The John Hopkins Kratom Study and its Findings
Over the years, the Kratom community has been the subject of heavy scrutiny from federal bodies. It seems that federal institutions like the Food and Drug Administration are out to get them. Thus, Kratom users all over the country have become more or less used to getting bad news, be it the FDA organizing crackdowns on Kratom suppliers to more than dubious searches and seizures.
That being said, Kratom users and the Kratom community at large have persevered. Over the last couple of years, we have scored some pretty sweet victories, both legally and in how society perceives Kratom. This does not seem like it will stop after a new research paper was published and released by one of the most acclaimed medical institutions in the world, the John Hopkins University.
Kratom has been around for thousands of years, and even ancient civilizations understood that the herbal extract is a panacea. Recently, the number of people all over the world who not only understand this fact has increased, and after the study that John Hopkins University released, the number is only going to get bigger.
Essentially, after conducting intensive research, the researchers at the university came to the conclusion that supports what Kratom users all over the country and the world have known for years; it has therapeutic potential and has limited potential when it comes to abuse. The article published calls for further research to understand the true capabilities of Kratom, and not an outright ban it, as the FDA and CDC have time and time again tried to do.
The raison d'etre of this article is to get into the nitty-gritty of the John Hopkins study and why it is such good news.
The John Hopkins Study
This study, it must be said, is not a be-all-end-all vindication that ascertains Kratom's effectiveness and efficiency. Still, it does go a long way in establishing the fact that Kratom is safe to use, that it is effective when it comes to a myriad of issues and that it has the potential to be a worthwhile treatment for a plethora of other issues and to help people all over the world.
The study was published on the 3rd of February in the Drug and Alcoholic Dependency issue. The said study was conducted on three thousand adult Kratom users all over the United States, and the findings were published in the said journal. The study itself is a self-reporting one, and even though they aren't the most reliable, a fact which is highlighted in the study itself, it is still a very reliable first step in making sure that the regulatory bodies and agencies have a guiding pathway when it comes to making decisions on the way forward.
Using it as a metric with which future decisions can be made, the study results were very positive. The co-author of the study, Dr. Albert Garcia-Romeu, Ph.D., who is with the John Hopkins School of Medicine, the findings of the survey suggests that the herbal extract does not belong to the Schedule I category of drugs. This is because Kratom has a relatively low rate, compared to other drugs, of drug abuse. Additionally, there seem to be many ways through which the medical application of Kratom can be explored, which include opioid use disorder as well as pain.
The study findings have provided the metrics for a very broad array of users' experiences. They include the reason why the people use the herbal extract, what they experience, the side effects they have encountered or encountered, as well as the frequency of Kratom use.
When perusing through the study, you will find that this is the area of the study that has the least representation with respect to the broader Kratom community. This may have been as a result of access, or lack thereof, to a broader demographic, as well as people not responding to requests to take part in the study. Nevertheless, John Hopkins University endeavored to make the group as diverse as possible.
Of the users in the study, 61 percent were female, 90 percent were white, they had an average age of 40, and 84 percent had some college education at least.
Use of Kratom
Another aspect that was taken into account in the study was why different people used Kratom. The study reported that most users took the herbal extract because of the numerous therapeutic properties it offers.
Ninety-one percent said that they take it to ease chronic and acute pain. Sixty-seven percent said that they took Kratom as an anxiolytic, meaning that they wanted to relieve anxiety. 65 percent took it to deal with depression, while 41 percent took it to treat opioid dependency.
It should be noted that of the people that said they use Kratom to relieve opioid dependency, 87 percent reported that they had experienced relief from their opioid dependency, and 37 percent said that they had used Kratom to cut off opioid use for more than one year completely. All these findings are based on the Johns Hopkins University study.
The survey did find that some users experienced side effects after using Kratom. Nineteen percent of the users reported that they experienced minor effects, such as lethargy and upset stomach. 1.9 percent stated that they have some more severe side effects, including irritability, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. 9.5 percent of the users reported that they experienced some noticeable withdrawals after frequently using Kratom.
What does this study do for the future of Kratom?
The findings of this study will do a lot in making sure that the future of Kratom is as safe as it could be. However, you should note that the results are inconclusive, and thus further research is warranted to make things as clear as possible.
Dr. Garcia-Romeu stated in the study that even though the findings highlighted that Kratom is relatively safe to use, based on the self-reports, the unregulated nature of the medical supplements does raise a concern with regard to contamination and even higher dosages, both of which could increase the risk of developing negative side effects as well as harmful responses.
Essentially, the study advocates for the regulation of Kratom, not the general ban that federal institutions are pushing for. All this is because of the therapeutic and analgesic properties that Kratom has and shows the potential of having.
It must be noted that the fight for the future of Kratom in the United States, though helped by this article and other articles like it, is still very much on. Thus, every piece of new evidence, every new study published from a reputable source, and any other tool that can be used, should be used in making sure that Kratom remains safe, legal, and effective for the millions of people who use it not only in the united states but also all over the world.