Kratom––the ground leaves of the mitragyna speciosa plant––has found its way into the lives of hundreds of Americans across the nation. However, despite the plant’s surging popularity, researchers are struggling to keep up.
Kratom’s arrival within the United States may seem like a recent phenomenon, but in actuality, mitragyna speciosa has firm roots in the history of the world. In its Southeast Asian regions of origin, the plant has been used by indigenous populaces for hundreds of years.
Unfortunately, in the western world, a lack of foundational kratom research has created a landscape where there are perhaps more questions than answers. Some authority figures have denounced kratom, while others hold the plant in high regard.
Regardless of what stance you take, one thing is clear. Without more time dedicated to careful research, mitragyna speciosa will likely remain misunderstood and misrepresented.
The Keys To Unlocking Kratom’s Full Potential
Kratom contains a dozen or more “alkaloids” that are thought to be responsible for its psychoactive properties. However, two of its primary alkaloids––mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine––are of particular interest to researchers.
Mitragynine, which appears to account for 60% of kratom’s alkaloid makeup, is generally the prime focus of most research. Even though kratom contains numerous alkaloids, scientists estimate that mitragynine holds the most therapeutic value.
Both components of kratom are still heavily under-researched, and until factually-founded science paves the way, the best applications of these two enigmatic alkaloids remain unclear.
Currently, kratom isn’t strictly regulated within the United States. However, if more kratom research and kratom studies are conducted with health and safety in mind, stricter product standards and regulations for kratom could be introduced––leading to an improved customer experience!
No Two Leaves Are Exactly Alike
The task of conducting thorough kratom research grows even more complicated when you examine the plant’s sizeable variety.
Numerous combinations of kratom strains and vein colors exist, and few kratom studies seem to account for the differences between them. However, despite researchers glossing over these details, kratom users routinely point to the distinctive characteristics of their favorite strains.
Some users are partial to green-veined kratom strains, while others favor red or white strains. With less ubiquitous kratom varieties, the spectrum of choice only broadens further. Rare and often coveted strains such as bentuangie undergo a unique fermentation process, and yellow and gold strains spend additional “curing” time in the sun.
If scientists conduct more kratom research, they may be able to demystify the stark contrast between kratom strains and colors, and potentially shed light on the benefits of each.
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