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The Kratom Side Effects That Users Can Expect

Side Effects of Kratom

Kratom is an herbal extract that comes from a tree native to Southeast Asia (Mitragyna speciosa) and causes mind-altering side effects. It’s often sold as a supplement that can treat muscle pain, suppress appetite, stop cramps, and stop diarrhea. However, while kratom is sold in smaller doses as a supplement, many people purchase larger amounts off the internet. It’s known by many names, including biak, ketum, kakuam, ithang, and thom. The kratom side effects are not well known because it’s a newer drug that’s slowly grown in the illegal drug market. Banyan Treatment Centers Boca is here to shed light on this often misunderstood substance.

How Does Kratom Work?

Kratom works similarly to opioids and stimulants in that two of its compounds, mitragynine and 7-α-hydroxymitragynine, attach themselves to opioid receptors in the brain, causing feelings of pleasure, feelings of euphoria, and pain relief. However, the side effects of kratom take it a step further. As a psychotropic drug, it also produces mind-altering symptoms in addition to increased feelings of alertness and energy. Similar to bath salts, kratom is a green powder that’s delivered or sold in small packages often labeled “not for human consumption” or “cleaning products.” It can also be sold in the form of gum or extract. People may chew kratom leaves, brew them, or dissolve the powder into a liquid.

What Are the Side Effects of Kratom?

The physical side effects of kratom may vary in intensity depending on the dose ingested and how often the individual takes it. Because it’s addictive, daily kratom use can eventually lead to mental and physical dependence. Kratom is another highly dangerous drug that contains a variety of harmful chemicals, many of which are often unknown to the user.

There are several negative side effects of kratom, including:

  • Numbness in the mouth or tongue
  • Dry mouth 
  • Excessive weight loss
  • Muscle pains
  • Chills
  • Drowsiness
  • Depression
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Aggression
  • Thyroid issues
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Breathing problems
  • Seizures
  • Liver damage and/or failure

As the dose of the drug increases, so do its side effects. The most severe side effects are seizures, coma, and death. Like other addictive drugs, abusing kratom for a long period of time can lead to mental and physical dependence. Without professional help, a person with a kratom addiction may struggle to stop using it on their own, increasing their risk of overdose, coma, and death.

Does Kratom Lower Testosterone?

Although there has been some discussion on how kratom affects testosterone levels, it's crucial to remember that there hasn't been much and frequently no solid scientific research done on the subject. High amounts of kratom may potentially lower testosterone levels, according to certain anecdotal reports and animal studies. The main basis for this conjecture is the discovery that kratom includes alkaloids, which have the ability to influence the body's hormonal pathways.

To be clear, there is not enough information to draw definitive conclusions, and more extensive human research is needed. Numerous factors, including dosage, duration of use, and individual variations, may affect any potential hormonal effects. In addition, other lifestyle and health factors like diet, exercise, and pre-existing medical conditions might affect testosterone levels.

It is highly recommended that anyone considering kratom use or concerned about potential effects on testosterone consult a medical professional. A medical professional may provide customized guidance based on the patient's circumstances and medical background. It's also essential to use caution and educate yourself about the benefits and drawbacks of utilizing any kind of drug, including herbal supplements like kratom.

How Long Do Kratom Effects Last?

Depending on a number of variables, including dosage, individual physiology, and the strain or kind of kratom ingested, the length of kratom side effects can differ significantly. The first benefits of kratom, such as euphoria, improved energy, and pain alleviation, usually manifest 15 to 30 minutes after use and can persist for up to 5 hours.

However, some users have complained about persistent negative effects of kratom, especially at higher doses. Lethargy, nausea, or a "hangover" are a few examples of these, and they can last for several hours or even the next day. It's important to remember that these negative kratom effects might differ from person to person and are typically more noticeable with higher or more regular dosages.

It's also critical to understand that excessive and prolonged kratom use can result in tolerance development, dependency, and possibly withdrawal symptoms upon cessation of use. This emphasizes how crucial it is to use kratom responsibly and ideally under a doctor's supervision. It is advisable to get medical help right away if the negative side effects of kratom are severe or persistent.

Misusing substances like kratom can sometimes be indicative of underlying mental health issues. It may serve as a coping mechanism for individuals struggling with conditions such as depression, anxiety, or trauma. The misuse can temporarily alleviate emotional pain, creating a cycle of reliance. Recognizing this connection is crucial, as it highlights the need for comprehensive care that addresses both the substance misuse and the underlying mental health concerns. Facilities like Banyan Boca Mental Health specialize in providing integrated treatment, offering a range of therapy programs and support systems to help individuals regain control of their lives. Through professional guidance and evidence-based interventions, individuals can work towards recovery, building a foundation for long-lasting well-being and mental health stability.

At our Boca Raton mental health facilities, we are dedicated to helping people regain control of the disorders they live with. If you or someone you know is struggling, call us now at 888-280-4763 to learn more about our Florida rehabs and levels of care.


  1. NIH – Kratom DrugFacts
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.