The fact that small amounts of a compound can fundamentally change the function of your mind, self and your experience of the world has always fascinated me. Although this is most pronunced with psychedelics such as LSD, kratom’s alkaloids also can create large differences.
Kratom has two primary alkaloids which do most of the work when it comes to effects, and differing amounts of these two alkaloids are mostly responsible for the differences in effect from different kratom strains.
7-OH-mitragynine is by far the most potent alkaloid found in kratom. Per dosage, it is a fairly powerful mu-opiod agonist. Despite the fact that it is only found in small amounts in kratom leaf, it still creates the biggest psychological impact. This alkaloid is responsible for most of kratom’s painkilling ability, as well as much of the euphoric effects of this plant.
Mitragynine is one of the most abundant alkaloids found within kratom. Mitragynine is both a stimulant, adrenergic receptor agonist, and a painkiller, opiod receptor agonist. This effect combination makes this drug quite unique in comparison to most other alkaloids we have discovered. High amounts of this compound can create great, yet smooth stimulating effects. Interestingly, one of the primary metabolites of mitragynine is mitragynine pseudoindoxyl, which may even rival 7-hydroxymitragynine in potency, causing some of the slow-onset effects some strains cause.
Although there are many other alkaloids, which we could go about for days, these are the two prime movers, and an understanding of these will help create a more broad understanding of this wonderful plant.