Kratom* appears to offer potential benefits. These can be lessening opioid addicts’ withdrawal symptoms, reducing fatigue and muscle cramps, increasing libido, treating diarrhea, enhancing mood and reducing depression. Centuries of use in Southeast Asia seems to strongly support the benefits listed above. However, it also appears the kratom used primarily in Southeast Asia differs greatly from most kratom products sold in the U.S. The primary difference being the ingredient 7-Hydroxymitragynine.
The kratom consumed in the U.S. is primarily dried leaf. During the drying process there is a change in its chemical composition resulting in the formation of 7-Hydroxymitragynine, which considered an opioid. The kratom that has been consumed in Southeast Asia for centuries is from freshly harvested leaves and does not contain 7-Hydroxymitragynine. However, it contains mitragynine, a chemical compound associated with all the good qualities of kratom without the opioid side effects.
As previously stated, 7-Hydroxymitragynine is considered an opioid with demonstrated potential for abuse. It can create dependency, withdrawal symptoms, cause hallucinations, seizures, and possible liver damage if abused. Also, like other opioids, it can be deadly if used in combination with other drugs.
What makes insuring kratom difficult is the fact that the product is unregulated. This leaves users questioning how to safely measure or dose kratom products. How much 7-Hydroxymitragynine is too much? Suppliers need to be able to communicate safe dosages to consumers on a consistent basis before the product can be considered safe for the U.S. public.
If kratom importers and suppliers want Product Liability Insurance, the problems associated with kratom sales in the U.S. needs addressed. I see two paths for the for the sellers of Kratom.
The first (and my recommended path) is to take a lesson from the producers and sellers of CBD. Specifically, they should separate their products from the pack by removing the opioid effects of 7-Hydroxymitragynine and promote the benefits of mitragynine. CBD sellers assure their consumers that their products contain .3% or less of THC and promote the benefits of CBD. There is an opportunity for kratom producers and sellers to do something similar.
The second path is to have the FDA regulate kratom. This makes the producers and sellers responsible for meeting strict guidelines on the 7-Hydroxymitragynine amounts in products, recommended dosages and warning publications on mixing the use of kratom with other drugs such as alcohol, anti-depressants, cough syrups, etc.
Some importers and distributors of kratom fully understand their products’ addictive and opiate effects. They also know they contain significant amounts of 7-Hydroxymitragynine. Their products appeal to a certain group of consumers that like the accessibility to opioids. This is the primary reason insurers are not lining up to insure kratom products. Simply removing the 7-Hydroxymitragynine and emphasizing the potential benefits of mitragynine would prove to insurers that their products are indeed safe for public consumption and, best of all, insurable.
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