NEWS: Kratom Effects Study Being Run By University of Florida

Many people across the United States are familiar with Kratom. According to WUSF press release, a walk around the neighborhood would show signs of how kratom is being used. But this isn’t the first time somebody decided to make some pretty outrageous claims when it comes to kratom.

Historically, kratom has been used as an herbal supplement and according to some people who have used it before, it helps relieve pain associated with fibromyalgia and a nerve pain disorder.

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So we’re on the same page, Kratom is part of a plant harvested from a tropical tree in the caffeine family commonly found in the Southeast Asia.

Kratom-associated products were introduced into the United States market in the 1990s. For the first time since its introduction into the market, the University of Florida College of Pharmacy have committed to conduct research on Kratom effects and safety. So far, it has received multimillion dollar grants from National Institute on Drug-abuse that will go into University of Florida’s research.

The college was awarded a $3.4 million grant on top of the other $3.5 million it had already received from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to conduct the research on the kratom effects and safety. The study will focus on the alkaloids of kratoms on an individual basis. Eventually, the aim is to establish the effects of kratom as a whole. The study will establish why Kratom has diverse effects on different set of populations. It will also explore the possibility of it being used as an antidepressant or opioid alternative. Lastly, the study will come up with a list of drug interactions to help users to determine what can’t be mixed with it alongside coming up with safe dosages.

University of Florida researcher Chris McCurdy said, “while kratom advocates are correct-there are a lot of studies that support kratom use for pain and addiction – we’re still at least five years away from human clinical trials that could lead to better regulations and FDA support”.

Wether all of this is good news or bad news is up for debate.

The article on WUSF Public Media details the finer details of the study and why regulators have raised alarm on the use of Kratom. The Drug Enforcement Administration marked the product as a “drug of concern” which served as a public health advisory for the product in 2017. The article also points out that the spreading of the Kratom across states did not slow down as a result of the FDA ban on its importation. According to the University of Florida researcher, FDA does not have enough personal to completely stop the importation of kratom. Kraton has been banned in various states and some policies, some passed and others not passed, formulated to regulate it.

On the other hand, Senior on Public Policy Mac Haddow has a different view about the banning of the substance. He is opposing the ban and he has led efforts to create a framework for regulation as well as safety on the federal level.

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