The FDA has determined (through computer modeling techniques) that Kratom’s biological makeup includes opioid or opioid-like compounds, which can result in withdrawal symptoms when usage is discontinued. People who take high doses of Kratom multiple times a day are more prone to negative side effects such as symptoms of withdrawal.
Similar to opioid withdrawal, Kratom withdrawal shows that users may experience a range of symptoms, including fatigue, cravings, tremors, and muscle aches.1 However, according to additional studies,2 these withdrawal symptoms generally last for a shorter period of time than as with opioids, subsiding faster and are less intense.
That said, it is important to remember that the intensity of Kratom withdrawal symptoms can vary from person to person, with some reporting milder symptoms, while others describe them as severe.
What is Kratom Withdrawal?
Kratom withdrawal refers to the physical and psychological symptoms that occur when a person who has been using Kratom on a regular basis stops using it. Kratom is an herbal supplement that comes from the leaves of the Kratom tree and is commonly used for its stimulant and pain-relieving effects.
When a person uses Kratom regularly, they can develop a physical dependence on it, which means that their body has adjusted to the presence of the drug. When this person stops using Kratom, they can experience a range of withdrawal symptoms as their body readjusts to functioning without it.
How Long Do Kratom Withdrawal Symptoms Last?
The duration of Kratom withdrawal symptoms can vary depending on several factors, including the frequency and amount of Kratom use, the duration of use, and individual differences. However, in general, withdrawal symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to a week.
In some cases, the symptoms may persist for several weeks, especially if the person was using Kratom in high doses or for a long period of time. Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms include muscle aches and pains, irritability, anxiety, insomnia, nausea, and diarrhea.
These symptoms can be uncomfortable and disruptive to daily life, but they typically subside on their own over time. In some cases, medication or behavioral therapy may be recommended to help manage withdrawal symptoms and support recovery.
What are The Signs and Symptoms of Kratom Withdrawal?
Signs and symptoms of Kratom withdrawal may include:
- Jittery feelings
- Hot or cold flashes
- Muscle aches
- Watering eyes
- Restless legs
- Runny nose
- Mood swings
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
It’s important to note that while Kratom withdrawal is not life-threatening, it can still be uncomfortable and unpleasant. Those who are experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms or are concerned about their health should seek medical supervision.
Kratom Withdrawal Timeline
Although more research is needed, we can look at case studies and documented withdrawal timelines for past users, combined with associated studies on opioid withdrawal, to make some fairly accurate conclusions as to the progression and timeline.
As mentioned, bear in mind that this timeline and severity of symptoms can vary widely depending on the length of time and amount of Kratom used by an individual.
The First 24-Hours
The first 12-hours or so might be a breeze. Don’t let this fool you into a false sense of comfort. It’s around hour 12 when the first symptoms rear their ugly head.
At this stage, you might notice a marked increase in anxiety, stress, and agitation, along with excessive sweating and a faster heart rate. This will start off mild at first, ramping up over the course of the next 12 hours or so.
During this time you might expect to experience:
- Faster heart rate
- Higher blood pressure
- Muscle aches and joint pain
- Abdominal pain
- The start of a low-grade fever
- Insomnia that night
- The start of mood swings
Hang in there. It’s about to get bumpy.
Over the next few days prepare yourself mentally for an increase in depression and cravings for Kratom. Don’t give in.
During this time you might also experience visual distortions that start to then subside (not all people experience this). You may also notice that your hand is a bit shaky and that mild tremors and impaired coordination are the name of the game.
And let’s not forget about our good friends dehydration, insomnia, and lack of appetite. These will all be joining the party.
But wait, there IS a hint of good news. At this point, your mild fever (if you have one) will begin to stabilize.
You’re in the home stretch now. Hang in there, you got this!
During days 4-7 aches and pains in your muscles and bones will start to subside. Similarly, you should notice a decrease in abdominal pain and gastrointestinal discomfort. And those pesky tremors and issues with coordination? They should start to calm down as well.
Once you’ve reached day 7 you have graduated from the ‘acute’ phase of Kratom withdrawal. In other words, the hardest part is behind you.
Week 2 and Onward – the ‘Post-Acute’ Phase
By this point, the worst of the ride is behind you. That’s not to say that you won’t have any physical symptoms, but those that linger should be mild.
As for the psychological, it can take your mind and neurochemistry longer to get back to baseline, and you may still experience mild to moderate cravings, depression, and/or anxiety in the near term.
TIP: This period of time is the highest risk for relapse. Stay the course.
Is Kratom Withdrawal Dangerous?
Kratom withdrawal is generally considered not life-threatening, but it can still be uncomfortable and unpleasant. In some cases, the symptoms may become severe and cause a significant impact on the individual’s quality of life.
If you are experiencing severe symptoms or are worried about your health, it’s important to seek medical supervision. A healthcare professional can assess your situation, monitor your progress, and provide appropriate treatment and support to help you manage your withdrawal symptoms and recover from Kratom dependence.
Can Kratom Withdrawal Be Treated?
Yes, Kratom withdrawal can be effectively treated with the right approach. The most common treatment approach for Kratom withdrawal is a combination of medication and supportive care.
Medications such as anti-anxiety medications or antidepressants may be prescribed to help manage withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, and irritability.
In some cases, behavioral therapy may also be recommended to address the underlying psychological factors that may have contributed to Kratom use and dependence.
The goal of treatment is to help individuals manage their withdrawal symptoms, prevent relapse, and achieve lasting recovery from Kratom dependence.
How Can You Prevent Kratom Withdrawal?
The best way to prevent Kratom withdrawal symptoms is to gradually reduce your Kratom intake over time, rather than quitting suddenly. This approach can help your body adjust to the changes and reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms.
It’s also important to seek professional help if you’re having trouble reducing your Kratom use. A healthcare professional can assess your situation, provide guidance on reducing your Kratom intake, and monitor your progress.
Additionally, seeking support from family, friends, or support groups can also be beneficial in preventing relapse and promoting recovery. Remember, it’s important to address Kratom dependence and withdrawal symptoms in a comprehensive and supportive manner, rather than trying to quit on your own.
How Does Kratom Cause Withdrawal?
What is the Science Behind Why Kratom Causes Addiction and Withdrawal?
The exact science behind why Kratom can cause addiction and withdrawal is not fully understood. However, it is believed that the active compounds in Kratom, including mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, interact with the opioid receptors in the brain to produce effects that can lead to dependence and withdrawal.
When Kratom is consumed regularly, the brain becomes used to the presence of these compounds and may start to rely on them to function normally. This can result in the development of tolerance, where more Kratom is needed to produce the desired effects. Over time, an individual may become dependent on Kratom, experiencing withdrawal symptoms when they try to quit.
Additionally, the individual may develop a psychological dependence on Kratom, which can make it difficult to quit even when physical dependence has subsided. Psychological dependence is often characterized by intense cravings and emotional distress when the individual is unable to use Kratom.
It’s important to note that the research on Kratom and its effects is ongoing, and more studies are needed to fully understand the science behind Kratom dependence and withdrawal.
Closing Thoughts on Kratom Withdrawal, and My Take On How to Consume Responsibly
I’d like to share some tips on using Kratom responsibly to prevent addiction and withdrawal so that you can use Kratom safely and responsibly, enjoying all that his magical herb has to offer… without the downside.
First of all, it’s important to understand that Kratom is a substance that can have potential effects on the body and mind, so it’s important to use it with caution.
Here are some steps you can take to use Kratom safely and avoid potential negative consequences:
Start with a low dose: When starting to use Kratom, it’s best to start with a low dose and gradually increase it until you find the minimum amount that works for you. This can help you avoid overuse and minimize the risk of addiction or withdrawal.
Be mindful of frequency of use: It’s also important to be mindful of how often you’re using Kratom. If you find yourself using it every day or multiple times a day, it’s a sign that you may be becoming dependent on it and should reduce your usage.
Keep track of the strains and doses you use: Keeping a record of the different strains and doses of Kratom you use can help you identify any patterns of use that may indicate a problem.
Avoid using Kratom with other substances: Mixing Kratom with other substances, such as alcohol or prescription drugs, can increase the risk of negative side effects and make it more difficult to manage your use.
Take breaks from use: Taking regular breaks from using Kratom can help prevent dependence and withdrawal symptoms. Consider taking a break from Kratom use for a few days to a week every few months.
Remember, the best way to use Kratom responsibly is to start with a low dose and be mindful of your usage patterns. By taking these steps, you can help minimize the risk of addiction and withdrawal.
- Singh D, Muller C P. Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) dependence, withdrawal symptoms and craving in regular users. 2014.
- Veltri C, Grundmann O. Current perspectives on the impact of Kratom use. 2019.