Fighting Myths About Kratom

Thanks to ongoing advocacy efforts spearheaded by the American Kratom Association, Mitragyna speciosa is legal throughout the majority of the United States. Unless you live in a handful of states that includes Arkansas, Alabama, and Indiana, you most likely live in an area where kratom is legal.

Starting in 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration campaigned against kratom and its alkaloids, mainly mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine (7-OH). Although the FDA still isn’t fond of our favorite botanical supplement, we’re lucky to be part of a community of kratom lovers who vehemently advocate for the greater good.

The FDA has pumped out several myths about kratom since beginning its anti-kratom campaign in 2016. Although the American Kratom Association has done a great job of dispelling these myths, we wanted to contribute to the conversation by helping our audience understand some of the great deeds the AKA has done.


Studies Show That Kratom Is Linked to Dozens of Overdose Deaths

According to the FDA, there were more than three dozen drug overdose deaths that involved kratom from 2009 to 2016. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a study that suggested 152 deaths of Americans were directly linked to kratom.

Other federal government agencies, not to mention countless local law enforcement agencies, have backed these FDA and CDC studies in support of labeling kratom as a harmful supplement with no benefits.

Admittedly, these deaths did involve kratom. However, kratom only came up because its alkaloids and metabolites appeared in autopsy drug screens.

Although kratom metabolites showed up, countless other substances also appeared in these autopsies.

According to research from the American Kratom Association, no deaths have ever been definitively linked to kratom or its alkaloids. Rather, the aforementioned deaths were a direct result of pre-existing medical conditions, polydrug use, or adulterants in kratom products.

Just to be safe, you should never take kratom alongside prescription or over-the-counter medications or drugs. Overdoses most frequently happen whenever people combine drugs, which is known as combined drug intoxication.

Also, don’t take kratom if you have medical conditions that could negatively interact with kratom. Ask your doctor if they think you can safely take kratom.


Kratom Has Great Potential for Abuse and Addiction

On countless occasions, the FDA, DEA, and other federal entities, not to mention dozens of local law enforcement agencies, have claimed that kratom is frequent drug of abuse. They also say it leads to addiction.

Kratom’s alkaloids can cause dependency. However, many long-term kratom consumers have likened this dependency to tobacco or coffee in terms of withdrawal symptoms. If you didn’t already know, people who are dependent on coffee and tobacco don’t present many withdrawal symptoms. Rather, they typically just have symptoms like headaches and cravings.

Mitragyna speciosa can be compared to coffee or tea in terms of effects. Just like coffee and tea, which both naturally produce alkaloids such as caffeine, kratom also has alkaloids that lead to physiological and psychoactive effects. Mitragynine simply doesn’t have the abuse potential that other psychoactive substances have.


Kratom Is an Unregulated Industry That Doesn’t Offer Consumer Safety Measures

Although the kratom industry has long been unregulated, the American Kratom Association changed this. A relatively new organization, the AKA has extensively lobbied for industry regulation since its foundation.

In fact, the 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization supports its own Good Manufacturing Practices certification program called the AKA GMP Certification Program. This program requires participants to adhere to dozens of strict guidelines that the FDA asks of domestic supplement manufacturers.

For example, in order to qualify for the program, vendors and kratom processors need to regularly swab their workplace facilities for contaminants and pathogens. They also must maintain a strict chain of command over the raw materials and goods they handle to protect against contamination.


As long as you buy from AKA GMP Certified vendors, you can help support the kratom industry’s regulation.

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