An Idiot Tries to Understand Kratom Science

I am not a kratom scientist. I am just a humble writer, humbly writing on a humble laptop that I bought for $40 from a guy I met at a gas station outside of Tulsa. (Writers are traditionally broke.) I am miles away from the nearest college or lab, or wherever great minds are studying sciencey stuff.

Below I link to a legitimate study from the field of medical science. I will now attempt to understand it.

Ladies and gentlemen. I present to you, An Idiot Trying to Understand Kratom Science:

Note: When quoting this article, there are some terms in bold followed by [brackets] that give the definition of the term. There are also terms with links attached to articles explaining what that term is. Those are all added by me and not the original study. I had to look these words up. I am an idiot. I also left in the references of the original article with attached links.


Article by smart people: “Mitragynine Attenuates Withdrawal Syndrome in Morphine-Withdrawn Zebrafish”


Journal: PLOS One

Date: 2011 Dec 21

In the field of science, there’s a job getting fish high. Isn’t being a fish already like being high all the time? I have no idea. I’ve been snorkeling a few times and it was quite trippy.

In this study, by four scientists from the Malaysian Institute of Pharmaceuticals and Nutraceuticals, a group of zebrafish were given morphine, sold to them by a drug dealing seahorse (actually the fish were “gently netted” into the morphine water for short intervals of time). Then the Fish DEA went in and confiscated the morphine (another lie, there’s no such thing as Fish DEA. Only human beings are insane enough to invent such a thing).

Some of the junk-addicted zebrafish were showing reduced withdrawal effects after having been dosed with mitragynine, one of the active ingredients in kratom.

I bet some of you are wondering what a zebrafish looks like. Here is a picture of a zebrafish.

The report states:

“Interestingly, the application of mitragynine significantly reduced the anxiety effects in morphine-withdrawn zebrafish,”

I respect any scientist who can tell an anxious fish from a calm one. All fish seem rather anxious to me, especially the ones who live in close proximity to larger fish, and bitey things like sharks. Whales seem laid back because they’re the largest. But of course they aren’t fish. They are mammals. I at least know that much about biology or whatever it is. Sharks don’t seem mellow at all. I’m probably just prejudiced against their teeth.

Thanks, idiot. Back to you, science:

“ with several behaviors such as time in top of tank, latency to top and freezing duration being restored to levels before the onset of withdrawal treatment. These results parallel the known ability of M. speciosa [kratom] in diminishing withdrawal symptoms [10]. Results from acute exposure of mitragynine alone seemed to indicate a mild change in swimming behavior effect. Elsewhere, it was reported that acute treatment of zebrafish with a range of M. speciosa leaf extract concentration resulted in mild sedative effect without any clear anxiolytic [anxiety reducing] effect [39].”

“In conclusion, we showed here the capacity of mitragynine to diminish stressful swimming behaviors and cortisol production in morphine-withdrawn zebrafish.”

So now here’s my question.. Are the effects on zebrafish similar to the effects on human beings?

“The zebrafish is gaining reputation as an advantageous model for elucidating the neurobiology of drug addiction and withdrawal [17]. Phenotypically [phenotype is the observable characteristics of an organism], zebrafish show robust place preference behavior when exposed to morphine [18], [19]. The potential of zebrafish was further validated by evidence showing addiction-induced dopaminergic projections in the zebrafish forebrain analogous to the mammalian mesolimbic system [reward pathway] [20]. Withdrawal from psychotropic drugs such as morphine, diazepam and caffeine also evoked a series of anxiogenic [anxiety-producing] behaviors and stress-related endocrine [hormonal] response in zebrafish [17]. The influence of sex differences on withdrawal syndrome in zebrafish also parallels findings in rodents and human [21].”

So my understanding of what they just said is, yes, we can learn about human opiate addiction and how kratom helps to mitigate withdrawal symptoms through studying stoned zebrafish.


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