Herbal and natural remedies are a new rage these days. People suffering from chronic diseases and painful conditions are leaning towards the use of herbal remedies rather than relying on opioids for managing pain. Kratom is also such a type of botanical that is usually taken as an antidote for opioid addiction.
Moreover, people all over the world are using this herb for various other ailments like pain, anxiety, depression, decreased attention span, immunological disorders, etc. These Kratom users that are as many as 6 million, are all praises of this useful herbal plant.
Do You Need A Prescription For Buying Kratom?
Despite the many proposed benefits of Kratom, there still lies many uncertainties regarding its legality status in the US due to FDA’s attempts to ban Kratom in the US for many years.
In 2016, DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) planned to place Kratom under the category of Schedule 1 controlled substances. This category is for those substances that have high possibilities for abuse and can not be used for medical purposes.
The unsureness revolving around the legality status of Kratom and the fact that users take this herb for various medicinal purposes as a drug, has prompted many people to ask whether they need a prescription for purchasing Kratom or not.
No matter what confusion has led you to this question, the answer is clear and simple;
No, you don’t need a prescription for buying or using Kratom in the US. Additionally, it’s not considered a dietary supplement or drug by the FDA. Although you are not obligated by the law to ask your doctor about its usage and dosages, it is always best to seek professional medical health.
However, keep in mind that this is true for only those parts of the country where kratom is completely legal to buy and use. Some of the states in the US have banned Kratom usage completely, which has resulted in restrictions to sell and purchase Kratom also. These states include Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin.
Kratom – A Beneficial Botanical
Native to Southeast Asia, Kratom is a tropic tree (known as Mitragyna Speciosa in scientific terms). It has leaves that contain a compound responsible for causing mind-altering effects.
Kratom is mainly composed of 7-hydroxy mitragynine and alkaloids mitragynine, which are known for causing muscle relaxant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Self-Medication Of Kratom For Various Ailments
Generally, people believe Kratom to be an opioid receptor. Users claim that at low dosages, Kratom can make the users more energetic and lively. Howbeit, at higher doses, this stimulant is known for causing euphoric effects, pain relief, and sedation.
Furthermore, at even higher dosages, it is said to cause drowsiness and depressed activity. Nonetheless, people believe that it is natural and safe since it is derived from a plant, especially if they are using Kratom for relaxation purposes.
People who consume Kratom greatly believe in its healing effects and value. They report using kratom to treat their opioid dependence and withdrawal. A study recently analyzed 500 YouTube videos about the use of Kratom. It reported that with the help of Kratom, many users self-manage opioid dependence (83.4%), pain (75%), anxiety (67%), lack of energy (50%), depression (42%), substance use disorders (42%), mood disorders (25%), and nootropic effects (25%).
Just as expected, more than half of the Kratom users in these YouTube videos have shown positive experiences. However, some of them also claimed to suffer some unfavorable outcomes of using this herb. These side effects include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dry mouth
- Changes in bowel habits
- Weight loss
Concerns Over Kratom’s Legality Status
Despite FDA’s (Federal Drug Administration) concerns over the risk of dependency, abuse, and addiction of Kratom; this herbal plant is very much legal in the US right now.
However, FDA does not approve of any uses for Kratom and is still evaluating its viability to be consumed. They are invested in collecting and understanding scientific information available regarding Kratom to understand its safety profile, as well as its use combined with other substances.
In the past, several government bodies including DEA and HHS (Department of Health and Human Services) have supported a ban to be put forward on the regulation of Kratom. Nevertheless, they had to back down when thousands of Americans including scientists, federal lawmakers, and Kratom advocates petitioned the White House to revoke the ban.
Regardless of all the previous failures to ban Kratom at the federal level, FDA is once again on the hunt for this beneficial herb with a possible global ban.
In a letter published on 23rd July 2021 at Federal Register, FDA has sought public opinion in regards to medical use and abuse of Kratom and six other narcotic substances. The data collected will be presented at a crucial meeting arranged by the World Health Organisation in October 2021.
In the letter, FDA has focused mainly on the adverse events caused by Kratom and has failed to highlight any benefits of the herbal plant. According to the FDA, there have been kratom-associated deaths, especially if the people have taken other substances with Kratom such as alcohol, opioids, illicit drugs, benzodiazepines, and other medications such as cough syrup.
Another reason why its use is so controversial is that it hasn’t been studied in-depth yet. Clinical studies are important to understand if herbal substances are viable to use. They are also useful in understanding whether a particular dosage is dangerous or effective.
FDA’s attempt to pass over the federal scheduling by putting forward an international ban has shaken the trust of Americans big time. People suffering from chronic pain and other painful conditions have turned to Kratom, as opioids are not easy to come by thanks to the restrictions on prescriptions and fear of overdosing that can lead to death. If the users find doors closed on this end too, it might cause major health issues for them.
Moreover, in response to the letter issued by FDA asking for responses, AKA (American Kratom Association) has urged Americans to focus on the positive experience the users have had and how the substance has helped them to increase their quality of life.
Kratom is known as one of the best substances to deal with chronic pain and cutting down opioid addictions. Despite the various health benefits, the dosage of this substance needs to be regulated. The FDA is still unsure about its status and has not termed it as a safe substance as of yet.
Although you don’t need a prescription before buying or using Kratom, you should always seek professional medical help regarding its uses and dosage, ensuring that you use this herb in moderation and there are no pharmaceutical drug interactions.