May 01

Kratom Escapes Ban In Florida Legislature

botanical-legal-defenseAn ambitious bill by representative Kristin Jacobs to ban the common shrub kratom has been temporarily defeated. Thanks in part to the Botanical Legal Defense fund, a lobbyist group paid for by donations from the Kratom community.

After pushing hard to stump for legislation to ban the kratom plant in Florida, her bill was effectively quashed after the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee voted unanimously to table the issue indefinitely.

kristinjacobsThe Broward County representative has made the banning of kratom a central part of her political policy since she was elected in November 2014. Kratom, a common plant related to coffee, has been consumed by farmers in Asia for centuries. Jacobs has campaigned on a platform of banning kratom, saying that the consumption of its leaves can have deadly consequences.

The issue over the legalization of kratom came to a head after the suicide of a young man in Palm Beach County last year. The grieving family came to believe that high doses of kratom were responsible, but autopsy findings showed only pharmaceutical drugs in his system. Kratom experts attempted to update Representative Jacobs on the findings in the case that exculpated kratom in the young man’s unfortunate death but the Coconut Creek deputy remains convinced of the plant’s lethal influence.

Traditional uses of kratom include treatments to boost energy levels, combat diarrhea and ameliorate the negative affects of PMS, anxiety, fatigue and overall exhaustion. No conclusive evidence has ever been shown that kratom has ever been directly involved in a single fatality in the United States.

The legislation introduced by Representative Jacobs has been amended to require that the Florida Attorney General conduct an inquiry into the nature, effects and composition of kratom and then provide the legislature with an official recommendation as to whether the plant should be added to the state’s list of Schedule I controlled substances.

On March 24, the amended version of HB 287, the kratom bill introduced by Representative Jacobs, received a unanimous vote from the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee. The bill must now be further vetted by three other subcommittees before being submitted to a hearing in front of the Justice and Appropriations Subcommittee. Currently, no date has been set for that hearing, and the bill is not expected to move forward in the near future.

Kratom is currently legal and available in a wide variety of forms, including whole plants, capsules, powders and concentrated extracts. Many users consume kratom by mixing extracts or powders into chilled tea drinks. The legislation is now considering requiring that all kratom vendors and distributors provide customers with a warning that the plant could potentially damage their health.

Legislators and local authorities have also called for kratom distributors and vendors to voluntarily refuse to sell kratom to adults under the age of 21. Palm Beach County has agreed to spend $25,000 on a propaganda campaign concerning kratom to warn the public against consuming the plant. Although kraton is currently legal statewide, active service members in the military are prohibited from consuming it.

Mar 31

New Florida Bill Requests More Research On Kratom

bldThose who enjoy a legal high have turned to kratom, which is a Southeast Asian plant in the coffee family. While kratom has been used as medicine for centuries, it is not clear what it does in the body after ingestion or what the long-term effects are after the intial high. Use of kratom has exploded due to the Internet, and Florida lawmakers want the plant classified as a controlled substance.

The classification will not happen any time soon, as the bill has been changed to request the Attorney General, the Department of Law Enforcement and Families’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Program Office to conduct research on kratom and file a report by year’s end on taking further action. As it currently stands, kratom is still legal and available to the public.

Kratom seems to have a low-level opiate effect on some individuals but does not appear to cause side effects with continued use. It is sold legally in many states, and it is often added as an extra ingredient at Kava shops. Most people who try kratom report that it is like taking a mild sedative, and the experience is very relaxing. While there is no direct link between kratom use and addiction, the recent death of a Boynton Beach, Florida man has given lawmakers pause.

On July 16, 2014, 20-year-old Ian Mautner leapt to his death from an overpass on Interstate 95. A blood screen performed post-mortem revealed that Maunter had kratom and prescribed antidepressants in his blood steam at the time that he died. While it is not certain whether kratom alone or in combination with the other medications caused Maunter’s death, his mother believes he was deeply addicted, and that addiction drove him to take his own life.

Since Maunter’s death, lawmakers have considered imposing restrictions on kratom, which is regulated in other parts of the world but sold widely and unrestricted in the United States. Aside from Kava shops, kratom can be purchased by anyone in gas stations and convenience stores.

The bill to classify kratom as a Schedule I substance was filed by Senator Greg Evans from the Republican side and by Representative Kristen Jacobs for the Democrats. Currently, the bill has been reduced from an all-out ban to a request for research, and the new version was quickly passed by the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee. The change came because of concerns that kratom did not qualify as a Schedule I drug. In order to be a scheduled drug, kratom would have to be proven as addictive with a high chance of being abused. In addition, it would have no practical medical properties and could not be used safely even under a doctor’s supervision.

Jan 30

A Brief History On The Use Of Kratom

Kratom is a deciduous tree in the coffee family that is indigenous to Southeast Asia. The leaves of the tree have long been used for both medicinal and recreational purposes. Despite widespread consumption throughout Southeast Asia, the cultivation and possession of the tree’s leaves are now banned in Thailand, but remain available in the United States.

Kratom contains alkaloids believed to have certain effects on the brain. The alkaloids in kratom have been shown to work as stimulants on the brain, but the process is still unknown. Today, kratom is sold in many forms, including leaves, powder and resin, the later two of which are typically more concentrated. While kratom is widely known to have a positive effect on anxiety and mood, no studies have been conducted on its long-term use.

In Southeast Asia, the leaves were harvested and boiled to make a tea, while fresh leaves were used for chewing or smoking. Chewing kratom leaves was typically viewed as an alternative to coffee. In Southern Thailand, where kratom leaves have been consumed for thousands of years, the average kratom user chews between ten and sixty leaves per day. Approximately 70% of the Southern Thailand population consumes kratom leaves.

Kratom, also known as mitragynine, has been used for centuries in Thailand as a stimulant. The leaves were traditionally used by peasants and laborers to overcome the burden of physical labor and increase productivity. The leaves were also used medicinally to treat diarrhea. In East Asia, kratom was often used as a substitute for opium or to treat opium addiction, as miragynine could gradually wean addicts off narcotics. More recently, kratom has been used in New Zealand during methadone addiction detox.

Kratom has been found to be an effective means of treating opium addiction, as it provides relief from withdrawal symptoms. While kratom is mildly addictive, it has far weaker withdrawal symptoms and the alkaloids appear to be responsible for reducing opium cravings. Several countries have been studying the use of kratom in the treatment of opium addiction. A few countries have completely banned kratom, although its sale is not regulated in the United States, where just a few states have made the leaves and powdered form of the tree illegal.

Jan 29

The Most Effective Ways To Take Kratom

takekratomKratom is a unique herb that is native to Southeast Asia and can be used for its different properties which are largely dependent on the dosage. It can be a stimulant at low doses and a sedative at high doses. Part painkiller, part medicine and part recreational drug, kratom can be ingested in various different manners depending on the desired effect.

In Thailand and other native areas the simplest form of ingestion is seen whereby the leaves are simply chewed fresh. There is a stringy vein that runs through the middle of the leaf and this is usually removed as a preference. Potency can vary depending on the season and/or the cultivation method, so it is best to start with a fairly low dosage (a few leafs) and build to the desired effect.

If the leaves are not fresh but rather dry then they can be crushed into a powder form which is often mixed with a fruit juice or applesauce to mask the taste. Dried leaves are also quite commonly made into a tea which is the most frequently used method in the West. Making kratom tea is a pretty straightforward process. The leaves are weighed and the appropriate amount placed into a pot with an amount of water according to the number of doses desired.

This mixture is boiled gently for around 15 minutes or so and then poured through a strainer into a clean container. The strained leaves can then be placed back in the pot and more water added and boiled. This may be done about 3 times and then all of the liquid is combined and boiled down to make the doses smaller. Users may find the tea to have a slightly unpleasant bitter taste and it is best to chase it with some type of juice to avoid that problem.

Finally, many sources are putting out concentrated kratom pills into the marketplace. These can simply be swallowed as one would do with any other sort of pill. The pills are usually classified by concentration such as 15x or 30x and the dosage can be quite user dependent. There are many different ways to take Kratom and it really just comes down to your personal preference.

Jan 21

Kratom: A Misunderstood Tree

kratomhistoryKratom is a tree that is indigenous to Southeast Asia. It grows in Thailand, Malaysia, Burma and other places. The Latin name for Kratom is Mitragyna speciosa. Kratom leaves are psychoactive. The leaves can be chewed to help improve energy and reduce fatigue at lower doses and to alleviate pain at higher doses. It is used all over the world for both recreational and medicinal purposes.

History

Fresh Kratom leaves have been chewed for centuries by people in Thailand. In Southern Thailand especially chewing kratom leaves has traditionally been popular and remains so to this day. Kratom use is an accepted part of numerous cultural ceremonies in this part of the world.

Medical Use

Kratom is commonly used to treat chronic pain. It helps reduce pain in a way chemically similar to how morphine works. If you’re not a fan of prescription strength painkillers or you’re trying to reduce your dependance on them, Kratom can be very helpful.

It is also used to treat indigestion and also to combat certain drug addictions like Heroin or other opiates. Kratom binds to the same receptors in the brain as opiate or opioid medication. Because of this, Kratom can be used to alleviate and reduce the withdrawal symptoms associated with this addiction.

On top of this, Kratom is commonly used as a mild stimulant. The leaves are chewed or brewed into tea which can provide a boost of energy for help improve your mental clarity.

Recreational Use

Consuming small amounts of Kratom usually gives a lift of energy. Chewing more Kratom generally leads to pleasant narcotic effects. Kratom is notable in that it is both a stimulant and a sedative. Users should take caution since they can feel stimulated at first and then suddenly groggy if they’ve taken too much.

There are many strains of Kratom, but many of these names are just arbitrary labels made up by vendors. In general, strains are categorized by leaf color and where the leaves are from. White Kratom leaves are usually good for charges of energy, while red leaves usually produce relaxed euphoria.

Kratom leaves are often chewed raw. Leaves can also be dried and powdered and then ingested in a mixture with applesauce or some other food.

Side effects are generally mild. The most common side effect is nausea. Kratom should never be chewed by pregnant women, however, since its effects on pregnancy are unknown.

Controversy

Recreational use of Kratom was banned in Thailand 1943. This ban was ineffective and today it is estimated that 70% of men in parts of Southern Thailand chew fresh Kratom leaves on a regular basis.

Although there has been little research on the long term health effects of Kratom use, there has also been little visible evidence of negative consequences throughout the centuries.

Kratom is considered legal in the United States. It can be purchased in the United States and other western countries from online suppliers.

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