5 myths and facts about using kratom powder 

Kratom powder is a natural supplement to the leaves of the Mitragyna speciosa tree native to Southeast Asia, kratom contains alkaloids psychotropic and stimulant effects while kratom powder provides some benefits, myths and misconceptions about using it. While kratom binds to the same receptor sites in the brain as opiates, it is opiate itself. Opiates, like morphine and heroin, are derived from the opium poppy plant. The kratom plant has a distinct chemical structure. Small doses of kratom produce mild stimulant effects, while larger sedative effects. 

But kratom a dangerous respiratory depression like opiates, and deaths solely attributable to kratom are rare. More research is still needed, but current evidence suggests kratom is as addictive or harmful as classic opiates. The media reports have labelled kratom as a “legal high” that people use to get euphoric effects. In truth, kratom is to cause intense euphoria like drugs such as opioids or cannabis. At moderate doses, kratom tends to produce mild stimulant effects and feelings of well-being, similar to caffeine. The active alkaloids in kratom act as μ-opioid receptor agonists, the same receptors as opioids.

Taking kratom powder is deadly 

Despite sensational media stories, there are no confirmed reports of anyone dying solely from taking kratom powder or capsules. Deaths involving kratom often include the presence of other drugs, making it impossible to determine that kratom was the sole cause. There were 11 reported deaths associated with kratom, but all involved multiple drugs.  However, driving or operating machinery after taking high doses of kratom is not advised.

Kratom causes psychotic episodes

There are a few rare case reports of kratom use being associated with psychosis, delusions, or hallucinations. However, these cases often involved pre-existing mental health disorders or combining kratom with illicit drugs. A 2019 review found no evidence that kratom causes psychosis, suicidal ideation, or violent behaviour when used with drugs present. The kratom effects on mental health are so caution is recommended. However current data indicate using pure kratom powder causes psychosis or suicidal/violent tendencies in otherwise healthy individuals.

Kratom is just a “legal high” with no benefits

 In Southeast Asia, kratom has been used for centuries as a traditional medicine to boost energy, relieve pain, and elevate mood. Current research on kratom is still emerging, but indicates that it may have some beneficial properties:

  1. Pain relief – Its primary traditional use, kratom shows promising analgesic effects for both acute and chronic pain. Its painkilling power may be comparable to over-the-counter analgesics.
  2. Mood elevation – Many report kratom lightly improving mood and evoking feelings of well-being, similar to caffeine. For those dealing with depression or anxiety, kratom may provide a natural lift without sedation. 
  3. Increased focus – In low-to-moderate doses, many find the effects of kratom powder are mildly stimulating and can enhance alertness, attention span, and motivation to work.
  4. Relief of withdrawal symptoms – For those going through withdrawal from drugs like opioids, kratom can help manage symptoms and make withdrawal more tolerable.
  5. Reduced anxiety – Kratom is thought to have anxiolytic effects, meaning it may lessen symptoms of anxiety, stress, and depression for some people.


Dr. David K Simson
The author, Dr. David K Simson is a trained radiation oncologist specializing in advanced radiation techniques such as intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT), volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) / Rapid Arc, stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT), stereotactic radiotherapy (SRT), stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). He is also experienced in interstitial, intracavitary, and intraluminal brachytherapy.