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 The Kratom Leaf Dilemma Between Benefits and Legality

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Kratom has long been used by some Indonesian people to treat all diseases, ranging from opioid addiction, pain relief, to overcoming anxiety.

The plant with the Latin name Mitragyna speciosa has several other names such as Biak Leaves, Kakuam, Ithang, Thom (Thailand), Biak-Biak (Malaysia) and Mambog (Philippines).

This plant is green all the time and has a height of 15-25 m, where the outside of the stem is gray with a fairly smooth texture. The leaves are dark green, shiny with a length of about 17-20 cm. This plant is widely grown in the Southeast Asian region, especially in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar and Papua New Guinea.

Because of its properties, plants that are mostly found in the interior of Kalimantan are increasingly loved by people. Ranging from for personal consumption to export business throughout the world.

Kratom leaf is consumed by brewing it as a tea drink or in capsule form. Kratom has many benefits ranging from helping relax, treat insomnia, to drug addiction.

How does kratom affect the brain?
Kratom can cause effects similar to opioids and stimulants. Two compounds in kratom leaves, mitragynine and 7-α-hydroxymitragynine, interact with opioid receptors in the brain, producing sedation, pleasure, and reducing pain, especially when users consume large amounts of plants. Mitragynine also interacts with other receptor systems in the brain to produce stimulant effects. When kratom is taken in small amounts, users report increased energy, social skills, and alertness rather than sedation. However, kratom can also cause uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous side effects.

Kratom Legality

Please note that as of 2014, according to data from several countries there have been established illegal status based on Narcotics Law for the use of Kratom Leaves such as Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Romania, Russia and South Korea.

Meanwhile there are also a number of countries that determine controlled commodities such as Germany, Finland, Denmark, Sweden. And countries that legalize such as the United States because products containing Kratom Leaves are sold freely as packaged drinks.

In Indonesia, the legal status of Kratom Leaf itself is unclear. Although it has been classified as New Psychoactive Substance / NPS by the National Narcotics Agency (BNN), both Kratom Leaves and Mitragynine compounds have not been regulated in Narcotics Law No. 35 of 2009 and its amendments. In addition there are no medicinal products or processed food approved by BPOM that contains Kratom Leaves. This could be due to research and scientific evidence regarding inadequate pharmacological, toxicological, neuropsychological and behavioral effects.

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