Kratom or Mitragyna Speciosa is popularly known to provide various positive effects. Consumption on lower dosage provides stimulation while taking in higher amount causes sedation. It also contains analgesic properties, anxiolytic effects and mood enhancement with its ability to provide euphoric feeling. Another most important Kratom effect is the enhanced cognition. However, this notion was met with varying opinions. Users claim that the natural herb is capable of providing the said effect, while research suggests otherwise.
What is Cognitive Performance?
Cognitive performance is the ability to make use of the knowledge acquired by our brain through various mental processes. Our brain is said to be well-functioning when we are able to control voluntary or involuntary tasks such as the sleep-wake cycle, perception, emotion, appetite, memory, attention, and mood.
These activities are tracked by millions of neurons in our body, along with a system of receptors and effectors that react to the changes in our brain activity. These receptors react differently to various ligands, depending on the nature and amount of the said ion or molecule. Thus, when you speak of Kratom enhancing cognition, it is actually the strain of Kratom and its amount.
Kratom’s Relationship to Cognitive Performance
Our brain is considered to be the most powerful organ in our body. It controls most of our functions, be it physical, sensory or mental. Our brain gets its energy from nutrients, coming from the food and drink we consume. These nutrients interact with our body’s organs in various ways.
Our body then metabolizes these, and the end products act on various receptors inside. For Kratom, its naturally formed alkaloids, mitragynine, and 7-hydro mitragynine are the final products of our body’s metabolism. These alkaloids now then communicate to opioid receptors in our brain, which in turn affect our cognitive performance to varying degree.
Will Kratom Enhance Cognition?
Kratom’s ability to enhance cognition is still being debated until today. As many users have testified, consuming Kratom in small dosages increases their mental capacity. However, if taken in a higher amount, its sedative effect takes place and loses that enhanced cognitive function in return.
Short-term users of Kratom have also reported of enhanced memory and physical capacity. They reported feeling more alive, optimistic and outgoing.
However, with long-term use, this memory starts to become more jaded, due to the decreased level of acetylcholine. This organic chemical is responsible for transmitting information to your brain, thus acquiring new things and retaining them. Its decrease also means a reduction in cognitive performance.
As some users claim, Kratom helps them become more focused and attentive. It also provides euphoria, motivation, stamina, increased productivity due to enhanced strength. They also feel more relaxed and serene. However, these effects are highly dependent on dosage, as taking in a much higher amount induces the sedative effect, which limits your cognitive function.
Research on Kratom and Cognitive Performance
A research conducted claimed that Kratom could act as a stimulant for locomotor functions. The said claim was a result from an experiment whereby a rat was exposed to a Kratom, multiple times. The rat was able to develop an increased locomotive capacity, although, in conjunction with user’s testimony, exposing the rat to a higher dosage also loses the said positive effect.
The said study also suggests that Kratom has the ability to enhance the expression of dopamine receptor and the RNA molecules that control it. This results in memory enhancement and cognitive learning. It can also act as an anxiolytic agent that reduces anxiety when taken in a small amount.
However, the research also made clear that the Mitragynine present on Kratom could lead to abuse and addiction. It can create impairment to cognition, as well as emotional function, akin to other stimulating drugs such as opiates. These findings are in contradiction to numerous accounts of users that have benefitted greatly from this natural medicine.
Kratom Right Dosage to Enhance Cognition
The effects of Kratom are highly dependent on your consumption. Small dosages generally provide the enhanced cognitive function while higher dosages promote its sedative effect. However, the measurement as to whether it is small or high varies to each person. What may be small for you may be high for the others, or the opposite?
As a safe estimate, a 2-gram Kratom is a small to moderate dosage for beginners. This measurement should be able to provide users with the enhanced cognitive function they are after. A measurement of six grams or over may cause Kratom’s sedative effect to take over. Thus, if you intend to use Kratom to enhance cognition, it is highly suggested to not take it in this said measurement.
Best Kratom Strain for Cognitive Enhancement
Different Kratom strains can provide users with increased energy, motivation, stimulation and enhanced cognition. The most famous ones for mild effects are the White Vein Borneo or the Green leaf variants, while the Red Vein kind is known for its sedative effects.
Another famous Kratom strain that can provide increased cognition is Maeng Da. However, this is still dependent on dosage, as Maeng Da, if taken in higher dosage can also show sedative effects. For beginners, it is best to stick with 1-3 grams for this specific strain. The Green Malay Kratom is also famous for its enhanced cognitive effect, and is known to last for a much longer period versus other Kratom strains.
Kratom, in a nutshell, offers users various effects depending on one’s needs. A higher dosage may be needed for those looking for pain relief with its sedative effect. Those looking to enhance memory, mental or cognitive function or those who prefer the “recreational” side of Kratom, consumption in lower dosage is the best way to go. In the end, it all depends on the dosage and your intention. Rarely does a natural medicine provide such option, proving further of Kratom’s many wonders.