So tell me about Kratom. - Harmless like valerian root or deadly like belladonna?

Karl_der_Grosse

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I just found out that one of my long-term employees is taking Kratom. He's a maintenance man with a bad shoulder. I've offered to pay for shoulder surgery, but he's terrified of going under the knife. He's been on a low dose of narcotics off and on for years now, but it's impossible for him to get a prescription now with all the addict panic going around. Should I be worried? The only thing I know about kratom is that it's legal in my state, but I need to know if he's going to get all addict or if the stuff's dangerous or what. He's kind of naive so I want to look out for him, you know?
 
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???

International man (?) of mystery
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Excellent for coming off opiate addiction. Almost completely harmless. Some varieties are more like coffee, some more like an extremely mild opiate. Withdrawal makes you irritable and restless but that's it. Some people report insomnia and panic attacks, but that's not typical unless you're taking very high doses multiple times a day.

You build tolerance very fast, so it's best to space it out. The body tolerates opiates very well so it's not unusual to take 10x the dose you started with after 6 months. Coming off that will make you go a few days without sleep and act pissy, but nothing else.

About the same level as caffeine or nicotine, only it's harder to overdose than either of them. You'd need to eat a cup or more to OD.

IIRC the active ingredient fits receptors for opiates and caffeine, hence it's mixed effects.
 
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Ordered two different kinds online. Both about the same. More or less nothing and didnt have really any withdrawals after stopping. Only did it for 2-3 weeks though.
 
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Balaam

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It's nothing to worry about. Even if you take a bunch trying to get fucked up, it's not too intense and doesn't inhibit thinking or motor skills. It doesn't seem to be addictive either. You should continue encouraging him to get surgery but also support using a non narcotic alternative if it's working for him. He'll be better in the long run, even though it's garbage that people with genuine issues can't get medicine they need. If he took narcotics off and on and didn't go full blown addict or anything he's definitely gonna be okay using kratom for pain management.
 

Autumnal Equinox

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If you don't go crazy with it, it's perfectly fine. I use Red Thai kratom for my bad back and hand pain about twice a week. Works wonders. Start small if you plan on trying it. I recommend measuring out about three teaspoons of powder (you can get it in pill form but I find the powder more potent) toss it back and chase it with some water. It's a bit bitter (like an earthy green tea taste kind of) but not overpowering. Do any more and you might feel a bit nauseous or dizzy until you get used to it. I do about two tablespoons per dose now and haven't had any problems. If you have chronic pain it's great for alleviating some of the symptoms. White Thai kratom is good for stress also.
 

Mesh Gear Fox

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Apparently it tastes like shit too
It's nasty as hell. I used to just mix it with water and drink it, but these days it makes me vomit. I bought a pill maker off of Amazon and make my own capsules. I have to take a slightly larger dose than drinking, and it takes longer to kick in, but it's so much better than trying to choke it down. I use red strains for my arthritis, as they have more of the opiate-like qualities. White and green strains are more of a stimulant effect.
 

Botchy Galoop

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First off, it sounds like you have a great employee, I'll ditto those here saying continue to encourage him to seek treatment for his shoulder.
Second, it is absolutely criminal that he, like many others, are unable to receive narcotic pain meds to treat his symptoms. The opioid hysteria has caused even terminally ill patients unable to be prescribed the appropriate pain meds. Dr's are under heavy scrutiny by the DEA, FDA and several other ABC's. It's just isn't worth the hassle to them anymore. The opiate drug "crisis" is being largely caused by illegal Fentanyl being funneled into the US. Illegal Fentanyl OD deaths outnumber heroin OD's. (Before I power level I will cease my rant)
Third, Kratom is not dangerous, nor should it effect his job performance. I just hope that he is able to find the right strain to help with his pain and as others have mentioned here, Kratom has been extremely useful for people who are getting off prescription narcotics or heroin. It seems to ease the physical symptoms one can experience.

EDIT to add: Hopefully he is doing his due diligence and has researched reputable Kratom dealers. In my experience, don't buy the crap sold in Gas stations and most head shops.
 
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murdered meat bag

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Now for some contrary opinion


its been linked to three deaths where the only substance in the toxicology is kratom. Mixing Opiates and kratoms apparently leads to overdose.

I dont know much more other than its sold along side cbd and none of its regulated.
 
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???

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Now for some contrary opinion


its been linked to three deaths where the only substance in the toxicology is kratom. Mixing Opiates and kratoms apparently leads to overdose.

I dont know much more other than its sold along side cbd and none of its regulated.
The mechanism of the OD is important here. Mixing different types of opiates is dangerous, probably because they are metabolized by the same enzymes. Using one locks up supplies of that enzyme, leaving the other to overwhelm your body.

If that makes kratom dangerous, then other "drugs" like grapefruit should be regulated to since they do the same thing with other classes of drugs.

3 deaths out of tens of thousands of kratom users is statistically insignificant, probably related to some other issue or as I state above metabolic issues.
 

murdered meat bag

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The mechanism of the OD is important here. Mixing different types of opiates is dangerous, probably because they are metabolized by the same enzymes. Using one locks up supplies of that enzyme, leaving the other to overwhelm your body.

If that makes kratom dangerous, then other "drugs" like grapefruit should be regulated to since they do the same thing with other classes of drugs.

3 deaths out of tens of thousands of kratom users is statistically insignificant, probably related to some other issue or as I state above metabolic issues.

The three deaths above only involve Kratom.
 
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mx. yuk

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If I may sperg on the topic for a moment...it can be great for people with chronic pain and/or as a maintenance treatment akin to suboxone or methadone for opioid addicts. For people who can handle taking treatment into their own hands, it's more affordable, safer (not a CNS depressant, afaik) and you dont have to deal with doctors/insurance.

Downsides: longterm use has some negative health effects, many not well documented or studied -- kidney and liver damage, hair loss, frequent urination, sallow skin from poor nutrition, etc. It is definitely physically and mentally addictive (especially for those with history of physical opiate dependence) and long-term users usually have to taper off or face moderate withdrawal effects (severe anxiety, insomnia, etc.)

As long as it continues to be readily available, I don't see your employee experiencing the negative social effects of addiction ("going all addict") -- and it's generally pretty mild, so even if he got somewhat strung out on it and it became harder to access, don't think he's gonna be robbing old ladies to get it or anything.

It's not a perfect solution and it's kind of a nasty substance but it works pretty well for a lot of people.
 

Karl_der_Grosse

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I just worry a little bit about the guy. He's worked for me since he was sixteen, almost twenty years now. He's moderately mentally impaired. If you met the guy, you wouldn't immediately go, hey this guy's retarded, but if you talk to him for fifteen minutes you can tell he's not completely there. He's a sweet guy and a hard worker and I don't want him to get hurt.
 

GrimProphet

Suffering from Negro Fatigue
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I've been using it for about three years now, occasionally in large amounts but I've since gotten my dose down. I use it for back pain and as a treatment for generalized depression. Plus it helped me beat a serious alcohol problem. No problems whatsoever other than nausea if I take too much or occasional constipation just like any other opioid-related medicines. The nice thing about it is that it's self-limiting. If you take too much, you're going to throw it up very quickly, before it can be absorbed. Plus it tastes fucking awful so you'll likely be less inclined to abuse it. I've had bloodwork, liver panel tests and other medical tests/exams done since I started using it and they've come out all clear. It's a great tool for addicts, a lot of people have even have success with it in recovery from alcoholism. Plus it's great for pain patients since nowadays you could walk into an ER with a shattered leg and they'd just tell you: "Here's some 800mg ibuprofen, suck it up." Shout out to the biggest mafia in the world [the DEA] and the pillsheds for making pain patients suffer, do something illegal or take unregulated herbal remedies just so they don't suck-start a twelve gauge. Nanny state bullshit sure is working out ain't it?

Anyway, for most people it's totally harmless. If you have pre-existing liver problems or issues with substance abuse, it might be a somewhat bad idea. Other than that it's great and less dangerous than caffeine, tylenol, alcohol, etc.
 

Krimjob

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I just worry a little bit about the guy. He's worked for me since he was sixteen, almost twenty years now. He's moderately mentally impaired. If you met the guy, you wouldn't immediately go, hey this guy's exceptional, but if you talk to him for fifteen minutes you can tell he's not completely there. He's a sweet guy and a hard worker and I don't want him to get hurt.
It's basically coffee but with a mild high. Hell, I'd recommend you try it yourself.

It's completely harmless if you get it from serious vendors and it makes my job go by easier, but I only take it for a few weeks per year due to the tolerance. I use it for both back pain and for the added energy, so I'll either go with Red (good against pain) or white (basically coffee but with a better effect and without the jitters). There is also Green which is good against depression and anxiety.

That being said, if he is addict material then that would be different because some loons go completely nuts and up the dosage to insane amounts. Also, it's completely verboten to mix kratom with opiates, because that will straight up kill you. Not sure how kratom manages to kill anyone on its own though if you OD you vomit and feel sick for a few hours.

But it's not really all that addictive for us normal people. If he dealt with regular meds properly then he'll be just fine. It's not like you get some powerful high from it.

Also for those complaining about the taste, make tea.
Either just use it as the tea and add some sugar, or add it (preferably in a coffee filter) and a regular tea bag, let sit for five minutes and then add some sugar. It makes it quite tasty, to be honest.
 

Cryin RN

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It is definitely physically and mentally addictive (especially for those with history of physical opiate dependence) and long-term users usually have to taper off or face moderate withdrawal effects (severe anxiety, insomnia, etc.)
Yeah. Even baby's first opiate, Tramadol, can lead to serious addictive consequences when it's taken unmonitored and unregulated. I am seriously skeptical of any "over-the-counter" "self-medicated" opiate users. Hiding usage from actual physicians is a huge red flag, especially if they're claiming to have actual mechanical pain that could be treated with other drug modalities. Kratom might "not be that bad" and "isn't that addictive" but literally every opiate ever marketed had that exact same tag line and look at Seattle now. We shouldn't have believed that to be true for Oxycodone and we shouldn't believe it's true for kratom.

Anyone using off-label opiates is at risk for escalation. Someone who depends on Kratom, every day, to get through their pain will find their usual doses stop working as well and will need more opiates - this is just how opiates work, the body gets resistant to them over time. While your guy might be fine and might never step up to pills or needles when his tea stops working... it's going to, eventually.
 

mx. yuk

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Even baby's first opiate, Tramadol, can lead to serious addictive consequences when it's taken unmonitored and unregulated.

Jesus, get it together Nigeria, tramadol?? No one there has a Chinese investor buddy with a fentanyl connect back home?

Anyway I don't disagree with what you're saying in principle but I will note that kratom is evidently a partial agonist of the opioid receptors, like buprenorphine and tramadol, whereas most of the gnarly opiates like heroin and oxycodone are full agonists. My understanding is that you're more likely to develop an insane tolerance to the latter. Partial agonists have a plateau effect, which, in conjunction with the fact that having to imbibe a huge kratom habit is a bit like gargling kitty litter all day long, reduces the likelihood of serious escalation.
 

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