Kratom and the FDA make headlines again this summer as the regulators and the substance go head to head over the pros, cons, and dangers of taking Kratom capsules and Kratom powder. Kratom, a supplement with several proven benefits such as reducing anxiety, headaches, and general aches, is no stranger to criticism and warnings; the FDA has repeatedly spoken against people using Kratom capsules as they believe it will be abused and lead to addiction similar to opioids. As a matter of fact, many of those addicted to opioids use Kratom as a means to control and mitigate withdrawals and relapses. There are several stories of Kratom powder being used to ween opioid addicts off of the harmful drugs. So, what’s the news this time around?
The FDA sent warning letters to distributors in California and North Carolina, respectively, for selling Kratom based products with unproven claims that it can be used to treat or cure opioid addiction. The FDA notes that Kratom affects the same receptors in the brain as morphine and that it can, therefore, lead to abuse and addiction; additionally, the FDA and DEA state that Kratom was found in the autopsies of 91 out of 27,000 overdose deaths.
While these numbers may seem low, the data falls apart a bit more when it is noted that other substances were found in the bodies of those 91 victims and that it wasn’t Kratom powder alone that lead to their deaths. Despite the diluted dangers of the supplement, the DEA is considering labeling Kratom as a schedule I drug where it would join the ranks of heroin, ecstasy, and other harmful drugs.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse is funding research as to how the supplement, an herb that is native to Southeast Asia where it has been used for centuries without adverse effects, is linked to harm and death in the United States. Obviously, there are contrasting accounts and reports about the efficacy of the supplement, yet many tout it as a natural remedy to depression, anxiety, pain and more. Is it fair to say that too much of any good thing is bad for you?
Absolutely. Fried food is delicious and some oils can be good for you, but eating a lot of it leads to weight gain and diabetes. A glass of wine a day is said to be good for your heart; a bottle a day is detrimental to your liver. Banning a substance that has helped people for hundreds of years seems egregious as there are other substances that are legal and easier to abuse in smaller doses.
In our opinion, we feel that people are letting their minds run wild with fear and slippery slope arguments. As mentioned before, Kratom powder has been used for centuries without any ill effects; rather, many have benefited from using the supplement. We encourage additional funding of research to show the benefits of Kratom capsules and if you’d like to find out more about the benefits of the herbal supplement, or to try them yourself, give us a call and we can guide you through our products!