Using kratom for pain relief – What does science say?

The herbal supplement Kratom has surged in popularity thanks to anecdotal reports and promising early research indicating its potent analgesic properties. Native to Southeast Asia, the leaves of the Mitragyna speciosa tree have been used traditionally for centuries to reduce pain, lift mood, and boost stamina. These psychoactive properties come primarily from several central alkaloids within the kratom leaf – most notably mitragynine and 7-hydroxy mitragynine (7-HMG). This activation differs slightly, relying more heavily on delta and kappa opioid receptors. The net effect is substantial pain relief. Mitragynine displays muscle relaxant, anti-inflammatory, and cough suppressant abilities as well – providing multiple mechanisms to ease suffering.  

Research on pain relief effectiveness

A 2021 double-blind, randomized clinical trial gave purified mitragynine to patients following major surgery and reduced opioid usage by roughly 60% while providing equal analgesia. This demonstrates direct pain treatment potential and opioid-sparing effects. Another 2022 laboratory study revealed oral mitragynine administration lowered pain behaviors in mice by nearly 75%. Furthermore, it raised pain thresholds higher than morphine at equal doses. Potency translates from rodents to humans. 

Beyond acute pain, a third 2022 double-blind human trial demonstrated significant reductions in chronic low back pain intensity and associated functional impairments in construction laborers taking only kratom twice daily. Benefits also extended to improved mood and reduced insomnia. The collective published research continues to document kratom’s pain-killing capacities as extremely robust. Enough to offer a viable complementary or even alternative option to addictive prescription pain medication for many individuals.

Real world results

In addition to formal data, survey collection from within the kratom consumer community reveals profound endorsements of effectiveness as well. A 2022 report surveying over 33,000 -based buyers reported over 90% confirmed kratom treats their pain “effectively” or “very effectively”. Equal levels reported the ability to reduce or eliminate prescription drugs – primarily opioids. While lacking the controls of a formal study, tens of thousands of lived experiences strongly reinforce kratom’s analgesic utility across a diversity of acute and chronic pain conditions. The mechanisms and magnitude match what trials are discovering.

How to maximize analgesic effects?

does kratom get you high? If pursuing kratom for pain relief, you’ll want to optimize your approach to squeeze every bit of benefit from its rich analgesic alkaloids.

  • Strain selection – Red vein kratom varietals (or comparable “slow” strains) tend to possess the highest levels of 7-HMG, which imparts sedating, pain-killing effects. Start here.
  • Extracts – Concentrated kratom extracts further purify the most beneficial pain compounds, providing more relief per equivalent dose than raw powder. But dose carefully!
  • Rotation – Switch between a couple of different red vein strains from dose to dose. It prevents building tolerance to any one varietal.
  • Dosing method – Toss and wash provide the fastest uptake and highest blood levels. Liquids and capsules work too, but absorption is somewhat delayed.
  • Timing – Take kratom proactively 30-45 minutes before pain tends to worsen. It allows levels to peak as symptoms flare.

With rising numbers of pain sufferers facing stricter limits on medication options, the need has never been greater for safer botanical alternatives. Examining modern research makes clear kratom’s substantial pain-killing properties and major upside for tackling both chronic and acute pain scenarios. While individual responses vary, science confirms kratom is well worth consideration for those seeking to relieve their suffering through natural means with minimized risks.