If you frequent internet forums about cannabis or other substances, you’ve probably heard about kratom and wonder is kratom safe to use. While kratom isn’t directly related to cannabis, it’s something you may come across in your natural journey and it’s important to know both sides of the argument about whether or not kratom is safe. It’s also interesting to discuss the benefits many find through using kratom to manage their pain, give them a natural lift, and even wean themselves off opiates.
What Is Kratom?
Kratom is generally sold as a powder but may also present in capsule form. Kratom originates in South East Asia where it grows as a deciduous evergreen tree. Kratom is a member of the same family as the coffee plant. While many people in Thailand chew the raw leaves, you”ll probably encounter dried leaves in powder form.
Different strains of kratom are often referred to by color. You may see white vein kratom and red vein kratom, but additionally the plant carries many different names. A quick internet search finds strains such as Maeng Da and Bali Kratom as well. These strains are said to produce different effects when consumed.
There are many kratom strains which all vary in effects.
- Bali Kratom
- Maeng Da Kratom
- Ultra Enhanced Maeng Da Extract
- Red Kali Kratom
- White Vein Indo Kratom
- White Vein Thai Kratom
- Gold Reserve Kratom Extract
- Ultra Enhanced Indo Extract
- Ultra Enhanced Red Kali Extract
If you decide you want to try kratom, it’s wise to research each individual strain as well as speak with people who use it.
Additionally, some people mix strains to achieve a custom desired effect.
In low doses, kratom produces stimulant effects. Interestingly, in higher doses it causes sedating effects.
Other effects you may experience include:
- Pain Relief
- Mood Enhancement
Each different strain is likely to deliver a different mix of these effects.
Is Kratom Safe? Potential Dangers Of Kratom
Most kratom users praise the plant in high regard. Some research is also promising. In spite of these factors, kratom is controversial and regarded with suspicion by some in the medical community.
For instance, WebMD states, “According to the CDC, about 42% of cases of kratom use reported between 2010 and 2015 involved non-life-threatening symptoms that required some treatment. About 7% of exposures were classified as major and life-threatening. The DEA says it knows of 15 kratom-related deaths between 2014 and 2016.”
While these statistics indicate that there are some dangers involved in using kratom, its safety isn’t a cut and dry issue.
Potential risk factors of kratom include:
- weight loss
- dry mouth
- headaches; and
These risk factors originate from a Thai study of individuals consuming both raw kratom leaf and powder kratom. This is not a common delivery form for western kratom use. Furthermore, people seeking opiate recovery through kratom may find these symptoms a fair trade off. Because symptoms of opiate addiction are also intense, addicts could consider any side effects of kratom acceptable.
The FDA, DEA and Kratom
In 2016, the DEA threatened to classify kratom as a schedule 1 drug. This was understandably upsetting to individuals using kratom to treat conditions including chronic pain and opiate addiction. As a result of the public backlash, the DEA decided to hold off on the classification for now.
Additionally, the FDA rejected an application in 2016 to accept kratom as a dietary ingredient. While this seems like bad news for kratom users, the application was more complicated than that. Essentially, if the FDA approved this application, the applicant company would hold a monopoly on approved sale. Additionally, while the company provided research studies in favor of kratom, these studies featured natural kratom while the company planned to sell an extraction.
The Future Of Kratom
As the government continues to address the question of whether kratom is safe, the outcome isn’t clear. Kratom remains available for now, however the safety question is up in the air. Unfortunately, we don’t always get a black or white answer to qusetions like this.
Therefore, if you’re curious about kratom, please do your research. Don’t turn a blind eye to potential health risks and make an informed decision about whether kratom is safe for you and your situation.
The 420 Pony staff does not endorse or recommend the use of kratom. We offer this information purely to provide a starting point for your own further research.