“The big problem with kratom today in the United States is a poorly regulated market because the FDA has been sitting on their hands, and it empowers bad actor kratom vendors to adulterate kratom products with dangerous substances like fentanyl, heroin and morphine.”
As it stands, kratom is not scheduled under the federal Controlled Substances Act or under international drug treaties to which the U.S. is a party. FDA has considered putting restrictions on the substance, but it’s has faced resistance and has been unable to do so at this point.
Some advocates suspected that, since the agency hasn’t imposed a ban on kratom domestically, it would use the WHO convention as an opportunity to get prohibition enacted internationally, a move that the country would be compelled to comply with.
A bipartisan and bicameral duo of congressional lawmakers sent a letter to the secretary of the U.S. Department Health and Human Services and the country’s UN ambassador in October, imploring the officials to resist efforts to impose an international ban on kratom.
As federal agencies have gone back and forth about the merits of scheduling kratom over recent years, there’s been “no conclusive evidence that would warrant the United States voting in favor of an international control of this substance,” the lawmakers said.
Separately, the House Appropriations Committee approved a report to spending legislation over the summer that says federal health agencies have “contributed to the continued understanding of the health impacts of kratom, including its constituent compounds, mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine.”
“The Committee is aware of the potential promising results of kratom for acute and chronic pain patients who seek safer alternatives to sometimes dangerously addictive and potentially deadly prescription opioids and of research investigating the use of kratom’s constituent compounds for opioid use disorder,” it said.
The panel also directed the Health and Human Services secretary to continue to refrain from recommending that kratom be controlled in Schedule I.
Late last year, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) asked the public to help identify research that specifically looks at the risks and benefits of cannabinoids and kratom.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last year separately received more than one thousand comments concerning kratom as part of another public solicitation.
Read the WHO ECDD report on its kratom recommendations