If you are living in the U.S., then you might have heard a lot about products like Vivazen, K Chill, etc., which have gained immense popularity over the years. It might be because these products contain kratom – a plant, scientifically called Mitragyna speciosa, grown in South East Asian countries. Studies have shown that kratom potentially has pain relieving components that make it an effective supplement of pain reliever and it comes in pills and powder form. And people actively seek them on online stores like the golden monk.
Its usage is legal in most of the U.S. states, but Alabama is not the one. The state of Alabama has deemed it as illegal, putting it in schedule 1 controlled substance category. According to DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration), schedule 1 substance is a compound that has more high abuse capability than any accepted medical benefit. Though DEA itself withdrew its decision in 2016 to categorize kratom under this category, Alabama is still firm on its decision.
Here are given some potential reasons why Alabama is sticking to its decision despite all public outcry and debates:
Toxicity in Organ Systems:
In January 2016, the FDA (Federal Drug Administration) issued an alert regarding Kratom use where it stated that scientific studies had shown toxic impacts of kratom on body systems as it triggers several health issues. It also mentioned various health impacts of kratom, like sleeplessness, delusions, constipation, hallucinations, aggression, depression, agitation, nervousness, tremor, nausea, vomiting, skin hyperpigmentation, etc.
Though kratom is not a narcotic, it is just a plant, but still, some people have claimed that its consumption affects them like narcotics’ impact. Interestingly, despite the FDA’s statement, the number of people online claiming the benefits of this plant are more than the people stating its harmful effects.
Presence of Active Compounds:
SB226 bill has not included kratom plant among the outlawed substance. However, two of the most crucial kratom elements, hydroxymitragynine and mitragynine are included in the list. The reason might be because according to some scientific studies, these two components are potent alkaloids and opioid-receptor agonists which bind to and trigger human µ-opioid receptors, just like morphine, codeine, and oxycodone. Though these components are not classified as an opioid, they do cast opioid-like activity on opioid receptors. Studies show that their low concentration can cause euphoria and other ‘high’ effects. While their high concentration can be antinociceptive and sedating.
Therefore, the kratom plant is not basically banned in Alabama, but its mentioned active compounds are forbidden.
Surprisingly, the response of people who have taken kratom products is in direct contradiction to these studies. According to these people, Kratom intake has, in fact, helped them to overcome opiates and alcohol addiction that was hard to control otherwise.
Besides outcry from avid kratom consumers, researchers are also showing their concerns. They say that placing kratom in schedule 1 category will hinder their research work on the plant, which is essential to develop an addiction-free alternative to opiate painkillers.
That’s what Alabamans are seeking!
Many Alabama residents are actually looking for kratom as a painkiller not as a drug, according to many local smoke shops owners.