Kratom Tolerance and Withdrawal Symptoms

What’s the Problem?

Like a lot of substances people put into their bodies, some of the chemicals in Kratom have addictive properties. In order to understand why we need to understand the effects Kratom has inside the brain. We also need to understand how addiction works and why people become addicted to things.

You’re here reading this, so chances are you are experiencing Kratom withdrawals or you know someone who is. It’s a pretty common occurrence these days. With Kratom popularity on the rise and a lack of action from the government, the use of Kratom is spreading and people are finding themselves in tricky situations involving this fine green powdery substance.
People can experience withdrawals to a lot of different things. Have you ever drank a bunch of coffee in the morning only to feel really drained and tired later on? That is a slight caffeine withdrawal you are experiencing. If it gets really bad, it turns into a headache.
Kratom withdrawal is different. As the chemicals inside Kratom act similarly on the brain as do opiates, the withdrawals are similar. Many believe that Kratom withdrawals are much milder than opiate withdrawals, but when you’re the person experiencing the uncomfortable feelings and inability to sleep, you wouldn’t know the difference.
In this article I will go over the what’s, why’s, and how’s of identifying Kratom withdrawal symptoms and solving the problem at its core. By the time you’re finished reading, you will be armed with knowledge and ready to tackle this problem head-on.

What Causes Kratom Tolerance?

There are many chemicals in Kratom that have an effect on people when they take it. These chemicals are called alkaloids. The two main alkaloids in Kratom are mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. These two psychoactive compounds are partial agonists for the μ-opioid receptors in the brain. This explains why Kratom is known to have similar effects as mild opiates.
As with opiates, coffee, alcohol, sugar, and many other things humans ingest, a tolerance can be built up when it’s taken regularly, or daily. As someone takes Kratom every day, their body gets used to those μ-opioid receptors being filled with the chemicals in Kratom. The body gets better at dealing with these chemicals so they produce less of an effect. As time goes on, the person must take more and more Kratom to feel the same effects. This is known as tolerance. They have built up a tolerance to the chemicals in Kratom.
When someone has a tolerance to Kratom, they have to take more to get the same effects. If they stop taking it, they feel weird and generally not good. Their body is so used to having Kratom in the system that now they must take Kratom just to feel normal. This is called dependency. The person is now dependent on Kratom to feel normal. If they don’t take any, they feel withdrawals.

Kratom, a plant native to Southeast Asia, has been used by people of this region for a long time for the management of pain and opium withdrawal. In the West, Kratom is increasingly being used by individuals for the self-management of pain or withdrawal from opioid drugs such as heroin and prescription painkillers. – American Osteopathic Association, December 2012, Vol. 112, 792-799.

The chemical molecules that make up mitragyineAmong over 20 active ingredients found in Kratom, two are responsible for most of the effects as well as the tolerance and addiction potential. These are Mitragynine and Hydroxymitragynine. These chemicals have over a dozen studied effects on the body. The most notable effects are the binding of the μ-opioid receptor. “Main activity on μ-opioid creating opiate and analgesic effects and physical dependence.” – Source

Withdrawal Symptoms

Kratom withdrawal symptoms are very similar to opiate withdrawal symptoms, though typically lesser in intensity. Some of the most common issues are:

  • Irritability
  • Dysphoria – feeling uneasy and unsatisfied with life
  • Nausea
  • Hypertension – high blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Yawning
  • Rhinorrhea – runny nose
  • Myalgia – muscle aches
  • Diarrhea
  • Arthralgias – joint pain

If you do a little research on opiate withdrawals, you will see they are almost exactly the same. For this reason, treating these substances similarly is a good idea. A lot of Kratom promoters will argue this, but the facts tell an obvious tale. Even though kratom is not technically an opiate, its effects on the brain are similar as are the withdrawal symptoms.

The Only Real Solution to the Problem is Quitting Kratom

The only solution to the problem is cutting down on the Kratom use. If you have a heavy Kratom tolerance it’s because you’ve built it up slowly over time by taking more and more as the days and weeks have gone by. The only way to reverse the tolerance is to reverse the use. There are two ways to go towards quitting Kratom. You can stop cold turkey or you can taper.
Going cold turkey means you just stop. You will feel the worst withdrawal symptoms possible but they will also go away the fastest. Since Kratom is a relatively short-acting drug, the withdrawal symptoms don’t last as long as other longer-acting drugs. Tapering can be a gentler way to go but it takes much longer. This is where you do the reverse of what got you here in the first place. You reduce your dose slowly over time until you get to 0. If you go slow enough, you won’t feel any withdrawal symptoms as your tolerance drops.

 

The Myth that Changing Strains Reduces Tolerance

A lot of Kratom dealers will spout a bunch of bs about how switching strains allows people to use Kratom every day without building up a tolerance. Well, I’m here to tell you that that is bullshit. They only say that so you will buy more Kratom from them.

But, why is it bullshit? Well, as you read above, there are two main chemicals in Kratom that are psychoactive. The main one, mitragynine, accounts for 60% of the alkaloids found in Kratom while the secondary chemical, hydroxymitragynine accounts for 2%. These are the chemicals that produce the effects people like. All Kratom has these two chemicals no matter which strain.

So, while it’s true that each strain will have different levels of these chemicals, these two chemicals are what people develop a tolerance to, so no matter what strain you take, you’re getting almost the same effect.

I have tested this on myself and can say with certainty that switching strains did nothing to mitigate tolerance, so don’t fall for this lie.

 

Treating the Withdrawal Symptoms

Looks, if you are experiencing withdrawals, you need to figure out a solution to the real problem, which is taking Kratom every single day. But, if stopping is not an option for you, there are remedies that can help. I have a whole list of them in this article. Here you will find a list of supplements and remedies that can help alleviate some of the withdrawal symptoms.

These are very helpful when you’re trying to quit, as that’s when you will feel the most symptoms.

 

When Withdrawals Lead to Addiction

It’s not until one experiences difficulties stopping their Kratom use that tolerance can be classified as an addiction. Deciding to use Kratom every day for energy and pain relief is not the same as compulsively using it to avoid withdrawal symptoms. The avoidance of withdrawal symptoms is the main reason why Kratom addicts can’t kick the habit.
If you are in a place where you want to quit but you can’t bring yourself to do it because of the withdrawal symptoms, then you are addicted. But don’t worry! This is totally something you can figure out. I wrote a comprehensive guide on tapering that can help you reduce your dose slowly over time so that when you do decide to stop completely, it’s much more manageable and comfortable.
Click here to go to the Kick Kratom Tapering Guide.

Seeking Help

Addiction is a very common problem for Americans which has led to there being many places to turn when you need help. Here is a list of resources for you if you think you want to talk to someone or seek professional help. There’s nothing wrong with seeking out some more information and considering your options, so take a look and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks. These people don’t know you personally, they are just there to help you out.

 

The information contained on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding supplements and drugs like Kratom.

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