CDC kratom deaths have been a hot topic over several weeks. On April 12, 2019, the CDC released a report claiming that kratom has claimed nearly 100 lives and is deadlier than thought before.
Along with the wave of kratom bans in Northern Mississippi, the news of CDC kratom deaths may have shaken up your trust in kratom. Or, you at least have a few worrisome questions.
So, is kratom indeed that dangerous or is this inaccurate news that’s a part of someone’s agenda?
What Is the CDC?
CDC or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a public health institute in the United States. Its job is to protect public health and safety. CDC does so by controlling and preventing a variety of diseases, injuries, and disabilities.
It works with a variety of different topics such as contagious diseases, non-infectious diseases like obesity, lack of physical activity, use of tobacco, alcohol, and drugs, health while traveling, global health, and more.
Even prevention of a potential zombie apocalypse. Yes, you read that right. Though the article was more of a way of raising public awareness about natural disasters.
The CDC is a federal organization just like the FDA. In fact, the CDC, FDA, and USDA are all under the Department of Health and Human Services. All three organizations collaborate on a common health mission to promote food safety.
CDC claims to be committed to protecting the American people and keep them safe and healthy. It also accepts outside gifts. Dr. Mercola and other sources state that this has skewed CDC’s public opinion.
What Is Kratom?
Kratom or Mitragyna speciosa is an evergreen tree native to Southeast Asia. It’s closely related to coffee and belongs to the Rubiaceae, coffee, family.
People use it as a dietary supplement to manage a variety of health conditions that range from chronic pain to PTSD, stress, and anxiety. Taken in lower doses kratom is stimulating. Meanwhile, in larger doses it’s relaxing.
Is Kratom Safe?
According to the Kratom 8-Factor Analysis released in late 2017, kratom has very low abuse potential. Though it binds with the same receptors in the brain that opioids do, kratom works in a different manner. Thus, it is no more addictive than coffee.
Is Kratom an Opioid?
Kratom has opioid-like properties which is why it is being used to overcome opioid addiction. However, it’s not an opioid itself because it does not derive from opioids.
The Kratom 8-Factor analysis mentioned above revealed that that kratom can deliver similar effects to those opioids without the respiratory depression risks and the abuse potential that opioids cause.
How Much Kratom Is Safe to Take?
The average kratom dosage can range from two to eight grams. However, the exact dosage that will suit an individual human will depend on a variety of factors such as the purpose, strain, body weight, and age.
The quality and freshness or kratom can also make a huge difference. For instance, some vendors offer really potent kratom that requires much lower doses. So, it’s best to experiment and see what dosage best suits your needs.
You should also take the preventive measures needed not to develop kratom tolerance. These include taking adequate intervals between your doses and rotating strains.
Can You Die from Kratom?
In this study, scientists administered mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine to mice. They find out that oral intake of approximately 547 mg of mitragynine per kilogram of body weight was lethal for mice. Yet, no mice actually died from taking large oral doses of 7-hydroxymitragynine.
What does that mean for humans?
If an average dose is around 6 grams of kratom powder, for a 200-pound body, that is over 100 times lower than the lethal dose of pure mitragynine in mice.
Keep in mind that kratom powder isn’t just mitragynine. There are at least 25 alkaloids in kratom that we know of today. The highest amount of mitragynine in kratom on average constitutes about 60%. Some varieties have as little as 12%. The amount of 7-hydroxymitragynine is even lower – about 2%.
This means that you would need a minimum of 60 grams of pure mitragynine to die from kratom. If you take kratom powder, then this amount would be even higher. However, you don’t just take kratom powder? You make kratom tea or toss and wash, right?
So, if you put an average of 6 grams of kratom powder in your tea, you’d need to drink at least 100 cups to die from kratom. This can be a hard feat considering that an average stomach can hold only about a sixth of that.
To give you a bit more perspective, let’s look at coffee since kratom and coffee are in the same family. Your daily cup of Joe also has a lethal dose. Wonder what that is? 70 cups per a 154-pound body taken at once.
If you do the math, coffee can be more lethal than kratom.
So, What About the CDC Kratom Deaths?
Don’t let the headlines scare you. While the headlines boldly state that that kratom has claimed 91 lives in 27 states, the data speaks a different story.
Postmortem toxicology results showed that 84 of the deceased had heroin, fentanyl, prescription opioids, cocaine, and other drugs present. In their report, CDC states that 7 of these 91 victims had kratom detected as the only substance, yet….
The report also stated that “the presence of additional substances [couldn’t] be ruled out.”
So, are CDC kratom deaths actually caused by kratom?
The Bottom Line
So, if we know that the lethal dose of oral kratom intake is ridiculously high, yet CDC reports that 46 people die of a prescription opioid overdose every single day, then parading almost 100 deaths that cannot even be clearly attributed to kratom seem to be distracting us from the real problem.
Have you read about CDC kratom deaths online? What are your thoughts?