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What is kratom?
Mitragyna Speciosa, also known as Kratom, is a large tree in the Rubiaceae family native to Southeast Asia in the Indochina and Malesia floristic regions. It was first documented by Pieter Korthals, a Dutch colonial botanist. The leaf of the tree contains mirtragynine and was traditionally used for its ethnobotanical and medicinal properties. The leaves of kratom have been used by the indigenous people as a stimulant in low doses, a sedative in large doses, an anti-diarrheal and pain killer. It is said that Kratom affects the human brain similarly to an opiate although there is no conclusive clinical data proving how the alkaloids works in relation to the human brain.
Kratom contains more than 25 alkaloids including mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. These alkaloids act as mu-opioid receptor antagonist. The three most abundant indoles are mitragynine (9-methoxy-corynantheidine) which is responsible for 1/2 of the alkaloid content, paynanthine, and speciogynine. The two most abundant oxindoles are mitraphylline and speciofoline. Other alkaloids present include ajmalicine, corynanthedine, mitraversine, rhychophylline, and stipulatine. Mitragynine is believed, but has not been proven to be, the primary active alkaloid in Mitragyna Speciosa.
Is Kratom Legal?
Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is uncontrolled in the United States with the exception of Indiana and Vermont . This means all parts of the plant and its extracts are legal to cultivate, buy, possess, and distribute (sell, trade or give) without a license or prescription. If sold as a supplement, sales must conform to U.S. supplement laws. If sold for consumption as a food or drug, sales are regulated by the FDA.
In 2012 Indiana banned the chemicals Mirtagynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, but the legal definition does not appear to cover the plant kratom. In 2012, Vermont issued a an emergency order to ban several new designer chemicals which included 7-hydroxymitragynine (one of the active alkaloids in kratom), effectively banning kratom in Vermont.
Laws change quite often and ignorance of the law does not excuse criminal conduct (Ignorantia juris non excusat)., so be sure that kratom is legal where you live before using it.
How safe is Kratom?
When taken by itself (not mixing it with other substances), the greatest risk when taking Kratom may be falling asleep while engaged in hazardous activities. Like any other substance that may be mind altering or affect your cognitive abilities, do not drive or operate heavy machinery while under the influence of Kratom. Always use common sense. Due to the lack of medical studies regarding the use of Kratom in relation to pregnancy, pregnant women should not take any drug or medication except at the medical advice from their physician. It is not known whether it could cause birth defects or fetal death. Once again, always use common sense regarding anything that you put in your body.
Is Kratom habit forming?
Although a small number of individuals have become dependent on Kratom (primarily in Thailand), Kratom is not habit forming when used in moderation and responsibly. When used in moderation, not daily, there is no documented risk of dependency. It is important not to get into the habit of using Kratom, or any supplement, on a daily basis. Like many stimulants [e.g. alcohol, coffee, tobacco, etc.], when used daily for a prolonged period of time, could become habit forming. You know your body better than any physician and must be diligent regarding self control. If you have a predisposition for addiction, you must treat everything with moderate behavior including the use of Kratom.
What are the effects of Kratom?
Kratom is quite unique, in that, in low to moderate doses will commonly be stimulating and in large doses has a more sedative effect. Often, the individual will experience an analgesic effect caused by the alkaloids contained in Kratom and the manner in which the brain receptors are affected. The level of effect, like any other supplement, depends on many factors including body weight, physiological makeup, tolerance level and so on.
As a stimulant, used in low to moderate doses, the individual will experience an analgesic effect along with physical energy, alertness, increased libido, euphoria, sociability, improved mindset or mood, focus and overall improved demeanor. In some cases when taken in large doses, an individual may experience edginess similar to being over-caffeinated.
An a sedative, used in higher doses, an individual will experience an analgesic effect along with euphoria, a lower sensitivity to pain, both physically and emotionally, relaxation, anti-depression and anti-anxiety. Used in excess, it may result in a prolonged sleep.
What are the active components of Kratom?
The important active alkaloids in Kratom are mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. These alkaloids are responsible for pain relieving, sedative, euphoric, and stimulating effects.
Are there any reported health issues caused by Kratom?
There are very few reports regarding negative health effects due to Kratom and the circumstances reported were in conjunction with additional illegal substances combined, so there is no conclusive data showing Kratom as the cause for any negative effects. Health problems are unlikely unless one is consuming large quantities of Kratom every day. In Thailand, where many of the indigenous population use kratom daily, those dependent on it can develop weight loss and have physical withdrawal symptoms when quitting abruptly. If any, the withdrawal symptoms may include muscle aches, irritability, crying, runny nose, diarrhea, and muscle jerking. Health problems are unlikely to occur in occasional Kratom users. Like any drug or medicine, moderation is the key and individual’s reactions may vary. It is uncommon, but an individual could possibly experience an allergic or other unusual reaction to Kratom, even if used responsibly. More commonly, when using an excessive amount, an individual’s body would simply reject the substance, thus as a natural physiological reaction, may experience emesis (Vomiting) as the body's way of preservation.
Latest Kratom News Blog & Twitter Feeds
Today (August 14, 2015), Executive Director of the American Kratom Association, Susan Ash, testified before the Wisconsin Controlled Substances Board, urging them to consider removing Kratom from their Schedule I list. Upon the conclusion of the meeting, no decisions had been made, but we are hopeful the board will make the right choice.
Read Susan Ash’s testimony here
Along with Susan, Wisconsin Kratom consumer Kerry Biggs also testified at the meeting to tell her experience with Kratom.
Read Kerry’s Testimony here
Read more: American Kratom Association Testifies Before Wisconsin Controlled Substances Board
Adolf Hitler's minister of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, is quoted as saying, "“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it."
So, when TV newscasters tell us that Kratom is a synthetic chemical and warn that, it is only a matter of time before it kills someone, they are using the same technique, whether they intend to or not.
To them and their station manager, the truth is less important than a catchy sound bite. And besides, often they are quoting from the DEA or some local drug rehab center manager, who are incorrectly stating the facts.
Besides, they may think, "The end justifies the means of achieving it." In a War Against Drugs, isn't it more important that we prevent people from using drugs, than it is to be concerned with the "unimportant" details of scientific reports?
The DEA considers Kratom a "drug" and they believe that all drugs that aren't FDA-approved are bad, so it is not important to them how they speak about substances nobody at the FDA or DEA has taken the time to open-mindedly research.
Read more: Speaking the Language of Kratom Freedom
It's Time to End Our Infatuation with Pharmaceuticals. Kratom is the place to start.
Our politicians are so enamored with Big Pharma's money and power, they fail to notice that our nation's health has been slipping in many areas to third-world quality.
Even the rich and famous are addicted to pain meds because it's more profitable to treat the symptoms than to cure diseases that were cured decades ago in farm animals.
Here's the business model of the pharmaceutical industry in a nutshell: Treat every symptom with a separate drug, while the disease continues to progress undaunted. Most of the drugs used are quietly destroying other organs and bodily systems, so the MD can start working on them with more drugs.
Read more: Ending Our Unhealthy Infatuation with Big Pharma
Last year, Americans spent an estimated $374 billion on prescription drugs, up 13 percent from the year before. These drugs include OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet and others that the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved for sale without regard to their potential for abuse.
Meanwhile, the “potential for abuse” was used for many years to block even a discussion of the possible medical benefits of cannabis. And now federal officials are using it again to attack another potential natural remedy, Kratom.
Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa), which derives from a tree that grows in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, has been found to reduce pain, lessen dependence on opiates, and work as a mild stimulant in low doses.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration considers Kratom a “drug of concern.” The FDA calls it “dangerous.”
Read more: An excuse for crushing Kratom
The American Kratom Association was launched on Facebook and so much of our work is done there, especially while our website undergoes a major, exciting overhaul. Doing advocacy work on Facebook has its good points and its bad. Lately, we've had some "people" who are obviously Trolls, there only to create drama and waste the time of everyone who gets involved defending us and our work.
If they have already been booted out of the AKA closed group because of argumentative and other time-wasting, negative activities, they just find another Kratom audience and start talking smack about our organization and the people involved. It is near impossible to sit back and watch people we know working so hard for us all be attacked, troll or not. But sometimes we have to, to focus and get our work done.
Some people think that risking Kratom potentially being banned is worth tearing down the people doing the most work to save it. My guess is they are suspicious of the AKA since we’re still new and the idea of a non-profit working so hard to fight for something vendors make millions off of, or they are trying to "corner the market" and become the face of Kratom, the Go-to Guy or Gal.
Maybe they’re even working for the opposition, purposefully trying to distract us from our mission.
Read more: AKA Rules of the Road to Permanent Legality
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