The popular, natural pain-fighting plant, kratom, may be banned from the state of Florida due to a bill state Republican, Greg Evers has introduced. The bill is intended to put kratom on the state’s list of controlled substances, thereby banning it from its current availability and use.
Kratom is legal in the United States, although the FDA has placed it on its “Drugs and Chemicals of Concern” list.
Kratom is a leaf from the tropical tree, Mitragyna speciose. When chewed, kratom produces a drug-like effect that helps ease pain, cough and opioid withdrawal, among other claims.
According to Wikipedia, “Kratom behaves as a μ-opioid receptor agonist, similar to opiates like morphine, although its effects differ significantly from those of opiates. Kratom does not appear to have significant adverse effects, and in particular appears not to cause the hypoventilation typical of other opioids.”
The Florida Senate Bill (SB 764) still has to pass through two more committees after it passed the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice earlier this month. Floridians wanting to express their opinions should contact their Florida state senator. A list can be found here.
Tennessee, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Vermont currently have bans on the plant.
Kratom has been used for thousands of years – mostly in Asia – but concerns about its safety range from its addictive properties to hallucinogenic ones. A study published in 2012 in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association recommends that “Physicians should be aware of the availability, user habits, and health effects of kratom. Further research on the therapeutic uses, toxic effects, and abuse potential of kratom and its constituent compounds are needed.”
According to an article by Healthline, “All is not lost for those that may need kratom for medicinal purpose. The proposed bill in Florida provides ‘an exception from scheduling for any drug product approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which contains mitragynine.’”
That provides little hope for Floridians who use on kratom for pain relief, given that there are no clear timelines for approval of drugs containing mitragynine in the FDA pipeline.
Have you used kratom for fibromyalgia, and has it helped you or not?