Kratom (Mitragyna Speciosa)

History of Kratom

Kratom is a plant indigenous to Thailand, where the local population have been cultivating and harvesting it for thousand of years. The plant is also recognized as Mitragyna Speciosa, and in the southern part of Thailand where it grows fruitfully it is referred to as Ithang and Kakuam. In 1943, the plant was banned in Thailand due to its relationship with Opium.

Moreover, the Thailand government passed the Kratom Act 2846, which became effective on 3 August 1943. The law was passed by virtue of which the tree was not allowed to be planted, and the ones existing were to be cut down. However, since the plant is naturally indigenous to the region, this law enforcement was not very effective.

Kratom Farmers

Current Legal Status

Despite its ban in 1943, at present, decriminalizing the plant is being considered by the Narcotics Control Board Thai office. As pointed out by advocates, the original ban of the plant in Thailand was motivated economically. It seemed that the opium trade to raising revenue was not accomplishing its aim. The passage of the ban of the plant was led by the falling revenue.

Kratom is prohibited in many South-Eastern Asian countries although the specifics of the law are not clear. Such countries include Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia, and Thailand. However, the use of mitragyna speciosa is still frequent in these countries particularly in rural areas, even though severe penalties are imposed by these countries. Some of the most popular strains such as Bali Kratom strain, and Maeng Da powder come directly from the regions of Bali and Thailand.

Outside South-East Asia, the plant remains legal in most of the world, as well as European countries and the United States. In Finland and Australia the plant was recently made illegal. Although the Mitragyna speciosa is not controlled in the United States, laws banning its possession and sale have been passed in four states. The states include Vermont, Tennessee, Indiana, and Wisconsin.

The plant legal status is in a state a flux currently. And current laws globally seem to reflect political and social realities rather than biochemical findings. Despite the ban in many countries, those looking hard enough can buy kratom online from and have it shipped to their door. When ordering, it is important to familiarize yourself with the laws of your country, prior to the import.

Scientific Research

The kratom leaves are being given attention by a lot of people. Individual companies including pharmaceuticals and scientific groups are conducting research on the effects, properties, and composition of the plant. Due to the plants accessibility on the internet, it is now widely available in the market. In South-East Asia, Japan, and the United States research are being conducted to examine further the leaves of the plant.

Recent research revealed that the leaves of the plant have alkaloids, although the process of how the alkaloids work is yet to be discovered. Scientific research classifies the plant as known as the “coffee family” that is a representative of the family Rubiaceae. Its unique biological activity is the basis of its popularity so that its leaves have been consumed traditionally by Malaysia and Thailand natives.

Medical Research

In regards to medical research, investigations to evaluate paracetamol and morphine antinociceptive activity to that of mitragynine, which is an M. speciosa major constituent. When they were tested significant analgesia was produced by all the three substances. The conclusion of the result was that mitragynine requires further study since it may be a potential new analgesic.

Additionally, the effect of pure methanolic, mitragynine, and an alkaloid extract of kratom leaves were researched on compound nerve action and neuromuscular junction potential. The conclusion of the result was that, the plant may not act as an antagonist of acetylcholine that is competitive. The effect that is dominant seemed to be at the neuromuscular junction and not at the somatic nerve or the skeletal muscle.