Kratom

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Buy kratom, Mitragyna speciosa is a tropical evergreen tree in the coffee family native to Southeast Asia. It is indigenous to Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Papua New Guinea, where it has been used in herbal medicine since at least the nineteenth century. Kratom has opioid properties and some stimulant-like effects.  It is sometimes sold as a green powder in packets labeled “not for human consumption.” It is also sometimes sold as an extract or gum.

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How Is Kratom Used and Consumed?

Kratom has been used both as a stimulant — to increase mental alertness, concentration, or physical energy — and as an analgesic to treat chronic pain.

Some people report using kratom to help aid withdrawal from opioid painkillers, though there’s little published research to suggest that kratom is an effective treatment for opioid withdrawal.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says there are no approved medical uses for kratom at this time and has issued several recent warnings about kratom’s potential side effects.

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DEA Scheduling of Kratom

Kratom has been on the DEA’s list of drugs of concern for several years. On August 31, 2016, the DEA published a notice that it was planning to place kratom in Schedule I, the most restrictive classification of the Controlled Substances Act. Its two primary active ingredients, mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine (7-HMG), would be temporarily placed onto Schedule I on September 30, according to a filing by the DEA. The DEA reasoning was “to avoid an imminent hazard to public safety. The DEA did not solicit public comments on this federal rule, as is normally done.

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Kratom Side Effects and Health Hazards

Expected opioid-like side effects that may occur with kratom include:

  • Sedation
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased urination
  • Loss of appetite
  • Itching
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion

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Conclusion

Kratom, an herbal product that originated in Southeast Asia, is being used in the US to ease anxiety, treat chronic pain and to reverse opioid withdrawal symptoms; often purchased over the Internet. Recreational use may be on the rise, too. Use in coffee shops has been reported.

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