Kratom is an herbal medicine made from the plant Mitragyna speciosa. Kratom is also commonly used as a recreational drug because it produces euphoria and enhanced physical endurance when its leaves are chewed or drank as a tea.
The active chemical in kratom is mitragynine, which acts like an opioid, such as codeine or morphine to alleviate pain. As a result, kratom has a potential for abuse and addiction. It’s also believed that kratom can have blood-thinning effects. But does kratom thin your blood? If so, what does this mean?
What Is a Blood Thinner?
The term “blood thinner” refers to actions that cause the blood to become more fluid or prevent it from thickening or forming blood clots. Blood thinners are usually used to treat heart disease by preventing the thickening of the blood and the formation of blood clots that could clog arteries in the brain, heart, or other organs. How blood thinners work depends on the kind taken. Some blood thinners act by blocking or weakening vitamin K, which has blood clotting effects, while others block proteins or enzymes that bind blood cells and platelets, which would thicken the blood.
Is Kratom a Blood Thinner?
No, kratom does not thin your blood, nor is it a blood thinner, but it can affect your blood pressure, which can affect the fluidity of your blood. Kratom and blood pressure are linked in that kratom can increase blood pressure, thickening the blood, as well as decrease blood pressure, thinning the blood. People with high blood pressure often have to take blood thinners because they’re at a higher risk of experiencing blood clots. But lower blood pressure can reduce the chances of blood clot formations. Oddly enough, kratom can produce both.
Kratom can result in α-2 receptor agonistic effects, meaning that it has the potential to lower your blood pressure. α-2 receptor agonists are drugs that are used to treat high blood pressure.1 However, the effects of kratom on your blood depends on the dose you take. It’s also a matter of your medical history and whether you’re taking other blood thinners. Rule of thumb, stimulating substances usually cause blood vessels to constrict. This causes hypertension, during which your blood vessels tighten, and your heart pumps harder and faster, increasing blood pressure. In small doses, kratom acts as a stimulant.
However, while kratom and high blood pressure are linked, so are kratom and low blood pressure. Because kratom acts as a relaxant and sedative in higher doses, it tends to expand the blood vessels and reduce heart rate, which can lower blood pressure. This has a “thinning” effect on the blood, even though it technically remains the same consistency.
When abused, the effects of kratom on your heart, blood pressure, and other areas of your body can be dangerous. Despite its herbal properties, kratom has a potential for abuse and dependence, and those who have become reliant on its side effects should receive a medically monitored detox to physically recover.
Does Kratom Interact With Blood Pressure Meds?
Kratom can be especially dangerous for people who already take blood pressure medication because of its effect on blood pressure. While our addiction treatment specialists advise against kratom use generally, kratom and blood pressure medications should never be mixed, in particular.
Kratom interacts with blood pressure medications in several ways:
- Antagonistic effect: The stimulating effects of kratom could counteract the benefits of blood thinners by increasing blood pressure, causing thickening of the blood and possible clotting. This can be life-threatening.
- Agonistic effect: Kratom produces a relaxing side effect that lowers blood pressure, contributing to issues with bleeding and bruising.
- Metabolic inhibitor: Kratom alkaloids can interfere with the metabolism of other medications in the liver, which can increase concentrations of the medication.
If you’re still wondering, does kratom thin blood, the answer is no. Even so, it can still cause blood thinning or thickening effects because of its impact on blood pressure.
Although many people don’t believe that kratom is dangerous, this drug is often abused for its stimulant effects in small doses and sedative effects in larger doses. Long-term kratom use can also result in physical dependence, which may lead to withdrawal symptoms when the person stops using it for a few hours or days. Kratom overdose is also a big risk of long-term use. As a Banyan rehab in Gilman, Illinois, we advise against any form of substance abuse.
How Long Does Kratom Stay in Your System?