Kratom and studying? Yes, it’s a real thing. We all know that kratom, in the right (not excessive) dosages causes a bit of euphoria. But did you know that there is real science behind why kratom is capable of motivating us to study more? It’s prime source of motivation lies in its opioid-like actions in the body. Read on to discover why kratom and studying could be a good pair. Who knows, maybe it can help you score higher on that next exam.
Kratom is opiate-like. I think we have well-established that by now and few would argue. Before I continue, let me give you a brief history of my experience with medications of this type. In 2008, I suffered a completely ruptured left patellar tendon as a result of a weekend football game with some friends. This happened on a Saturday and I was in surgery Monday morning at 7 a.m. The surgery involved stitching my patellar tendon back together with some metal wires, having holes drilled in my patella (knee cap), then having the tendon stitched back in place to the patella. This of course brought on a slew of prescriptions.
Coming off opioids and moving to kratom was one of the best decisions I have made. No more withdrawals, no more having to go to a doctor and feeling like a junkie every time I went to the pharmacy, and no more feeling like a slave to the pharmaceutical industry. There were two things I was glad that kratom shared with those drugs, however – pain-relieving effects and the ability to motivate me to carry out tasks. It is the latter effect that really shines where other stimulants come up short.
Where I am talking about is in kratom’s ability to increase one’s drive to study. And better drive means better retention. Better retention equals better scores. Better scores and greater sense of achievement seem to perpetuate themselves into career success and eventually cause a positive feedback mechanism that keeps one wanting to progressively achieve more and more. I happened to find out about combining kratom and studying while working towards my MBA, but it easily translates into all areas of life in which learning is important.
Back to the science I promised earlier. Kratom’s ability to help with studying stems from its ability to increase motivation. Motivation can be defined as one’s internal, intrinsic or extrinsic, drive to accomplish a given task. Kratom’s alkaloids, particularly mitragynine as it is present in the highest concentrations relative to the rest (about 66% of the total count), enter the bloodstream after consumption and begin attaching to particular areas in the brain known as receptor sites.
Although they have more specific names, these have no become commonly referred to, in kratom’s case, as mu-opioid and delta-opioid receptors. These are found all around in the brain in various structures, but research has shown that their ability to reinforce behavior (motivate) only occurs in very limited areas (Ting-A-Kee & van der Kooy, 2012).
In the middle of the brain is an area that accommodates dopamine cell bodies. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter and a hormone that is part of the phenethylamine and catecholamine families. Catecholamines also include things like adrenaline (see where I’m going here?), which is increased when consuming traditional stimulants like coffee. Mitragynine, by way of its activation of the mu-opioid (and to a lesser extent delta-opioid) receptors, acts to increase dopamine levels in the brain.
Increased dopamine means more energy and greater satisfaction in completing tasks. We call this reinforcement, which is the key to the relationship between kratom and studying. Consumption of kratom leads to greater opioid receptor activation, which in turn has been shown to drastically increase reinforcement via self-administration and place conditioning (Shippenberg & Elmer, 1998). Are you starting to see why kratom and studying fit together so nicely?
What does greater reinforcement mean? The strong actions of the mid-brain dopamine neurons mentioned above have actually been linked to synaptic development (Glimcher, 2011; Spyraki et al., 1982). Synapses are the links in between two different neurons in the brain. Have you ever heard of neuroplasticity? It is the brain’s ability to modify its own connections and neural networks, referred to in the context of improving learning and cognitive ability. It is the entire premise behind websites like Lumosity.com or SharpBrains.com. Kratom and studying make such a great combination because it allows you to get more out of the time you spend hitting the books.
With greater neuroplasticity, we are able to retain more information, better retain new information, and able to recall all of our knowledge later. Not only does dopamine make you want to study more because you are more content, it provides you with greater results from the time you spend studying. Mitragynine has proven to be a fairly potent mediator of dopamine levels in the brain, and it is through this mechanism that kratom and studying and a great pair for me. I would recommend you try it next time you are preparing for a big exam, or even just trying to learn a cool new hobby.