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Experiences - The Kratom Experiment: Effects of Kratom Dose on Female With Chronic Pain

Discussion in 'Kratom' started by thespeedofdark, Apr 23, 2013.

  1. thespeedofdark

    thespeedofdark Titanium Member

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    I have recently started to use kratom to deal with chronic pain to reduce my use of hydrocodone. I am a 39 year old female with several chronic conditions, including interstitial cystitis (a chronic, very painful bladder disease), fibromyalgia, migraines, and now, possible degenerative disc disease in my neck. I have been on some very heavy duty opiates (morphine, oxycodone, methadone) in the past, but managed to get off all of these except hydrocodone.

    I posted about my first use of kratom in another thread, and since then have been using 5 grams of Premium Bali once a day, approximately 4-6 days apart, and I find the pain relief I get from this amount is excellent (much, much better than tramadol, which I have tried and hate), and I find it is a great substitute for my hydrocodone.

    However, being a scientist (yes, I am a real one - with a Ph.D. and everything!!), I could not resist the urge to experiment. Therefore, I have recently performed a kratom dose-response experiment on myself to see what I could find out about the effects of this plant.

    So here's the data:

    Materials and Methods:
    Subject: 39 year old female, 5'5" tall, approximately 175 pounds in weight, opiate-tolerant.
    Kratom used: Premium Bali, powdered
    Method of ingestion: Toss-n-wash with orange juice on empty stomach, because subject was too lazy to make tea
    Timing of ingestion: 10:00am Eastern Time (ingestion was done at the same time for every dose to control for the effects of circadian rhythms that affect hormone production and neurochemistry, both of which can affect response to pharmaceutical and herbal products)
    Dosing schedule: One dose on each experimental day (no re-dosing); experimental days were 5 days apart.
    Doses tested: 3 grams, 5 grams, 6 grams, 7 grams

    Results:

    3 grams: As expected, results were rather disappointing. While some pain relief was felt, it was about equivalent to taking a prescription-strength ibuprofen (800 mg), which does pretty much jack for this subject. Subject also felt stimulated in a bad way - jaw clenching, tapping foot incessantly while on computer, jittery, distracted. It reminded her of the "speedy" part of tramadol (which she hates) or like the physical effects of a small amount of cocaine without any of the pleasant mental effects of cocaine, like happiness, self-confidence, etc. Eventually, these effects became so annoying that the subject took 0.5mg of alprazolam (Xanax), and that eased the jaw clenching, jittery feeling. Subject decided that 3 grams sucked and she'd never do that again.

    5 grams: The response to this dose was detailed in an earlier post. Basically, this dose provides wonderful pain relief for the subject, and a bit of that warm, "opiate-like" sensation. It doesn't really make her feel "high," just warm and as close to pain free as she gets lately. This dose also lasts a good 6 hours for this subject. Subject is able to work, do household chores, socialize, and basically function as a normal human being at this dose.

    6 grams: Very similar to 5 grams, but perhaps even better pain relief.

    7 grams: After about 20 minutes, subject complained of nausea. She noted that she wasn't sure if it was the kratom effects or just the fact she swigged down a crapload of bitter powder followed by a bunch of orange juice, thus upsetting her empty stomach. After waiting another 20 minutes, the nausea was reduced but still present. After about an hour, pain relief was definitely present, but subject said she felt a bit fuzzy headed and didn't really feel like doing things she needed to get done. She said she felt like taking a nap, but at the same time knew she'd just lay there for a while, not sleeping. It was like her body was very relaxed, but her brain wasn't. It was a very odd feeling - definitely not a very strong high in subject's experience, but subject noted that if someone who was opiate-naive were to take this dose, they might interpret it as a decent high. She also mentioned that the sensation felt "dirtier" than what can be obtained from pharmaceutical grade opiates, which makes sense, as there are many more alkaloids in kratom and they're all working on different receptor systems in the brain at the same time, while many (but not all) opiates work solely on the opioid receptors. She also complained of kratom aftertaste in her mouth, which she wasn't too thrilled with, and proceeded to brush her teeth for the second time that morning. After some time, subject was pleased with pain relief, but felt that 5 grams was just fine and "cleaner" for her, and that going up to 7 grams was just a waste of good kratom... since she's not looking to really get high, all she cares about is the pain relief, and she gets that at 5 grams.

    The original plan was to also add a 10 gram dose to the experiment, but the subject decided it wasn't worth it after doing 7 and thinking it wasn't particularly worth it.

    Discussion:
    Basically, I am going to stick to my 5-6 gram dose. Using more than that just isn't worth it to me, since I get the pain relief I need at 5 grams. I guess that's my "sweet spot." I hope that this post helps people who are wondering what various doses of kratom can do, and I also hope that it helps those in chronic pain who are interested in trying kratom for their pain. I highly recommend it, but as this study indicated, it's important to find your own personal sweet spot dose... once you do, I think you'll be pleased with the relief!
     
  2. radiometer

    radiometer bananadine addict Platinum Member & Advisor

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    Great post. I would like to point out that in my case and that of many others, long term chronic kratom use leads to other problems, including excessive need for sleep, disrupted sleep, and negative personality changes. In the end you might find this is not a viable long term medication strategy.

    It sounds like you are getting good quality kratom based on the doses and effects you wrote about. Good luck!
     
  3. thespeedofdark

    thespeedofdark Titanium Member

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    Well, I don't use the kratom daily. It's more like a weekly thing - every 5 days or so at the most. I realize that it, like all "drugs," has its downsides, including the ones you mentioned as well as the potential for addiction, and I am controlling my use appropriately. Luckily, I don't crave it on the days I don't dose, so so far, so good. :)
     
  4. nowwhat

    nowwhat Newbie

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    speed of dark -- were you taking hydrocodone on those days? I'm on 3 10s a day and it doesn't do much for me. just ordered kratom but am scared to do both, plus have no idea how i'd function without the lortab. but would like to since i don't like being dependent and pain docs...suck. I have many of the same symptoms as you -- fibro especially. thanks
     
  5. thespeedofdark

    thespeedofdark Titanium Member

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    Nope... I did not take hydrocodone or tramadol during the time kratom was in my system (which is about 6-8 hours). I did take hydrocodone at night on occasion, but it was at around 10pm before bed, which was a good 12 hours after dosing with kratom. However, some of the kratom experimental days were on days when I'd run out of my hydro script a few days early and didn't have any left, so I took none at all.

    Like you, I am prescribed 4 10/325's a day, and sometimes it is not enough - so I'll take 5 or 6 per day, which is why I'll occasionally run short a few days early before I can fill my next script. This is why I started with kratom - I figured if I could reduce my dosage of hydros during the month I wouldn't run out early, and so far it works. I am actually not scared to take both kratom and hydrocodone together; I just didn't do it so I could see the full effects of kratom. I took kratom today, as a matter of fact, and since I like to wait at least 5 days between kratom uses at the moment, the next time I dose I'll take a hydrocodone too and report back to you what happens if you like. My suspicion is that I'll just be a bit more sedated than with kratom alone. :)
     
  6. nowwhat

    nowwhat Newbie

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    ok, thanks so much speed of dark scientist :) I have deg. disc disease, fibro, lots of arthritis, 55 years of age. I'd still rather find a doc that gets tolerance and even 4 lortabs would suffice...for now. How did you manage to find docs that gave you stronger?
    But the personal decision to cut back on opiates doesn't matter if you'd rather not care to share.
    I'm grateful for a 'natural, legal' option to be out of pain and stop feeling paranoid and frustrated that my pain doc treats me so...conservatively. They are just covering their backs. Funny, a normal nurse practitioner in GA was who started me on this...think FL is the worst for 'monitoring and paranoia.' But another subject, sorry. Appreciate the input.
    I'm gonna try kratom Sat. -- normally last does of lortab is at 4 pm. - so 11 a.m. next morning would be a 'clean' feel . I got powdered and think I went with a blend that related to more 'uplifting' rather than sedative...will start with 3 mg. since each person is different. If I do get jittery like you did do have lorazapam. Thank you and I'll look forward to your combo results.
     
  7. thespeedofdark

    thespeedofdark Titanium Member

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    Oh... don't worry. I have no problems talking about my pain pill usage. When I was first diagnosed with interstitial cystitis, I had a great urologist who put me on MS-Contin (extended release morphine) with Percocet (oxycodone/APAP) for breakthrough pain... the reason is, IC is so painful that studies have been done showing that patients who have it actually have less quality of life than patients undergoing dialysis. In addition, she was a very caring individual who did not mind prescribing the hard stuff. She also knew I had fibromyalgia, migraines, and a bunch of other things, so there was no doubt I was in pain.

    Then, we moved from our home in TN to NC, and I had a hard time finding a doctor at first - ended up in the ER, in fact. My awesome doc from TN found a pain clinic in my new area in NC, and sent my records and a referral letter there. They took me on as a patient and just continued the regimen I was on, until I reported after a year or two that it didn't seem to work as well. That's when we went through the methadone thing, etc.

    Meanwhile, I found another great doc here in NC. I eventually decided to have him put in a neurostimulator known as the Interstim, which blocks aberrant signals from the bladder, and while it may not reduce a lot of pain, it does keep IC patients out of the bathroom (many of us have to urinate 30-60 times a day). When I was about to have the surgery, I knew that I'd signed a pain contract with the pain clinic and couldn't accept narcotic scripts from other doctors as a result - so I went to the pain clinic, explained I was having surgery, and asked if they could increase my breakthrough meds that month to deal with post op pain. THEY SAID NO... the doc said, "Oh, you'll be fine with ibuprofen."

    Well, I freaked out. I emailed my urologist/surgeon, told him what was happening, and he wrote back saying "It's going to be fine - you won't have to take ibuprofen. I'm super busy right now and can't write a detailed message but I'll see you in pre-op and we'll talk about it then."

    So... in pre-op, he said he was prescribing narcotics after the surgery. I said, "Great, but I'll get kicked out of the pain clinic!!!!" And he said, "That is my intention. Don't ever go back to that hellhole. From here on in, I am taking over your pain care and you don't ever have to worry about something like this again." I can't even describe the relief I felt... yes, because I knew I'd get adequate post op care, but because the pain clinic I was going to treated everyone like addicts. I can understand random drug screens and pill counts, but what I can't understand is the doctors actually being mean to you each time you go in there, as if they're accusing you of getting high, etc. I wasn't.

    So that's where I ended up... with my urologist doing my pain pills. Slowly, over a period of years after I had the Interstim put in, we were able to reduce the amount of pain meds I was taking (although I do take other meds too) until now, when I'm just taking hydrocodone.

    That's my story.... and now, sometimes I do run out of my hydro script early, so I turned to kratom to kind of use sometimes instead of the hydro, so I don't end up running out like that. So far so good....
     
  8. nowwhat

    nowwhat Newbie

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    all about a caring doctor...thanks for sharing. now, how to measure 3 grams...teaspoon is 3.6 grams?
     
  9. ianzombie

    ianzombie Platinum Member & Advisor

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    You need to use a digital scale to measure.
    Even using a measuring spoon (and not any old spoon) the grind and freshness of the kratom will differ.
    Have a look in the images section, under kratom. I have posted photos of kratom weighed using proper measuring spoons to show the variation in weight between different types of kratom.
     
  10. Cousin Merle

    Cousin Merle Titanium Member

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    I would be interested in finding out where you are getting your information regarding these "other problems" that kratom creates. From all the studies I have read (there are only a couple, all done on Thai laborers taking massive amounts of kratom daily for years or decades at a time) plus personal use and a lot of anectdotal evidence - I do not see that any of these are true except for possibly disrupted sleep.

    The Thai studies done found few long-term negative consequences from daily use (and these people took much larger amounts of kratom daily than most people would in the west). The negative effects included tolerance & dependence, anorexia and insomnia.

    Personally, I find that kratom improves sleep- but I use more sedating varieties and not crazy amounts, either.
     
  11. ianzombie

    ianzombie Platinum Member & Advisor

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    I would imagine he is getting it right here from the many personal experience reports people have posted about. Look in the addiction forum and also in threads spread throughout the main forum.

    I completely agree that chronic use, especially abuse can lead to 'disrupted sleep, and negative personality changes'
    I became very easily agitated and moody and my sleep was completely destroyed. Ive read countless reports from others, not only hear but across several forums, from people who had the same or similar experiences.
     
  12. Cousin Merle

    Cousin Merle Titanium Member

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    I guess everyone is different. I frequent a lot of forums, and this is the only forum I know of that has a lot of people who view kratom in such a negative light. I agree that it can be abused, and if you are taking very large amounts of it every day or taking large amounts of extracts you can expect some negative side effects. However, it seems like many people on this forum put it in the same class with harder drugs like regular opiates. It doesn't make sense to me considering that kratom has traditionally been used to wean people off of opiates.

    I also take reports that I see on forums with a grain of salt. I prefer to look at scientific studies- they are much more reliable than "my friend's brother's girlfriend used this drug for x amount of time at x dosage and had a seizure and almost died when they stopped taking it...".

    Only a couple scientific studies have been done on kratom, and none of them have shown that kratom has effects/side effects/withdrawls that are in the same class of harder drugs. Most people in Thailand where kratom has been consumed for hundreds or thousands of years consider it to be roughtly the equivalent of coffee.
     
  13. ianzombie

    ianzombie Platinum Member & Advisor

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    You are talking about a study done in the 70's, which is almost 40 years old.
    'A Study of Kratom Eaters in Thailand' was a study involving 29 people who took kratom and other drugs. Its not exactly scientific, its just a basic study.

    You would have to ignore a lot of information that has been reported by people since then to believe it does not have any down sides, or negative side effects.

    Sure take some of it with a pinch of salt, but you need to do that with both positive and negative reports.

    Kratom is used world wide by thousands of people now, its no longer confined to locals in thailand, and in the 10 years ive been using kratom ive come across many people who have run into problems with it.

    Im not sure i agree with you that people on this forum view kratom in a negative light, perhaps you can point out what makes you feel that. Perhaps it is because people here talk more openly about the cons, and not just the pros, compared to other sites where kratom is the main topic. Im also a member of several, i know how on many of them there is a very strick reluctance to not mention anything negative that might be associated with kratom.

    However discussion any problems people have with kratom fits this site, and its harm reduction policy perfectly.

    Nore do i agree with you that people on this forum put in in the same class as harder drugs.
    I find both those comments to be pretty generalising.
    This site is full of advice given to people who are abusing opiates in how to utilise kratom to deal with dangerous addictions.

    Perhaps you can post them here. I would be very interested in reading scientific studys i might have missed before. And they would be a great addition to this forum. Im pretty sure ive not read any scientific study done on the comparison of kratom and its addiction potential to other drugs.

    Thanks :)
     
  14. nowwhat

    nowwhat Newbie

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    I got an 8 gram packet, took about half. Felt lethargic all day and had a depression melt down. Scared to try again. Mixed it with juice. Maybe it's the type - thought the Thai mix was energizing...
     
  15. baselined

    baselined Titanium Member

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    It is energizing, more specifically the green vein variety. But it all depends on where you got it from. Alas, vendor discussion is not allowed, thus I can't really tell you if where you got it from is a reliable source. What I can say though is that most good vendors don't offer "8 gram packets", they usually sell, at minimum, an ounce. The only exception would be if you got a 1 ounce sampler pack in which a few, smaller quantity, varieties are given.

    If it was an 8 gram packet of capsules, sounds like you got it from a bad vendor. Make sure to check out the kratom buying guide

    Bad kratom = a bad time
     
  16. faith90210

    faith90210 Newbie

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    hey there thespeedof dark,
    I also have interstitial cystitis. I am both trying to relive some pain I have today and feel less anxious. I am prescibed 2 xanax to sleep at night. So I am looking gor something to help with pain and something to help with my anxiety. My first experience with kratom is I took one gram. it was okay in the beginning but then i felt way too over stimulated (jaw clenching) and I couldn't sleep that night. What I am trying to go for today is some pain relief and to feel more of the sedation part but still be able to do stuff around the house house (without the jaw clenching) any suggestions on how many grams to take? I am a female 5' 6" and weigh 150 lbs. This will be my second experience with Kratom.
     
  17. ianzombie

    ianzombie Platinum Member & Advisor

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    Hi Faith, welcome to the site.
    Can i ask you what type of kratom you tried?
    If it was that stimulating at only one gram i presume it must have been some sort of enhanced product or an extract of some type?

    I would suggest that you stick to plain leaf, especially if you are using it for pain.
    Many enhanced products and extracts lose out on some of the alkaloids as they focus on only one or two. Many people using it for pain believe the extracts are not as effective.

    Also extracts and enhanced products are over priced and raise tolerance fast, leading to possible addiction.

    If you are using it for anxiety i would recommend you stick to red vein variety's, as they are more sedating, they might also help with your sleep.

    If you have not done so already i recommend you read this guide to buying kratom, as the vendor you buy it from makes a big difference in the quality of the product and also to kratoms continued legality in places where it is still legal. https://drugs-forum.com/threads/200101
     
  18. faith90210

    faith90210 Newbie

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    I ordered thai kratom, and took 1 capsule. I shook the powder in a water bottle with some lemon and stevia. I do realize taking the smaller amount is more stimulating but I was scared to take more. Although I do take xanax for sleeping I have no opiate experience so I didn't want to be too out of it. I know know I took too little and I did not like the effect.

    My question is : is the thai kratom stimulating, should I order a different kind for the anxiety at night? Again the goal is trying to stop taking xanax and relieve pain occasionally.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 16, 2013
  19. thespeedofdark

    thespeedofdark Titanium Member

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    Hi Faith... sorry to hear you have IC as well. It's no fun at all, is it??

    As for what type of kratom, I find Bali to be pretty great for pain relief. For me, 5-6 grams does it - remember, many kratoms can be stimulating at low doses but become sedating at higher ones. I have tried 2-3 grams before and had the same issue with jaw clenching and overstimulation, but moving up to 5-6 grams solved the problem. I also tend to avoid more stimulating strains like Maeng Da, Green Malay, etc when I want pain relief - Bali for me is just great.

    However, kratom is one of those things you have to experiment with, because it's highly personal - people react to it in different ways and so you have to find what works for you personally. It's kind of like finding IC treatments that work - one thing won't work for everyone, so you have to experiment a bit.
     
  20. ianzombie

    ianzombie Platinum Member & Advisor

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    Please do not discuss sources/vendors, it is against the rules.

    Thai kratom is generally stimulating.
    Try order some red veined borneo, also known as Bali.

    There is no need to be scared of kratom, it wont kill you, it is very safe.
    Take 3 grams and see how that works for you. Take it on an empty stomach for the best results.