How Kratom Works As a Powerful Painkiller

Kratom literally has its roots in Southeast Asia. The powder is a product of the crushed leaves of a large tropical tree that goes by the same name; a tree that grows naturally in the old rainforests of Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

Kratom region

Traditionally, farmers and laborers in these countries used to chew the leaves of the Kratom tree to fight fatigue after long hours of work. Research on Kratom also shows that the plant’s leaves have for hundreds of years been used to treat muscle pain, enhance productivity, and to treat cough and diarrhea.

However, not many people in the Western world knew of the plant or its therapeutic benefits until the early 1900s when colonists moved to occupy parts of Southeast Asia. The abundance of anecdotal evidence on the benefits of Kratom resulted in multiple studies being commissioned by the colonists and their home governments to look into the plant and its potential to be turned into a pharmaceutical medicine. Results from these studies were very promising. They helped the rest of the world to understand the plant and what it is made of and how it works.

So what really is Kratom?

As explained above, Kratom is a powder from a tree known by the same name. However, the active chemical compounds in it that enable it to deliver therapeutic benefits are known as alkaloids. The leaves of the tree contain the highest concentrations of the alkaloids. There are two major alkaloids – mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine.

These alkaloids multiple studies have shown that these alkaloids are responsible for the pain-killing effects of the plant and all the other therapeutic benefits related to the plant.

Kratom’s mechanism of action for pain relief

The main alkaloid of the two alkaloids found in the plant is mitragynine. It makes up about 1.2 percent to 2 percent of the Kratom powder depending on the strain. Less potent strains have lower concentrations, while the more potent strains from older trees have higher concentrations.

Mitragynine is believed to be the alkaloid responsible for the analgesic (pain-killing) property of the natural medicine. The alkaloid is also believed to be the main mind-altering constituent of Kratom. It works as an opioid agonist, which means that it has an affinity for the brain’s opioid receptors.

Brain regions affected

Specifically, mitragynine works by binding to and activating the brain’s delta- and mu- opioid receptors. The activation of these receptors brings about spinal and supra-spinal analgesia (pain relief), euphoria, sedation, and several other effects.

It is the binding to the specific receptors that brings about pain relief.

To understand just how important the interaction of mitragynine with the receptors is, think of it this way; morphine (the emergency painkiller) interacts with the same receptors in the same way to kill acute pain.

7-hydroxymitragynine has the same kind of pain-killing effects as mitragynine. In fact, studies indicate that the two alkaloids work synergistically to produce optimum pain relief.

Kratom administration and dosing information

Most individuals who consume a high enough dose of Kratom (about 1 mg to 5mg) will experience pain alleviation within 30 minutes. The herb is often sold in a powder form. Most people who buy it in this form usually prepare it and consume it as a tea.

Kratom tea

The dose required for pain relief will depend on the quality and strain of Kratom to be used, the severity of the pain, and the body weight of the individual who is supposed to take the drug. Since there is no medical professional who will have a look at these things to prescribe the right dose of Kratom for you, getting the right dose for total pain relief is a matter of experimentation. The key to it is to start with the lowest dose (about 1 gram) and then to gradually increase the dose by about one gram but not to exceed the 5 gram limit for any particular strain. The gradual increase should be done after at least 24 hours. Doses higher than 5 grams are thought to cause opioid effects similar to those associated with morphine and heroin.

What other benefits apart from pain relief does Kratom bring?

Kratom can trigger the sense of euphoria; the feel-good feeling associated with taking drugs. This means it can be addictive to some. However, the addictive effects have only been found to be prominent in those who take high doses (between 5 grams and 15 grams) frequently.

Apart from providing pain relief and triggering euphoria, Kratom can also enhance mood, stimulate the mind, provide mental stimulation, encourage relaxation, and boost energy. Of these effects, the biggest one is the fact that Kratom can combat depression through mood improvement.

Kratom’s alkaloids are also extremely effective as anti-inflammatories and as muscle relaxers. This means that they can be utilized to ease muscle tension and to do away with muscle inflammation. This, in turn, means that taking Kratom as a tea daily can enable you to recover faster from exercise and can generally improve your state of physical and mental health.

Best Kratom Brands for pain

The top five Kratom brands for pain are:

  • Coastline
  • Gaia Ethnobotanicals
  • Canadian Express
  • Kratora
  • Original Harvest

For more information about these brands and what makes them the best for Canadians, please check out our homepage.

The best strains for pain

Although the information on our homepage specifically lists the actual brands and products that are perfect for combating acute pain, generally, the following strains normally do the trick:

  • Yellow Indo
  • Kali Super Green
  • Red Maeng Da
  • White Bali
  • Classic Red Bali


Mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine are the two powerful compounds in Kratom that enable the powder to cause pain relief. They work by interacting with Delta and Mu opioid receptors in the brain. Apart from providing pain relief, the herb can also reduce anxiety, improve mood, improve general well-being, boost energy, increase productivity, and enhance concentration. Check out our homepage for the best Kratom brands and strains for pain-relief.

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