Good Day Humboldt County!
The road to getting high has split off into a new highway – at least for me – with the discovery of the Kratom leaf. Apparently, this potent little plant has been around for thousands of years in Southeast Asia, and people are finally getting wind of it here.
It’s being monitored by the DEA, but is still legal to buy. Proponents claim small doses of Kratom combats fatigue, pain and depression. It’s even touted as an antidote to heroin addiction. "Kratom makes people feel pain free, strong, active and optimistic," according to the Website Kratom.com.
"Every month somebody is trying to get a new 'safe high'," said Frank LoVecchio, medical director of the Banner Good Samaritan Poison and Drug Information Center in Phoenix, Ariz. "(Kratom) is definitely not safe."
As with many herbal and chemical products on the market, science and law enforcement are playing catch-up. Little research has been done to determine the risks of taking kratom, so it remains legal and unregulated in the United States.” (source)
Even promoters warn that daily use of kratom can lead to dependence and nasty side effects.
“A Website for the Kratom Association, which claims more than 100 members, has launched a campaign to counter what it describes as harmful and irresponsible representation of the herb — censuring or reporting sellers and head shops that market it as a "legal high," target teenagers or sell kratom adulterated with illegal drugs or other harmful substances.”
Kratom is illegal in a number of countries in Europe and Asia — most notably Thailand, where much of it is produced. It is now the third most commonly used illegal drug in Thailand, according to the DEA. In that country’s drug culture, the leaf is sometimes combined with cough syrup and Coke, tranquilizers and marijuana to produce a narcotic drink called "4x100." (source)
“Long-term daily high dose kratom consumption is reported to induce nervousness, sleeplessness, loss of libido, constipation and the darkening of skin complexion,” Kratom.com says in its "dangerous effects" section.
“Some sellers label it as "incense," claiming it is not sold for human consumption while also requiring that buyers be at least 18 years old. One variety being touted for its powerful punch is Maeng Da, which translates to “pimp grade kratom.” (Source)
Time for me to walk on down the road…