Learn More About Kratom’s Alkaloid Content
As a Kratom user who has benefited from using the product, you might wonder how it works. If you figure out how and why a product works, it can become more transparent, and you may figure out the best way to use it. Regarding Kratom's active compounds, which make it effective for many users, alkaloids are the main contributing factor. They are the natural phytochemicals providing the special effects of the herb and associated products.
What are alkaloids?
All living things on earth consist of chemical compounds. In plants, plant chemicals or phytochemicals are responsible for their traits and structure. Alkaloids are a class of these plant chemicals prominent in various plants like Kratom, poppy, and coffee. Intense physiological effects can occur when an alkaloid is ingested. You may feel the effects of alkaloids even if you take them in small amounts.
The effects can fluctuate based on the kind of phytonutrients you take and their concentration levels. You can experience mood-elevating, pain-relieving, or anti-inflammatory effects in certain cases. Caffeine is a common alkaloid found in tea and coffee, and people have used it for centuries to stimulate the mind and body. Morphine is another well-known alkaloid mainly found in poppies, and it offers pain-relieving and sedating effects. Evidence also shows that some animals have alkaloids.
Alkaloids in Kratom
Kratom's alkaloids cause various physiological effects. Yet, Kratom vendors shy off from speaking openly about the effects. The effects change based on the amount of Kratom a person takes. Mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine are the two main alkaloids in Kratom. They are the ones that cause Mitragyna speciosa's effects. The main alkaloids act selectively on the opioid receptors in the brain. Kratom also contains 26 more alkaloids. Yet, the effects of these two alkaloids are more significant.
Mitragynine makes up most of the alkaloids found in Kratom, at 66%. Certain factors affect the concentration numbers, like harvesting time and kind of strain. Mitragynine occurs in higher amounts in green and white-veined Kratom strains and in lower amounts in strains that grow in Malaysia. This alkaloid also has a higher half-life and can be present in the body for up to one a week after use.
Unlike Mitragynine, 7-hydroxymitragine makes up a much lower amount of the present active compounds at 2%. Yet, this concentration changes because of several factors. For instance, its concentration is higher in red-veined Kratom strains. The highest concentration of this alkaloid is found in the red Maeng-da strain. It has a lower half-life than other alkaloids and leaves the body much quicker.
As the Mitragyna speciosa plant matures, the concentration of the two alkaloids shifts. That's the reason why different Kratom strains are available. Farmers opt to harvest a plant at a cerin time to control the alkaloid concentrations better, controlling the potential therapeutic effects.
How do alkaloids form?
Many alkaloids form when plant tissues are young and growing actively. Environmental stresses and changes affect immature tissues more than the older plant tissues. Many factors influence the alkaloids a plant produces and how much of a specific alkaloid it produces at a time.
Alkaloids are linked to certain gene pathways, and external influences on the pathways may affect production. Temperature, soil content, and light can affect how plants produce alkaloids. Researchers do not know exactly how every alkaloid in Mitragyna speciosa is produced. They know that they come from interactions of several different biological pathways. The pathways are similar, but they affect various plant species differently. A mineral that raises the alkaloid content in a particular plant in a specific pathway can cause the opposite effect in a similar pathway in a different plant. Some general environmental characteristics affect alkaloid content in various ways.
Other Kratom alkaloids
Researchers estimate that Kratom has 26 other alkaloids. However, they have not researched much about them. Two of the alkaloids present at over 1% of the total alkaloid makeup are:
- Paynanthein at 8-9%
- Specigoynine at 6-7%
The other twenty-four alkaloids present at less than 1% are:
- Corynoxine A and B
- Ciliaphylline speciosa
- Mitragynine oxindoles A and B
- Ajmalicine (Raubasine)
Why alkaloid content matters
The batch is more potent when Kratom's total alkaloid content is high. Therefore, alkaloid content affects Kratom's quality. Improving the herb's alkaloid levels results in a higher quality Kratom leaf. A higher alkaloid content enables users to get the same effect from smaller doses, stretching their supply further.
Factors that affect alkaloid content in Kratom
High-quality Kratom means abundant alkaloids. Farmers can enhance the alkaloid content of their crops in various ways. Several factors affect the total alkaloid yield. They include:
- Soil conditions- Minerals like potassium, phosphorous, calcium, and nitrogen in the soil affect alkaloid content. Nitrogen particularly appears to boost alkaloid content.
- Soil components – The kind of bacteria in the soil can affect the number of alkaloids a plant produces. Some types of bacteria stimulate plants to produce more alkaloids. The bacteria also usually make the plants bigger and assist them in creating more extensive root systems. The alkaloids' concentration in plants also increases if the soil they are growing in has high salt content. Yet, this can create mixed results since the salty soil stresses plants. Plants do not produce that well in saline soil, and the salt impacts young tissues negatively.
- Sunlight – Increased sunlight tends to increase the alkaloid content in many plants. The sunlight a plant needs to produce the highest number of alkaloids is based on the plant and growing conditions. In the laboratory, plants that received constant sunlight for twelve hours followed by twelve hours of darkness achieved the largest increase in alkaloids. Yet, this might not be the case with Kratom. Only minimal sunlight is likely to affect Kratom plants negatively during the growing process.
- Temperature – Every plant requires different temperature ranges to grow well. Kratom does well in the high temperatures of its native Southeast Asia. Its alkaloid content responds positively to heat. The concentration of carbon dioxide in the air also affects alkaloid production. Research suggests that when carbon dioxide in the air increases, it causes an increase in air temperature, leading to a change in alkaloid content.
- The age of the crop- Alkaloids are mainly created in actively-growing, young plant tissues. The overall alkaloid content is lower when people allow plants to mature for too long.
- Precipitation – Generally, plants do not do well when there is too much water in the soil. Similarly, too much water can negatively affect alkaloid content. Direct rainfall may wash developing alkaloids from the plant.
As these factors show, it is possible to manipulate alkaloid content in Mitragyna speciosa based on how people cultivate it. However, they need to be careful when manipulating alkaloid content. One must understand how the manipulation process can affect Kratom and the potential consumer. Kratom grows excellently without interventions, and natural conditions are best.
Strains containing the highest number of alkaloids
The process of maximizing the alkaloids in Mitragyna speciosa is tricky. However, if handled well, it creates a diverse and rich array of strains, each having subtly unique alkaloid profiles. The stains with the highest alkaloid content include:
- Maeng Da Kratom – It has a high alkaloid concentration no matter the strain color you select.
- White vein Kratom – It contains the highest proportion of mitragynine, believed to cause Kratom's energizing effects.
- Red vein Kratom – It has the highest amount of 7-hydroxymitragynine, accounting for Kratom's more sedative and relaxing effects.
- Green vein Kratom – It strikes a middle ground of 7-hydroxymitragynine and mitragynine, with more balance levels of each alkaloid.
Yet, despite the strain you choose, you can be sure of getting a high-quality crop with high alkaloid content when you buy the products at Austin Vibes. We only work with experienced farmers, test every batch rigorously for potency and purity, and sell the highest quality batches. Our extracts, powders, and capsules will all be useful in delivering high doses of these alkaloids.