Gnomes Information and grow log of Mitragyna Speciosa (Kratom)
Posted 18 August 2017 - 03:45 PM
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Posted 18 August 2017 - 03:56 PM
I got several nice branches on my little Kratom tree and will try to clone a branch in an aero-cloner. The stem will hang in the air while being sprayed with cloning solution. For a lot of plants I use just plain water in the cloner. For the kratom I am going to use very mild nute solution with seaweed extract.
Any pointers on cloning kratom is welcome.
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Posted 19 August 2017 - 05:40 AM
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Posted 05 November 2017 - 06:01 PM
OF MITRAGYNINE (KRATOM)
Mitragynine and several related alkaloids are derived
from the leaves of Mitragyna speciosa (kratom), a tree that
is found principally in Thailand and Malaysia. Despite
their intriguing, contradictory psychoactive properties,
possible medical applications and widespread use in Thailand,
very little new research has appeared on these substances
for over a decade (Jansen &~st 1988).
In 1836,Low noted the use oflcratom by Malayans as
an opium substitute (BurkillI935), an observation that was
later confirmed by Holmes (1895) who identified the
leaves as those of the M. speciosa tree. Wray (1907b)
described methods of consumption that included smoking,
drinking as a tea, and chewing. The effects were said to be
like opium, with large doses leading to stupor, while an
"indolent life" was the consequence of habitual use (Wray
1907a). Fourteen years later, Field (1921) isolated an
alkaloid from the leaves and called it mitragynine.
Burkill and Haniff (1930) noted that kratom could
suppress the opiate withdrawal syndrome, reduce fever,
and act as an analgesic. This inspired a series of pharmacological
investigations, with experiments on animal tissues
indicating that mitragynine was a central nervous system
stimulant rather than a depressant (Grewal 1932a). It was
said to resemble cocaine and to be used extensively in
Thailand to increase work output and tolerance of intense
sunlight. Habitual users were claimed to be thin, and to
have dry skin and a darker complexion (Grewal 1932b).
Grewal administered mitragynine to five male volunteers
and confirmed that the effect was similar to cocaine.
Thuan (1957) was the first to report a case of addiction
in a medical journal, presenting a chronic user who had a
marked withdrawal syndrome on cessation, but who nev-
*MRC Research Fellow, Department of Anatomy and Human
Biology, University of Auckland Medical School, Private Bag, Auckland,
**Director, Plant Medicine Research Institute, Auckland, New
Journal of Psychoactive Drugs
ertheless remained in good health despite heavy use, being
mentally and physically "normal." Citing Marcan (1934,
1929), Thuan maintained that kratom did not have a bad
reputation like opium, nor did it cause changes in physical
condition or character. The effects were once again said to
resemble those of cocaine.
In the 1960's, new analytical techniques were applied
to these alkaloids (Shellard 1974). Twenty-two alkaloids
were isolated from M. speciosa, with the alkaloid content
of individual trees varying according to location and season.
The molecular structures were found to be indoles and
oxindoles having a closed or open E ring, with substitution
occurring at the C9 position (Beckett et al. 1966). Mitragynine,
found only inM. speciosa (Shellard 1974),is the
dominant alkaloid. With the methoxyl group at position 4
of the indole (see Figure 1), mitragynine appears to be
analogous to the4-substituted indole psychedelics, such as
psilocybin and lysergic acid amide (Emboden 1979;
Shulgin 1972; Beckett, Shellard & Tadde 1965).
The research of the 1960's and early 1970's had been
funded by a quest for nonopiate analgesics. Mitragynine
compared favorably with codeine as an analgesic in the
dog: It did not cause emesis or dyspnea like codeine at
equivalent doses, was not antagonized by nalorphine, had
no opiatelike dependence syndrome, had negligible anticholinergic
effects, and was much less of a respiratory
depressant. No evidence of toxicity (e.g., tremors and
convulsions) W3$observed in mice after doses as high as
920 mg/kg. Large doses in cats had stimulating effects that
werequalitatively different from thoseof opiates, with cats
showing increased exploratory behavior without the opiate-
induced "fear andiage" complex (Macko,Weisbach &
The results of a study of 30 Thai kratom users were
published by Suwanlert in 1975.The sample largely consisted
of older, marriedinen whohadbeen chronic users for
over five years. In most.instances, the leaves had been
chewed three to 10 times a day, with stimulant effects
commencing after five to 10minutes.Key motivators were
a desire to increase work output and tolerance of hot.
sunlight, with the drug also being said to "calm the mind."
The Thai Narcotic Book (Norakanphadung 1966)
described kratom as weaker than morphine and less harmful
than cocaine. It was said to have depressive effects like
opium and cannabis, while also being stimulating like
coca, as if chewing coca leaves and smoking opium simultaneously.
Chronic consumption could cause darker skin,
even if the user remained indoors. The withdrawal syndrome
was said to be considerably milder than that seen
with opiates. Norakanphadung described the medical use
. of theleavesinThailandtoreplacemorphinein addictdetoxification
Mitragynine is thus a drug with a highly unusual but
nevertheless well-documented history of being described
as both a depressant and a stimulant, while at the same time
possessing the chemical structure one might expect of a
psychedelic. It can suppress the opiate withdrawal syndrome,
but it isnotreversed by nalorphine. Discovering the
sites of action of this novel substance, thus resolving the
apparent contradictions, may improve understanding in
several areas of psychopharmacology. Just as new analytic
methods were applied to the molecule in the 1960's,
researchers now have at their disposal such techniques as
receptor binding studies using radiolabeled compounds.
Such studies have yet to be performed.
. Thecontradictionsextendto theevidenceconcerning.
side effects and the nature of risks to health from chronic
use. Preclinical trials in humans, carried out by Smith,
Kline and French Laboratories in the early 1970's, apparently
revealed some unacceptable acute effects (Raffauf
1986).Nevertheless, kratom would seem to be well tolerated
by many Asians on a daily basis. One reason for this
may be the different pharmacological profiles of pure
mitragynine and the unprocessed leaf, the latter containing
several other substances that may modify the effects of the
drug. Clinical research might be more appropriately centered
on the leaves, which have been used for many years
to replace opiates in addiction treatment in Thailand
(Norakanphadung 1966), rather than mitragynine acetate.
Shouldkratom ever attain Food and Drug Administration
approval, it could be valuable as an alternative to
methadone. ~ather than causing the patient to slow down,
if given for a brief period of time it might lead to improved
functioning,.as it does for Thai farmers, while attenuating
the opiate withdrawal syndrome.
The claim of darker skin is intriguing in combination
; withthepsychoactivepropertiesand molecularstructure
of mitragynine. Activation of the dopamine type 2 (D2)
rec~ptor in the rat pituitary gland by methamphetamine
attenuat.es the release of a-melanocyte stimulatinglike
peptides (Kebabian, Beaulieu &Itoh 1984). It may be that
mitragynine has an opposite effect, increasing melanocyte-
stimulating substances and thusdarkening the skin.
If the drug proved to be a D2receptor antagonist, it might
also have antipsychotic properties. Unlike some other
stimulants, chronic, heavy use of mitragynine does not
seem to cause paranoid disorders, although this issue has
not been adequately researched.
It is thus apparent that kratom is a psychoactive drug
of considerable scientific interest, even if it should never
find acceptance as a clinical tool. While the latter possibility
may have caused pharmaceutical companies to lose
interest, much further research remains tobe done, both of
a pure and an applied nature.A decade is too long a period
of time for no new research to have appeared on these
Beckett, A.H.; Shellard, EJ.; Phillipson, J.D. & Calvin, M.L. 1966. The
Mitragyna species of Asia. Part IV: Oxindole alkaloids from Ihe
leaves of M. speciosa Korth. Planta Medica VoL 14(3): 266-276.
Beckett, A.H.; Shellard, E.J. & Tackie, A.N. 1965. The Milragyna
species of Asia. Part IV: The alkaloids ofthe leaves of M. speciosa
Korth. Isolation of mitragynine and speciofoline. Planta Medica
Vol. 13(2): 241-245.
Burlcill.1H. 1935. A Dictionary of the &onomic Products of the Malay
Penninsula. Vol. 2 (I-Z). (1966 reprint). Kuala Lumpur: Ministry of
Agriculture and Cooperatives.
Journal of Psychoactive Drugs
Burlcill,I.H. & Haniff, M. 1930. Malay village medicine. The Garden's
Bulletin Straits SettlemenJ Vol. 6(5-10): 165-207.
Emboden, W. 1979. Narcotic Plants. London: Studio Vista.
Field, EJ. 1921. Mitragynine and mitraversine, two new alkaloids from
species of Mitragyne. Transactions of the Chemical Society Vol.
Grewal, K.S. 1932a. Observations on the phannacology of
mitragynine. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Th£rapeutics
Vol. 46(3): 251-271.
Grewal, K.S. 1932b. The effect of mitragynine on man. British Journal
456 Vol. 20(4), Oct-Dee 1988
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