Over the past few years, we all have heard a lot about things like marijuana, Kratom, and another buzz word kava. Our media platforms, public policy houses, and public forums are filled with debates surrounding these three magical words. Some people are those who want to keep on listening to these words, while others just want to banish these words from the planet earth. Amidst these pro and anti-speakers are people like, maybe you, who don’t know what on earth these things are? You might be surprised to know that all three of them are plants from different regions. Yes, that’s true! A plant can be potent enough to become the center of attention of many people – at least they are!
Here is everything you need to know about these three plants which have captivated or the other way around threatened the people:
Marijuana is a plant listed in many parts of the world as Schedule 1 Drugs like heroin, LSD, and cocaine due to its ability to cause ‘high’ and psychoactive effects. In short, it is considered as not merely a plant but as a drug with high abuse potential. It is comprised of many compounds, but two of its major components include THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol).
People have a misconception that THC and CBD affect the body in the same way, but it isn’t true. THC is basically the compound reported to causing ‘high’ effect. But unlike THC, CBD doesn’t bind with cannabinoid receptors, so it doesn’t cause any high effect. In fact, many CBD users have reported to use it for various medical purposes.
Kratom is a plant grown in South-Eastern countries like Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, and Indonesia. This plant has been in use as a stimulant as well as a depressant since the 1800s. Hence, it is not new in the scene for people of native countries, but Americans have become familiar with this plant in the past few years. And people are buying this plant in powdered form from local and online stores like the golden monk.
But with its immense popularity, it has become banned in 6 U.S. states, and it is on the watch list of FDA. The main cause of this ban is its two components hydroxymitragynine and mitragynine, which are opioid-receptor agonists, just like morphine. So, it is reportedly having an opioid-like effect on the receptors. However, despite many warnings issued by the FDA, online forums are filled with people who are increasingly talking about the benefits of this plant in curing their depression and ditch other drug addictions.
Kava kava, also called as Piper methysticum, is a plant of Pacific islands, and kava is an extract from this plant. Kava is like a staple drink for the people of Hawaii, Fiji, and Tonga like alcohol is in Western society. They dry and crush the root into a powder form, then mix it in water and drink it. Though it has a bitter taste, it reportedly has stress-relieving & calming properties.
It has been banned in Canada and Europe as it is being associated with some cases of liver damage and deaths. But people still use it to treat the sleeping disorder, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), migraines, psychosis, muscle pain, tuberculosis, etc.
It is difficult to tell that these plant extracts are actually beneficial or not as there is very little research work to support both sides. But the number of people seeking these plant extracts are increasing every day.