What Are Kratom Alkaloids?
Once upon a time, a tropical tree called Mitragyna speciosa used to grow naturally in Southeast Asia. Nobody planted it. The kratom trees popped up naturally. However, that's no longer the case. Today, nearby fertile lands are cultivated by local farmers to plant kratom trees for commercial purposes. And they make lots of money doing such because kratom is now their primary cash crop.
The kratom tree is a member of the coffee family and is popular with coffee lovers worldwide. But even though the chemical compositions within the plant are similar to those found inside a coffee bean, there are molecular structures found inside it that make it a lot different.
Alkaloids of Kratom
While Mitragyna speciosa hosts over 40 different alkaloids, two among them have additional medicinal properties that make it unique. A few other minor alkaloids in kratom are paynantheine, speciogynine, speciociliatine, etc. The two active compounds are:
- Mitragynine – It is a selective agonist. Mitragynine is the inactive form of the compound.
- 7-Hydroxymitragynine – It is an alkaloid acquired from the activation of Mitragynine, and it is the active metabolite that provides the herb with its medicinal properties.
What is an Alkaloid?
Alkaloids are members of a large group of chemicals made by plants containing nitrogen. Many alkaloids have potent pharmacologic effects, such as nicotine, cocaine, caffeine, morphine, strychnine, etc. Alkaloids serve a wide variety of functions. In plants, the exact role has not yet been determined. But alkaloids play an essential role in preventing plants from insects and pesticides.
The Beneficial role of Alkaloids in treating various conditions
Alkaloids have various functions in humans. Alkaloids possess local anesthetic, antimalarial, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, anti-microbial, anti-asthmatic, antiarrhythmic, muscle relaxant, chemotherapeutic, and many other properties beneficial to humans. For example, morphine is a strong narcotic used for relieving pain. Nicotine acts as a stimulant and a natural tranquilizer. Atropine prevents intestinal spasms and as an antidote to many poisons. Caffeine is a stimulant and a natural pesticide.
How Do Kratom Alkaloids work?
Kratom leaf and Mitragynine
The most abundant alkaloid found within the kratom leaf is mitragynine. No matter which strain you look at, mitragynine is always the most predominant alkaloid found in kratom near me.
The medicinal properties of mitragynine are fascinating. Science has proven that this spectacular alkaloid acts as a typical opioid agonist in our bodies. What that means in layman terms is that it provides users with pain-reducing analgesic effects while simultaneously limiting any negative side effects that are typical with opioids found in opium poppies.
Mechanism of action
Mitragynine binds to opioid receptors in the brain and thus, relieves pain. This mechanism of action is believed to be the main reason kratom provides relief in times of depression and anxiety reported by a few kratom users. It is also believed that kratom produces sedative effects. This can also help in relieving anxiety in a few cases.
Kratom Leaves and 7-hydroxy mitragynine
Unlike its chemical compound cousin, mitragynine, the concentration of this alkaloid is very limited in the kratom plant. However, out of the two alkaloids, 7-hydroxy mitragynine is the molecule most users rely on for its analgesic effects to combat pain. The reason is that 7-hydroxy mitragynine produces a psychotropic effect whenever large doses are taken, creating a euphoric feeling in the user.
The mitragynine molecule we discussed earlier turns into 7-hydroxy mitragynine whenever it oxidizes—meaning the sunlight converts mitragynine into a separate chemical compound, i.e., 7-hydroxy mitragynine.
And we witness this phenomenon occurs on a significant scale when farmers place their kratom leaves out to dry during production. This oxidization process also takes place when sunlight hits the leaves while they’re still attached to the branches.
Other minor alkaloids
Other alkaloids found in kratom are paynantheine, speciogynine, and ajmalicine, having excellent muscle relaxing properties. Mitraphyline, acts as an antihypertensive and a diuretic. Isomitraphylline and isoteropodine known for boosting body’s immunity against diseases. Speciophyline is renowned for its anti-leukemic properties. And the list goes on, you can find more information on christopher’s organic botanicals.
It’s fascinating to learn what Mother Nature can accomplish on her own because these alkaloids play an essential role in helping people all across the globe.