What is Kratom?

Speciosa, better known as just ‘kratom’ is a tropical and evergreen plant that belongs to the coffee family. It grows naturally in the humid environment of Southeast Asia. Countries like Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea happen to be the biggest growers of this herb.


For ages, these countries would use kratom leaves as home remedies for a range of bodily discomforts. Though it has always been a part of traditional medicine in these countries, it wasn’t until the onset of the 19th century that kratom became mainstream.


From the 21st century onwards, kratom got discovered by the western population. Since then, many people have found it helpful on a personal level in self-management of pain, etc.

Why and How do People Use it?


Some of the leading reasons that most people use kratom are –

For improved energy levels
Self-management of pain
For achieving relaxation and rejuvenation


While there has always been a lack of proper clinical trials/studies to establish these effects, majority evidence comes from anecdotal stories that are plentiful and floating around on the internet.


To check out such anecdotal evidence, you can visit the kratom review page on WebMD where consumers from everywhere talk about their experience with its consumption.


In terms of how to use it, most people just go with the old-fashioned toss and wash method. They would take their daily dosage on a spoon, throw it back in the mouth, and quickly wash it down with water.


Some may use juices like pineapple and orange to mask the often bitter taste of kratom.


Others like to use kratom as capsules since its encapsulated form completely masks the taste.

Why is Kratom Controversial?


The reason why kratom has always remained a controversial herb is because of the presence of certain alkaloids in its leaves. While those alkaloids render kratom most of its therapeutic properties, they tend to interact in the same way that opioids do at the level of the brain.

This is the reason that even the DEA tried to push it for ban in the United States in 2016. However, that appeal was met with much resistance by a lot of support groups and the general population. Following the opposition, the DEA withdrew the appeal.


Much of the opposition against kratom is based on the study that meant to establish a link between kratom’s overdose and the resulting deaths. This study talked about 27,338 deaths across 27 states. It said that out of those – 91 deaths were partly linked with kratom overdosing.


However, the study failed to take into account that even 1% of those cases also had other toxic substances like benzodiazepines, fentanyl, and heroin present in the deceased.


Only 7 out of 27,000 cases were related to the involvement of kratom only. Even then it could not be established whether all those deaths were caused solely by kratom.


What’s Happening With Kratom In Louisiana?


The bill to criminalize this herb was passed weeks ago in the state of Louisiana. The bill called HB452 was prompted by LDH (Louisiana Department of Health). It was pushed through by Chris Turner, the state Rep. The bill was passed unanimously by the House and Senate and was signed into law by Gov. John BelEdwards on June 11. Readers can check out the details of the billhere.

Although passed, HB452 was basically amended coming out of committee with the provision that kratom would be illegal only when or if the DEA schedules it on a federal level.

The American Kratom Association is working diligently to pass the Kratom Consumer Protection Act in all states, including Louisiana.

Kratom is currently illegal in the following states –


Rhode Island


States like Florida, Nevada, Colorado, and Illinois have outlawed this herb in certain jurisdictions.


The FDA & Kratom


While the DEA couldn’t push kratom for schedule 1 drug back in 2016, the FDA treats it as such. It has even issued a public health warning regarding its usage.

The fact that no kratom products are regulated by the FDA makes it all the more controversial; since you cannot vouch for the purity or authenticity of any kratom product.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn’t approve kratomfor human consumption. It expressed contempt against kratom distributors in California and North Carolina who were selling it under false medical assertions.

It is, therefore, recommended to buy kratom products from vendors who maintain transparency in their marketing and do not make any medical claims about kratom consumption. To that end, kratom crazy is a good online place.

The FDA has said many times over that the “substances” in kratom carry opioid-like properties which make users vulnerable to abuse, dependence, and addiction.

As of now, the Food and Drug Administration has approved no uses of kratom. It encourages more research to better understand the safety profile of kratom, especially when used in conjunction with other drugs.

The Takeaway

If passed, the law would put kratom alongside drugs like ecstasy and heroin in the Schedule 1 Drugs.

That means – many former drug addicts and patients who relied on the natural route of using kratom for the management of chronic pains associated with drug withdrawal would be put at risk.

Not to mention it would also put a strain on hospitals and rehab facilities in the country, especially in times where the healthcare costs are already skyrocketing and out of control.


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