WebMD Opens Up Survey To Gauge Experience Of Kratom Consumers
The website WebMD is currently seeking responses from kratom consumers for a survey. At the time of this writing, there are 66 total reviews, and average ratings are 4.81 for effectiveness, 4.67 for ease of use and 4.77 for satisfaction.
WebMD already had an entry for kratom as well as a few short articles. In September of 2016, WebMD published a short article entitled: What Is Kratom? Why Has The DEA Wanted To Ban It? The article was updated in 2016 when the DEA withdrew their intentioned scheduling due to a massive outpour of positive responses to their request for public comments. It mentions that a number of research scientists joined in with kratom users and advocacy groups opposing the ban.
The article also quotes Scott Hemby, chair of basic pharmaceutical sciences at High Point University in North Carolina as one of the scientists who believe the FDA is "going off half-cocked" in their condemnation of the Southeast Asian plant which is a botanical cousin of the coffee bush.
"They don't give the full effect of a drug like morphine," Hemby said. "It activates the receptor, but not to the extent that morphine does. Binding doesn't mean there's an equivalent effect."
This is similar to what molecular biologist Dr. Jane Babin said in an interview with The Goldwater regarding how the specific receptor binding is not as important as what happens "downstream." In other words, it's not all in what it does so much as what happens after it does that.
Swogger clarifies, explaining why many people are trying to transition from pharmaceutical solutions to an herbal one in the powdered leaves of mitragyna speciosa, the kratom plant:
"Pain patients and people who are addicted to opioids are a very vulnerable population, and not all of them have access to good medicine. These are two groups of people who are using kratom, and from what we can tell are using it to good effect."
Hemby pointed out that, the results are not the same for everyone and that there are those who do find kratom addictive. That said, some people have to go into treatment for video game addiction, sex addiction and other things that the bulk of the population has no problem with in moderation.
One example is where the article at the Mayo Clinic warns of the potential of hallucinations and aggression. As we've written about previously, the research that claim is based on was done entirely on subjects who were currently using kratom alongside or to wean off of methamphetamines and/or narcotics like heroin. It also warns of the potential of "seizure, coma and death" but as we've covered previously, forensic toxicologists, medical examiners, research scientists and other medical professionals have poked holes in the FDA's claims related to this multiple times showing that other potential causes of death were ignored to favor mitragynine, one of the active components in kratom, as the cause of death. In one case, the decedent had fentanyl, heroin, cocaine and benzodiazepines (a class of anti-anxiety drugs including Xanax and Valium) in their system at the time of death. Apparently, medical examiners were keener to pin the death on a plant than a combination that it doesn't take a coroner to know is likely fatal.
Kratom is still currently federally legal and legal in most states and, in fact, some states have even overturned legislation that banned kratom as more lawmakers are educated about the plant, which has been safely used in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and other Southeast Asian nations for hundreds of years. Despite this, and the support of a growing body of researchers and advocates, kratom is still being targeted occasionally on the state and local levels.