Understanding Kratom Side Effects

Kratom Facts

Understanding Kratom Side Effects

January 14, 2021

There are mixed emotions when it comes to the use of kratom by the masses. Those who are avid users of kratom praise kratom’s benefits, whereas researchers warn of the side effects. Kratom has numerous known side effects. These side effects include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Weight loss 
  • Changes in urine
  • Experiencing constipation
  • Chills
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle pain
  • Liver damage

Physical symptoms are not the only ones that exist, though. Kratom side effects may affect the nervous system or the mind in numerous ways. These include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Breathing suppression
  • Delusions
  • Death

If you are thinking about using kratom or CBD products, you should first consult with your medical provider. As always, use only premium products – only the best CBD products on the market!

Capsules filled with kratom powder, showing one of the various options for consumption.

Kratom Side Effects and the Pharmacology of Alkaloids

Pharmacological research is being conducted regarding kratom and the effects it may have on the mind and body. The indole alkaloids within the plant have been shown to bind with the same receptors as opioids. This binding has led to the ban on kratom in many countries. The research to date exhibits a poor explanation of the sedative and analgesic effects at high doses, leaving the primary alkaloid in kratom (mitragynine) widely unexplored.

What Are Alkaloids?

Alkaloids are a class of naturally occurring organic compounds that contain nitrogen bases. The effects of alkaloids on humans (and animals) are both important physiologically and considered diverse. Even if you haven’t heard of kratom, you have likely heard of these alkaloids – morphine, quinine, strychnine, nicotine, and ephedrine.

The Role of Alkaloids

The research of kratom has been focused on understanding mitragynine and its derivative 7-hydroxymitragynine. Despite centering on the most abundant alkaloids, there have been at least 38 indole alkaloids found in kratom, which may be why kratom side effects present the way they do. Alkaloids create the effects felt by those who use kratom, no matter the form in which they take it.

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How Dosing May Determine Kratom Benefits and Side Effects

There is still a lot to be learned about kratom, including how to dose it to enhance potential benefits and negate side effects. There is no regulation on kratom (by the FDA), which is considered a recreational drug. The leaves of kratom are chewed, drank as a tea, and used in a capsulated form. 

Potential benefits that may exist with the use of kratom include alleviating discomfort from anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, pain, and more. The research is insufficient to support any claim of benefit with kratom. There is a substantial risk that should be considered if taking kratom without approval from a medical professional.

How Dosing Works with Kratom

Much like CBD products, dosing with kratom is a trial-and-error process. To negate the risk of harsh side effects, starting the process gradually is crucial for those who want to try kratom. Most of the mild effects of kratom occur at doses between 2 grams and 6 grams. These effects may manifest themselves through increased alertness and an overall, more pleasant mood. 

The middle ground for kratom dosages falls between 6 grams and 15 grams. As you may suspect, the higher the dose, the more noticeable the effects. At a medium dosage level, users may begin to see an increase of relief from mild discomfort but may cause drowsiness as a result.

Doses of kratom that tip the scale at > 15 grams may cause problems for people who are sensitive to the alkaloid compounds. At these levels, kratom can create substantial sedative effects. High doses of kratom are not for those beginning to experiment with the plant.

To reduce the risk of kratom side effects, it is recommended that users begin with the lowest dose possible. This technique is also the same as beginning a regimen of CBD products.

Other Rare Kratom Side Effects From Long-Term Use

It is imperative to keep in mind that there are numerous calls to the CDC’s poison control centers for kratom overdose every year. It isn’t clear what causes the overdoses or the unsightly side effects of using kratom, but being aware of the potential effects can make for a better experience. The same applies when you want to use CBD products – knowledge is power!


Insomnia is classified as a sleep disorder that is characterized by the inability to fall or stay asleep. Insomnia can be an acute or chronic condition. There has been some evidence that insomnia could be one of the long-term use of kratom side effects. Insomnia can also increase daytime drowsiness. To help combat these side effects, using the right strain of kratom could help.

Nausea Leading to Dehydration or Weight Loss

Much like taking any other medication (prescription and non-prescription), taking it with food may create a different effect than taking it without eating. Because the effects vary, kratom side effects may include nausea. Severe cases of nausea can lead to dehydration or even weight loss. Dehydration can have its own list of severe side effects – monitor how kratom is affecting your body before continuing to a higher dose or long-term use.

Using the Knowledge of Kratom Side Effects 

There are still many unknown properties when it comes to kratom and its effects on the human body. With that in mind, it is important to keep the potential side effects and the causes at the surface. Part of the kratom process is purchasing from a reputable business that knows its source and where it comes from. If you decide you want to try kratom for yourself, acknowledge the potential kratom side effects and speak with a medical provider before beginning any new drug.

Jasmin Weber

Jasmin Weber has been working in the kratom & CBD industry for 3 years with Grassroots Harvest and GRH Kratom. She regularly writes content for both the cannabis and kratom websites of these stores & can also be found featured on related sites around the web.

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