Things are happening in the kratom world, and this therapeutic, all-natural plant seems well on the way to becoming the next medical cannabis. Let’s take a look at some of the more recent reports and events in the kratom sphere:
- A Canadian and Kratom: The banning of kratom as a “public health risk” is a widespread topic of discussion on both sides of the border. But a new advocate has stepped forth, and he’s an unlikely ally: Scott Bernstein is a senior policy analyst with the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition, and he’s recently come forward to talk about how kratom helped him recover after he broke two vertebrae in his neck. After struggling with the mental fog created by high doses of opioids, he turned to kratom and found it to be “a very gentle drug where I could take it and it just sort of imparted a sense of well-being as well as pain relief, but I could also function.” Chalk one up for natural alternatives!
- April Saw Another Delay: The DEA seems to have wavered back and forth on their plans for kratom ever since first announcing the intention to ban it back in August of 2016. After threats again in the early spring, in April there was another delay, and kratom remains safe federally for now, despite the five or so states that have banned its sale or use in “human consumption”. Advocates hope that not only will kratom remain available for use by patients, but that more research will be carried out to learn exactly how the alkaloids in the plant work, and what – if any – negative side effects might be expected from long-term use.
- Salmonella Link More than a Conspiracy?: If you were following the kratom/salmonella outbreak stories that dominated kratom news last month, you probably saw the “conspiracy theory” that the FDA “caused” the outbreak. While the idea that they infected the seized samples with the virus is most likely false, it turns out some scientists agree the organization may have been inadvertently responsible, after all. By preventing the legal testing and regulations for which advocates (and even vendors) have asked since kratom first became popular, the FDA could be seen as partially to blame for the lack of testing that allowed so many infected products to hit shelves around the country.
- The AKA Continues Research:Vendor Salmonella Survey requesting vendors contacted by the FDA and/or CDC following the outbreak take a survey that includes questions like “Did the FDA/CDC present you with evidence your products are contaminated” and “Did the FDA/CDC provide specific written documentation of the laboratory analysis”. We look forward to learning the results of their research! Taking their interests beyond deep study of the compounds within kratom, the American Kratom Association hasn’t ignored the salmonella kratom crisis, either. Recently, the advocacy organization released a
- Will Louisiana Take the Lead on Kratom Research?: Louisiana isn’t a state that immediately comes to mind when you think of an open-minded approach to alternative medicines, but they’ve stepped out from the fray as one of the regions requesting research of kratom (though, admittedly, this is after repeated failed attempts to ban it). The state’s Department of Health has been tasked with studying the plant and products that contain it, with a deadline of “at least two months before the beginning of the 2019 legislative season”.
The future of kratom remains uncertain, but it seems likely more research is on its way. Hopefully, studies return results positive enough in nature to allow Mitragyna speciosa to remain a viable treatment option for the hundreds of thousands of people who already benefit from it, and the millions more who could.