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Kratom in the News

What’s the latest news on kratom? Below are a few recent articles.

Recently, the FDA approached the World Health Organization (WHO) & the United Nations (UN) to consider banning kratom internationally. The American Kratom Association (AKA) says the FDA has urged WHO’s review of kratom as a way to bypass the drug scheduling process in the U.S.

Under international treaties, WHO is required to evaluate the use of psychoactive substances and advise the UN on whether they pose a public health risk and should be controlled. The process will begin in October.

Mason Marks, a professor of law at the University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law and a senior fellow at the Petrie-Flom Center at Harvard Law School, has written an informative article in STAT on the potential consequences if the FDA continues to forge ahead on this decision.

Marks argues that the FDA’s kratom ban would harm the public and damage the FDA’s credibility.

Below are some snippets from the article:

“Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recorded a record number of overdose deaths, two-thirds of them caused by opioids. Meanwhile, restrictions on legitimate opioid prescriptions leave few alternatives for people with chronic pain. Some turn to illicit opioids. Others turn to suicide. But many rely on kratom, which fills an important niche in the public health ecosystem.”

“If the FDA secures a global kratom ban, countless people could die by suicide and unintentional overdose. Many Americans say kratom curbs cravings for opioids, which are frequently obtained on the illicit market and are often laced with synthetic opioids like fentanyl.”

“A ban would criminalize people who use kratom, eliminate legitimate sources of the plant, and cause many users to resort to using more harmful substances.”

Please read the whole article here.

In Scientific American, Maia Szalavitz writes on a similar note.

Speaking of kratom, Szalavitz writes:

“Given the large number of people who regularly use it and the low number of fatalities, researchers estimate that it is more than 1,000 times less likely to kill than typical prescription opioids.”

“…  in the context of an America with the highest number of overdose deaths ever—driven largely by street fentanyl—removing a safer substitute almost certainly will increase mortality.”

Please read the whole article here.

In other news, Thailand recently decriminalized kratom.

It’s now legal to produce, sell and consume kratom leaves, but not the concentrates. The decision comes after a bitter debate in a country where drug use is severely punished. The COVID-19-related crisis in agriculture also affected the decision.

In AsiaNews.it, Steve Suwannarat writes:

“The bill legalising the leaves became law in May after receiving the royal consent, and entered in force today, despite a bitter debate that pitted various factions, and various economic, health and moral arguments over “soft” drugs in a country where drug use is severely punished even though it is widespread.”

“The authorities gave the green light only to the use of kratom leaves, not other parts of the plant. The leaves also cannot be given to minors or pregnant women, nor be sold near schools or temples, and exports must be regulated.”

You can read the whole article here.

More about kratom…

How is kratom grown?

Whether you decide you want white, red or green kratom powder, the color is based on the farmers’ cultivating and processing methods — not the type of tree. In fact, there is only one kratom tree species: mitragyna speciosa. 

The vein color is based on the particular growing process — including the amount of sunlight the plant gets, how mature the leaves are at harvest, and the drying process. 

Although the tree stays leafy all year, once the individual leaves reach a certain level of maturity, they either fall off or are picked off by the farmer. As the leaves mature, different levels of alkaloids build up. 

Because of this, harvesting kratom is time-sensitive, as it directly effects the concentration of the plant’s alkaloids (the botanical compounds responsible for the plant’s effects). 

Genetics may also contribute to the alkaloid content. Kratom trees can be bred to display the traits of one vein throughout their entire life cycle. For instance, even a young plant can be bred to have the qualities of a red vein. 

Which kratom vein is best for you?

  • Green vein kratom, which tends to come in a more vibrant green color, is derived from middle-aged leaves and is associated with a more balanced, euphoric effect.  We offer Green Bali, Green Borneo, Green Maeng Da, Green Malay and and Green Thai.
  • White vein kratom, often relatively pale or yellowish in color, is derived from young leaves and is typically linked to more stimulating and energizing effects. We offer White Bali, White Borneo, White Maeng Da, White Malay and White Thai.
  • Red vein kratom, a darker reddish-brown color, is made from the most mature leaves and is typically linked to more relaxing effects. We offer Red Bali, Red Borneo, Red Maeng Da, Red Malay and Red Thai.
  • Yellow vein kratom is said to be the result of a unique drying process. The yellow hue is said to occur by drying red vein kratom for a longer period of time. It may also be made by blending white and green kratom outside rather than indoors. The effects are said to be similar to green kratom.

Is kratom sustainably sourced?

Kratom is sustainably sourced. The tree is not chopped down and the leaves are harvested from mature trees which are typically at least 3 years old. In fact, the best quality leaves are from much older trees — at least 20 years old. This harvesting process allows the trees to keep growing for a long time, allowing for sustainability and with less disruption to the environment.

Where does our kratom come from?

Our kratom is sourced from deep in the heart of Borneo, Indonesia on the banks of the Kapuas River. In 2019, we had the pleasure of visiting farmers and seeing the authentic care and love that goes into cultivating the plant that has been integral to their culture for centuries. Kratom is a member of the rubiaceae family along with coffee, and is known by its scientific name, mitragyna speciosa. 

 

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