7 Common Kratom Myths And Controversies

You may be hearing a lot about the benefits of kratom these days. There are alot of Kratom myths and controversies about this plant extract that comes from the leaves of a Southeast Asia tree. It is marketed in liquid, powder, or capsule form and there are three main strains – red, white, and green – which have different properties based on how and where they are harvested.

Kratom has been used as a drug alternative, and the plant spiked in popularity as individuals began to look for safer, natural options. However, there is a ton of mixed information in cyberspace about the safety of kratom. It remains unregulated by the U.S. important myths about kratom

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is legal and easy to acquire in many states. Its use is, thus, largely self-monitored, and it is difficult to find definitive information either supporting or refuting the benefits of the herb.Here are seven common myths and controversies about kratom.

Myth 1: Kratom Is New To The Scene

For centuries, those in Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia have consumed kratom as a coffee or tea alternative in order to increase stamina naturally or to treat a variety of physical ailments.

It is difficult to pinpoint exactly kratom myths and controversies, when it made its debut in the U.S., but its popularity grew as kratom began to be widely used as a substance alternative.

For the past several years, the synthetic compounds epidemic has increased interest in finding safer ways to achieve the same desired results.

Myth 2: Kratom Is A Regulated Drug Or Synthetic Compound

A 2018 analysis by the FDA identified kratom as containing synthetic compounds, and this decision received fierce push back from the American Kratom Association, an organization that maintains kratom as a natural herbal supplement.

The plant was propelled into mainstream media as a “concern” around the same time as the use of dangerous synthetic products manufactured overseas increased – i.e., bath salts and synthetic marijuana.

Authentic Kratom, however, does not have the same structural make-up as synthetic drugs. It is not manufactured but, rather, is found naturally in the leaves of trees that are handpicked, dried, and cured.

Myth 3: Kratom Is Illegal?

Another kratom myths and controversies were started In 2016, when DEA planned to place two alkaloids from the plant – mitragynine and 7-α-hydroxy mitragynine – into Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act.

However, less than two months after the federal regulatory body released its intentions, the DEA withdrew its notice of intent amid public scrutiny. Kratom remains legal for use in many states, and some states have even passed laws that protect the legalization of the substance.

For example, just this month, the Governor of Oklahoma approved HB 1784, the Kratom Consumer Protection Act. However, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb is currently supporting a ban and is attempting to get backing from the Biden Administration. Thus, future classification and regulation of kratom are still TBD.

Myth 4: Kratom Always Produces Sedative Effects And Should Be Used Only At Night

Kratom can cause effects similar to both synthetic substances and stimulants – hence the reason it has been used as a coffee or tea substitute in many areas of the world.

The two compounds mentioned above, mitragynine and 7-α-hydroxy mitragynine, interact with G protein-coupled receptors, causing similar effects including sedation.

Mitragynine by itself can be stimulating. The effects of kratom on the brain and body largely have to do with how much of the plant is consumed and which strands are ingested.

Generally speaking, red kratom is used for its sedative effects while white and green are used for their stimulant effects. In low amounts, the plant is quite the opposite of sedation. However, the right amount needs to be taken to achieve right effects.

Myth 5: Kratom Is Always Contaminated

In April 2018, more than 130 people in 38 states became ill with Salmonella after taking kratom. This information led to widespread fear that all shipments of the plant to the U.S. might be contaminated.

This is simply not the case. The contamination of kratom with Salmonella at the time was a fluke, and the media attention around the matter served to dissuade people from continuing to purchase it. There have been many safe, pure batches of kratom distributed since the scare.

Myth 6: Kratom Is Always Safe

This cannot be said definitively, largely because kratom remains unregulated. The Mayo Clinic calls kratom “unsafe and ineffective,” suggesting, “Kratom is not currently regulated in the United States, and federal agencies are taking action to combat false claims about kratom. In the meantime, your safest option is to work with your doctor to find other treatment options.” While kratom has health benefits, there is always a potential for it to be misused. The herb should be taken in moderation to avoid unwanted side effects.

Myth 7: Kratom Has A High Likelihood Of Adverse Reactions

Emerging science has found mitragynine to be largely benign risk-wise, especially when taken in low or moderate doses. Additional research is needed to identify potential underliers that may cause an individual to have a negative, or even fatal, reaction to the plant.

Most reported deaths involving mitragynine also involve a cocktail of other substances, including dangerous recreational drugs, controlled substances, and/or alcohol.

Unfortunately, kratom is frequently used alongside other drugs, making it appear to be more dangerous than it truly is. It can be deadly if one is taking prescription relievers with kratom.

A 2019 FDA report examining 30 different kratom products for heavy metals also found “significant levels of lead and nickel at concentrations that exceed safe exposure for oral daily drug intake.” These results may be concerning for individuals who take kratom for a long period of time due to the potential for heavy metal poisoning.

As with any information that circulates online, it is important to take all known facts into consideration and to try to remain as objective as possible. This is, of course, difficult to do with the political influences tied to mainstream media.

Most of the data discrediting kratom has come from federal agencies and pharmaceutical companies that would like to see the herbal alternative taken off the market because it is a threat to industry-regulated, money-making drugs such as methadone or suboxone.

It has been used for centuries in its countries of origin, but now that kratom has gained worldwide popularity, more information on its safety and effectiveness will continue to emerge.

Author Bio: Sara is the owner/operator of Sara E. Teller Industries, LLC., and a freelance writer who has spent nearly twenty years in media. A seasoned publishing professional, she has worked for newspapers, magazines, and book publishers in content digitization, editorial, acquisitions, and intellectual property.

Sara has an MBA degree and is currently pursuing an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. In addition to her freelance work, she manages sarateller.com and has published three fiction and two self-help titles. She lives with her family of six in Michigan.