Kratom craze: Cure or curse?


Its pluses are impressive, buts its minuses might scare you to death

You’ve probably seen signs outside stores for “Kratom”. Some of these stores are head shops, some vape shops, and some convenience stores. You, no doubt like millions of other passersby, have asked yourself what in the heck is Kratom?

Well, it’s a plant native to Southeast Asia and traditionally, its leaves have been used as medicine for various ailments ranging from opioid withdrawal, appetite suppression, insomnia, anxiety, depression, ADHD, fatigue, managing coughs, diarrhea and improving energy levels. 

If and when it works in those situations could be a good thing. However, it has its downsides.

It can be addictive, it can be fatal and its unregulated use has gotten to the point where states are starting to add their own regulations, because there is no scientific evidence to support its safety or efficacy for pain treatment. Not to mention that a convenience store is the last place a product touted as being able to help with depression or opioid withdrawal should be sold.

In Florida, the legislature is considering a bill that would ban the sale of adulterated Kratom products, require safety labels and dosage outlines, and prohibit any claims that the product can treat or cure medical conditions.

Similar regulatory efforts are underway in Kentucky, where a bill has been unanimously supported by a state House committee to increase regulation of Kratom, including limiting sales to those over 21 and requiring product labels to state that Kratom is not intended to treat medical conditions.

Then, there’s the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It's been a few years since the federal agency barged into the Kratom boardroom in a rage, but it probably will with all that's going on.

After all, it does have oversight responsibilities for dietary supplements – including Kratom – and there are calls for the FDA to enforce labeling requirements and potentially limit the potency of active ingredients in Kratom-related products.

The risks you run

Before you delve into the nation of Kratomcome, you might want to first consider all the potential side effects: Even at low doses, kratom can cause undesirable side effects like nausea, constipation, anxiety, and insomnia. At higher doses, risks include seizures, liver damage, and psychosis.

Then there’s the interaction with other substances where the reactions can spike even higher.

It’s a complex picture, but if the states and the FDA get together, there might be a way to find a safe way for consumers to buy and use Kratom.

If you are considering using Kratom, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional who can discuss the potential risks and benefits based on your situation.

Find a Solar Energy partner near you.