The Science of Kratom: How Does It Work in the Body?

The Science of Kratom: How Does It Work in the Body?


Kratom, also known as Mitragyna speciosa, is a natural plant native to Southeast Asia that has gained popularity in recent years. People use kratom for various purposes, such as pain relief and relaxation. But how does kratom work in the body? In this article, we’ll explore the science behind kratom’s mechanisms and shed light on its effects.

Kratom Alkaloids

Kratom’s effects can be attributed to its alkaloid content. Alkaloids are naturally occurring compounds found in various plants, and in the case of kratom, two primary alkaloids are responsible for its effects: mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. These alkaloids interact with the body’s systems in unique ways.

  1. Binding to Opioid Receptors

The primary mechanism by which kratom exerts its effects is through its interaction with opioid receptors in the brain. Mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine bind to these receptors, but the binding process is more selective and less potent than that of synthetic opioids. This is why kratom is sometimes used as an alternative for pain relief by those seeking a more natural approach.

  1. Stimulation and Sedation

Kratom’s effects can vary depending on the strain and dosage. Some strains are more stimulating, while others are more sedating. This is due to the interaction of kratom’s alkaloids with different receptor types. Stimulation is often associated with lower doses and the binding of mitragynine to delta receptors, while sedation is linked to the interaction with mu receptors.

  1. Serotonin and Mood Regulation

Kratom also has an impact on the release of serotonin and norepinephrine, which can affect mood and energy levels. Some users report improved mood and reduced anxiety when taking kratom. However, it’s important to note that the effects on mood can vary among individuals.

Safety and Tolerance

It’s crucial to be aware that while kratom’s interaction with opioid receptors can provide pain relief and relaxation, it can also lead to tolerance and dependency if not used responsibly. Over time, some individuals may require higher doses to achieve the same effects, which can potentially lead to adverse consequences. Therefore, it’s essential to use kratom mindfully and in moderation.


Understanding the science of how kratom works in the body is an important aspect of making informed decisions about its use. While kratom has potential benefits, it also carries certain risks, particularly when used irresponsibly. If you choose to use kratom, it’s crucial to be well-informed and exercise caution, as more research is needed to fully comprehend its long-term effects and safety profile. Always consult with a healthcare professional before using kratom, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are taking medications.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *