recommend a dose of 3-6 grams per day as moderate. If you take more than 5 grams, it would be considered a “high dose”. The most common way individuals take the powder is to mix it with juice or water. Traditionally, people would take a dosage and immediately follow it up with a drink to wash it down to prevent the bitter aftertaste.

Alkaloids in Kratom

Don’t be alarmed. This part isn’t set out to inundate you with chemical and biological jargon or make you feel stupid for reading it. To offer you a summary of Kratom’s active ingredients, the information mentioned below focuses on the plant’s terpenes. 

Phytochemicals, the chemical components found in all plants, are what make them what they are. Certain plants, such as ergot, poppy, and Mitragayna Speciosa, contain alkaloids, a kind of phytochemical. Alkaloids have risen to prominence in scientific and medical studies over the years as a result of the profound physiological effects they have on human bodies when consumed. Perhaps this is why they’ve become more popular among scientists and academics.

It’s no secret that alkaloids play a major role in many of the world’s most popular drugs. To give you an example, caffeine, which may be found in coffee and tea, is a kind of alkaloid. Opium poppies also provide morphine, another common opioid. Both instances have a major impact on other living creatures, despite their divergent roles. Kratom’s alkaloids aren’t any different.

Over forty alkaloids have been discovered in Kratom, according to research. Though the quantity of these alkaloids varies from plant to plant, many variables at play may affect it. Kratom strains, kinds, geographic area, weather, and even leaf harvesting times all contribute to the variations in quality. But wait, there’s more. There may be wide variations in alkaloid concentration even within the same tree’s leaves. This may be due to the length of the wet or dry season, as well as the interval between harvests.

Composition of Alkaloid in Kratom

Let’s take a look at some of the alkaloids present in Kratom to properly understand the plant’s potential and the products produced from it.

  • Mitragynine

Among Kratom’s alkaloids, mitragynine is one of the more prevalent ones, and its main alkaloid is often mitragynine. About 70% of the alkaloid content in Kratom leaves comes from this compound, which has been researched for many years in isolation. Due to its ability to bind quickly to key body receptors, it seems to have the effects that have been described.

  • 7-hydroxy mitragynine

It’s the second most active alkaloid discovered in Kratom, behind mitragynine. It is frequently compared to mitragynine for the same reasons and in the same situations since 7-hydroxy mitragynine is structurally identical. However, the quantity of 7-hydroxy mitragynine in the leaves fluctuates much more than the amount of mitragynine. The quantity varies depending on the type, drying method, and harvest date, but it is usually very tiny, generally only fractions of a percent.

  • Paynantheine

Paynantheine is the second most abundant chemical component in Kratom leaves, behind Mitragyna speciosa. In comparison to 7-hydroxy mitragynine, its concentration in the body is greater, but its activity is lower. Although further study is needed on this alkaloid, some information is already accessible. 

Alkaloids in Kratom: A Complete Pharmacology - Kratom Blogs

  • Speciogynine

Speciogynine, a different alkaloid having active effects in humans, is the alkaloid found in the third-highest concentration in most leaves. This chemical also needs further study.

  • Mitraphylline

This alkaloid, which makes up less than 1% of Kratom leaves, has the potential to affect human physiology in a variety of ways. Mitraphylline is a promising new drug candidate that merits further investigation.

  • Ajmalicine

When Kratom was initially researched in Southeast Asia in the 1970s, one of the first alkaloids discovered was ajmalicine. Because it acts as a receptor antagonist, this alkaloid has the potential to affect numerous bodily processes.

How do Kratom Alkaloids Reduce Pain?

Kratom works by causing the body to produce alkaloids, which have several different therapeutic effects on the body. This plant’s primary alkaloid, Mitragynine, has been shown to alleviate coughing, relieve diarrhea, and even assist with malaria symptoms.

It also contains 7-hydroxy mitragynine, a potent analgesic or pain reliever, which means it’s a great choice for pain treatment when used as directed. Other alkaloids produced by the body after consuming kratom include muscle relaxants, immune system stimulators, and blood flow boosters for the brain, all of which enhance general brain health and performance.

Just to sum up, kratom is more powerful than over-the-counter painkillers such as Advil and Tylenol in relieving pain without the negative effects associated with opioid drugs. Because it is an opioid receptor agonist, naltrexone is even used to alleviate opioid withdrawal. It binds to opioid receptors in the brain, making withdrawal symptoms easier to cope with or even eliminating them in certain cases.


Kratom is becoming a household brand in the herbal business after many years of growth. Some see it as a medication, while others see it as a recreational substance. Ground leaves or powdered leaves are the most common forms of kratom extract available on the market.


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