In a Congressional Appropriations bill for 2021, Congress has granted $500,000 for Kratom related research to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
In conjunction with this $500,000 grant, a Congressional Committee has also officially acknowledged that Kratom has the potential to be a safe alternative to prescription opioids, specifically saying: “The Committee encourages NIDA to expand research on all health impacts of kratom, including its constituent compounds, mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. The Committee is aware of the potential promise of kratom-derived compounds for acute and chronic pain patients who seek safer alternatives to sometimes dangerously addictive and potentially deadly prescription opioids.”
Congress gave a similar $1 million grant last year to the AHRQ for Kratom research. Although the grant for Kratom research this year is only half the size, it is still an extremely positive sign that Congress is willing to continue funding Kratom research, especially since the stated purpose of the research is to confirm the benefits of Kratom.
Notably, the AHRQ wasted no time in getting Kratom research started this year. In December the AHRQ issued a call for Kratom research submissions centering around these two questions: 1) In adults with chronic pain, what are the benefits of kratom or other plant-based substances for treatment of chronic pain? 2) In adults with chronic pain, what are the harms of kratom or other plant-based substances for treatment of chronic pain?
Presumably, the AHRQ is using the data that was submitted in order to determine which scientists and research centers should receive a share of the $500,000 of Kratom grant money.
Thus, this is all very positive news, since Congress is continuing to provide significant amounts of money to fund Kratom research in 2021, and even better, the point of this research is to confirm the benefits of Kratom, rather than being an attempt to fund anti-Kratom studies. Further, the fact that Congress officially acknowledged Kratom’s potential benefits indicates that there are some pro-Kratom representatives in the United States Congress, increasing the odds that Kratom will stay legal if there are any attacks on Kratom’s legality this year.
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