Doctors Should Prescribe Kratom For Cancer Patients Who Need Pain Management, Not Life Destroying Synthetic Opioids And Opiates
Cancer causes pain for many reasons, and a study in 2011 found that 75% of cancer patients eventually require opiate or synthetic opioid painkillers. The problem with these painkillers is that they cause psychological addiction almost immediately and physical addiction within a week of constant use, and tolerance rapidly builds when using these drugs. A cancer patient may start on the weakest opioid painkiller like codeine, only to find themselves on the strongest possible painkillers such as hydromorphone and fentanyl within a year. At that point the patient will be hopelessly physically addicted, and also so psychologically addicted that the patient may abuse the medication in an attempt to get high, which can lead to overdose and death. Also, there are plenty of stories of patients being thrown off their pain meds after being classified as an addict, causing the patient to seek out street Heroin, which is far more lethal and expensive. Aside from this, synthetic opioids and opiates have a reputation for being strong drugs, which can cause family members or friends to steal a patient’s medication and get addicted themselves. The patient could even end up selling medications on the street since a single pill can fetch anywhere from $5 to $100, and this could land the patient in jail.
Essentially, the use of opiates and synthetic opioids to treat cancer pain is creating another deadly disease within patients: opioid addiction. There is a better way however. Kratom is a plant with opioid properties that is far safer, causing far less physical and psychological addiction, and also in its natural form an overdose is practically impossible. This article will explore the issue of opioid addiction in cancer patients, in addition to discussing how Kratom works and how it could fix this serious problem in the cancer industry.
How Opioids Work, And How They Induce The Disease Of Opioid Dependence
First off, it is important to understand how opioids and opiates work, what they are, and how addiction to these drugs is a disease.
A drug is classified as an opiate if it is derived from the opium plant. The only true opiates are morphine, codeine, and thebaine. On the other hand, opioids are generally drugs that are synthetically made in a laboratory, and are usually chemical derivations of opiates. There is one exception however, naturally occurring opioids are found within Kratom, as will be discussed in far more detail later in this article.
Regardless of whether a drug is an opioid or an opiate, the primary way it reduces pain is via binding to opioid receptors, which are concentrated in the brain, spinal cord, peripheral neurons, and gastrointestinal tract. Detailing the interaction of morphine, the prototypical opiate, with opioid receptors gives a better understanding of how this works.
The primary effects from Morphine are derived from it binding as an agonist at mu-opioid receptors, which causes analgesia (pain relief), sedation, euphoria, and respiratory depression. Morphine also binds to the delta-opioid receptor, which is thought to play a role in pain relief, and the kappa-opioid receptor which causes pinpoint pupils and spinal pain relief.
The euphoric aspect of opioids and opiates is what makes them so addictive. Basically, dopamine is released into the brain due to activation of the mu-opioid receptor, and this is the same pleasure molecule that is released when eating, exercising, having sex, or accomplishing something. In-fact, the body produces endorphins during these activities, which are chemically similar to morphine and bind to the mu-opioid receptors to release dopamine and relieve pain in the same way.
Thus, opioids and opiates exactly mimic the bodies natural molecules to feel pleasure and relieve pain, and therein lies the danger. Instead of having to accomplish things for the body to release endorphins, which is what intrinsically helps humans to survive, someone with painkilling drugs can feel all the pleasure they want to without doing anything. This is part of the reason why someone’s life can completely fall into disorder while taking synthetic opioids or opiates.
With sustained use of opioids or opiates the neurobiology of the body begins to change. This can actually start happening within a week of sustained use, or even just a few days.
The process is complex and involves several changes that occur simultaneously. First, the opioid receptors become less sensitive to the drugs, causing more and more drugs to be required in order to feel the same level of pain relief and euphoria. This is called tolerance, and it can build extremely rapidly with synthetic opioids and opiates. In-fact, a point eventually comes where no amount of synthetic opioids or opiates can relieve any pain or bring pleasure, since the opioid receptors become so desensitized.
A patient may start off taking codeine or tramadol, which are the weakest opiate and synthetic opioid respectively with a potency 10 times weaker than morphine according to the equianalgesic. Eventually the patient will report to the doctor that the medicine is not working, and will possibly receive dihydrocodeine, tapentadol, or pethidine, and within weeks or a few months after the first painkiller dose will probably require hydrocodone, which is just as strong as morphine. Hydrocodone is super addictive, and before long the patient will be on oxycodone which is 50% stronger than morphine. Eventually oxycodone stops working, and the patient moves on to the most powerful synthetic opioids, including hydromorphone, oxymorphone, and fentanyl. Even these strongest drugs eventually stop working too.
Secondly, when painkilling drugs bind to the opioid receptors they suppress the release of noradrenaline, which is a molecule essential for wakefulness, breathing, blood pressure, and general alertness. This is why this class of drugs causes sedation and respiratory depression. However, the brain responds to this lack of noradrenaline by releasing noradrenaline at a higher rate.
This 2nd factor is precisely what leads to physical opioid dependence. If the patient stops taking the drugs at this point, then a massive wave of noradrenaline surges through the body, causing anxiety, restless legs, high blood pressure, insomnia, muscle cramps, and diarrhea. These symptoms in combination are called ‘dope sickness’, and the patient will have a major incentive to take more drugs, because the drugs will quickly relieve these symptoms.
The 3rd factor is that the brain will release less natural dopamine in response to the surge of dopamine from the drugs, so when the drugs are discontinued it can cause normally pleasurable activities like eating to be not pleasurable at all, and in general will make a patient depressed. This factor is a primary cause of psychological dependence.
It is clear that opioid addiction is a disease since it causes physical changes in the body which sustain the addiction. The addiction is both psychological and physiological, and can become all encompassing for a patient. Further, synthetic opioid and opiate dependence even suppresses the immune system, which is the last thing a cancer patient needs since it can make the cancer worse.
The World Health Organization’s (WHO) three step pain ladder for cancer is flawed due to the rapid build-up in tolerance, with the first step being non-opioids like acetaminophen and ibuprofen, the second step being mild opioids, and the third step moderate to strong opioids. Scientific and anecdotal data shows that once synthetic opioids and opiates are given to a cancer patient, that patient will ultimately end up on a mixture of the strongest possible painkillers, and even these will stop working.
That patient will be desperate for pain relief and a high, and may take more medicine than prescribed. If a dose is too high noradrenaline will be completely suppressed, causing a patient to go unconscious, stop breathing, and die.
Another terrible thing that might happen is the patient could go to the street to obtain heroin in an attempt to get pain relief and get high, since the medicine no longer works. Abusing street heroin is far more dangerous than taking medication, since heroin potency varies wildly and can often be cut with fentanyl, and even analogs of fentanyl that are stronger than fentanyl. That puts the patient in a russian roulette situation where one unexpectedly strong bag of heroin could kill them.
Further, synthetic opioid and opiate medication is highly valuable on the street, and the patient could end up selling their medication to get heroin, which could land them in prison and/or get them involved with dangerous criminals.
Finally, the last really bad endgame is that a doctor will classify a patient as an addict, despite that very doctor turning the patient into an addict, and cut off all medication. This is especially possible if the patient begins abusing other drugs to feed their addiction. At that point the patient will either have to go through horrible withdrawals, which is something a cancer patient may not be able to survive, or they could go to the streets for heroin.
Essentially, prescribing cancer patients synthetic opioids and opiates can easily result in a disease which is just as deadly as cancer. It seems absolutely nonsensical and morally wrong. The doctor’s excuse will always be however that there is no other option to treat pain. That is blatantly wrong, since Kratom does exist.
Kratom Is A Natural Opioid With Far Less Addiction Potential
Kratom is derived from the leaves of Mitragyna Speciosa, which is a tropical evergreen tree indigenous to Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Papua New Guinea. Kratom is literally the leaves of the tree without any further processing, making it 100% organic. Kratom is the only other plant besides opium that produces opioid effects, and these effects are primarily due to the alkaloids 7-hydroxymitragynine and mitragynine which are naturally present within the leaves.
7-hydroxymitragyne is 17 times more potent than morphine while mitragyne is about half as potent as morphine. Therefore, Kratom can be a powerful painkiller. That being said, the concentration of 7-hydroxymitragynine and mitragynine in really strong Kratom is only about 0.05% and 1.5% respectively, so a significant amount of leaf must be consumed to get a strong dose. This is the first natural safety measure of Kratom, it is not like synthetic opioid pills which can easily be popped. Kratom has a bitter taste, so people who take Kratom tend to only take it when they really need it. Also, trying to take tons of Kratom will lead to nausea and vomiting. In other words, unlike synthetic opioid pills which can be popped over and over, if someone takes too much Kratom they will puke almost immediately, preventing an overdose.
A brief segue into how Kratom is consumed. The best method is called ‘toss n wash’, where the Kratom is placed onto the spoon and then carefully placed into the mouth between the tongue and the roof of the mouth. It is important not to let it go all over your mouth, to prevent a gagging reaction since it is highly bitter. The Kratom can then be chased down with juice, preferably orange juice, making sure to to only swallow once all the Kratom is suspended in the juice.
The other method of ingestion is by making tea, which can be even more bitter than toss n wash. It is possible to make Kratom tea somewhat palatable by adding tons of hot chocolate to it.
This is the 2nd natural safety measure of Kratom, it cannot be injected, smoked, or snorted, only taking orally. Synthetic opioid and opiate users often get into major trouble because they are snorting, smoking, and injecting the drugs, since this is what enables someone to take too much too fast and also rapidly increases tolerance. With Kratom this is not possible, if someone is trying to take too much Kratom too fast they will definitely vomit, and also Kratom effects come up slowly since it is taken orally.
The primary natural safety measure of Kratom is it does not simply cause opioid effects, it contains 26 additional alkaloids besides mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. This leads to a complex effects profile where Kratom can be highly stimulating in low doses and more sedating in high doses. However, even in high doses there is plenty of stimulation even if someone feels completely sedated.
This is totally different than synthetic opioids and opiates, which produce shallow breathing and a slow heartbeat. Even if someone is passing out on a strong dose of Kratom their heart will be pumping strong and their breathing will not be shallow.
Part of the reason for this is that Kratom contains a natural mu-opioid antagonist called corynantheidine. Opioid antagonists are the only thing that can reverse an overdose from synthetic opioids or opiates, such as the life saving drug naloxone. Since Kratom naturally has a mu-opioid antagonist, it prevents the opioid effects of Kratom from getting stronger past a certain point.
Subjectively and anecdotally, there is a certain Kratom dose that can be taken for maximum effects, beyond which point no more opioid euphoria or sedation is produced no matter how much extra Kratom is taken. This prevents overdoses, and also lowers the abuse potential of Kratom. Unlike synthetic opioids which can be taken over and over for increasing effects, Kratom cannot simply be taken over and over to increase the effect, it just won’t work.
Other alkaloids in Kratom increase its effectiveness as a pain reliever by producing other effects that are non-opioid but compliment pain relief. Paynantheine, speciogynine, mitraphylline, and ajmalicine are smooth muscle relaxers, which can greatly contribute to pain relief and relaxation. Rhynchophylline is an anti-inflammatory, which contributes to pain relief.
Kratom Actually Stimulates The Immune System And Has Cancer Fighting Capabilities
It gets even better. As mentioned previously opioid addiction can suppress the immune system, but Kratom includes alkaloids which stimulate the immune system including mitraphylline, isomitraphylline, isorhynchophylline, and isopteropodine.
One particularly healing alkaloid in Kratom is epicatechin, which is an anti-oxidant, anti-aggregant, anti-bacterial, anti-diabetic, anti-hepatitic, anti-inflamatory, anti-leukemic, anti-mutagenic, and anti-viral. Indeed, this compound which is naturally found in Kratom can help cure sicknesses, including cancer. Other alkaloids in Kratom have anti-leukemic properties as well, including mitraphylline, isomitraphylline, and speciophylline. The potential cancer fighting properties of Kratom will be explored more in-depth in a future article on The Cancer Herald.
Subjectively and anecdotally, Kratom has been reported to help cure the cold, flu, and other sicknesses, and certainly relieves the side-effects of sicknesses.
Thus, Kratom is essentially a miracle plant. It can provide potent painkilling properties via the opioid receptors, but simultaneously its potential for abuse, addiction, and overdose is decreased since it can only be taken orally and induces vomiting if too much is taken, it is naturally stimulating which limits respiratory depression, it includes a natural opioid antagonist which helps prevent overdose and makes it so taking more Kratom beyond a certain amount does not increase euphoric effects, and it includes alkaloids which produce smooth muscle relaxation and anti-inflammatory effects, reducing the amount needed for pain relief.
In addition to all of this, it can even cure sicknesses and potentially fight cancer, making it the optimal choice of painkiller for cancer patients.
To be clear Kratom is addictive, and this article is not trying to say it is not, just that it is far less addictive than synthetic opioids and opiates. It can be psychologically and physically addicting, but the addiction is nowhere near comparable to synthetic opioids and opiates. With synthetic opioids and opiates the addiction truly grabs control of your brain almost immediately, and it can take over someone’s life and become just as important as breathing oxygen, especially since trying to quit leads to horrifying withdrawal. With Kratom there is no extreme craving to take it, and it can be taken just once a day even with long term use, unlike synthetic opioids and opiates which are ultimately taken many times a day once addiction develops. Another way of saying it is Kratom compliments life, instead of taking it over.
The withdrawal from Kratom is mild compared to synthetic opioids and opiates. Even after using it everyday for years the withdrawal will consist of feeling fatigued for several days, with some insomnia thrown into the mix, and diarrhea. Typically 5-7 days after quitting most of the symptoms are gone, aside from the diarrhea which could last for a couple of weeks, and even during the worst of the withdrawal it is easy to keep working. Compare this to the skin crawling, full body torture hell of synthetic opioid and opiate withdrawal, which completely stops someone’s life and they are not able to function until they recover a week or two later.
The Government Has Created False Hysteria To Try And Ban Kratom, And Failed Except In 6 States
Despite all of the beneficial properties of Kratom, and the millions of people which are successfully using it, the FDA has not approved Kratom as a painkiller and it is therefore not prescribed by doctors. In-fact, the government even tried to ban Kratom by creating a hysteria over several overdoses on Kratom extracts that may have actually been synthetic opioids in disguise. This is absurd, nonsensical, and irresponsible, and the government created this situation by not approving and regulating Kratom properly, giving bad actors the opportunity to lace ‘Kratom extracts’ with powerful synthetic opioids.
There has literally not been a known case of someone overdosing on natural Kratom leaf itself. There are perhaps cases of people mixing lots of drugs together when taking Kratom, which could cause an overdose, and the government usually tries to blame this on the Kratom despite the presence of other powerful drugs in the victim’s blood. Indeed, people should not take other drugs when using Kratom, and it is quite unnecessary to begin with since Kratom is highly effective all by itself.
Unfortunately, the false hysteria has caused Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Washington DC to make Kratom illegal, which is a true injustice to the people in those states since it leaves dangerous synthetic opioids and opiates as the only option. Fortunately, there was such an uproar when the federal government tried to ban Kratom that it did not happen.
Due to the fact Kratom is not approved by the FDA, it can be hard to obtain real Kratom. Most headshops sell Kratom, but this is often cut with other inactive herbs and not a healthy option, and can be extremely expensive. Importing Kratom from the manufacturers in Indonesia is an option, but Kratom is often seized by customs at the border.
The best Kratom supplier is Nu Wave Botanicals, whose owner goes to Indonesia regularly and inspects the Kratom trees himself. This is not a press release, and I was not paid to post this information. I simply have a lot of experience with Kratom over the course of a decade, and know how hard it is to obtain good Kratom, having been personally burned numerous times by headshops and online vendors. I want to make sure that if someone decides to use Kratom for pain relief after reading this article that they can get the real deal. Also, Nu Wave Botanical’s prices are literally cheaper than anywhere else despite having better product than pretty much anywhere else, indicating that Nu Wave Botanicals is really trying to help people.
It is my sincere hope that this information will reach cancer patients, as well as other people in pain for different reasons, before a doctor puts them on potentially life destroying synthetic opioids and opiates. Kratom relieves pain while simultaneously not taking over someone’s brain and life, since its addiction and withdrawal potential is much lower. Also, Kratom is far healthier due to the various alkaloids which stimulate the immune system and potentially fight cancer, versus synthetic opioids and opiates which suppress the immune system and can make cancer worse.
Cancer patients have enough problems to deal with, and it is ethically wrong for doctors to throw the disease of synthetic opioid and opiate addiction into the mix if there is a readily available alternative like Kratom.