A new clinical review of kratom studies conducted between 2018 and 2021 is providing some valuable new insights into the safety and potential benefits of kratom. The researchers looked at more than 100 different studies in all, and the findings have tremendous implications for kratom users.
The Goal of Examining Past Kratom Research Studies
The review is actually a follow-up to an earlier 2018 report that examined the abuse potential of kratom based on the eight criteria of the Controlled Substances Act:
- The potential for abuse.
- Scientific evidence of the substance’s pharmacological effect.
- The current state of scientific knowledge on the substance.
- The substance’s history of pattern of abuse.
- The scope of abuse.
- The risk to public health.
- The substance’s dependence liability.
- Whether the substance is a precursor of another controlled substance.
The new review sought to examine more recent kratom studies in order to help researchers better understand the safety and abuse potential of kratom in light of current and more comprehensive data.
What the Kratom Studies Reveal
The overall trend that we see in the latest kratom research is that kratom is safe, well-tolerated, and potentially beneficial. The following are some of the most noteworthy takeaways from the review.
1. Most people use kratom for their health. Despite any misconceptions about kratom being a recreational substance, the data shows that most people use kratom for health reasons. Most commonly, users report taking kratom for pain management as well as to address common drug dependencies. The findings of the 2021 review are consistent with the findings of the 2018 review in this regard.
2. Kratom appears to have benefits for pain management. Some of the studies cited, including a 2020 double-blind study, concluded that kratom was able to significantly improve pain tolerance in case subjects. Though the data is based on self-reports, it provides major support for the long-held notion that kratom may serve as an all-natural pain management solution. More research is still needed.
3. Kratom’s minor alkaloids deserve a closer look. Many of the past kratom research studies have focused on mitragynine, kratom’s dominant alkaloid. However, researchers are now taking a closer look at the effects of smaller alkaloids like 7-hydroxymitragynine and speciofoline. With additional research, these alkaloids may have strong therapeutic potential and may someday be incorporated into various medicines.
4. Kratom may even have potential for cancer sufferers. One 2021 study looked at the effects of kratom alkaloids on cancer cells and found that kratom may inhibit certain types of cells.
5. Kratom doesn’t inhibit brain function. One 2018 study looked at the brain function of kratom users vs. non-kratom users and concluded that prolonged exposure to kratom does not negatively impact brain function the way that opioids can.
6. Kratom abuse is rare. The main goal of the review was to examine kratom studies and determine the potential for abuse. Study after study came to roughly the same conclusion: kratom is extremely well-tolerated and has a low potential for abuse. When you buy kratom online, just make sure that you shop for natural, organic products sourced from trusted manufacturers.
We Still Have More to Learn About Kratom
Though the kratom research studies cited in the review are mostly small and based on limited data, the trends are promising. Perhaps most notably, none of the studies warned of serious adverse effects. This is in line with the WHO’s conclusions about kratom. In 2021, the World Health Organization found that “there is insufficient evidence to recommend a critical review of kratom mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine.”
Again, additional research is still needed, but the data from these kratom studies is exciting. As new information becomes available, we’ll share it here on this blog.