Kratom, Opioids, And COVID-19

Kratom, Opioids, And COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic puts people in the grips of the American opioid crisis at even greater risk. This information probably comes as no surprise to a reader who experiences COVID-19 making things worse every day. We aim to inform our readers of drugs in the market how they affect the populous in 2020. The following post details the distinction between opiates and opioids, how they affect the body, and how kratom metabolically compares.

So, the opioid crisis is getting worse. It is telling when something already labeled a crisis reaches even more dire straits. Deaths continue to increase starting in 2018 to 2019 before the pandemic took effect on the nation. With the pandemic, addicts are out of work, on their own sheltering in place. For more in-depth research into this subject, click here.

Opiates and opioids

Opioid receptors dot the human brain. Opiates and opioids are drugs that interact with these receptors. The media throws these terms around interchangeably, but there are specific differences between the two.

Opiates derive from naturally occurring opium. Opium is one of those drugs brought to us by morally neutral plants, in this case, poppies. Examples of opiates are morphine, and heroin before pharmaceutical companies began to profit off mass addiction.

Opioids are either partly or wholly synthetic. Labs produce these drugs and design them to have elevated effects on the opioid receptors in the brain. Some examples of inorganic opioids are fentanyl, carfentanil, and hydrocodone.

Kratom and Opioids

Technically, Kratom is neither derived from opium or synthetically produced. It is another plant-based drug that grows naturally in Asia and South America. However, something that kratom does have in common with opioids is that they both affect the opioid receptors in the brain.

The alkaloids in kratom are the specific culprits for the drug’s relationship with opioid receptors. While an addict should be aware of kratoms’ reaction in their brain, it should also be noted that some common foods also trigger opioid receptors that are not opioids. Read more on this here.

The Epidemic and the Pandemic

In a recent Newsweek article, Chair of Legislative Advocacy for the American Society of Addiction Medicine Shawn Ryan cites a spike in U.S. deaths by overdose by about 15%. In severely affected states l9ike Ohio and Kentucky, this number is closer to 25%.

The Pandemic and Death

If the nature of a viral pandemic is to kill as many as possible, addiction serves as a helpful tool for this goal.

With sheltering in place, people exist in environments of less social interaction and support, and more stress and anxiety. After being furloughed or laid off, people shelter in place . Those who have not been able to attain government help experience financial instability with no prospect of gainful employment in the near future.

Put an addict in a situation where their fundamental stability worsens, and their addiction and drug usage will undoubtedly also worsen.

An unfortunate aspect of all this is that the opioid crisis was gaining momentum anyway. 2019 saw 5% more deaths per day than in 2018. A drug called fentanyl is responsible for this rise.


Pharmacologists design synthetic opioids for pain relief. It is about 50 times more potent than heroin or morphine. Because it is a more powerful drug, dealers have been mixing it into their heroin supplies having gross and obvious effects on the public.

The possibility of overdose when using fentanyl is higher than naturally occurring opiates. Indeed, it is this highly potent and addictive nature of fentanyl that makes it so hard to squash. Drug dealers know this and embrace it heartily. Heroin on the market in 2020 is no longer actually heroine, but fentanyl. Small amounts of non-expensive fillers cut fentanyl. Dealers pay less and get more money in return.

Opioids and Kratom

So, we know of the similarities between opioids and kratom. Let us explore the differences.

1st: Similarities

Both kratom and opioids ultimately have the same impact on the brain. Opioids attach to the brain receptors and block pain messages from transferring out to the body. So theoretically, these drugs were developed to be pain relievers for regulated medicine.

Kratom alkaloids are not as potent as opioids. However, they do affect the same parts of the brain in the same way. Kratom is an effective pain reliever because it behaves the same way as opioids do. However, kratom can not treat severe chronic pain. In contrast, opioids like fentanyl and carfentanil would be strong enough to do this.

2nd: Differences

Opioids are stronger than kratom. Kratom binds to the same parts of the brain but the effects are not as intense as opioids.

Kratom is not a derivative of opium. It grows in the leaves of trees that are kin to coffee plants. Opiates come from opium plants. Opium plants don’t produce kratom. Does this make kratom not an opioid even though it has the same metabolic reaction in your brain? A user will have to decide on their own.

There is adamant support in the kratom market of the thought that despite kratom having an effect on opioid receptors, kratom is not an opioid because it does this naturally and was not designed to do so in a lab.

If you or someone you know has any input on this argument, please let us know at buffalodesignteam@buffalodistro.com

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