What is Kratom?
Kratom is the popular name for Mitragyna speciosa, a tropical evergreen tree in the coffee family. The leaves of the kratom plant have been used safely for hundreds of years by indigenous cultures in its native Southeast Asia for a variety of purposes, and kratom has steadily gained popularity in the United States.
When taken in appropriate amounts, kratom can promote general health and wellbeing, support mental focus and balanced mood, promote joint health and comfort, and support everyday aches and pains. Today, tens of thousands of Americans consume kratom as a safe and natural alternative to pharmaceuticals and other medications. Current scientific and academic research shows that kratom is not dangerous and should remain legal.
Is it safe?
For over half a century, Kratom has been used safely around the world. It is not a drug, but a natural supplement ingested or brewed to support general health and help everyday Americans live full and meaningful lives.
Who uses it and why?
Kratom is used by adults across all demographics, primarily for its therapeutic properties. Veterans, medical and mental health professionals, lawyers, athletes, and older adults are among the most vocal populations who consume and support kratom. Many report relief from minor aches and pains, increased vitality, and general well-being.
What do researchers say?
Alan Bloom, a member of Wisconsin’s Controlled Substances Board and a professor of pharmacology and toxicology at the Medical College of Wisconsin said in 2015, “There’s no scientific basis for classifying Kratom as a dangerous drug.” Also In 2015, the Florida Department of Health found that there were no pervasive health issues attributed to the ingestion of Kratom products.
In 2014, Robert Raffa, Ph.D., Professor of Pharmacology in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Temple University, published that there have been ZERO deaths from kratom alone. This still holds true TODAY. According to Jack Henningfield, Ph.D., Professor of Behavioral Biology at The John Hopkins University, “Kratom [has] very low toxicity, and thus a favorable safety profile.”
What happened with the DEA?
In late 2016, DEA filed an emergency notice of intent to classify kratom as Schedule I controlled dangerous substance. After public outcry and pressure from Congress, DEA withdrew their notice and agreed to use proper scheduling protocol, including soliciting public comment, before making a final decision. During the comment period, DEA received 23,023 comments opposing the ban, 99.1% of the total comments they received. Veterans supported keeping kratom legal 448 to 1, and medical professionals supported kratom’s legality 569 to 7. DEA has made no further move to schedule kratom nor indication that it intends to revisit this issue.
How can we ensure kratom’s legality?
A responsible kratom industry is as important as responsible kratom consumption. Vendors must take steps to ensure the safety, efficacy, and accurate branding of our products. To that end, we restrict sales of our products to adults over the age of 18. Additionally, we support labeling requirements as well as marketing, branding, and retail display restrictions, which are long proven to reduce youth access and substance misuse. We are also committed to scientific research of kratom and its constituent alkaloids so that we may learn more about this plant and its possibilities.