Reproduced with permission from ILK
During my rotation in the Psychiatry ward, I came across a patient who was on meds for depression for the past five years. I asked him if he was compliant, to which he answered he was. Next, I asked him the reason why he wasn’t getting off meds. He told me he wasn’t observing any improvement. I checked his previous medicine files and surprisingly I saw that he was being given stronger anti-depressants every 6 to 9 months, which have way more side effects than the common anti-depressants like SSRIs and SNRIs.
The side effects had adversely affected his lifestyle and he wanted to hold on to something, to anything that helped him survive the day. This is when he talked to me about observing some improvement recently.
He spoke to me about Kratom and definitely as a doctor I became curious. I looked at research to read about this substance and found articles linking to the efficacy of Kratom in the management of Anxiety, Stress and Depression.
This is a passage of an interview that I took from a doctor while doing my research on this miracle substance. Previously I was of the view that Kratom is taken as a substance of abuse, and this conversation with the doctor was a surprising encounter for me. It made me look at the other side of the picture, making me delve deeper in the literature of Kratom and its use in anxiety, stress and depression.
Below, I’ll explain the best types of Kratom for the management of above-said ailments and how they can be taken and in what dosage.
The content is based on research from blogs, articles, journals and user reviews about Kratom.
So, before we go into the details of the various types of Kratom helpful for the management of anxiety and depression, let’s have a brief glance at the mechanism of action of Kratom, how does it work in these CNS disorders?
The main ingredient of Kratom is Mitragynine that is mainly responsible for the mechanism of action of Kratom. Mitragynine acts on the Opioid receptors in a similar fashion to that of Opiates. It induces the release of certain neurotransmitters that when deficient cause the symptoms of anxiety and depression. These neurotransmitters include serotonin, norepinephrine, epinephrine, melatonin and dopamine.
Deficiency of these neurotransmitters result in low mood, lack of interest in activities that brought pleasure previously, disturbed sleep, disturbed appetite, weight changes. If these symptoms persist for more than 2 weeks, it is labeled depression.
On the other hand, anxiety is a condition in which one is excessively worried and irritable; he feels palpitations, sweating and hyperventilation. Kratom overcomes these conditions by increasing the levels of the above-mentioned neurotransmitters in the plasma. Once their action on the respective receptors increase, the symptoms start improving and the condition of the patient gets better.
Unlike the typical medication prescribed for depression and anxiety, Kratom doesn’t cause headache, weight gain, sexual dysfunction or loss of libido, memory loss etc.
The most notable forms of Kratom used for anxiety, stress and depression include the following;
- Red Bali Kratom – No 1 Kratom For Anxiety
It is grown in Bali and known to enhance mood and help with the generalized body aches that are associated with depression and anxiety. It also has sedative action, thus patients who complain of disturbed sleep can use this too. It has a very notable role in the treatment of anxiety as it causes relaxation of the body and the mind.
- Red MaEng Da Kratom
This is a very strong strain of Kratom and is popular amongst Kratom users for being an energetic strain that prevents low mood, anhedonia and lethargy. It gives relief from stress and pain and helps in improving the quality as well as quantity of sleep. However, one can build tolerance to this strain very quickly so it is recommended to take it in controlled amounts.
- White Vein MaEng Da
It is a high quality Kratom strain that is rich in alkaloids and flavonoids. It is particularly useful in depression as it raises energy levels, improves focus and causes elated mood.
- Green Indo Kratom
It has a high concentration of Mitragyine which is why it is very potent and has high efficacy. It delivers fast effects but has a shorter duration of action and usually this strain is not easily available. It is known to act as an analgesic and as an anxiolytic.
- Green Vein Malay
It has potent sedating effects and causes immense relaxation. It helps in promoting positive thoughts, improving sleep and mood and regulating appetite, most of which are deranged in stress, anxiety and depression.
- Red Vein Thai Kratom
It is said to provide stimulation to overcome lethargy associated with depression. It also helps in regulation of mood and improves energy levels. It promotes positivity and helps one regain happiness.
- Borneo Kratom
This strain of Kratom acts much in a similar fashion to that of Benzodiazepines thus it is very helpful in the treatment of anxiety disorders. It comes in three different varieties i.e. red, green and white. It improves sleep and overcomes insomnia.
In many of the blogs that I read, I came across this question about dosage. Surprisingly, due to lack of research there is no standard dosing regimen. It is however, recommended to start taking the medication at a low dosage and gradually increase the dosage to achieve the desired results.
Usually for anxiety and depression you have to wait for at least two weeks to observe any noticeable improvement, thus it is suggested to wait for two weeks before increasing dose.
Also, if you are taking Kratom extract or tincture you need to take in a very small amount as they are very potent in comparison to Kratom powder.
In an online survey known as Patterns of Kratom use and health impact by Oliver Grundmann (College of Pharmacy, Department of Medicinal Chemistry, University of Florida, USA), we observed that the results stated that Kratom (5 grams) if taken thrice a day is adequate for the management of anxiety and depression symptoms.
Despite the beneficial effects of Kratom for stress, anxiety and depression it is highly recommended to see a Psychiatrist and go for psychotherapy to get rid of the symptoms completely.