Research. Reflect. Decide.
Research. Reflect. Decide.
It’s been fun and rewarding to be a part of this greater journey over the course of the last decade as a consumer/advocate now as a business owner. Kratom (Mitragyna Speciosa) is a cousin of the coffee plant that grows naturally in southeast Asia. Fresh or dried leaves may be brewed into a tea. In the USA, dried/crushed leaves are often consumed in capsules or mixed into a beverage. The vast majority of Americans are still unfamiliar, in spite of the greatly increasing number of banners advertising it in front of businesses and products found in an increasing number of stores. It has recently been estimated that almost 1 in 20 Americans consume kratom in some form. As this number grows so does the importance of regulation to help ensure safety to the best of our ability.
Imagine if you went into a restaurant, ordered a drink and had no idea whether you were drinking Miller Lite or Jack Daniels Whiskey! A 16oz glass might be extremely dangerous! Imagine if, from time to time, some shady restaurants dropped a little pill in the beverage to make it seem like they had the strongest drinks in town!? INSANE. CRIMINAL. People have a right to know exactly what they are consuming and the potency of that product.
I am very grateful that our industry is taking steps to address this and thankful for the hard work of the American Kratom Association. I am proud that Steding & Sons Mercantile (1836 Kratom) is playing our own small role in this greater good and thankful KVUE mentioned us.
Why do people consume kratom? The reasons vary, but here is what people have reported:
Many are simply searching for an overall increased feeling of wellbeing.
Many people believe it to reduce anxiety and/or depression.
Many people believe it to aid in focus and/or increase energy.
Many people believe it to offer relief from chronic pain or discomfort.
Many athletes use kratom: powerlifters, strongmen, wrestlers, fighters and others who push their bodies to the extreme have told me they found it very helpful.
Most powerfully (and I believe at the heart of the controversy) many have even claimed it has helped them to break addiction to prescription and illicit drugs. I may be crazy here, but to me, this is a GOOD thing! I know people who have said that, after years of therapy/rehab etc., it was the ONLY thing that worked. We must maintain kratom as an option for people. It may not be the best option for everyone, but we have a moral obligation to retain it as an OPTION.
To me, the fear and controversy primarily revolves around the lack of regulation and transparency. Almost all adverse events reported have involved adulterated products and/or products with extreme alkaloid content, far exceeding that in the natural plant. It’s important people know what is inside the package they are buying. Beyond this, I believe that while we have an absolutely amazing medical system in the United States, we still have a lot to learn and they are obviously not perfect. Clearly certain oversights have contributed to an awful epidemic. I believe there are so many natural options that have been ignored and at worst, they have been intentionally dismissed by the mainstream. Maybe it's because you can't patent a plant? Either way, I’m grateful for the doctors that are researching kratom in earnest and excited about increasing options for the wellness of human beings.
Why have I not heard of this?!
I believe that most people who consume kratom don’t tell other people about it due to controversy in the news and the fear of being judged. I hope and believe that adults will be able to have transparent and frank conversations about it in the near future. I believe kratom is generally safe and may benefit millions of people, however the choice should be made after research and consideration. The choice to consume kratom, and the decision about how much to consume is one that should be made with intention. This is, again, why this regulation is direly important. People need to know what they are consuming! Generally around one teaspoon or 2-3 grams of unadulterated kratom powder is regarded as a “serving.” I believe moderation is important. It is generally believed that people should not consume more than 3-4 teaspoons, or 10 grams, per day. However, for some people with chronic pain, consuming more may be a much better alternative. Of course, everybody’s body is different and it’s important to listen to your body. It is very important to note the allkaloid content in extract products. A small bottle of a popular product (not ours) contains the equivalent of over 20 grams of natural kratom. Sometimes without awareness (and undoubtedly sometimes intentionally) people consume the entire bottle at once. This is a consumption level that has not been generally documented in history and should be treated with extra regard and caution.
Are there negatives?
Of course there may be negatives and there have been people who have reported abuse and dependence. For people who have committed to an absolutely “sober” (defined in the recovery community as an absolute abstinence from any/all psychoactive substances) lifestyle, I would generally not recommend incorporating kratom into their lives. Why do so? To me, any risk is not worth taking. However, for the vast majority of people I’ve spoken with, it has been a good thing. Many friends and even family members have stated it helped them to greatly decrease and/or quit consuming alcohol or other things. I’ve employed and spoken with many people who have claimed it helped them escape the grip of harmful substances, and now lead happier healthier lives. Again, it is a decision that should be made with consideration and intention. At 1836 Kratom our motto is: Research. Reflect. Decide.
I’m very grateful for the positive steps the good players in our industry are taking and excited about the future! Thanks so much for reading all the way through. If you have any questions, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are not doctors and most importantly, we are not YOUR doctor. Please, do your research. *If I'm your only source of information, please, drop me a line because I've got some beautiful ocean front property in Arizona for sale! We are just some well-meaning people who believe in kratom.
Consult with your physician before use. Nothing I've said is intended as medical advice. The FDA has not approved these statements. Products are not intended to treat, prevent or cure any disease. Products are not for sale to minors. Pregnant/nursing women are advised against use.