Kratom extract has risen in popularity in recent years as an alternative remedy for pain, anxiety, depression, and more. Extracts promise more potent effects by concentrating the main active ingredients in the kratom plant. But along with increased power comes an increased risk of side effects and dependence. Can using kratom extract alone lead to dependence? How do you make it safer to use?
The leaves of Mitragyna speciosa are powdered to make kratom extract. Plant alkaloids mitragynine and 7-hydroxy mitragynine are isolated by various methods. They produce sedation, euphoria, and pain relief by binding to opioid receptors. By removing the bulk powder and extracting it, 50x or more alkaloids can be obtained.
While supporters argue that higher potency allows smaller doses, experts counter that extracts make determining a safe dosage difficult. The purity of retail extracts varies greatly, making concentrates unpredictable. Taking even slightly too high a dose causes everything from vomiting and dizziness to more dangerous side effects. As tolerance builds, users increase doses seeking the original euphoric and painkilling effects, eventually taking very high yet still ineffective doses. This vicious cycle fuels compulsive use and addiction.
Signs of kratom dependence
According to clinical case reports, consistent and long-term use of pure kratom extract leads to physiological and psychological dependency. Signs of potential dependency through extract use alone include:
- Needing to take extracts just to feel normal
- Spending increasing time/money to maintain extract use
- Using extracts in dangerous scenarios like while driving
- Continuing use despite negative consequences
- Failed attempts to cut back or control usage
If experiencing withdrawal side effects when stopping extract use, users feel forced to start again to regain relief. This loss of control over one’s use constitutes dependence – being unable to function normally without the substance.
Avoiding dependence through safer use
The risks of developing kratom extract dependence highlight why following safer use guidelines matters. Here are some expert tips if choosing to use these potent concentrates:
- Start low, go slow – Begin with the smallest bump/dose to assess strength
- Keep dosing sporadic – Avoid back-to-back daily extract use
- Don’t mix with other substances – Potentiates dependency risks
- Stay hydrated, and fed when using – Can reduce side effects
- Listen for dependency warning signs – Be honest with yourself
- Take regular time off extracting – Assess loss of control
Replacing extract use with plain leaf kratom carries much lower risks and reduces the chances of addiction. The most effective way to avoid dependence is to use extracts only when necessary while monitoring for any signs of abuse.
Getting help for kratom dependency
The best way to reverse kratom extract dependence is through medical detox. When you stop extract use after heavy use, withdrawal can be difficult. People sticking to cessation treatment programs benefit from medications that ease these symptoms. Both inpatient and outpatient programs then provide counseling for managing psychological dependence, restoring healthy brain function, and preventing relapse. Whether intensive or gradual, professional help gives the best shot for breaking kratom extract dependence for good.