Many people have been using kratom as an alternative to doctor-prescribed drugs. According to research published by payspi we know that kratom is known to give pain relief quickly like some other drugs such as heroin or opium, there have been some claims of its deadly side effects. That’s why the FDA has blocked kratom from entering the US ever since 2015.
Amidst all the claims and rumors though, what is the real deal with kratom anyway? Is it really a good alternative to our usual drugs, or is it a deadly, addictive substance that has the same effects as hard drugs? Let’s check that out.
The Kratom Ban
First, let’s talk about the kratom ban. In 2015, the FDA criminalized kratom, putting it in the same class as marijuana and heroin. According to data from the FDA, there were over 40 deaths that were somehow caused by kratom. With that, they ruled out that the drug could be abused and had fatal consequences. The FDA also stated that kratom is highly addictive and has no known medical benefit.
What Is Kratom and Why a Lot of People Use it
If it is such a deadly drug, why are so many people using it? In order to answer that, we must first discuss what it exactly is. It is a type of herb that comes from the same family as Rubiaceae or coffee.
What kratom does is that it gives you a relaxing feeling. Thailand is the place where kratom grows prominently. The native tribes have been turning kratom into tea for many years. Eventually, the Thai government burned down the kratom rainforests after WWII. Most recently, president Pornpetch Wichitcholchai aims to legalize kratom for research in order to see if there are any medical benefits from the plant.
It was only in later years that the herb made its way to the US. The rise in users prompted a further study in 2016 by the University of Florida. The study showed that most users were middle-aged people who were treating themselves from pain and emotional conditions.
The Bottom Line with Kratom
The bottom line with kratom is that we’re not sure where it stands in pharmacology. When it comes to drug abuse, kratom may be addictive because of the pain relief feeling it gives. After all, it has mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine which are both effective for pain relief. This is why a lot of people may become dependent on it for pain relief, sleep problems, or depression.
While that is the popular claim, a study published by the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs stated that the effects of the drug are quite mild. A rodent study even showed that MG and 7-HMG have relatively little potential for abuse.
Compared to morphine, MG and 7-HMG do not bring in chemical signals that lead to overdose problems. Aside from morphine, other opioids such as fentanyl also have this effect.
Kratom, on the other hand, does not show any signs like that. With that said, a theory does suggest that kratom is actually less dangerous than some prescription drugs. However, there are not enough studies to prove this since the ban on kratom makes it hard for institutions to study the drug.