Kratom: Chemistry “New Psychoactive substances…” article analysis continued (part 3)

Kratom: Chemistry


As I am not a scientist, healthcare professional, or a chemist, I will not be making many comments on the material that I found on the chemistry of Kratom. Please note that all of the material below is not my own and has been gleaned from the following source and all the credit for all the quotes goes to:

Feng, Ling-Yi , et al. New psychoactive substances of natural origin: a brief review. Journal of Food and Drug Administration.


Fact #1: “There are more than 40 active compounds in kratom.”

    1. Mitragynine is the major alkaloid, which can constitute up to 66% in the leaf extract of kratom.
    2. Mitragynine and its analogues, such as mitraphylline and 7 hydroxymitragynine, are indole alkaloids of the Corynanthe-type possessing a nonoterpene moeity
    3. Other alkaloids in kratom also include raubasine and some yohimbe alkaloids.
    4. Kratom contains at least one alkaloid that can block calcium channel and reduces current induced by N methyl-a-aspartate.


Fact #2: “ The mitragynine contents in kratom vary with location and season. When kratom tree is grown in Southeast Asia, the content of mitragynine tends to be higher, but in elsewhere it tends to be low or non-existent.


Fact #3: “Using liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization mass spectrometry to analyze the products marketed as kratom leaf, mitragynine was found to contain 1-6% and 8 hydroxymirtrogynine 0.01-0.04%.”


My only comment is merely a prodding to consider the information above a little more deeply. Again, I am not a professional on the topic of chemistry.


Comment #1: It is interesting that kratom cannot be manufactured in a lab and have the same effects. Humans aren’t so good at replicating the natural order of things successfully. This fact could actually prove quite useful when trying to determine whether or not kratom is synthesized and safe or not. Based on what we do know, it is the synthesization of kratom and like substances which fall under more liability for abuse.


Comment #2: I’m not sure about the amounts of the alkaloids (in Fact #3), but to me, it doesn’t seem like a lot of this plant is made up of the materials (7hydroxy and mytragynine) that have been considered as part of the potential health threat.


Stay tuned for the analysis of this article and kratom’s Pharmacology in the next post.


Thanks for reading!