Is Kratom Habit Forming?

A specific quality induced by Mitragyna speciosa Kratom’s rather unique mode of action, which apparently only has a partial binding action on μ opioid receptors, as well as on the balance of the plant’s complex chemical makeup- which alleviates opioid addiction symptoms without replacing it with another full fledged addiction.

Yet if Mitragyna speciosa Kratom has even a partial action on opioid receptors, and induces a related pleasurable opiate like euphoria, can Kratom use be potentially addictive ?

Let’s say that, to a certain extent, almost any psychoactive substance can be habit forming, and that Mitragyna speciosa Kratom is no exception. Unlike opiates, however, Mitragyna speciosa Kratom does not produce a strong physical addiction, especially at the doses and regimen of use of conscientious non-traditional users outside of South-East Asia.

Although a small number of people have apparently become dependent on Mitragyna speciosa Kratom (condition which is primarily described on material coming from the Thai studies already discussed, and therefore to be taken with a pinch of salt), one can reasonably say that Kratom is not habit forming when it is used responsibly, with moderation. A statement which is relative to both frequency of use as well as to doses.

We do have some elements on forms of “Kratom addiction”, which come from personal reports of non-traditional users who experimented with regular and high dosage use of Mitragyna speciosa Kratom- which again is clearly not recommended- and then stopped.

This kind of experimentation has already been done, and it is clear that this is neither recommendable nor the best way to enjoy Kratom. The symptoms of such “Kratom withdrawals”, after heavy frequent use were described as unpleasant, and somewhat comparable to a miniature / mild opiate ( such as codeine) withdrawal, with much less craving or physical problems, yet still quite unpleasant.

Through heavy and regular use of Mitragyna speciosa Kratom, a form of stabilized tolerance can easily be built, implying that one needs to use more Kratom to feel its positive effects. Yet there does not seem to be any physical craving for Kratom, or for any of its active alkaloids, much unlike opiates.

After prolonged and intense daily use of Mitragyna speciosa Kratom for a year, some minor physical “withdrawals” symptoms will be felt upon stopping to use. Yet they are nowhere in the same league as opiates or opioids, such as heroin or methadone.

These mild Kratom “withdrawal” symptoms are also non systematic, not necessarily appearing, and last four to five days when they do. Some people have also mentioned mild depression following cessation of these physical symptoms.

The most significant Kratom “withdrawal” symptom, following a brutal cessation of heavy regular use, is probably a generalized, severe and overwhelming fatigue, which can get very intense, along with a form of contrasting inner agitation and restlessness (akathisia).

This is a very disagreeable state, especially due to the combination with fatigue, for one feels that it is unpleasant to sit still, while at the same time feeling too tired and lacking of energy to move around. This state generally lasts around 4 days.

During these 4 days, some short-lasting, minor symptoms have been reported, such as chills, runny eyes and nose, diarrhea, fatigue, aggression, and slight muscle pains- but nothing comparable to the strength of opiates withdrawals or the physical degradation mentioned in the studies already discussed… At the end of these 4 days, a little depression might be felt in some Mitragyna speciosa Kratom users.

As explained in the “Guidelines for a safe and pleasant use of Mitragyna speciosa Kratom” section, it is important to keep Kratom use really recreational, and NOT to get into the habit of using it every day, as a prolonged daily usage could become a form of hard to break habit ( as with coffee or tobacco).

Addiction potential is also most likely to be dose related, for it seems probable that if used in doses high enough for stronger μ receptor crossover, addiction becomes a stronger possibility.

Animal studies (Matsumoto et al.) have demonstrated a Kratom cross-tolerance with morphine, and naloxone precipitated withdrawal from 7-hydroxymitragynine, data which could theoretically be used to demonstrate an addiction potential similar to opiates but again: pure alkaloids (7-hydroxymitragynine, not Mitragyna speciosa Kratom leaf products) were used, and theses results were never confirmed by reports or studies of long term human use…

When experimenting with Mitragyna speciosa Kratom, one should be careful and responsible, and it is a good idea to set up usage guidelines, which one will follow, and to monitor frequency and quantities used.

One should really not use Mitragyna speciosa Kratom more than once a week.
Preferably, one should not use Mitragyna speciosa Kratom more than once or twice a month, in order to make sure that Kratom use stays a real occasional pleasure, and that use does not become problematic in any way.

In other words, Mitragyna speciosa Kratom should be reserved as a special, but OCCASIONAL treat. By using it infrequently, and keeping use within such define guidelines, one will avoid habituation and genuinely get more pleasure from Kratom.

If one should EVER find that it becomes hard to stay within the set usage guidelines or to control one’s use, one should use common sense and stop using Mitragyna speciosa Kratom products immediately, either completely or for a minimum of 3 months.

Read More About Kratom Habits Here

For help quitting Kratom, you can find support HERE

Discuss this article on our fourm

4 thoughts on “Is Kratom Habit Forming?”

  1. I actually agree with this article, with a couple of caveats. Anyone using kratom to manage chronic pain is not going to let that pain build up for a couple of days, let alone a couple of weeks, before taking it, for no other reason than to avoid a possible dependence, and you guys know that already. But beyond that, good article. I think a lot of people at least in the US, are using kratom as substitutes for pain meds they either can’t get, or don’t want, and as with meds, they are taken regularly. Personally, I take it about three or four times a day, which is definitely a lot, but it seems the minimum amount needed to control my scoliosis pain. I personally do not believe I am either addicted to or dependent on kratom, but since I’m using it for pain relief, dependence is possible, it would be like taking aspirin for a headache, or aleeve for a sore back, you’re taking something for the purpose of getting relief, so make of that what you will. Compared to what I took kratom to escape, I’d rather be dependent on a plant which I have a large amount of, than a pill which I can only get through my doctor, and even then, only when I polish her shoes with my tongue on each visit, being sarcastic here

  2. I’m also writing an article on Kratom. You “thoughts” ‘ on whether kratom is habit forming is a stumbling block. Obviously you frame it with “thoughts” rather than a yes or no response. I like your response and guidlines as it relates to ‘recreational use but what if someone needs to take regular daily high doses to relieve intractable pain or for withdrawal — the regular clinical use of kratom?

    What if one is prescribing this to people who have already had problems with substance abuse but have come to a place where they need it clinically. I could see giving them specific warning, and guidelines, to go off kratom at least once every 3 to 5 days. or something like that.

    I’m interested in your thoughts about the clinical application of Kratom.

  3. 68 yr old with severe DDD/ DJD several surgeries and need relief from back pain
    Have been on pain meds for 19 yrs. Using maeng Da but not much relief. Seller suggested 2 tablespoons but can barely get it down. Just need a right path

  4. Pingback: Is Kratom Legal In Texas | maeng da kratom dosage guide

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