Kratom, a tropical tree native to Southeast Asia, has been gaining attention for its potential therapeutic uses. While the leaves of the Kratom tree are often consumed in various forms, kratom extracts have become a focal point for those interested in the plant’s properties. This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of kratom extracts, focusing on what you need to know.
What Are Kratom Extracts?
Kratom extracts are concentrated forms of the active compounds found in kratom leaves, primarily mitragynine and 7-OH-mitragynine. These extracts are more potent than the leaves and are often used for
medicinal and therapeutic purposes.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there is much that is not yet scientifically understood about kratom. While animal studies have been conducted using kratom extracts, there are few well-designed scientific studies where kratom was administered to humans.
Research on Safety Issues
- Opioid-Related Effects: The chemical compounds in kratom may produce classic opioid-related effects such as sedation and nausea.
- Abuse Potential: Epidemiological data suggests that some individuals may develop substance use disorder following kratom use. However, a well-designed human abuse potential study has not yet been conducted.
Research on Therapeutic Uses
The FDA recognizes the need to develop therapies for patients with unmet medical needs and supports research on the effects of kratom, mitragynine, or 7-OH-mitragynine in humans.
How Are Kratom Extracts Made?
- Harvesting: Fresh kratom leaves are harvested from the tree.
- Drying: The leaves are dried to reduce moisture content.
- Grinding: Dried leaves are ground into a fine powder.
- Extraction: Solvents like ethanol or water are used to extract the active compounds.
- Evaporation: The solvent is evaporated, leaving behind the concentrated extract.
Forms of Kratom Extracts
- Liquid Extracts: Easily absorbed but less stable.
- Powdered Extracts: More stable and easier to store.
- Resin: Highly concentrated and long-lasting.
Kratom extracts offer a concentrated form of the plant’s active compounds, making them a subject of interest for both scientific research and potential therapeutic uses. However, it’s crucial to approach kratom extracts with an informed perspective, understanding both the potential benefits and the need for further research.