Created with Sketch. Created with Sketch.

American Kratom Association and the Future of Kratom

Mar 21st 2019

The American Kratom Association (AKA) is one of the strongest allies for this popular plant. They’re leading the charge to keep Kratom legal and allow consumers to have full access to this plant. The association has given congressional briefings and has met with National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). They have also requested a meeting with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

American Kratom Association and the FDA

Unfortunately, the FDA has been ignoring an open meeting request from the American Kratom Association since August 15, 2018. The AKA and its supporters are keeping the pressure on the FDA to follow the science instead of trying to deny access to kratom. The FDA is working to have the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) classify kratom as a Schedule I substance, which would make it illegal in the United States.

The AKA has asked its supporters to help with their public relations and social media efforts as they demand attention from the FDA. Their website asks that people join what they call the Kratom Truth Squad, which is designed to reply to misinformation about kratom. They want people to follow the FDA and Commissioner Scott Gottlieb on social media sites and respond to posts that don’t accurately represent kratom.

They’ve established the following six guidelines for responding to posts:

  1. Point it out when a post is misinformed or intentionally trying to deceive people.
  2. Explain that pure, natural kratom is used by millions of Americans for health and wellness benefits. Their experiences show kratom as safe and effective.
  3. Share personal stories of how kratom has been helpful in your own life. Do not make any medical claims when sharing your story.
  4. Call the FDA on using bad and intentionally misleading data as they try to push the DEA into outlawing kratom. Tell them it’s time, to tell the truth.
  5. Use the hashtag #FollowTheScience and call on the FDA to meet with AKA and discuss kratom openly and honestly. They also use the hashtags #WeAreKratom, #KeepKratomLegal, and #TeamKratom.
  6. Use your own words to make your response personnel.

They also ask that people always be respectful when representing the kratom community. They offer access to their public relations team through for anyone who wants answers or ideas about responding to the FDA online.

What Does the American Kratom Association Do?

The AKA was created to advocate on behalf of the growing number of people using kratom. It’s a registered non-profit and works to protect access to kratom for health and well being. The AKA wants to create more support for consumers because they believe political and private entities don’t currently meet the needs of kratom consumers.

They believe all Americans can benefit from knowing more about the benefits of kratom. This includes potential consumers as well as regulators. They amplify voices from their community to help kratom consumers be heard.

The AKA also wants to create global awareness, and they want to demonstrate responsible use and practical knowledge. They hope other countries will study their work before making their own kratom legislation decisions.

Finally, they support and advocate for the protection of natural resources. They preach sustainable kratom harvesting techniques and reforestation.

Congressional Briefings

The American Kratom Association teamed up with some other kratom advocates to co-host two Congressional briefings on October 9, 2018. One briefing was for the U.S. House of Representatives, and the other was for the United States Senate.

The briefings included, among other things, witness statements from Dr. Murray Holcomb and Dr. Margaret S. Chisholm, both of whom are medical doctors. Both talked about how the positive effects of kratom have helped their family members.

Who Runs the American Kratom Association?

The AKA relies largely on the support of volunteers since it’s a non-profit. They do have a board of directors who work on the mission, policies, and programs. Those programs are carried out by an Executive Director as well as other staff members. Members of the leadership team include people who are close to the opioid crisis as well as health and wellness communities.

American Kratom Association Principles

In addition to keeping kratom legal and available, the American Kratom association wants to protect customers from risk. They support safe, responsible use of unadulterated kratom that has not been contaminated with other ingredients. They believe kratom can have the greatest benefit for the American public’s health and well-being if it is regulated responsibly by the FDA. Their support of the following efforts is copied from the Statement of Principles on their website.

  1. REGULATION: AKA supports appropriate FDA regulations to ensure the safety and purity of kratom products. AKA is committed to working with the FDA to share information and collaborate in the development of regulations that will protect consumers from adulteration and contamination of kratom products.
  2. CHILDREN: While Federal surveys have not identified the use of kratom products in children as an emerging problem, AKA nonetheless supports efforts to prevent youth use, such as consideration of minimum age of procurement laws, e.g., age 18.
  3. CHILD EXPOSURE CONCERNS: Although we are not aware of a child or infant poisonings, AKA supports appropriate child-resistant packaging.
  4. PRODUCT PURITY: AKA believes that most manufacturers compete to provide the highest quality and purest products, and to ensure consumers can have confidence in the kratom products they purchase, AKA supports standards for product purity just as there are for most food products.
  5. POTENTIAL ADULTERANTS: AKA believes that responsible marketers do not adulterate their products with other substances, which is a concern that has been raised by FDA. However, AKA would welcome FDA standards to prevent contamination or adulteration of kratom products with dangerous substances. AKA also supports appropriate monitoring to reassure consumers that their lawfully purchased products meet purity and manufacturing standards.
  6. CLAIMS CONSISTENT WITH DSHEA: AKA is committed to limiting claims associated with the use of kratom products to conform to the standards set in DSHEA for dietary supplements. AKA is committed to continuing to work with dietary experts and legal counsel and will work with the FDA to ensure that AKA’s statements do not constitute inappropriate claims.
  7. LABELING: AKA welcomes FDA development of labeling and encourages FDA to work with manufacturers and marketers to develop labeling that is helpful to consumers.

Follow the Science

The American Kratom Association publishes scientific information about the potential benefits of kratom. They also reference a thorough analysis from Dr. Jack Henningfield, Ph.D., which says the risk for abuse and dependence is no greater with kratom than it is for nutmeg, hops, St. John’s Wort, chamomile, guarana, and kola nut.

They offer a good deal of documents and resources on their website, many of which demonstrate the benefits of kratom. AKA is a great place to look for anyone looking to learn more about the science behind kratom.

Other Kratom Advocates

At Laughing Lion Herbs, we support and appreciate the work done by the American Kratom Association. We believe that this natural plant has a great deal of potential for helping Americans lead better lives. Contact us today to learn about more pro-kratom organizations.