By: Philip | 02-05-2019 | Science
Photo credit: Chaloemphon Wanitcharoentham | Dreamstime.com

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.

Prominent Scientists Believe FDA Hasn't Done Sufficient Analysis On Kratom

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.

New England Journal Of Medicine Publishes Doctors' Letter Debunking FDA Claim Of Kratom Deaths

March of last year, WebMD released the article Is Herbal Drug Kratom a Health Friend or Foe by Dennis Thompson, a reporter with HealthDay News. Thompson notes how the controversy centers around how kratom activates certain opioid receptors in the brain but quotes Marc Swogger, associate professor of psychiatry with the University of Rochester Medical Center, in New York. "There are lots of plant-based substances that work on opioid receptors." Though not mentioned in the article, coffee "contains potent opiate receptor binding activity" according to a study published in the journal Nature in 1983. St. John's wort is another common plant available over-the-counter at many grocery, drug and health food stores.

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.

Prominent Scientists Believe FDA Hasn't Done Sufficient Analysis On Kratom



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."

Dr. Jane Babin Weighs In On Kratom Safety

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.

Overall, WebMD's treatment of kratom is fairer and far more scientifically based than that of, say, the Mayo Clinic who referred to it as "unsafe and effective" in an article from May of last year. The Mayo Clinic makes claims that rely on the kind of "junk science" that Johns Hopkins University's Dr. Jack Henningfield. Henningfield, by the way, was the former Chief of the Clinical Pharmacology Research Branch of the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA).

FOIA Docs Reveal FDA Lied About 'Evidence' Of Kratom Danger

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.

Addiction and Abuse Expert Warns Against Banning Kratom

If you're a current or former user of kratom and would like to share your experience, be sure to visit the WebMD Survey and share your experience.


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16 Comment/s
bobby hickman god has entered my bo No. 93744 2019-02-05 : 18:35

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Nadua Nacona No. 93748 2019-02-06 : 00:47

I tried to take part in the survey via the link above, but upon tapping the "post" button, it would then take me to an Error 404 page. Please get that fixed so people can take the survey. Thank you. I'd also like to REPORT the comment NUMBER 93744 because it is very inappropriate. There is no report button, or I would have used that.

My personal experience with Kratom:
I have gotten wonderful relief from my chronic pain, insomnia, general anxiety, muscle tension, essential tremors, menstruation pain, headaches, my non-epileptic seizures, social anxiety, complex ptsd, and relief from my low moods. Certain kratom strains also give me energy like coffee, but with kratom I also get the pain and anxiety relief without the jitters coffee causes in me. I am very happy with kratom over & above all other treatments I've tried for my ailments, disorders, conditions and illnesses. I have tried many (I am a 52 year old female.)

Charles simpson No. 93749 2019-02-06 : 00:58

The article is very good, kratom has changed my like for the better, but i am a responsible adult who knows it,s no " majic bullet " kratom has helped me live a better life, healthier life, more research should be done, but we also need to keep big pharma & the fda out of it, they have there own agenda

Kim No. 93750 2019-02-06 : 14:25

I wish the FDA would understand the positive scientific proof of this wonderful tea. I am all for there being guidelines when it comes to the sale of this tea. There are some great GMP compliant vendors for this tea. Also there are unfortunately back alley vendors as well. Those are the ones who need to be looked at and shutt down. Not the compliant vendors. This tea is by far better then any synthetic prescription I have ever been prescribed for pain relief, major depression, PTSD and anxiety relief. Kratom Tea does NOT cause me any of the ugly side affects that synthetic prescriptions do. PLUS you do NOT get high from this tea. Please do not take this 100% all natural tea away from us. Thank you

Wade Harman No. 93760 2019-02-07 : 01:40

I think this is a step in the right direction with WebMD. Hopefully they understand they need to actually propose some scientific evidence about Kratom before we consider anything else. I have been drinking Kratom tea for 16 years and it is safe (I told them that too).

Teresa No. 93764 2019-02-07 : 15:53

Thank you Phil for making this available to out community!
Keep up the great work you are doing! :)

Anonymous No. 93765 2019-02-07 : 15:54

Thank you Phil for making this available to our community!
Keep up the great work you are doing! :)

Elizabeth Hamlin No. 93771 2019-02-07 : 22:48

After being diagnosed with Trigeminal Nueralgia in the beginning of 2013, I begged to die everyday. 24/7.
My son worked with a gentleman that told us to research kratom. We did, as we found a reputable vendor with labs to back up the safety I ordered. Days I feel I can handle the pain I take very little. Days I know nothing will help I don’t bother taking anything. Not even a Tylenol. Kratom don’t take all pain away. There’s no proof it will ever cure or heal anything. It just makes things tolerable.
The thought of going to pain clinics like 5 different neurosurgeons told me to, otherwise I’d never be able to stand living like this, I refused and happy with my decision. If I’d chose that option I’d be taking pain medication every single day.
Thank you for your time publishing this article and giving people the chance to comment. I’d love to see more of our comments when given the opportunity to be told on the media so the media wouldn’t scare other people from trying kratom. I believe it would help many families not to rely on medications they become addicted to.

Erin No. 93781 2019-02-08 : 11:55

I am happy to see this happening. Kratom chsnged my life for the better . Its really givin me a life i never thought i could have again. Ive beaten addiction . With kratom daily ill never turn back to those dark days. I hope people begin to hear our voices and know how good it is for this world. Thank you again for making this happen xo

Chris No. 93813 2019-02-13 : 07:27

The potential for kratom to improve the lives of the masses has been and is still being corrupted by the FDA. Their misinformation campaign adversely affects the lives of millions and they know it .. and don’t care. Scott Gottlieb has a vested interest in demonizing non-pharmaceutical solutions.
Kratom is a fantastic product, and has helped bring relief to myself and millions of other chronic pain sufferers. After the CDC’s erroneous reporting about the causes of the opioid epidemic, it has had such terrible backlash that they should be held to account and their credibility called into question. The resulting effects of prescription guidelines and subsequent abuse of chronic pain patients by removing their quality of life by preventing them to get pain medications has caused a rash of suicides and overdose deaths when those patients turned to illegal drugs for treatment of pain after having safer medications withheld.
The opioid epidemic is fueled in large by a pain epidemic. Kratom provides a safe and effective means for many people to manage their maladies, but it is still fairly unknown to most. Part of the people it could help believe the lies and misinformation spewed and repeated by those with pharmaceutical interests.
Kratom needs more publicity, more research, and more regulation. The supplement market is full of shady people trying to make a quick profit and it is unfortunate, but currently unpreventable. There need to be safety and quality standards in place before anyone else gets hurt.

Fallon No. 93816 2019-02-13 : 14:25

Thank you for making this public amd taking the time to get to know Kratom. We truly appreciate it!!

So for me, kratom isn't just a change in pain meds or addiction. I've never been addicted to anything nor have i tried anything crazy.
I suffer from severe neck, shoulder and back pain. I am a massage therapist and esthetician so taking care of my body is my MAIN concern. Kratom taken orally has helped me with energy (nothing like a energy drink) no shakes no gittery feeling, just a suttle 8 hour energy and most important, pain relief... I LOVE IT!!! I can't count how many times I've been in a neck brace due to pain and how many Dr.s say, "theres nothing wrong". Although my MRI would say differently!

Now topically, kratom has helped others as well as myself with skincare concerns and conditions. Its antifungal properties are amazing and when blended with the right Ingredients its even more powerful!
Yes I have a website and I sell it around the world, because I beleive in kratom and I beleive in what it does!

Over all kratom is everything and for everything and everyone!! Safely and responsibly taken is the best plant God ever gave us!!

Jennifer Carey No. 93818 2019-02-13 : 18:46

My personal experience with Kratom is that I can finally have a quality of life. I endure chronic pain as a result of four autoimmune diseases. I’ve tried so many prescription medications that I literally felt like a guinea pig. Even seeing a pain specialist I was denied pain relief. The opioid epidemic is harming those who deserve pain relief. Suicides have increased among the chronically ill since the laws have strickened. I still live in pain using Kratom but I am able to be a better mother, friend, and citizen because of it. I truly believe this herb can solve the opioid epidemic. Many people use Kratom to escape hard drug usage and even to get away from pharmaceuticals like suboxone. I’d love to take the survey but the link is broken.

Dawn Ayers No. 93832 2019-02-18 : 01:03

My experience with Kratom has given a better quality of life. Ive been on pain meds for 15 yrs and the pain was to the point that i was bed ridden most days. I have 5 different types of arthritis, Fibromyalgia, 2 slipped discs in my neck and one in my back, neuropathy and severe anxiety and depression. With Kratom i can now walk through a store without using a scooter. I can enjoy more time with family and friends and ride in a car without constantly having to stop and rest. I still bad days as a Kratom is not a cure it all, but definetly a great alternative. Being on all the Big Pharma drugs were making me feel worse, they were literally killing me slowly. I wanted to die and even thought of ways to put myself and everyone else around me out of misery. Please keep Kratom legal, i have no where to turn. Im only on onr med for my depression now. I just cant go back to a life of complete agony. Please keep the FDA out of this, i feel all they want is for everyone to be on thier horrible drugs and dont care about us at all, thier meds are killing people and there are to many side effects. Scotty G nneeds to go! He shouldnt be able to tell us what we can and cant put into our bodies, this America, the land of the free! We have a right to plants that the good Lord put on this earth for us to use and not Big Pharma telling us what to do. Kratom is saving lives and relationships, getting people off of hard drugs. Many people has had to turn to the streets for hard drugs for pain relief to have some kind of life, thats what is killing people, not Kratom or other natural botanicals. Kratom should be regulated but not taken from people like me who live in chronic pain.

Kayla No. 93837 2019-02-19 : 03:38

The WebMD survey mentioned did not work, so I’m commenting here. I am a 31 year old healthcare professional, wife, and mother. I have diagnoses of Anxiety, depression, PTSD, and chronic migraines. Kratom has been a miraculous finding for me. I now have less painful days, more restful sleep, lifted mood, and less anxiety. I am able to juggle the tasks of mothering 4 children, participating in church and family activities, and working. My quality of life is better as I am able to be in the moment and soak up all the joy this stage of life has to offer. No prescription medications I have ever been given have benefited me to the extent that Kratom has. This plant is something that I am truly thankful for.

Oakey No. 93838 2019-02-19 : 11:27

It's late I know but for those who've tried to comment on the WebMD survey but gotten the error message, there's a "fix"...instead of typing in the characters shown in the "I'm not a robot" feature at the bottom, click the "refresh characters" link and viola! Worked for me and others who tried it.

Autumn No. 93847 2019-02-20 : 12:38

I have found the survey to be available but get an error message when I try to post it so will leave my comments here. I take Kratom for osteoarthritis of the spine, knees, shoulders and hips. It works very well for me and has allowed me to stop taking prescription opioid medications as well as NSAIDS. I have suffered from severe osteoarthritis pain for about 20 yrs. I've been taking kratom for about 6 months. Prescription opioid medications made me feel awful emotionally and physically. I take a small dosage of kratom each day of only 1/2 a teaspoon 3-4 times a day to control the pain that prescription opioids were not a able to.

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