Kratom is a tropical tree that grows in Southeast Asia. The leaves of the tree can produce sedative and stimulant effects. Many people around the world use the plant to treat anxiety and chronic pain and to reduce the side effects of opioid withdrawal. However, in Arkansas state Kratom is a bit controversial.
Arkansas Bans Kratom for Sale
Kratom was once legal in Arkansas. However, in October 2015, the State of Arkansas, along with many other states, placed kratom on the schedule of illegal drugs and categorized it as Schedule I. Doing so states the substance has no medical value and is highly addictive. Kratom was placed under the “Opium Derivatives” section, which also includes morphine, heroin, and codeine. In Arkansas, it is thought that kratom was targeted because a doctor noticed that kratom showed similar actions as opioids. With this information and information from the FDA stating the substance had no medical use, the authorities banned the substance.
Why is Kratom illegal in Arkansas?
Placing kratom on Schedule I is not necessarily a warranted action. Plus, stating that it is equal to an opioid is not accurate. Unfortunately, the authorities did not have complete information when they made the decision to make Kratom illegal. Kratom is a harmless herb. One of the uses of the plant is to alleviate symptoms associated with opioid withdrawal, which could be helpful to many in the state of Arkansas. Not only that, but the plant also provides many health benefits and the risk for side effects is very low if it is used at the recommended dosages.
The Argument for AR Banning Kratom
Supporters of making Kratom illegal have their reasons for doing so. One explanation shared is that kratom contains the active components hydroxymitragynine and mitragynine, which some believe to be opium derivatives. Since they alkaloids of kratom, or Mitragyna speciosa are from a the kratom tree, they are kratom derivatives. Opium derivatives are produced by the opium poppy. These alkaloids are able to promote relaxation and provide pain relief. Additionally, the other substances placed on the controlled substance list were man-made, while kratom is an herb. Another misunderstanding is that kratom targets the opioid receptors in the brain. While it does, it does differently and with none of the negative side effects produced by opioids, like respiratory depression.
To conclude, kratom is illegal in Arkansas and was placed on the banned list for unwarranted reasons. The plant has a minuscule rate of side effects when used as recommended and provides relief for a wide range of conditions.
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