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Kratom’s Antipsychotic Potential

mitragyna speciosa: It Won’t Make You Crazy

A summary of findings regarding kratom’s antipsychotic potential

Journal article of reference: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2016.00464/full#B23

I came across an interesting article the other day from the December 6th, 2016 (volume 7) issue of Frontiers in Pharmacology. This is a peer-reviewed journal, and I try to use those as confirmation of pretty much anything I read on the internet or anywhere else really. Having a team of other published researchers in the same field approve a piece before it is published makes the data more credible. This particular study piqued my interest because, among the many other lies, our government agencies have claimed that kratom causes psychosis.

Anyway, the study attempted to compare mitragyna speciosa to typical antipsychotics (like haloperidol) and atypical antipsychotics (like risperidone) as a potential treatment option for subjects suffering from psychosis. If effective, the big benefit would be that mainstream antipsychotic drugs are associated with lots of side effects (these drugs are approved by the FDA, by the way), with some very serious.

Haloperidol, for example, is known to cause tardive dyskinesia and neuroleptic malignant syndrome, and this excerpt was taken right from the FDA’s own database: “Cases of sudden death, QT-prolongation, and Torsades de Pointes have been reported in patients receiving HALDOL” (Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, Inc., 2005). Atypical antipsychotic drugs are associated with transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), metabolic syndrome, tardive dyskinesia, and an increased risk of diabetes, among other things (College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists, 2018). Keep in mind, the FDA wants you to take these medications over natural remedies.

In the study, they created a kratom solution using methanol as the base solvent and gave it to apomorphine-induced mice to see how well the solution performed in this standard test. The kratom solution not only decreased the psychotic behavior of the mice, but it also improved catalepsy in other mice that had been treated with haloperidol. This conclusion was that mitragyna speciosa somehow regulates dopaminergic neurotransmission in the brain regions associated with psychosis. It was also shown to alleviate the symptoms of ketamine-induced social withdrawal. There was no mention of any adverse effects from the kratom concoction. Further studies would be great to further qualify kratom’s antipsychotic potential

So what’s the moral of the story? Your morning green Malay your evening red vein, or your Friday night Thai kratom is not going to make you go crazy, no matter how hard they try to convince you. In fact, it will probably help you if you’re already crazy :)! This is only one study, but there are more data from the field out there that help validate it. Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com) is one source of credible information, though you need to pay attention to who funds studies and who is to benefit from the potential results as these things create an automatic bias. There’s also the Directory of Open Access Journals (https://doaj.org), which can give you a good starting point. Remember: think critically!


College of Psychatric and Neurologic Pharmacists. (2018, August). Risperidone (Risperdal) | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness. Retrieved October 18, 2019, from https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Treatment/Mental-Health-Medications/Types-of-Medication/Risperidone-(Risperdal)

Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, Inc. (2005). HALDOL ® brand of haloperidol injection (For Immediate Release). Retrieved from https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2008/015923s082,018701s057lbl.pdf

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