Phytochemistry of Cannabis, and another natural medicine

in Natural Medicine2 years ago


The name alkaloid ('alkali-like') was originally used because they were thought to be exclusively alkalis ('opposite' to acids), though it is now known that some are neutral or acids. Cannabis is no different in this respect about 20% of plants are believed to contain alkaloids. To date about 12,000 alkaloids have been isolated from natural sources THC is a cannabinoid alkaloid but devoid of nitrogen. Alkaloid are water soluble but THC is fat soluble, making it a distinct class of alkaloid Pseudoalkaloids. Caffeine & Kratom have the typical form of alkaloids with a nitrogen combination which is water soluble.

Many substances that we encounter on a daily basis have chemicals that qualify as a alkaloids. Nicotine Caffeine are examples of Pesticide that is naturally produced by a plant to deter predation. However they occur naturally in most living organisms in one capacity or another. While some alkaloids are toxic especially in large doses. Some animals are adapted to alkaloids and even use them in their own metabolism. Such alkaloid-related substances like dopamine, serotonin and histamine in animals such as humans . Alkaloids are also known to regulate plant growth and are found in most organisms in the form of DMT.


Well this didn't take long already back to my favorite subject cannabis, between Pseudoalkaloids such as Cannabinoids (basically found in most organisms) & the typical form of alkaloids such as terpenoids Cannabis & the majority of its traits/effects are attributed to Alkaloids in one form or another. Many already know certain chemical compounds in cannabis have to undergo changes chemically in order to have desired effects. This is a good time to point out that there are three major types of alkaloids.
There are three central types of alkaloids: (1) true alkaloids, (2) protoalkaloids, and (3) pseudoalkaloids. True alkaloids and protoalkaloids are produced from amino acids, whereas pseudoalkaloids are not derived from these compounds. Meaning some of say decarboxylation makes THC & THCA both pseudoalkaloids & protoalkaloids to a degree. Now time for fun Chemistry yay

This plant that gives you the giggles is actually far more complex then most would first think, These are just some of the predominant chemical compounds in cannabis but far from all of them.
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol)
THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid)
CBD (cannabidiol)
CBDA (cannabidiolic acid)
CBN (cannabinol)
CBG (cannabigerol)
CBC (cannabichromene)
CBL (cannabicyclol)
CBV (cannabivarin)
THCC (tetrahydrocannabiorcol)
THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin)
THCP (tetrahydrocannabiphorol)
CBDV (cannabidivarin)
CBCV (cannabichromevarin)
CBGV (cannabigerovarin)
CBGM (cannabigerol monomethyl ether)
CBE (cannabielsoin)
CBT (cannabicitran)
This as you can tell is leaving out terpenoid(s) But that is due to the different strains/phenotypes having different terpene production, and is less a generality then the other chemical compounds that will present in every plant to varying concentration(s).



Yeah i know this is a tough sell but I dont care here are the chemical compounds, strains and regional differences in kratom and its various forms. Like cannabis unwarranted prohibition and persecution has made the research into this miracle plant far from complete.
Kratom was Nearly made illegal in the U.S however a (protest) march on washington 2016 along with a petition stopped this ignorant abuse of power. Fentanyl has been drooping more bodies than murderers world wide.
This is the European stats over time for fentanyl deaths. This figure is much more drastic in the U.S. Kratom fatalities dont happen unless mixed with several different substances. Arguably it doesn't kill people by itself and like Cannabis there are no actual confirmable deaths attributed to the kratom plant by itself.

Unlike marijuana however its far less prevalent globally & has a genetic bottle neck of sorts due to the destruction of both the plant itself, and its native habitat. Kratom is currently still classified as an endangered species of plant.

Concentration percentages given come from different studies of alkaloid concentrations in Mitragyna speciosa (Kratom) leaf. Some of the alkaloids given in this list still need to be studied more specifically in order to determine their potential activity.
Mitragynine: Indole alkaloid. Analgesic, antitussive, antidiarrheal, adrenergic, antimalarial, possible psychedelic (5-HT2A) antagonist. Mitragynine is the primary alkaloid in kratom, and is believed to be responsible for the majority of its effects. Roughly 66% of total alkaloid content found in Kratom leaf.

Paynantheine: Indole alkaloid. Appears to be a smooth muscle relaxer, but there is limited research available and more needs to be done. 8.6% to 9% of total alkaloid contents in Kratom leaf. Second most abundant alkaloid.

Speciogynine: Diastereomer of mitragynine. Possible smooth muscle relaxer. 6.6% to 7% of total alkaloid contents of kratom leaf, representing the third most abundant alkaloid.

7-hydroxymitragynine: Analgesic and potent mu-opioid agonist, antitussive, and antidiarrheal. Along with mitragynine, 7-hydroxymitragynine is responsible for the primary effects of Kratom. It represents roughly 2% of total alkaloid content found in Kratom leaf, though this is highly variable. Some leaves have undetectable levels.

Mitraphylline: Oxindole alkaloid. Vasodilator, antihypertensive, muscle relaxer, diuretic, antiamnesic, anti-leukemic, possible immunostimulant. <1% of total alkaloid contents in Kratom leaf.

Isomitraphylline: Immunostimulant, anti-leukemic. < 1% of total alkaloid content found in Kratom leaf.

Speciophylline: Indole alkaloid also found in Chinese Cat’s claw (Uncaria tomentosa). Possible anti-leukemic. <1% of total alkaloid contents of Kratom leaf.

Rhynchophylline: Vasodilator, antihypertensive, calcium channel blocker, antiaggregant, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic (fever reducing), antiarrhythmic, and anthelmintic (treatment of parasitic worms). It is a also non-competitive NMDA antagonist, and appears to also have effects on dopamine and 5-HT receptors. Chinese Cat’s claw (Uncaria tomentosa) has also been found to contain rhynchophylline. It has a similar chemical structure to mitragynine, and represents < 1% of total alkaloid content found in kratom leaf.

Isorhynchophylline: Immunostimulant, and possible antihypertensive and neuroprotective. < 1% of total alkaloid content found in Kratom leaf.

Ajmalicine (Raubasine): Cerebrocirculant, antiaggregant, anti-adrenergic (at alpha-1), sedative, anticonvulsant, smooth muscle relaxer. It’s structurally related to alkaloids from yohimbe. Ajmalicine is an α1-adrenergic receptor antagonist with preferential actions over α2-adrenergic receptors, which is the reason for its hypotensive effects. According to ‘Alkaloids: Biochemistry, Ecology, and Medical Applications‘, ajmalicine “depletes peripheral noradrenaline stores, resulting in a decrease of peripheral resistance and blood pressure. It also causes depletion of catecholamine and serotonin stores in the brain, heart, and many other organs”. Ajmalicine is also found in Rauwolfia serpentina.

Akuammigine – an indole alkaloid associated with the seeds of Picralima nitida (akaumma). It is structurally similar to yohimbine and mitragynine. Like yohimbine, it is known to have antimalarial activity.

Ciliaphylline: antitussive, analgesic. < 1% of total alkaloid content found in Kratom leaf.

Corynantheidine (rauhimbine): μ -opioid antagonist, also found in Yohimbe. It’s related to ajmalicine, and is a diastereomer of yohimbine. Like ajmalicine, it is an α1-adrenergic and α2-adrenergic receptor antagonist with 10x greater affinity for the α1-adrenergic receptor. This is in contrast to yohimbine and its other diastereomer, rauwolscine, which have a 30x higher affinity for the α2-adrenergic receptor over the α1-adrenergic (opposite affinities). < 1% of total alkaloid content found in Kratom leaf.

Corynoxeine: Calcium channel blocker. < 1% of total alkaloid content found in Kratom leaf.

Corynoxine A and B: Dopamine mediating anti-locomotives, meaning that they act as somewhat of a sedative. They are also found in Chinese Cat’s Claw (Uncaria tomentosa). There is also some research that suggests they may help with Parkinson’s. < 1% of total alkaloid content found in Kratom leaf.

Epicatechin: A flavonoid that’s an antioxidant, antiaggregant, antibacterial, antidiabetic, antihepatitic, anti-inflammatory, anti-leukemic, antimutagenic, antiperoxidant, antiviral, potential cancer preventative, alpha-amylase inhibitor. One preliminary study even claims that it may reduce myostatin, which would result in muscle growth and improved strength. It’s also found in dark chocolate, green tea, and grapes.

9-Hydroxycorynantheidine: Partial opioid agonist. One study found that “9-Hydroxycorynantheidine inhibited electrically stimulated guinea-pig ileum contraction, but its maximum inhibition was weaker than that of mitragynine and its effect was antagonized by naloxone, suggesting that 9-hydroxycorynantheidine possesses partial agonist properties on opioid receptors”

Isomitrafoline: < 1% of total alkaloid content found in Kratom leaf.

Isopteropodine: Immunostimulant, antimicrobial.

Isospeciofoline: < 1% of total alkaloid content found in Kratom leaf.

Mitraciliatine: < 1% of total alkaloid content found in Kratom leaf.

Mitragynine oxindole B. < 1% of total alkaloid content found in Kratom leaf.

Mitrafoline: < 1% of total alkaloid content found in Kratom leaf.

Mitraversine: Found in Mitragyna parvifolia, and may also be in Mitragyna speciosa

Speciociliatine: Diastereomer (C3 stereoisomer) of mitragynine. Weak opioid agonist. May inhibit acetylcholine release from presynaptic nerve through means other than opioid receptor stimulation. 0.8% to 1% of total alkaloid content of kratom leaf. Unique to Kratom.

Speciofoline: Potential analgesic and antitussive. Patented (US3324111) by Smith Kline (of Glaxo Smith Kline) in 1964. Also patented (US20100209542) by the University of Massachusetts Medical School and University of Mississippi in 2009 to treat opiate withdrawal. As of February 18, 2019, the patent is listed as abandoned.

Stipulatine: More research needed

Tetrahydroalstonine: Hypoglycemic, anti-adrenergic (at alpha-2).

Mitragyna speciosa (kratom) alkaloid content varies quantitatively from geographical location, and from month to month, at different leaf harvest times, which has lead some teams (Shellard et al. in the 1970s) to conclude that there may be different geographical variants within the same species. Alkaloid content can vary even from the same trees due to a variety of environmental and human factors, such as when the length of the rainy or dry season, the amount of time elapsed since the last rain, when the leaves were harvested in relation to the dry season, and the period of time between harvests.

Anybody growing cannabis worth their salt knows stress changes both terpene and THC production. Kratom is no different in this respect but given it grows continuously and you harvest the leaves not the flower this can have a more drastic effect over time.

Typically the highest mitragynine content is present in leaves from frequently harvested trees, especially those that were harvested during the first growth spurt when the rains return after a long dry season. This is due to a combination of reasons. During the dry season, the leaves do not grow as much, so mitragynine and other alkaloids build up in the leaf buds. After the first watering, the leaves experience a growth spurt, and these alkaloids are then deposited into the leaves. These leaves can often have a red-ish appearance.

The frequency of harvesting also affects the alkaloid concentration, particularly mitragynine. It is thought that Mitragyna speciosa produces mitragynine and other alkaloids as a defense mechanism to deter animals from eating the leaves. If the leaves are not being harvested, the plant doesn’t waste energy producing the alkaloids. However if the leaves are frequently being removed, then Mitragyna speciosa produces more in an attempt to prevent this.

This is the distinction between coloration both this and region of origin have major implications to what chemicals are produced and in what concentration.
Given the longer growth cycle and the production of pest deterrents are so much different from intergenerational mutation in cannabis production, This can be a real fun plant for growers due to this fact.

All kratom specimens tested contained mitragynine, but also proved to have considerable variation in the alkaloid makeup. For red and green / white leaved plants of Thailand, the most common alkaloidal profile was mitragynine, speciogynine, speciociliatine, paynantheine, traces of ajmalicine, traces of (C9) methoxy-oxindoles, and traces of other indoles.

Yet other Thai plants contained distinct alkaloidal profiles, some with many more alkaloids. In the Malay specimens, one contained mitragynine, speciofoline, and other indoles and oxindoles, while others contained mitragynine, ajmalicine, speciogynine, speciociliatine, paynantheine, traces of indoles, and (C9) methoxy-oxindoles. Specimens from Papua New Guinea contained mitragynine, speciogynine, speciociliatine, paynantheine, specionoxeine, and isospecionoxeine.

Prior to the late 1990’s, nearly all chemical studies of Kratom activity focused on mitragynine with the assumption that mitragynine was the main active alkaloid. With 7-hydroxymitragynine now clearly identified out as the principal psychoactive alkaloid in Kratom, many elements of these studies need to be revised.

Kratom like cannabis, and coffee is a natural form of nootropic. This means when properly used can effectively increase mental clarity focus creativity even reaction time.

Red Vein Kratom

Red Vein Kratom leaves have red colored stem and veins. Red kratom is by far the best selling and most widely available strain of kratom on the market. The red vein is sold more than the green and white vein combined. The red vein kratom plant grows abundantly in Southeast Asia and is slightly more persistent than other Mitragyna Speciosa trees. Some studies claim that the substances that give rise to the red color of the veins also ensure that the plant is less susceptible to external factors.

Red vein leaves from a trusted source are great for beginners because kratom they produce pleasant calming effects. It gives peace of mind and it gives you a feeling of well-being and optimism. In addition, red kratom is suitable as a sleep aid for people with insomnia. Physically, the red vein is known to relax the body and relieve pain. It relaxes the muscles and can be used as a supplement or replacement of pharmaceutical painkillers. The strongest red kratom extracts are used to prevent withdrawal symptoms of opiate addicts.

Within the red veins, there are considerable differences in the effects and properties. Some strains such as the Red Thai or the Red Vein Borneo have a sedative effect while others like the Red Sumatra produce an elated mood. As with the other types of kratom that, the effects depend on the dose. The red vein produces in small doses a stimulating effect, but overall are the red vein strains are used to promote peace and tranquility.

Some popular types in this category include: Pontianak Maeng Da, Pontianak Red Horn, Red Thai, Kratom Bali, Borneo Red, and the Red Sumatra.

White Vein Kratom

White vein kratom is known as a stimulant and positive mood enhancer. The effect of each strain off course depends on numerous factors such as the quality of the product, lifestyle and tolerance level of the individual. However, the trend is that the white veins are most stimulating and euphoric of all kratom strains. White kratom is increasingly taken instead of coffee (caffeine) for alertness, concentration and cheerfulness. Many have come to take white kratom for increased concentration, motivation and stamina during long working days.

For those who experience gloomy periods or at times feel very exhausted experience the best results when using this strain of kratom. Advisable is to not take this too late in the day as this can lead to restless sleep. It is common practice to mix white vein powder with red vein strains in order to achieve a more balanced boost in energy.

Some popular kratom types in this category include: Pontianak White Horn, White Sumatra and the Borneo White

Green Vein Kratom

Green Vein Kratom can best be described as somewhere in between the red and white kratom strains. It is a mild energy booster that can brighten one up.

People who have experimented with it report that it helps them to enhance alertness and focus, to get in the "flow". The green vein strains are more subtle than the red or white veins. In general, they can be useful in treatment of pain and other discomforts, precisely because the green veins do not lead to drowsiness, which is often caused by other analgesic supplements.

Green vein kratom can be mixed with red or white kratom strains to create a more rounded flavor with a more sophisticated effect. When properly mixed it prevents the excessive anesthesia of the red veins and the overstimulation of the white veins.

Due to the balanced functioning green vein kratom is often used against social fears. You will be less afraid and more able to disregard the importance of other people’s impressions and opinions. Therefore, the green veins are popular during recreational activities such as a night out in town. Green vein kratom makes you more talkative, friendly and cheerful. You will be more inclined to immerse yourself among people while comfortable in your own skin.

Some popular types in this category include: Malaysian Green and the Pontianak Green Horn

Red, white or green kratom?

Which kind of kratom is most appropriate for you depends on your personal preferences and the situation you're in. With kratom this can be quite complicated because the effects can vary within the same strain color. It depends on quality, location, climate, harvesting method etc. Not all red veins will have the same results and this also applies to the white and green veins.

Better safe than sorry

Know what you are doing before you try anything mentioned, like cannabis and Tabaco Kratom doesnt get the same regulatory safe guards as food like coffee for instance. This means know where your kratom comes from if its sustainable and if the growing conditions properly safeguard from toxic minerals or chemicals. For instance many cannabis growers in Michigan run the risk of heavy metals like Nickle or led contaminating their plants if improperly watered with tap water. Same risks apply to kratom as well, I only trust companies compliant with a 3rd party regulatory standards

American Kratom Association Good Manufacturing Practices Qualified Kratom Vendor. Usually abbreviated AKA GMP, now that you know the real story not sensationalism. If Kratom is still rightfully legal in your area and would like to grow this alone or with your Cannabis. I know several vendors with both seeds and plants that can be delivered. Dont hesitate to ask in the comments

Given its much healthier than Motrin or Tylenol over long term use and its an endangered species being persecuted like marijuana I would sleep better at night from every kratom plant growing. A relative of coffee it never recovered from the same aliment that nearly wiped both out in the 1700s.


Not a doctor just a nerd I have had no education or training in the medical field please do not interpret this as medical advice!!

Everything is dangerous when abused enough apples or tomatoes (with proper equipment) & I could extract deadly levels of toxic chemicals that would be lethal. Almost every suburban yard has something that improperly handled could prove fatal be responsible with every natural medicine, Moderation!

Micro dosing Kratom red maeng da, Morning coffee, & Smoking a lot of Chem Dog show above to get in the right mindset to write this.

Forgive the length of this article, & you may have to google a few things because definitions alone would have almost doubled the length of this post. Natural medicine is a community as is STEM that might appreciate this as well as Weedcash I am trying to branch out to other communities on hive. While I'm a stoner I'm a nerd first stoner second, So I'm oddly fascinated with neurochemical reactions and phytochemistry in particular.


Brilliant detail there bud, much appreciated from a scientific and health point of view.

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