How has the pandemic affected Kratom?
Is nothing sacred?
Well, what I meant to say is, can nothing be spared from Covid-19?
As we assess the damage of 2020, here nearing the end of the storm, we look back and see there was very little spared. Covid-19 ravaged every aspect of our society; the lives of far too many, our social spheres, friendships, sports, attitudes, elections, our eating and spending habits – to name a few ways that things have changed for us.
So it seems almost insignificant to discuss how Covid-19 has impacted the kratom community and its users; but you’ve seen and felt it in every other part of your life, so why not give it a look?
Kratom and the Legal Push
After the FDA’s strange and misguided assault on kratom in 2016, the American Kratom Association – the foremost advocacy group for the kratom community in America – designed a strategy to protect the kratom community. In an effort to follow the successful blueprint created by the cannabis community in bringing people the right to use cannabis medicinally, the AKA crafted a bill that could be pushed on a by-state level. This bill is the Kratom Consumer Protection Act.
The idea is to go state to state and present the scientific argument – which shows that kratom is safe, and offers tremendous potential to help people – in order to protect kratom users and the community with local legislation. Before Covid-19 hit, Mac Haddow – the AKA’s pointman – had been producing some excellent results in his ventures, getting the law moved along in numerous states, and making great headway in the states where kratom has been banned. He’s been patiently showing legislatures that they simply need refer to the available data and listen to their constituents. And it’s been working.
But Covid-19 derailed this push for Kratom’s sustained legality.
As much as I support kratom and the community, government entities rightfully had bigger issues when Covid hit. The discussions on kratom – including any discussions attacking the plant, which are increasingly rare as the science comes out – simply came to a halt.
The Community and the Pandemic
While kratoms journey across American statehouses shivered to a crawl, so too did the local communities of kratom users feel the effects of kratom.
Anecdotal data would suggest that more individuals began using kratom during the lockdown. This could be for a number of reasons; they were more focused on their health and finding alternative means of healthy, all-natural living; they found that kratom’s anecdotal benefits for mood were useful during the stressful, sleepless nights of the pandemic; or they simply had more time on a computer and discovered kratom, a relative of coffee which is rapidly growing in popularity.
In turn, some vendors had chances to grow and reach more consumers. Others, though, like brick and mortar kratom shops, – rare as they may be in some places, like the Midwest – found themselves struggling to stay afloat, like so many smaller businesses. This follows the general trend which saw internet commerce proliferate during the pandemic as people simply could not shop at their usual stores in person.
The kratom community also made some positive contributions which I found encouraging. I saw many kratom blogs and community members encouraging safe behavior and mask use; the vendors and businesses which I frequented passed along messages of care and support. I also received notes and emails from my vendors of choice which detailed the intense safety precautions that some vendors were taking to ensure that my product remained safe (It’s much like what we did here at The Kratom Co.)
It was encouraging to see the community so responsive to the ongoing crises.
What Now for the Kratom Community?
The trend for the growing popularity of E-Commerce – especially as it relates to kratom – will only continue to grow. For those users who are used to purchasing kratom at local shops, I would strongly encourage you to consider getting kratom from an online vendor. Such vendors displayed their professionalism and resilience during this pandemic and many actually improved their methods to ensure a better product for their customer.
We can also expect the legal battle around kratom to pick back up. While the FDA is continually thwarted in their attempts to demonize kratom and the American Kratom Association is having great success with the Kratom Consumer Protection Act, it would not come as a surprise to see the FDA launch a renewed assault on the kratom community, once the global health crises has settled somewhat.
But the important thing?
The important thing is that you are still around to read this blog. I hope you made your way through this dark time safely; I hope you have access to a vaccine, and I hope you take one, for your own safety, the safety of others, and the quick return to the normalcy which we all so crave.
I wish you the best of health and applaud your survival through this time; it was not easy. Kratom certainly helped, though.
Peace and Love,