Most of the kratom consumed by Americans comes from Indonesia. Since 1994, for the sale of nutritional supplements to the Americans, it is only necessary to prove that new products or ingredients are safe enough. After that, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducts a 75-day inspection, much less stringent than for drug manufacturers. And if the department reveals any problem, the supplement may be banned. However, many manufacturers skip this part, hoping that no one will simply notice the problems. The suppliers did the same with kratom: despite tons of leaves imported into the USA, no one contacted the FDA. It was imported under the guise of incense, cosmetics, and sellers made posts on the sites “not for consumption,” even if everything else indicated otherwise.
The authorities did not pay attention to Kratom until 2013, until the then head of the FDA receive a joint letter from three associations representing manufacturers and sellers of food additives. They were worried: Kratom did not pass certification, but step by step flooded the market, not only threatening the health of consumers, but also taking away a decent portion of income. As a result, the management recognized kratom leaf preparations as both an additive and an unapproved drug.
At that time, no evidence was given of the negative effect of the leaves, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), although making a kratom in the list of potentially dangerous drugs for several years in a row, took no action.
In August 2016, the DEA announced its intention to ban Kratom. The department decided to add it to the list of the most dangerous drugs available that are not even used for medical purposes. However, after a month and a half, this issue was also unexpectedly removed from the agenda: either because of the mass protests of the Americans, or because of the general lack of elaboration of the topic.
In 2017, the FDA again took up Kratom. The management stated that “it can actually contribute to the opioid epidemic and threatens patients with serious side effects” because it has a similar effect on the brain.
At the same time, Kratom researchers claim that although its effect is similar to that of opioids – for example, heroin, it is still different from it. The active ingredients of the plant – the alkaloids mitraginin and 7-hydroxymitraginine – affect the mu receptors, suppressing pain. But the main difference is that Kratom does not affect the neural pathways associated with respiration. In case of an overdose of opioids, the main cause of death is precisely respiratory arrest, and in the case of kratom this is considered unlikely. However, it is worth noting that preparations from this plant are not advised to be mixed with stimulants and alcohol.
Advocates are trying to prove that addiction to kratom is no worse than tea or coffee, and withdrawal symptoms are similar to refusing caffeine, tobacco and antidepressants. “Consumers can begin to rely on kratom, applying it daily, but this is not the same as addiction. In the morning, many people need a cup of coffee to wake up, ”they say. It is indicated that increasing the dose does not make its effect stronger, which also does not contribute to an epidemic similar to opium.
Now it is necessary to defend the plant’s benefits not by protests in the streets, but by belief the lawmakers in the states and members of Congress. Sometimes it is possible, if not to completely convince the deputies, then at least soften their position.
For example, in Michigan, Senator Rick Jones was initially for a complete ban on Kratom, but after negotiations with the American Kratom Association, he began to promote a more compromise version of the bill in the region. The new document proposes to prohibit the sale of products from this plant to citizens under the age of 18, to prohibit mixing Kratom with other substances, and also to allow sales only in natural form, not modified in laboratories.
If such measures are promoted not only at the local, but also at the federal level, for those supporting Kratom, this will be practically a victory. In the meantime, the main obstacle to “cleaning the reputation” of the plant remains the lack of official studies of the effectiveness of drugs: if they were conducted, then only on animals. Kratom has never been tested in humans, along with placebo or proven substances.
It is necessary to collect such data, but as long as they have not, the scope of distribution of Kratom will either remain in the shadows or will be regulated by ambiguous laws. And then Americans who find relief in Kratom will again have to return to opiates and dependence on them. It’s hard to say if anyone will be better off.
In the Certified Kratom store, you can always purchase high-quality Kratom. All our kratom products were obtained from well-known manufacturers who monitor the quality of their products, and we, in turn, monitor the conditions of its storage in order to preserve the unusual properties and freshness of the product for the buyer.
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