Kratom is a green powder that is often sold at supplement shops, online, and in other stores throughout the USA and other countries.
It comes primarily from Indonesia and is used for a variety of things including pain relief, anxiety reduction, and its stimulant properties.
The Kratom Plant
Kratom is an evergreen tree of the madder family and can grow to a height of 25 meters.
Up to 120 small yellow flowers form a sphere that looks like an acupressure ball.
It is sensitive to temperature, so not only do the leaves fall easily, but it is also weak to the wind, so the leaves are easily torn.
It is mainly cultivated in Southeast Asia, such as Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea, because it likes a place with fertile soil and plenty of sunlight.
Although plants of the genus Mitragyna are usually used in traditional medicine in their habitat, kratom is the only species with strong narcotic properties.
The word Kratom in Thai refers to the M. speciosa tree itself or its leaves or products made from them.
Effects & Benefits Of Kratom
Kratom has a stimulant effect when taken in small doses and makes you forget about fatigue, but in large doses it acts like a sedative . Because of this medicinal effect, in the past, workers in Thailand used to take Kratom to forget their fatigue. In 2012, Kratom became popular among young Thai people and became a social problem.
Kratom addicts may use Akuamma seeds if kratom is not available, but it is not as effective as kratom.
The causative component of kratom’s narcotic effect is an indole opioid antagonistic alkaloid called mitragynine (two forms of 7-hydroxymitragynine).
Kratom was classified as a drug and banned for a long time in Thailand, its country of origin, but when the national economy was hit hard by the decrease in tourists due to Corona 19 , related regulations were abolished in 2021 and 22 and legislation was passed to legalize kratom like cannabis.
Warnings From The FDA About Kratom
In recent years, the FDA has issued several public health advisories related to kratom, which is a type of natural product but has a safety problem as its usage has increased in recent years, drawing attention.
Our page on herb safety covers issues that people experience from various other common herbs.
Kratom, known to be distributed as a natural product supplement in the United States, is a kind of plant native to Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea.
It has been known that it is gaining popularity in the United States recently as false marketing has been developed saying that it is a safe product. As the claim that it is safe because it is a natural product has been well received, it is being distributed as an agent to improve pain, anxiety and depression.
However, the FDA urged special attention on the day, saying that kratom has similar effects to narcotic drugs, can accompany misuse, abuse and dependence, and even some deaths have been reported.
The FDA said, “It is known that there are not a few cases in which kratom is even consumed to obtain pleasure. In the reality where the opioid epidemic has emerged as an issue, the use of kratom as a substitute or adjuvant is increasing. is a very worrying point,” he pointed out.
Moreover, the FDA could not hide its embarrassment that more and more consumers misperceived Kratom as a product that could treat narcotic drug withdrawal syndrome. This is because there is no data that reliably proves that kratom can cure the problems of misuse of opioids.
Nevertheless, a significant number of patients with narcotic drug dependence take kratom without a reliable instruction manual, and in the process, medical experts are not aware of the risks or side effects of kratom drugs or the possibility of interactions with other drugs. The FDA raised serious concerns, saying that it had not even consulted with the FDA.
On the other hand, he mentioned that the data clearly proving the harmfulness of Kratom are increasing.
He added that the number of calls to the Center for Drug Addiction Control in the U.S. about kratom increased 10-fold between 2010 and 2015, and that inquiries are still flooding in every year.
In particular, the FDA emphasized that it is aware of 36 deaths related to ingestion of kratom. In addition, cases where kratom was added to narcotic drugs such as hydrocodone and distributed, as well as cases of severe side effects such as seizures, liver damage, and withdrawal syndrome after ingesting kratom, were also reported to the FDA.
Given these past realities, we are at a point where we need to ask ourselves whether we should continue taking kratom for pleasure or pain relief, the FDA pointed out. Ingestion of kratom could only serve to further amplify the current crisis of narcotic drug proliferation.
In addition, the FDA reminded that no company has gone through legal procedures to develop kratom as a drug so far. It was also pointed out that there is no precedent for obtaining FDA approval for any therapeutic effect that Kratom exhibits.
Accordingly, the FDA emphasized that it is taking steps to prevent products containing kratom from being used as dietary supplements. To this end, it is actively seeking to prevent kratom agents from being imported into the United States, and disclosed that a large amount of kratom agents brought in through international mail were discovered.
In addition, the FDA added that it is conducting a comprehensive evaluation of the two ingredients contained in kratom at the request of the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Meanwhile, Kratom has been designated as a controlled substance in 16 countries around the world, including Australia, Sweden and Germany, as well as Thailand and Malaysia, which belong to the country of origin.
In the United States, some states, such as Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Tennessee and Wisconsin, have been included in the regulation, and other states are planning to include them in the near future.
The Lengths People Will Go To Get Kratom
Because Kratom is so habit forming, there are many people who will do “almost anything” to get it or bring it into a country where it shouldn’t be.
The following is a story we discovered from Korea.
A foreigner who smuggled and sold 12.5kg worth of new drugs in large quantities from Thailand was caught by the police.
The drug crime investigation unit of the Chungbuk Provincial Police Agency announced on the 19th that it had arrested and arrested two people, including a Thai national, on charges of violating the Narcotics Control Act.
Mr. A and others are accused of smuggling over 11 kg of ‘Kratom’, a type of new drug, in about 9,900 tea bags and selling it to foreigners staying in Korea.
These tea bags came from Thailand and they were obviously in Thailand when they placed the Kratom powder inside the bags.
‘Kratom’ is a tropical plant native to Southeast Asia and has a strong stimulant effect, causing serious side effects such as convulsions and respiratory depression when misused.
The drug investigation team confirmed that they distributed Kratom to foreigners using social media.
After scouring the internet the team found a lot more information.
In February, two people, including Mr. A, were arrested by tracing the distribution route, and a total of 10 kg of Kratom was confiscated.
Recently, non-face-to-face distribution of drugs such as the Internet, SNS, and dark web is increasing.
In response, the Chungcheongbuk-do Office increased its drug crime investigation team in January of last year and focused on arresting drug offenders.
An official from the Chungcheongbuk-do Police Agency said, “The distribution of drugs is a serious crime that goes beyond an individual problem and adversely affects society.”
This story is quite intense and important to keep in mind if you are considering using Kratom yourself.