Factor 4: Assessment of Kratom Under the CSA Eight Factors

Factor 4: Assessment of Kratom Under the CSA Eight Factors

Factor 4: Its history and current pattern of abuse 3.4.1 History

A large part of kratom’s existence and recent explosion in use, is the fact that it’s a relatively new drug/plant, especially in the U.S.

The history of kratom presence and consumption in the US is recent, compared to Southeast Asia, and not well documented. Anecdotal reports, e.g., by Hmong immigrants in the 1980s and 1990, suggest that the Hmong and other immigrants from the Southeast Asia region likely brought kratom consumption practices to the US, and discussions with some have suggested availability in some Asian food product stores

Consumption of kratom is largely a personal preference.

Frequency of consumption of kratom, whether by consumption of home brewed liquids or commercial products, appears largely determined by individual preferences and reasons for consumption.

Kratom effects are usually within an hour and lasts 3.5 to 2.5 hours for MG and 7-OH-MG respectively… good to know.

The typical mode of consumption is basic.

The most common mode of consumption in the US is in the form of liquids that are either prepared by consumers or purchased as manufactured products, often in small, 2 ounce containers as have become increasingly popular for caffeinated energy based “shot” drinks and other supplements. Consumers who prepare their own liquids use both hot and cold water extraction methods similar to making tea or coffee. Leaf material, which may be whole leaf but more commonly chopped or powdered, can be steeped or boiled, or cold water extracted. Lemon juice or other acids may be added to facilitate extraction. Sugar, honey, and other sweeteners and flavoring ingredients are often added to mask the generally perceived unpleasant and bitter taste of the liquids.

A public health benefit of the general distasteful nature of the liquids is probably the discouragement of consumption by children. In fact, given the millions of preparations made in homes and sold by 10,000 vendors throughout the US, this may help contribute to apparently infrequent inadvertent consumption by children and reporting to emergency departments and poison centers in addition to the apparent intrinsic low acute toxicity of the mitragynines as discussed further on.

This part of the study solidifies and emphasizes that kratom, on a manageable scale is a safe plant to consume.

Kratom is widely known for its benefits, many largely misunderstood and/or not researched enough to make conclusions in the scientific niche.

Using from 5 to 15 g of kratom leaves may provide the user with pain and opioid withdrawal symptom relief (EMCDDA, 2015; Prozialeck, 2012). Both mitragynine and 7- OH-MG yield analgesic and antinociceptive effects. Euphoria is more often achieved at this higher level, but these effects tend to be less intense as compared with opioid drugs (Prozialeck, 2012).

This analysis is consistent with the conclusions of other recent reviews of the state of kratom science, which reveal a novel substance in need of further research to better understand its mechanisms of action as well as effects, particularly in dosage forms relevant to oral consumption by humans.



8 Factor Analysis performed by Dr. Henningfield


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