Dr. Yasir Bari
Monday, December 10, 2018
It hasn’t been long since humans have discovered that their very own invention, the allopathic medicine has failed them enough to damage the health in terms of morbidity and mortality via side effects of the harmful and synthetic ingredients found in those medications; that they are now turning to the Mother Nature again. Herbal medicines are once again are being studied in depth and with every passing day new researches are being published on the natural remedies. So one of the nature’s gifts we are discussing today is the magic herb called the Kratom or also known as Biak, Ketum, Kakuam, Ithang and Thom.
Kratom has been in use in the south East Asian countries like Thailand and Indonesia since centuries as a part of their traditional medicine for the treatment of aliments like opioid withdrawal, diarrhea and as a pain killer. Furthermore, it has also been used to increase energy, stamina, and limit fatigue and as a concentration booster. Since its active ingredients were discovered by the scientists Kratom made it’s well established place in the market as an alternative to many allopathic medicines to treat the problems mentioned above. The leaves of Kratom are consumed either by chewing, or by drying and smoking, putting into capsules, tablets or extract, or by boiling into a tea.
Kratom consumption is primarily motivated by its perceived effects that enhance well-being, occupational performance, and social interactions depending on an individual, as well as serving as a natural “home remedy” that is preferred by millions of Americans to conventional medicines. Like everything else, when used in quantities more than the prescribed usual doses it may produce some undesirable effects like nausea, vomiting dryness of mouth and headaches along with some irritability following the next dosage due to perceived dependence on the drug. This was something which was used as leverage against the consumption of the herb as an alternative medicine by the opponents of Kratom, well that we all know who could be; all the big pharmaceuticals who feared that the growing trend of its use may give strong competition to their harmful and addictive NSAIDs and Opioid derivative.
It doesn’t just stop at opposing the use, they somehow managed to do successful lobbying at the state levels, of course due to the hefty budgets at their back supporting their ambitions to pursue FDA and other drug regulating authorities to issue scheduling on the use of Kratom. Not only that, they were also successful to launch campaigns against its use as an addictive and illicit drug. Even the states where cannabis is now legal have banned the use of Kratom.
When we dig deeper into the actual realities and upon studying the reports issued by the scientists, submitted to FDA and other agencies, some of them were made public as well, it became evident that there were undoubted misunderstandings and meticulous ambitions behind all the negative publicity of the herb. As reported by the Washington Post in December 2016, Jack Henningfield, an addiction specialist from Johns Hopkins University and Vice President, Research, Health Policy, and Abuse Liability at Pinney Associates, issued a 127 page report which was developed to determine the appropriateness of CSA scheduling of kratom and/or its alkaloids and derivative products, and if so, the most appropriate schedule for kratom.
It was concluded by the study that kratom’s potential for abuse, tolerance, and dependence is lower than that of many schedule IV and V drugs and is well within the range of many nonscheduled drugs and substances (e.g., caffeine, nasal nicotine spray, fluoxetine, bupropion, and dextromethorphan). Although kratom and its primary alkaloids Mitragynine and 7-OH-Mit share certain characteristics with controlled substances, as do many nonscheduled substances, there does not appear to be a public health risk that would warrant control of kratom products or their alkaloids under the CSA. It was suggested that Kratom should be regulated as a natural supplement, such as St. Johns Wort or Valerian, under the FDA's Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
Furthermore, people who were actually using kratom and were benefiting from its useful effects it was just like an lifesaving drug for them, relieving them from the suffering of chronic pain or helping people overcome their opioid withdrawals and that numbers in hundreds of thousands are likely to be adversely affected and possibly motivated to seek illicit sources if lawfully marketed kratom were no longer available.
Placing kratom into schedule is just like placing it in the same category as heroin, LSD or marijuana, and prevent access for medical research, a concern for many experts, consumers, and advocacy groups. Lack of quality scientific evidence confounds the evaluation of the safety of kratom. So it would be much more effective if the FDA and other agencies first fund the proper research on the product up to the level of their satisfaction and in line with the health standards before completely banning and lifting it from the market.
The purpose of this document is to review the data related to the abuse potential and toxicity of Mitragyna speciosa (also known as kratom) and its primary alkaloids, mitragynine (MG) and 7-hydroxy-mitragynine (7-OH-MG), and the relevance of those data to the doses found in kratom.
We do not recommend scheduling of kratom or any of its specific alkaloids under the Controlled Substances Act. Kratom has a low potential for abuse and a low dependence liability and there is insufficient evidence of personal harm, adverse health effects or detriment to the public health to warrant control under the CSA.
Effectively banning the availability of kratom through scheduling could precipitate public health problems that do not presently exist or are at very low levels, because this would shift the market place from a largely lawful retail market to illicit manufacturers and distributors with no regulated labeling, purity or content standards, or effective ability to remove adulterated products from the market. Appropriate regulation of kratom under the FDCA is the most effective way to protect the public health by ensuring appropriate access and oversight and to sustain the overall very low adverse personal and public health effects associated with kratom consumption.
Turmeric is the spice that gives curry its yellow color.
It has been used in India for thousands of years as a spice and medicinal herb.
Recently, science has started to back up what Indians have known for a long time — it really does contain compounds with medicinal properties (1).
These compounds are called curcuminoids, the most important of which is curcumin.
Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant.
However, the curcumin content of turmeric is not that high. It’s around 3%, by weight (2).
Most of the studies on this herb are using turmeric extracts that contain mostly curcumin itself, with dosages usually exceeding 1 gram per day.
It would be very difficult to reach these levels just using the turmeric spice in your foods.
Therefore, if you want to experience the full effects, you need to take a supplement that contains significant amounts of curcumin.
Unfortunately, curcumin is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream. It helps to consume black pepper with it, which contains piperine, a natural substance that enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2,000% (3).
The best curcumin supplements contain piperine, substantially increasing their effectiveness.
Curcumin is also fat soluble, so it may be a good idea to take it with a fatty meal.
What is CBD?
CBD comes from the Cannabis sativa plant, which is also used to produce hemp and marijuana. It’s extracted from the resin of cannabis buds and flowers and usually diluted with another oil, like MCT.
The major difference between CBD and marijuana is that it does not contain THC, the psychoactive compound that probably comes to mind when you think of marijuana. That means you won’t get high from using CBD.
How does CBD affect the body?
Marijuana and CBD work by acting on the body’s endocannabinoid system. This system’s main job is to maintain homeostasis and help the body adapt to outside stressors.
There are two main types of cannabinoids—endo (produced naturally within the body) and phyto (produced from a plant). CBD is one type of phytocannabinoid. Phytocannabinoids mimic endocannabinoids, so they can act like a supplement, giving you a boost beyond what your body can produce.
Receptors for cannabinoids are found in the digestive, reproductive, nervous, and immune systems. Because cannabinoids interact with almost every system in our bodies, they’re often touted as a cure-all. While they’re not truly able to heal everything, they do regulate neurotransmitter function, inflammation, mitochondrial function, and metabolism.
Who should try CBD oil?
CBD is safe for almost everyone, according to a recent report from the World Health Organization, but check with your doctor before starting any CBD product, especially if you are pregnant or on any medications. Research has shown several CBD oil benefits, ranging from alleviating social anxiety to improving rheumatoid arthritis.
CBD health benefits.
IMPROVES MOOD DISORDERS.
CBD works directly on the brain receptors 5HT1A (serotonin) and GABA (an inhibitory neurotransmitter). Lower levels of these can contribute to anxiety and depression.
Suppresses cytokine production and induces T-regulatory cells to protect the body from attacking itself, which can help autoimmune conditions.
DECREASES CHRONIC PAIN.
Inhibits transmission of neuronal signalling through pain pathways.
AIDS GUT HEALTH.
HELPS TREAT SEIZURES.
May relieve epilepsy in children.
State-by-State Kratom Developments
**Please only use this information to approach policymakers in your own state/district, as constituents have the most influence on the political process. Overwhelming lawmakers with requests, unless directed to do so by the AKA for specific purposes, could have a negative impact on the push to keep kratom legal.**
Alabama—Banned. As of May 10, 2016 SB226 makes kratom a schedule 1 controlled substance. Advocacy and education efforts are underway with the regulators and legislators of jurisdiction.
Alaska—Legal. No known active or pending legislative action.
Arizona—Legal. No known active or pending legislative action.
Arkansas—Banned. As of February 1, 2016 it is banned. It was added to the controlled substance list using AR code § 5-4-201 (a)(1)(A)(i). Advocacy and education efforts are underway with the regulators and legislators of jurisdiction.
California—Legal. Except in the city of San Diego and the city of Oceanside. SD passed ordinance 20657 on June 15, 2016. AKA is looking into surrounding cities for possible bans that were passed on a local level.
Colorado—Legal. No known active or pending legislative action.
Connecticut—Legal. No known active or pending legislative action.
Delaware—Legal. No known active or pending legislative action.
Florida—Legal. Except for Sarasota County. In 2017 HB183 and SB424 would have made kratom illegal. Thanks to the very hard work of many people, including AKA members and the legislators in FL, the bills died in committee. In 2016, (HB 73 and SB 11) did not pass and died in committee.
Georgia—Legal. (HB 783) would have banned Kratom. Thanks to the very hard work of many people, AKA members and AKA Team Georgia, Kratom was removed from the bill.
Hawaii—Legal. No known active or pending legislative action.
Idaho—Legal. No known active or pending legislative action.
Illinois—Legal for adults. Except for Jerseyville, banned in April 2017. On 10/3/17 HB4106 was introduced to amend the 18 and over law to make kratom possession a Class B misdemeanor. (HB 5526) during the 2014 legislative session make the sale of Kratom to minors under 18 of age banned. The bill is currently in Rules Committee with no hearing date. Working with our lobbying team to monitor.
Indiana—Banned. Indiana SB0305 incorrectly identifies Kratom as a synthetic drug and thus scheduled Kratom as part of synthetic controlled substances legislation. Advocacy and education efforts are underway with the regulators and legislators of jurisdiction.
Iowa—Legal. No known active or pending legislative action. Legislation that would have criminalized kratom (HB 640 / HF 2355) was introduced and referred to the Iowa House Public Safety Committee, however, the bill was not passed during the 2014 legislative session.
Kansas—Legal. Senate Bill SB282 would have mad kratom illegal in all forms. Kratom was removed from SB282 and signed by governor.
Kentucky—Legal. (SB136) would have made kratom a controlled substance. Thanks to the very hard work of many people, including AKA members, the bill did not pass.
Louisiana—Legal. HR177 passed on 5/18 to request the LA Dept. of Health to study the scheduling of kratom.
Maine—Legal. Senate LD1546 would have made kratom illegal. Thanks to the efforts of many the bill did not pass.
Maryland—Legal. No known active or pending legislative action.
Massachusetts—Legal. No known active or pending legislative action.
Michigan—Legal. No known active or pending legislative action. Legislation that would have scheduled kratom (HB 5707) was not passed during the 2014 legislative session.
Minnesota—Legal. No known active or pending legislative action.
Missouri—Legal. No known active or pending legislative action.
Mississippi—Legal. Except for Union County. SB2475 & HB974 Pending legislation to make kratom illegal statewide. Kratom was removed from SB2892 and signed by governor
Montana—Legal. No known active or pending legislative action
Nebraska—Legal. No known active or pending legislative action.
Nevada—Legal. No known active or pending legislative action.
New Hampshire—Legal. 18+ per (SB540). Thanks to advocacy and education efforts of AKA members, the late State Rep. Shem Kellogg and Kratom users across the state of New Hampshire an agreement was reached putting an age restriction of 18+.
New Jersey—Legal. Assemblyman Ron Dancer previously introduced legislation A4431 and A3461 that would criminalize the manufacture, sale and possession of substances containing Kratom; those bills did not pass. A2865 has been introduced to once again try to ban kratom statewide. A6924 monitoring A2865 (carryover from A3281) which criminalizes kratom. Pending in the Law & Public Safety Committee
New Mexico—Legal. No known active or pending legislative action.
New York—Legal. Various bills have been introduced over the past few years. Currently A6924 is for prohibiting use by minors. However, bill A6345 bans the sale and distribution of kratom. For New York, it's a year-round session but we'll keep you up to speed should any developments occur. If you live in NY, please message or call your state Assembly and Senate members. Find yours here. State your opposition to ANY bill that prohibits the sale or possession of kratom. We continue to monitor multiple bills.
North Carolina—Legal. (SB830) had been introduced into legislation that would have scheduled kratom. Instead restrict its use to people over the age of 18 plus a study. Thanks to the very hard work of many people, including AKA members, the bill did not pass.
North Dakota—Legal. No known active or pending legislative action.
Ohio—Legal. The Ohio Board of Pharmacy decided to move forward with the process of scheduling kratom as a Schedule I substance. We are actively fighting this.
Oklahoma—Legal. No known active or pending legislative action. Legislation that would have scheduled kratom (HB 2666) was not passed during the 2014 legislative session.
Oregon—Legal. Except for Ontario (page 38). SB 518 has been introduced. The state board of Pharmacy will conduct a study.
Pennsylvania—Legal. No known active or pending legislative action.
Rhode Island—Banned. Director of Health, using their Controlled Substance Act banned two alkaloids. Signed into law on May 31, 2017. See the ban details here. Please see Rep. Kennedy Letter to Director of Health Nicole Alexander-Scott at the Rhode Island Department of Health.
South Carolina—Legal. No known active or pending legislative action.
South Dakota—Legal. No known active or pending legislative action.
Tennessee—Legal. Ban was reversed making it legal for plain leaf for 21 and over as of July 2018. HB1832 and SB2258. SB2258/HB1832 passed with an under 21 ban on kratom making it legal.
Texas—Legal. No known active or pending legislative action.
Utah—Legal. HB110 would have made kratom a controlled substance. Kratom was removed bill.
Vermont—Banned. Vermont classifies one of the primary alkaloids in Kratom, 7-OH (hydroxymitragynine), as a regulated drug (Title 18 V.S.A. § 4205), effectively banning Kratom in the state of Vermont. Advocacy and education efforts are underway with the regulators and legislators of jurisdiction.
Virginia—Legal. No known active or pending legislative action.
Washington—Legal. No known active or pending legislative action.
Washington D.C.—Banned. The City of Washington D.C. quietly banned kratom by resolution on December 12, 2016. Advocacy and education efforts are underway with the regulators and legislators of jurisdiction.
West Virginia— Legal. HB2526 would make kratom a controlled substance. Kratom was removed from HB 273 and signed by governor
Wisconsin—Banned. Wisconsin classified the primary alkaloids in Kratom, mitragynine and 7-OH (hydroxymitragynine), as Schedule I (Wis. Stat. § 961.14), effectively banning Kratom in the state of Wisconsin. Advocacy and education efforts are underway with the regulators and legislators of jurisdiction.
Wyoming—Legal. No known active or pending legislative action.