Why Is the FDA Against Kratom? Are There Health Risks?

If you have been interested in trying Kratom and seen some of the articles written about it, you may notice that there is sometimes negative coverage. Many unreliable articles only speak to alarm people of Kratom’s risks rather than giving them the whole truth. There are many articles outlining health risks because the FDA takes a hard stance against the Kratom industry. 

The Food and Drug Administration within the United States is responsible for ensuring Americans have access to safe and reliable food and drugs. They are the regulatory body that is responsible for green-lighting many different products, both natural and artificial. One issue that has arisen with the growing popularity of Kratom is that the FDA is not willing to recognize it as a medicinal substance. They do not believe it fits into the healthcare system. In some circles, people even believe it is too much of a threat to Big Pharma.

Where Does Kratom Come From?

Unlike many of the prescription drugs available in the United States, Kratom is entirely natural. There are no chemical compounds that have been made in a laboratory added to the product. All Kratom products bought from a reputable source come from the mitragyna speciosa tree. These trees are grown throughout Southeast Asia, which is the primary region of the globe responsible for making a majority of Kratom products. The reason Southeast Asia is such an ideal location is because of the hot climate and moist air. There are many volcanoes in this area as well. These volcanic soils are also rich in different minerals, which play a vital role in infusing the plant with active compounds.

When you look through different Kratom products, you’ll notice some are extracts or capsules, while others are powders. These products come from the same tree, but different methods are used to process them into their final state. To achieve the different strains, Kratom farmers will cultivate both in the wild and in backyard farms. They will investigate their crops throughout their growth, checking on the color of the leaf veins. When the veins reach a color of their choice, such as red, green, or white, they pick them to create the final strain.

When the leaf’s veins are changing color, the active compounds within them are also changing. The two common alkaloids, mitragynine, and 7-hydroxymitragynine differ based on where they are grown and the vein color. When the leaves are the least mature, they will have white veins. When they are the most mature, they will have red veins. 

As the concentrations fluctuate throughout their growth, it can be hard to determine the exact amount at all times. Some believe the FDA looks at this data as unclear and risky. However, rather than looking into it further and conducting the necessary research, they have labeled the product as inconsistent and ineffective.

As research can only progress slowly because of the bans put in place by the FDA, the right dosages and effects of the plant are not fully known. Without this information, it is hard to put in words exactly the health risks, if any, associated with the plant. 

Another ban that further limits how much Kratom vendors can speak about is restrictions on information. Many Kratom vendors have to release information that is not fully articulated because of these bans. This leaves many consumers confused about the product and its potential benefits. People now have to resort to anecdotal evidence and claims found on online forums.

Kratom Safety

Even though the FDA has not approved Kratom and hopes to shed a negative light on the substance, some research demonstrates the positive impact of using Kratom. As many people rely on the FDA for reliable information, it can be hard for people to understand that Kratom is good if the FDA is saying it’s bad. 

The thing to remember with Kratom is that it is the same as other substances; there is potential for abuse. If you use Kratom in higher amounts, of course, something will happen that could pose a risk to your health. Despite there being a risk of abusing Kratom, you should not forget that there are many claims from indigenous communities saying the plant can help alleviate pain and increase focus.

The best way to figure out if Kratom is safe for you is to conduct your research rather than only looking at the FDA’s information. The American Kratom Association is an excellent resource for those looking to learn more about Kratom’s risks and benefits.

The Discrepancy With the FDA Data

Most of the FDA’s data regarding Kratom and its health risks are associated with computer modeling. They use software that deconstructs the chemical compounds found within the plant. They then use this information to determine how it will react with brain receptors. While this data extraction method is useful in some areas, there is also research needed involving control groups. There have not been FDA-run experiments on Kratom with control groups. They use only computer modeling.

In addition to them only using one method to learn more about Kratom, there have also been alarming accounts of former FDA commissioners’ unethical behavior. One of these commissioners, Scott Gottlieb, had financial ties to Big Pharma. As pharmaceutical companies see Kratom as a threat to their products, he quickly stood against Kratom. With Kratom not being fully legal and regulated, pharmaceutical companies can continue marketing chemical products with intense side effects, making huge profits.

Support the Kratom Name

Kratom customers need to do their duty to the industry and support vendors selling high-quality products. While some smoke shops and gas stations sell Kratom, these often are low-quality and can cause health issues. With more people buying their product from reliable sources, positive information will take the stage because users will have more positive experiences.