While kratom’s popularity continues to grow — there are now an estimated 15.6 million kratom users in the U.S. — it remains poorly understood. We’ve carefully selected the resources below to get you up to speed on kratom’s safety, potential uses, regulatory history, important studies and more. We update this page frequently, so if you know of a resource we should include, please contact us!
Kratom Facts and Figures
- American Kratom Association’s Kratom by the Numbers: This infographic visualizes the facts and figures supporting kratom’s safety.
- American Kratom Association Kratom Population, June 2019: This brief white paper uses import records to estimate that, as of June 2019, there are approximately 15.6 million kratom users in the United States.
- List of Alkaloids Identified in Mitragyna Speciosa: This page lists the 28 alkaloids commonly found in kratom leaves.
- Erowid’s Kratom Vault: This site’s design is dated, but the information is solid. Erowid is something of a legend in the world of psychoactive plants and chemicals.
- Sage Wisdom’s The Kratom User’s Guide: Probably the most comprehensive guide on how to actually use kratom, including specific directions and recipes.
- Wikipedia’s Mitragyna Speciosa Page: A surprisingly detailed and useful resource about kratom’s uses, effects, chemistry and regulatory history.
- Tripsit’s Kratom Fact Sheet: This fact sheet contains helpful information for kratom users about dosage, duration, effects and interactions.
- American Kratom Association Kratom Fact Sheet, January 2019: This whitepaper argues that the FDA’s position on the dangers of kratom is based primarily on incidents involving adulterated kratom, and pure kratom simply does not pose the health risks the FDA claims.
- Pinney Associates’ Assessment of Kratom Under the CSA Eight Factors and Scheduling Recommendation: This report from the pharmaceutical consulting firm Pinney Associates examines kratom under the Controlled Substances Act’s 8-Factor Analysis and concludes that making kratom a Schedule I substance is not warranted.
- American Kratom Association’s Policy Report, December 2018: This report from the AKA refutes the data and science relied upon by the FDA in making its recommendation that kratom be designated as a Schedule I substance.
- Scientists’ Response to the FDA’s 8-Factor Analysis: This letter from a dozen scientists, including scientists in residence at universities like Harvard Medical School and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, criticizes the FDA’s flawed methodology in conducting its 8-Factor Analysis of kratom.
- Scientists’ Letter to Congressional Leadership: This letter from nine scientists urges the DEA to reject the FDA’s recommendation that kratom be designated a Schedule I substance, and instead ask the FDA to conduct further research on the matter. The letter notes the foreseeable consequence that, if kratom is designated a Schedule I substance, thousands of former opioid users will return to high-risk opioid use.
- Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. on FDA Advisory About Deadly Risks Associated with Kratom: This November 14, 2017 outlines the FDA’s position about potential safety risks of kratom.
- Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on the Agency’s Scientific Evidence on the Presence of Opioid Compounds in Kratom, Underscoring Its Potential for Abuse: This February 6, 2018 describes the controversial evidence on which the FDA relies to claim kratom contains opioid compounds.
Kratom and Other Mitragynines: The Chemistry and Pharmacology of Opioids from a Non-Opium Source: This book presents an introduction to kratom and explores the possibility that opioid compounds could be derived from plants other than the opium poppy.
- Kratom as a Potential Therapy: In this video, Christopher McCurdy, Ph.D of the University of Florida explores kratom as a potential therapy for opioid dependence.
Journal Articles and Academic Papers
- The New England Journal of Medicine, “Deaths in Colorado Attributed to Kratom”: This letter to the editor reviews 15 kratom-related deaths and notes that, while 14 of the deaths clearly involved multiple drugs, kratom likely increases the risks of adverse events when mixed with opioids or psychoactive drugs.
- Addiction Biology, “Abuse Liability and Therapeutic Potential of the Mitragyna Speciosa (Kratom) Alkaloids Mitragynine and 7-Hydroxymitragynine”: This article examines the potential for abuse of kratom’s two primary alkaloids, mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. It concludes that mitragynine does not have abuse potential and reduces morphine intake, making it a strong candidate for treatment of opiate addiction and withdrawal, whereas 7-hydroxymitragynine has a high abuse potential and may increase the intake of opiates.
- Psychopharmacology, “Abuse Liability of Mitragynine Assessed with a Self-Administration Procedure in Rats”: This article reviews the abuse potential of mitragynine and concludes that mitragynine has a low potential for abuse and promising potential to reduce opioid abuse.
- Journal of the American Chemical Society, “Synthetic and Receptor Signaling Explorations of the Mitragyna Alkaloids: Mitragynine as an Atypical Molecular Framework for Opioid Receptor Modulators”: This article explores kratom’s potential as a pain management drug, and in particular whether use of kratom might avoid the potentially fatal respiratory depression associated with classical opioids.
- Drug Design, Development and Therapy, “Pharmacokinetics of Mitragynine in Man”: This study evaluated the movement of kratom through the human body and concluded that there is a possibility for kratom to be developed medically as a painkiller or better opioid substitute in the future.
- Journal of Dietary Supplements, “An Evidence-Based Systematic Review of Kratom (Mitragyna Speciosa) by the Natural Standard Research Collaboration”: This article attempts to compile all of the available research regarding kratom’s safety and efficacy.
- National Institute of Health, “Self-Treatment of Opioid Withdrawal Using Kratom”: This study details lengthy use of kratom by a 43-year-old man, and notes that it did not produce any adverse effects, nor did he have significant difficulty quitting when he desired.
- Pharmacological Studies on 7-Hydroxymitragynine, Isolated from the Thai Herbal Medicine Mitragyna Speciosa: Discovery of an Orally Active Opioid Analgesic: This study was among the first to recognize the potential of 7-hydroxymitragynine as a painkiller.
- List of Studies: This list, compiled by Christopher McCurdy, Ph.D. of the University of Florida, includes 96 known studies on kratom.
Media Regarding Kratom Ban
- Washington Post, “The DEA Wants to Ban Another Plant. Researchers Say the Plan Is ‘Insane.’”: This article provides useful background on the DEA’s original intention to designate kratom a Schedule I substance, and the backlash that plan received.
- HuffPost, “Congress Calls Out DEA for Unilateral Move to Expand the War on Drugs”: This article provides a good overview of Congress’ involvement in persuading the DEA to reconsider its decision to ban kratom.
- The Crime Report, “DEA Reconsiders Kratom Ban After Public Support”: This article details the DEA’s retreat after public outcry over its plan to ban kratom in the U.S.