So, you’re looking for some Kratom facts. We’ve got you covered! It’s difficult to wade through the plethora of information available. In this post you can find out about what Kratom actually is, the scientific literature available, and government “facts” about this botanical.
What is Kratom?
Kratom, or Mitragyna speciosa, is a tropical evergreen tree in the coffee family native to Southeast Asia. This plant has been used by indigenous cultures in traditional medicine practices since at least the nineteenth century.
Kratom is not a drug, an opiate, or a man-made substance; natural Kratom is simply an herbal supplement that can replace these other substances which are so hard on the human body. Kratom helps manage chronic pain, anxiety, insomnia, and depression. It is even used as a mood and energy enhancer. Kratom is not an opiate, but it does interact similarly with the brain. Although, chocolate, coffee, and exercise also trigger the same receptors.
Kratom’s potential for abuse and dependence is no greater than easy to find and widely used substances such as “nutmeg, hops, St. John’s Wort, chamomile, guarana, and kola nut,” according to Dr. Jack Henningfield, Ph.D. Who published a comprehensive analysis of Kratom, its properties, and its uses, the full text of which can be read here.
Studies on Kratom
Even though its history and use is widespread in Southeast Asia, Kratom has only recently started to gain traction as an herbal remedy in the West. The majority of findings emerge after 2004. And of those, most are within the last ten years. In its native regions, uses for Kratom are pain management and opium withdraw. In Western countries, too, there is a rise in users of Kratom for treatment of pain and opioid withdrawal.
It is these aspects of Kratom that garner the most attention of the scientific and medical community. However, there are no clinical studies that have been published on how Kratom affects the human body. But, there has been some testing of Kratom with animals. The results found that Kratom is effective at easing various forms of pain in animals such as rats, mice, cats, and dogs.
Studies have also found that Kratom alkaloids do, in fact, produce opioid like effects on the muscle systems of animals. Scientists isolated the compounds in Kratom, and found that most of the opioid-like activity of kratom has been attributed to the presence of the indole alkaloids, mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. Both compounds are shown to relieve pain, as well as block the brain’s detection of painful stimulus. If you would like to read more about the available literature and studies available on Kratom, this is a great literature review study that goes in depth on the available material (yes, it is dense!).
Government Myths about Kratom
If you have found this page, it’s likely you’re doing your own research on Kratom. We think that’s great! However, you’ve probably read some concerning Kratom “facts” in the news and from the government. And, unfortunately, you can’t trust everything you read. The DEA has already backtracked on their position with Kratom.
DEA & Kratom
In August 2016, the DEA announced that it planned to reclassify Kratom as a Schedule I drug. This announcement created a strong public reaction, including petitions, calls to congress, and public protests. This backlash caused the DEA to rethink their hasty decision regarding Kratom, and they withdrew their intent to reschedule Kratom in October 2016. Since then, there has been no change in the DEA’s position on Kratom. If you want to read more about the DEA’s decision process, and the public outcry it caused, this is a great source to learn all of the facts.
FDA & Kratom
The FDA is also a source of misrepresented Kratom facts. They are at the heart of a lot of myths circling about the dangers of Kratom use. Below are 4 FDA myths, and the actual facts that dispel them.
The American Kratom Association (AKA) is a great source for every question you could have about Kratom facts. They are a nonprofit organization fighting for American’s rights to use Kratom safely, and produce top quality literature and information on the subject. For a more detailed report of how the FDA has tried to mislead the public about Kratom’s safety, read this report published by the AKA.
Kratom Facts by the Numbers
While there surely is more research to do on Kratom, we think the proof is in the pudding. The word of mouth popularity of Kratom only comes from users who believe in the product and the ways in which it benefits their lives. You can search the web and find countless testimonials from people whose lives have been transformed by Kratom.
The Kratom facts are, that doctors and medical professionals do not want to see Kratom become illegal. Rather, they call for more standardizing of the product, and further research and testing. This also points to the reasons it is important to do your research. Know where your Kratom comes from and who is selling it. If you’d like to continue learning all about Kratom, head over to our Ultimate Guide to Kratom!