In a past article on SEASR we discussed Bali Kratom, which is the strongest Kratom strain. In this article we dive deeper into the science behind Kratom’s effects, via investigating the pharmacology of Mitragynine, which is Kratom’s primary alkaloid.
First off, Mitragynine is by far the most abundant alkaloid in Kratom and often accounts for up to 66% of the total alkaloids in Kratom. To be clear though, even in the most potent Kratom leaf the Mitragynine concentration is usually no more than 1.6%.
Mitragynine’s primary effects are mediated via the opioid receptors. Unlike synthetic opioids and opiates which are full agonists at all three opioid receptors, Mitragynine is only a partial agonist at the mu-opioid receptor and an antagonist at the delta and kappa opioid receptors.
This pharmacological difference actually has a lot to do with why Kratom is so safe. It has long been theorized that a mixed mu-opioid agonist/delta-opioid antagonist could provide the beneficial properties of opioids, such as pain relief and a mood lift, while not causing significant physiological addiction. All of that being said, far more research needs to be done on this subject before the scientific community will be able to fully understand it.
Beyond the opioid receptors, Mitragynine also interacts with the dopamine D2 receptor, adenosine, seretonin, and alpha-2 adrenergic receptors, and far more research needs to be done on this subject in order to understand how Kratom’s interactions with these receptors influences Kratom’s effects.
The metabolism of Mitragynine is also quite notable. Scientific studies have proven that it mostly breaks down into 7-hydroxymitragynine, a closely related molecule that has opioid effects which are an order of magnitude stronger. Therefore, it could be said that most of Kratom’s opioid effects are actually due to 7-hydroxymitragynine, via the metabolism of Mitragynine into 7-hydroxymitragynine.
Thus, Mitragynine is an incredibly interesting molecule which interacts with a diverse array of receptors, and far more research needs to be done to fully understand it and all of it’s benefits. If you are a Kratom researcher you can obtain samples of 45% Mitragynine extract at this link. This is the material that SEASR uses for Kratom research, and it is extremely high quality.