We plan on doing these biweekly updates, well, biweekly to keep our users up-to-date on the latest developments in kratom, as well as Kratomaton. Every couple of weeks, we'll offer a brief glimpse at kratom in the news, provide notifications for new content, and talk briefly about recent changes made to the site.
So, without further adieu, let's take a look at what's been happening!
Unfortunately, kratom is once again under threat of becoming a controlled substance in the United States. Although it is already controlled in many states, last week the Food and Drug Administration made an announcement expressing concern over kratom and "kratom-containing products."
The FDA press announcement raised the question of "whether the use of kratom – for recreation, pain or other reasons – could expand the opioid epidemic" and stated that the FDA is now "actively [preventing] shipments of kratom from entering the U.S."
Scott Gottlieb, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, has been the spokesman for the campaign so far. Appearing on CNBC, he had the following to say:
We're currently working with the DEA to look at a scheduling process now. We're coming up with what we call an eight-factor analysis which assesses the product. We've made that available to the DEA for their consideration. They'll make a scheduling decision based on our analysis. We think it has drug-like properties ... we think this a drug-like substance, we think this is an opioid-analogue in some respects.
Instead, Gottlieb reinforced the role of pharmaceutical drugs to combat the opioid crisis:
I know people are looking towards kratom as one potential alternative that can help ease their addiction or treat the symptoms of addiction. We know that there's a lot of good therapy already on the market ... there's three approved drugs that help treat opioid addiction and we're open to looking at new products. We are putting out additional guidance documents and policies to try to create a bigger market for people who want to come in and develop products to treat opioid addiction. We don't think kratom is one of these products.
The FDA also raised concern over "36 deaths associated with the use of kratom-containing products," however the causes of these deaths are unclear and uncited in their announcement. It's also unknown what other ingredients were included in these fatal products.
It should be noted that deaths have been misattributed solely to kratom in the past, despite autopsy reports revealing that other substances were involved. For instance, "Krypton," a kratom-containing street drug, was responsible for nine deaths between 2010-2011.
Due to this recent push by the FDA, the online kratom community has been advocating for continued legal status and reevaluation. A White House petition has been created, and the American Kratom Association has announced a call to action.
We've been working primarily under-the-hood here at Kratomaton, but we did have one new vendor added this week. If you're ordering from the EU area, perhaps you should check them out!
EthnoCat Botanicals (Ships from NETHERLANDS, EUROPE)
No new strains were added this week! If we're totally slacking and missed one, let us know!
As we said earlier, most of the work we've been doing on the site has been behind-the-scenes, so not much has changed from a user perspective.
However, we have reworked some of the site menus a little in order to improve usability (you probably didn't notice!). One user was unsure of where to login or create an account, so we added dedicated links to the menubar - hopefully, that helps!
We've also got accounts up-and-running on both Twitter and Instagram, where you'll be able to get micro-updates on all things Kratomaton. If either of those is your thing, follow away!
Thank you for your continued patience as we tinker away and fix the little things. This section will be a little more exciting in the future, we promise!
That's it for this week's update. Thanks for reading!