Journal Club #9: Speciofoline, the Understudied Alkaloid

Journal Club with Dr. Jonathan Cachat
Journal Club with Dr. Jonathan Cachat
Journal Club #9: Speciofoline, the Understudied Alkaloid

A study on kratom’s chemical composition asks, what does the little-researched kratom alkaloid speciofoline do? And what are the implications for drug interactions and the differences in alkaloid content in kratom products?

The brand new study published last week in Scientific Reports examined the chemical composition of 53 kratom products and divided them into two categories: high-speciofoline and low-speciofoline. As in previous studies, the researchers found kratom may be a safer treatment alternative than classical opioids because of how it acts on the mu-opioid receptor, but can kratom create risks for drug interactions if it slows liver metabolism of other drugs? The study of the alkaloid speciofoline may bring us closer to understanding why different kratom products have slightly differing effects. Does the color code of kratom product varieties — red (for bed), white (for flight), and green (in between) — hold water?

Study discussed in this episode: Todd DA, Kellogg JJ, Wallace ED, Khin M, Flores-Bocanegra L, Tanna RS, McIntosh S, Raja HA, Graf TN, Hemby SE, Paine MF, Oberlies NH, Cech NB. Chemical composition and biological effects of kratom (Mitragyna speciosa): In vitro studies with implications for efficacy and drug interactions.Scientific Reports.2020 Nov 5;10(1):19158. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-76119-w. PMID: 33154449.

Full text of study

Dr. Jonthan Cachat can be found on Twitter @jcachat and at

Music: Captain Bigwheel “Moonrunner”

Kratom Science Journal Club is produced by Brian Gallagher for

Disclaimer: There is no content on the Kratom Science Podcast nor on that in any way constitutes medical claims or medical advice. You should consult a medical professional for medical advice and we believe this sincerely. Take care.

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