The Pharmacology of Kratom and Its Alkaloids
Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) has gained interest in recent years due to its increased use in Western countries as a natural product consumed for pain relief, mitigation of withdrawal symptoms from opioid and other drug dependences, and for a range of other acute and chronic conditions.
Several of its indole alkaloids have been shown to bind to opioid receptors in a unique manner which led to the ban of kratom and its alkaloids in several countries.
However, the pharmacology explored to date presents with distinct properties to classical opioids such as morphine. In addition, the leaf exerts stimulant at low and sedative, analgesic effects at high doses which to date is poorly explained.
Aside from the primary alkaloid mitragynine, many of the leaf compounds remain pharmacologically unexplored.
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