Mitragyna speciosa - KratomThe unthinkable is happening; Kratom is being mis-categorized as a “dangerous street drug” and is being lumped in with a new generation of “synthetics” such as Bath Salts and other dangerous products such as “K2”.  It’s already been incorrectly categorized and placed on Schedule I by 3 states.  Arizona was about to place it on Schedule I in February of 2014, but the Botanical Defense Group intervened at the 11th hour and, with the help of your voice, got Kratom removed from the bill.

To find the current legal status of Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa), please read “Kratom Legal Status” to find out the exact details of the current legal status of Kratom, or look to JOIN THE KRATOM FIGHT NOW to take action today.

Without exaggeration, we have found over 150 studies that have been conducted in relation to Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) around the world.  Much of the research is happening in its own country, in a concerted effort by researchers to reverse the ban in Thailand in 1943.

First and foremost, if there isn’t an agenda going into the study, there is one overwhelming conclusion that every researcher is reaching:  Kratom does not belong in Schedule I, period.

Kratom has already demonstrated it’s vast medical potential in studies that have shown it to be a powerful anagelsic.  To quote from the Botanical Legal Defense Newsletter:  “Current peer reviewed studies on Kratom and its constituents have shown that Kratom has no acute toxicity, displays powerful antioxidant and antibacterial properties, assists with drug and alcohol withdrawal symptoms, contains several oxindole alkaloids which have exhibited potent immunomodulation properties, and even contains constituents that have exhibited anti-cancer properties!   A brief search in any scholarly database will present many peer reviewed studies and clinical trials that can attest to the medical potential of this plant.  In short, Kratom does not present a significant threat to human health or safety on any level.”

This page’s sole purpose is to gather as many of the studies we can find that point to the medical value of Kratom.  There is a flood of research happening right now, and this absolutely needs to be considered as new bills are drafted that incorrectly lump Kratom; a completely natural plant, used safely for thousands of years, in with dangerous synthetics such as “Bath Salts”, “K2” and others.

We’re on the same side are our lawmakers and Congresspeople; we want to see dangerous synthetics and Designer Drugs removed from the marketplace and our streets.   The Botanical Legal Defense team was formed to prevent other completely natural, proven-safe herbs from incorrectly being lumped in with those dangerous substances.

KEY NOTE:  The “PLAIN ENGLISH SUMMARY” is a section I added after carefully reading each Kratom Research Paper.  It’s only my opinion and may not always be entirely accurate, but it should be a helpful reference when scanning a large number of research documents.

Warm Regards,
Keith (keith at botanicallegaldefense dot org)

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Kratom Medical Research (Chronological):

DATE: 1986
RESEARCH: “3-dehydromitragynine: An alkaloid from Mitragyna speciosa. A newly discovered alkaloid in 1986.”
Ekkasit Kumarnsita, Niwat Keawpradubb and Watcharin Nuankaewc aDepartment of Physiology, Faculty of Science, Department of Pharmacognosy and Pharmaceutical Botany, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, PSU, Hat-Yai, Thailand.
ABSTRACT: An investigation of the fresh leaves of Mitragyna speciosa has resulted in the isolation of a new alkaloid in addition to the indole alkaloids previously reported. The new alkaloid is the 3-dehydro derivative of mitragynine and its structure was elucidated by spectral means and chemical transformations. (-)-Epicatechin was also isolated from the leaves.
ONLINE SOURCE: PhytochemistryVolume 25, Issue 12, 1986, Pages 2910-2912

PLAIN ENGLISH SUMMARY: The purpose of this medical study was to simply find and confirm what the alkaloids present in Kratom were. This study revealed the existence of multiple alkaloids, but specifically identified 3-dehydromitragynine.

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DATE: January 1988

RESEARCH: “Ethnophrmacology of Kratom and the Mitragyna Alkaloids”
Karl L.R. Jansen and Colin J. Prast, Department of Anatomoy, University of Auckland Medical School, Auckland (New Zealand).
ABSTRACT: An investigation into the pharmacology of Kratom.
ONLINE SOURCE: Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 23 (1988), pages 115-119, Elsevier Scientific Publishers, Ireland

PLAIN ENGLISH SUMMARY: This study aimed to describe Kratom in detail, including it’s most common alkaloids. This study further concluded that “published experimental results were positive for use as an analgesic, anti-tusive, and hypothermic agent in animals. The study also pointed out that Kratom may be a natural substitute for methadone in treating opiate addiction.

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DATE: 1998
RESEARCH: “Evaluation of Analgesia Induced by Mitragynine, Morphine, and Paracetamol on Mice”
S.Z. Idid, L.B. Saad, H. Yaacob and M.M. Shahimi.
ABSTRACT: An investigation to compare the antinocieptive activity of morphine and paracetamol to that of mitragynine, a major constituent of fresh leaves of M. speciosa. All substances were administered to mice orally.
ONLINE SOURCE: Phytochemistry, Volume 25, Issue 12, 1986, Pages 2910-2912

PLAIN ENGLISH SUMMARY: All three substances produced significant analgesia when tested. The researchers concluded that mitragynine may be a potential new analgesic that requires further study.

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DATE: August 2004
RESEARCH: “Acute and long-term effects of alkaloid extract of Mitragyna speciosa on food and water intake and body weight in rats”
Peter J. Houghton and Ikram M. Saida
Chelsea Department of Pharmacy, Kings College London (KQC), U.K.
Chemistry Department, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia
ABSTRACT: Acute administration of Mitragyna speciosa (MS) extract (45 and 50 mg/kg) significantly resulted in dose-dependent decreases in food and water intakes (P < 0.05) in rats. Prolonged suppressing effects were observed following administration of the MS extract (40 mg/kg) for 60 consecutive days. Moreover, the long-term administration also significantly suppressed weight gaining.

PLAIN ENGLISH SUMMARY: The purpose of this medical study was to find the long-term effects of the isolated Mitragyna speciosa alkaloid in Kratom. The study found that water intake of rats was reduced, and there was a suppression in weight gain. That points to the possibility of Kratom being a powerful tool in fighting obesity the world over.

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DATE: 2006
RESEARCH: “Pharmacological Studies on 7-Hydroxymitragynine, Isolated from the Thai Herbal Medicine Mitragyna speciosa: Discovery of an Orally Active Opioid Analgesic”
Kenjiro Matsumoto.
ABSTRACT: Substances derived from natural products have been utilized since the beginning of time for various medical purposes including the treatment of pain. Opium, for example, has been mentioned in the earliest historical records, some 7000 years ago. In fact, research in the area of pain management and drug addiction originally focused on natural products exclusively. Our research group has studied uniquely structured, nitrogen-containing compounds isolated from the traditional Thai herb Mitragyna speciosa. We have been investigating the pharmacological properties of this herb, individual components of its extracts, and structurally related compounds since the 1980s. .
ONLINE SOURCE: Online Resource:

PLAIN ENGLISH SUMMARY: The purpose of this medical study was to simply study and publish the discovery of Kratom’s medical potential as an orally-active pain killer.

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DATE: 2010
RESEARCH: “In Vitro and in Vivo Effects of Three Different Mitragyna speciosa Korth Leaf Extracts on Phase II Drug Metabolizing Enzymes—Glutathione Transferases (GSTs)”
Juzaili Azizi 1, Sabariah Ismail 1,*, Mohd Nizam Mordi 1, Surash Ramanathan 1, Mohd Ikram Mohd Said 2 and Sharif Mahsufi Mansor.
ABSTRACT: An investigation into the effects of three different Mitragyna speciosa extracts, namely methanolic, aqueous and total alkaloid extracts, on glutathione transferase-specific activity in male Sprague Dawley rat liver cytosol in vitro and in vivo.
ONLINE SOURCE: Molecules Online:

PLAIN ENGLISH SUMMARY: The purpose of this study was to find out if and how Kratom Leaf extracts interact with other herbs or drugs when administered in vivo (a living orgqnism such as a rat or human) and in vitro (outside of the organism and in something such as a test tube). In conclusion, according to the data, Kratom extracts show significant herb-drug interactions, in both in vivo and in vitro studies. Therefore, the researchers concluded that further research is necessary to investigate the clinical relevance of M. speciosa extracts and GST’s interactions in human body.

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DATE: March 2010
RESEARCH: “The neuromuscular blockade produced by pure alkaloid, mitragynine and methanol extract of kratom leaves (Mitragyna speciosa Korth.)”
Somsmorn Chittrakarna, Niwat Keawpradubb, Kitja Sawangjaroena, Supaporn Kansenalaka, Benjamas Janchawee, Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Science, Prince of Songkla University
ABSTRACT: The effects of pure alkaloid, mitragynine and a methanolic extract of kratom leaves were investigated on neuromuscular junction and compound nerve action potential. Kratom methanolic extract present at 0.1–1 mg/mL and mitragynine (0.0156 mg/mL) decreased the muscle twitch on the isolated phrenic nerve–hemidiaphragm and hemidiaphragm preparation. Muscle relaxation caused by kratom extract (1 mg/mL) was greater than the effect of mitragynine. Pan-curonium and succinylcholine potentiated the effect of kratom extract. It also had a direct relaxation effect on the hemidiaphragm muscle. The muscle relaxation caused by kratom extract was not antagonized by neostigmine, tetraethylammonium and calcium chloride. High concentrations of kratom extract (10–40 mg/mL) and mitragynine (2 mg/mL) blocked the nerve conduction, amplitude and duration of compound nerve action potential.
ONLINE SOURCE: Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 129 (2010), pages 344-349, Elsevier Scientific Publishers, Ireland

PLAIN ENGLISH SUMMARY: The purpose of this research was to study mechanism of action of Kratom extract and its alkaloids. The researchers concluded that Kratom might not act as a competitive antagonist of acetyl-choline, yet the dominant effect was at the neuro-muscular junction and not at the skeletal muscle or somatic nerve. This study also concluded that other alkaloid components of Kratom, and not just mitragynine may also have an effect on the compound action potential. And that means even more medical potential for Kratom and it’s 27 alkaloids, most of which have not been studied at all yet.

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DATE: April 2011
RESEARCH: “Kratom in Thailand”
By Pascal Tanguay
ABSTRACT: In early 2010, the Thai Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) developed a policy proposal to review different aspects of the criminal justice process in relation to drug cases. The possibility of decriminalising the indigenous psychoactive plant, kratom, was included in the ONCB’s proposal for consideration by the Ministry of Justice. This briefing paper provides an overview of issues related to kratom legislation and policy in Thailand as well as a set of conclusions and recommendations to contribute to a reassessment of the current ban on kratom in Thailand and the region.
ONLINE SOURCE: Series on Legislative Reform of Drug Policies Nr. 13

PLAIN ENGLISH SUMMARY: The researchers concluded that Kratom is an integral part of southern Thai culture. They felt that the cCriminalization of Kratom was unnecessary and counter-productive given decades of unproblematic use.

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DATE: June 2012
RESEARCH: “Total Synthesis of (-)-Mitragynine and Analogues”
Master Thesis by Isabel Kerschgen
ABSTRACT: Besides the use as a drug, the plant has found application in medicine in the treatment of coughing, diarrhea, muscle pain and hypertension. Interestingly, mitragynine has a stronger analgesic effect than morphine, so that it has been suggested as a useful compound in the treatment of opiate addiction in replacement therapy. About the biological activity of paynantheine and speciogynine there are very little studies reported.

PLAIN ENGLISH SUMMARY: The purpose of this medical study was to demonstrate the far-reaching possibilites for Kratom’s medicinal value and properties. This study concluded that there IS medical potential for Kratom, including its use as a powerful analgesic as well as an aid in treatment of opiate addiction. This study alone shows that Kratom does NOT belong on Schedule I.

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DATE: 2014
RESEARCH: “Genes induced by high concentration of salicylic acid in Mitragyna speciosa”
Siti Sarah Jumali, Ikram M. Said, Ismanizan Ismail, Zamri Zainal, Institute of Systems Biology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Department of Biosciences and Biotechnology, Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan
ABSTRACT: Until now, only six sequences related to Kratom are available in GenBank. Therefore, our work significantly contributes to the understanding of the molecular genetics of M. speciosa. Treatment with plant growth regulator such as salicylic acid (SA) is able to increase plant defense mechanism which later induces the expression of genes that encode secondary metabolite production. To identify genes that respond to elicitation of high concentration of SA, suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) library was constructed using mRNA from SA-treated leaves and mRNA from non-SA-treated leaves.
ONLINE SOURCE: Australian Journal of Crop Science, ISSN: 1835-2707

PLAIN ENGLISH SUMMARY: In order to cope with heat stress, plants implement various mechanisms. This study observed those same characteristics in the Kratom plant, and the information gained during this study significantly adds to the understanding of the molecular genetics of Kratom.