Kratom: Guide to Benefits and Safety Concerns
The new Kratom craze has brought about some bad light, and bad studies.
My first experience with Kratom was in Portland, Oregon. I didn't know much about it other than it was an alternative to the growing pill problem that is plaguing our nation.
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The good ol' FDA is warning us about the herbal supplement, saying, "There is no evidence to indicate if Kratom is safe or effective for any medical use."
What they don't tell you is the plant was discovered around 1836 and has been used ever since.
But let's just say it's an opioid and try to grow big pharma more. Sounds about right, doesn't it?
What is Kratom?
Native to Malaysia, the leaves of the Kratom plant are crushed and made into a tea. This treats pain and helps with the opioid dependency and helps reduce withdrawal symptoms.
Do you see why they don't want that here?
As an opium alternative when times were tough or it simply wasn't available, Kratom has long been used to help wean people off of opium and their extracts. In 1993, the Ministry of Health notice declared Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) as a controlled narcotic in Myanmar (formerly Burma).
While the reason is unclear, many suspect the move was propelled by financial interests. Remember, these drugs won't make the government money when there is a widely available substitute for these overpriced and addictive drugs.
Jump to today and everywhere you look you'll see the media portraying Kratom as an unsafe, highly addictive, low medical value drug.
What Concerns Are There with Kratom?
It's safe to say that the adoption of Kratom into Western medicine was great, but that comes with a few concerns. Before I get into any side effects or actual concerns, the main thing that bothers me is you can find these Kratom caps and powders in head shops and gas stations.
Do you buy your protein from the convenience shelf at a gas station? Neither do I.
Many side effects and drawbacks to this supplement stem from using the cheapest possible ingredients and methods to create the supplement.
In fact, spiking with morphine and oxycodone has been one of the leading factors for deaths, along with a larger dose of Kratom than specified. Cheap product and cheap methods get you cheap results, just like with fitness supplements.
Many researchers question the FDA because they feel the FDA speaks too broadly when they liken Kratom to an opioid-like heroin.
Scott Hemby chairs the Department of Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences at High Point University in North Carolina. He states, "They make a lot of hay of using a computer model, but it's really nice to validate the findings with actual science."
Hemby goes on to say, "When it comes to drugs for cancer, we wouldn't rely on a computer model to drive policy. People would find that unacceptable."
Kratom binds to the same receptors as other epidemic-inducing drugs. While the binding is on a different part of the receptor, Kratom also does not cause the respiratory depression like other opioids because of where it sits on the receptor.
The FDA points to 44 deaths that have been associated with Kratom, although Hemby questions their report. These deaths are not cited from toxicology or autopsy reports; they are self-reported and often included other drugs.
The FDA said that it is ready to evaluate evidence that could prove that Kratom has a medicinal purpose, but nothing has been done as of yet.
Should You Take Kratom?
I invite you to dig deeper into Kratom. Check out scientific reports and find reputable sources to see if Kratom might help you.
If you're addicted to pain meds and you want to find an alternative to help wean you off and get back to the life you once lived, check Kratom out.
Kratom helps with aches and pains, stimulants, sedatives, helps with diarrhea and helps combat opioid addiction. Others report Kratom as a treatment for arthritis, restless leg syndrome, and fibromyalgia.
Along with many benefits, Kratom can be used recreationally. A low to moderate dose will usually be stimulating, while a higher dose will be sedative.
Reasons You Should Try Kratom
- If you're addicted to opioids already.
- If you deal with pain or other ailments listed above.
Reasons You Shouldn't Try Kratom
- If you want a new recreational drug.
- If you have other intentions other than supplementing and treating ailments.
I'm not going to tell you to take or abstain from taking Kratom, but I'd invite you to do your own research and come up with your own decision.
Wrapping It Up
The media isn't always 100% accurate. The day where anyone can become an authority and spout off information that people believe is here.
Do your research and make your own decision. While the legality of Kratom is up in the air as of now, I'm hoping that there will be further studies done to prove that Kratom isn't the same as heroin.
Get to lifting, make those gains, and make 2018 the best year yet.