The kratom documentary A Leaf of Faith will debut next week at the Arclight Theater in Hollywood. The film is expected to be distributed through streaming services like Netflix and Amazon which also feature the award-winning documentary Bigger, Stronger, Faster by Chris Bell. Another screening is planned for a kratom rally on June 5 as well. Christopher Bell's earlier works like Bigger, Stronger, Faster and Prescription Thugs deal with the pharmaceutical industry and steroids. Leaf Of Faith, directed by David Baca Jr. is concerned with discussing the Southeast Asian plant kratom that has been used by many in place of prescription medicines. Bell and Baca are especially interested in kratom against the backdrop of the opioid epidemic.
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Kratom is a plant related to coffee and despite a wealth of misinformation has never been implicated in any serious side effects unlike it's cousin the coffee plant which is directly responsible for multiple deaths every year. In contrast, research shows that kratom actually has several medicinal benefits. It's got a greater antioxidant potential than green tea, immuno-stimulant, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and even has anti-cancer and chemo-preventative properties.
In recent years, the opioid epidemic has expanded dramatically. Opioid overdoses claim nearly a hundred lives per day in the US. Opioid painkillers are now the leading cause of accidental death as well thanks to extraordinarily potent drugs like fentanyl. Kratom is a plant that has been used by some estimated millions for a variety of reasons. Scientists and researchers have proposed that kratom could be useful for people living with depression, chronic pain, anxiety, PTSD, fibromyalgia and other conditions.
The DEA attempted to schedule kratom in 2016 but thanks to bipartisan support in both houses of Congress and multiple researchers, scientists and medical professionals weighing in the ban never occurred. Since late 2017 however, the FDA has picked up where the DEA left off. May 29th the film is scheduled to drop on some direct-to-VOD channels. The Goldwater will be back with a film review as soon as we have a chance to screen the documentary.