Educating the Public on Kratom

Posted by Laughing Lion Herbs on Oct 29th 2020

In recent years, kratom has exploded in popularity. It’s gaining traction with consumers in the health and wellness community, and it’s also making a lot of media headlines. Some researchers are doing their part to learn and share the truth about kratom, while other parties are more interested in pushing an agenda or getting views.

The potential implications of this plant make it important to understand what kratom really is as well as what it isn’t. Before you can responsibly educate the public about kratom, it’s important to have a good understanding yourself.

Educating Your Customers About Kratom

The most important step to teaching the public about kratom is to
exercise great care and caution. Keep up to date with the most recent
and reliable scientific research, and do not make any unfounded or
unresearched claims. Doing so could be detrimental to the effort to
keep kratom legal for those who count on it. Much worse, spreading
misinformation about such an important and sensitive subject is bad
for the general public.

Luckily, some of the best institutions in the world are hard at work to learn
and share more information about kratom. Some of the most respected
sources leading the charge include Ph.D.-certified scientists from
the following:

  • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • Pinney Associates
  • University of Rochester Medical Center
  • University of Florida College of Pharmacy and Department of Medicinal Chemistry

Will the DEA BanKratom?

As long ago as 2016, the DEA said it intended to classify the active
compounds in kratom as Schedule One substances. So far, there has
been no such classification, which is great for kratom users and
vendors alike. Part of the reason there was no official ruling in
2016 is because a large grassroots community of kratom enthusiasts
generated backlash against a prohibition.

The potential benefits of kratom are still unknown, but even a few years ago there was strong
anecdotal evidence to support health and wellness benefits. Peaceful
crowds demonstrated in front of the White House, concerned citizens
contacted Congress, and a petition earned well over 100,000
signatures in support of legal kratom.

In response to this overwhelming support, the DEA quickly announced that
they would suspend any scheduling of Kratom. More recently, though,
representatives of the DEA have said that a ruling is imminent, but
there is little to indicate which way the legislation will go. Some
sources seem resigned to the possibility that their favorite health
and wellness plant will be outlawed, while others are much more
hopeful.

Beyond the public opinion of American citizens, there are two key factors
that could weigh on the DEA’s decision:

  1. The War on Drugs – The United States is several decades into the war on
    drugs started by resigned president Richard Nixon. Public opinion
    and studies of social science have, at many times, chalked the
    effort up as a failure. The US government has spent trillions on
    drug enforcement, the country has developed both an opioid crisis
    and America’s prison population is the largest in the world. Many
    American prisoners are incarcerated because of nonviolent drug
    offenses.
  2. Big Pharmaceutical Lobbyists – The prescription painkiller industry
    generates tens of billions of dollars in sales every year, and their
    lobby groups want to keep it that way. Kratom is perceived as a
    threat to markets for drugs like Methadone and Suboxone. The big pharma lobby would much prefer to keep patients
    buying their prescribed treatments for pain and addiction.

Kratom VS. the Opioid Crisis

Certain compounds found in kratom bind to kappa opioid
receptors in the brain. That said, this plant is not a close chemical
relative of the opium poppy and is not even in the same family of plants let alone the same genus. Biologically, it’s actually in the
Rubiaceae family with coffee.

There are some fears that kratom could contribute to the opioid problem in
the United States, but leading scientists beg to differ. Some of them
wrote an open letter to the White House and DEA in February of 2018. The signatures on
this letter include well-respected research scientists, chemists, and
thought leaders in psychiatry and behavioral science.

The entire letter is a valuable tool for educating the public on kratom.
The following quote is especially relevant to the relationship
between kratom and the current opioid problem in the United States:

‘We believe strongly that the current body of credible research on the
actual effects of kratom demonstrates that it is not dangerously
addictive, nor is it similar to “narcotics like opioids” with
respect to “addiction” and “death” as stated by the FDA in
its November 14th Kratom Advisory.”

Explaining the Benefits of Kratom

As a kratom vendor, it’s important to explain the benefits kratom can
produce. After all, your business depends on your ability to
accurately convey what this plant is capable of. There is a wide
variety of anecdotal evidence online, but it can be hard to validate
such claims. Instead, look to quotes like the following, and make the
sources available.

There are plenty of study results available that can be used to educate the
public about kratom. Relying on published materials from established
scientific organizations ensures a degree of accuracy, lends
credibility to claims, and provides some level of legal protection
for vendors who share the information.

There is still a need for controlled trials on kratom, which is one
of the reasons many medical professionals want to keep it legal until
we have better data.

How to Help Customers Find the Best Kratom for Them

Kratom customers often choose their favorite strain(s) depending on what
they want from their kratom. To learn more about
educating the public about kratom and sourcing the best product for
various consumers, contact us today.