B2B Wholesaler Magazine

Kratom Science

When it comes to questions concerning the health and safety of American consumers, science provides the answers. The challenge is getting politicians to listen.

The American Kratom Association (AKA) is encouraging legislators, policy makers, and all groups interested in kratom in America to “thoughtfully review” a statement on the science of kratom products and U.S. regulation released by a number of the leading kratom researchers in the world.

The statement provides a concise review of what is currently known, and potential areas of future research into kratom. In assessing the current state of that research, the paper supports the conclusion that “U.S. adults should have access to kratom products that are regulated.” T he researchers who draf ted that statement are Oliver Grundmann, PhD, FCP, Christopher R. McCurdy, PhD, FAAPS, Abhisheak Sharma, PhD, and Kirsten Smith, PhD.

According to AKA, the document:

• Speaks to currently available kratom science, especially regarding the primary kratom alkaloid.

• Differentiates types of kratom products available to consumers in America.

• Provides public policy makers a roadmap for the appropriate regulation of kratom products.


The scientists, like the association, place consumer safety at the top of the priority list. In their statement, they urged taking precautions.

“Because of the various kratom products on the market without federal regulation or appropriate oversight of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it is important to ensure consumers have access to kratom products that are adequately labeled to inform their consumption,” they wrote. “As such, legislatures should require adequate labeling of kratom products according to the FDA and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidances for dietary supplements.”

Such labeling, the scientists added, should include at a minimum:

• The name and address of the manufacturer or distributor.

• A list of all ingredients.

• The total amount of kratom material per serving.

• The number of servings per container.

• An expiration or “best before” date.

• A statement about how products may be habit-forming with frequent or heavy use.

• A statement that consumers should consult a healthcare professional prior to kratom consumption.

• A statement that kratom use is not advised during pregnancy and lactation, or by a person who is taking prescription medications.

The scientists added that sales of kratom products should be limited to consumers aged 18 years and older. Their statement also highlights the most important conclusions from research, AKA noted in a release. They include:

• Mitragynine is the major alkaloid in kratom, and because of this it has been the subject of most scientific reports.

• Mitragynine is not a classical opioid like morphine, but rather is unique in that it has partial agonist activity and relatively low abuse liability.

• With a diverse kratom product marketplace in the U.S., it is important to distinguish between products.

• In the years that kratom whole leaf and extract products have been sold in America, there have been few clinical case reports of adverse effects.

• Like many psychoactive products, such as caffeine, kratom products can be habit forming, as indicated by users who consume large quantities of kratom with greater frequency over an extended period of time.

• The severity of physical dependence is mild to moderate.

• It is important to ensure that consumers have access to kratom products that are adequately labeled to inform their consumption.


An accurate review of the current science on kratom from America’s leading kratom researchers “is exactly what the kratom community, legislators and public policy leaders need,” the association suggested. “For the last decade, media reports and the FDA have repeatedly released sensationalized, misleading and contradictory reports about kratom. The FDA itself has relied on opinions on kratom that former Assistant Secretary of Health at HHS, Dr. Brett Giroir, characterized as ‘embarrassingly poor evidence and data’ in its prior recommendations to schedule kratom under the federal Controlled Substances Act.”

According to AKA, the FDA “continues to restate that discredited information on kratom that materially misleads the public.”

The organization has consistently advocated for scientific findings to drive public policy on kratom, and encourages FDA officials, state and federal legislators, and the media to speak with scientists and researchers “to fully understand and appreciate what the current state of research on kratom actually is.”

The AKA also supports continuing research on kratom, the release noted. “America cannot afford more public policy, particularly in regard to natural products, that is motivated by fear or designed to increase prohibitions and criminalization. Americans deserve consumer protection policies driven by science.”

The association also said that it applauds the “extraordinary contribution made by these kratom experts to help policy makers understand the most current science on kratom.”