Is Kratom Bad for Your Heart?
The effects of kratom vary based on a number of factors, all of which play a role in its effect on the cardiovascular system. This plant can be both stimulating and sedating, depending on the strain and dose. It has the potential to both increase and decrease the heart rate, but there’s much more to take into consideration.
What We Do Know
Looking for answers about how Kratom impacts the cardiovascular system?
While our understanding of Kratom and how its compounds work within the body is not where it needs to be to provide people with definite answers, there are some things that we do know thanks to early research.
Read on for some points that you might want to consider.
How Does Kratom Act In The Body
Kratom is believed to work primarily by acting on the opioid receptors, although current research suggests that some of the plant’s more obscure compounds may hit other receptors.
Depending on the dose and strain taken, it can produce effects that range from stimulating and euphoric to sedating and pain-relieving. See our kratom vendor reviews for a full range of options for each desired effect.
The two active compounds believed to be predominantly responsible for the effects of the plant are mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. Although, as research stands right now, there are over 20 unique compounds that have been isolated from Kratom – all of which likely work together synergistically.
Multiple organs, such as the stomach, liver, and intestines all play a role in how the compounds of the plant are broken down and “activated” to produce Kratom’s wide range of effects.
For a more in-depth understanding of what is known about its pharmacology, you may wish to check out this medical journal, which provides a relatively thorough analysis broken up into sections.
Kratom And Heart Conditions
Kratom should not be taken by anyone who has an underlying heart condition or cardiovascular issue. Some users report the onset of tachycardia, otherwise known as “a rapid heart rate”, which could have serious implications for those with pre-existing conditions.
In addition to that, Kratom is generally thought to be unsafe to mix with pharmaceuticals, especially cardiac medications – including but not limited to beta-blockers.
Kratom should also be avoided by those with high blood pressure, as some users have reported the onset of an increase following the ingestion of this plant.
Kratoms Effects On the Heart
This study documents the case of a 26-year-old man who took kratom, and then 24 hours later went into cardiac arrest. However, his toxicology screening also showed the presence of codeine, which he took shortly before admission to the hospital.
The notes that fatal cardiac events associated with kratom seem to be rare, although with no other known potential cause for the onset of the cardiac event in the case documented, the doctors listed the death as being a direct result of Kratom ingestion.
Whether or not this was a fair conclusion to come to is up for debate, as the study does not include information about whether or not there was an undiagnosed underlying condition, or if the Kratom was analyzed for adulterants like research chemicals.
Although, we are not medical experts and are not qualified to provide a professional analysis of these studies – so it is important that you use discernment or seek the opinion of a qualified healthcare professional.
The Impact Of Kratoms Stimulating Effects
Stimulating compounds that increase heart rate are all cardiotoxic to some degree. Even caffeine, which people all across the globe use throughout the day in the form of coffee and other beverages like soda and energy drinks.
Kratom is not perfect, and as mentioned above does cause an elevation in heart rate in some individuals, particularly when a stimulating strain is used – such as “white” or “green” varieties, although it can happen with red vein Kratom, too.
The Impact Of Kratoms Sedating Effects
Higher doses of Kratom typically provided a relaxing, sedating effect in most people. This is even more likely to be the case when a red vein or gold strain is used.
When the sedative properties kick in, a decrease in heart rate is likely to follow. While people typically associated an increase in heart rate with cardiotoxicity, a lowered heart rate can also be problematic in some individuals.
Especially if you have an arrhythmia or an underlying condition that interferes with breathing, such as sleep apnea.
Based on the research that we do have available, experiencing cardiac complications from kratom use seems to be rare.
Many healthy individuals use Kratom in moderation and have no noticeable changes in their cardiac function, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not possible.
If you’re thinking about trying Kratom, you should consult with a trustworthy healthcare professional to determine where you fall on the risk/benefit spectrum.
Have questions that you think we can help with? Feel free to drop a comment!