Federal Agency Explores Benefits Of The ‘Controversial Tree’ Kratom

A top federal health agency hosted a meeting last week to explore the therapeutic potential of a “controversial tree” commonly known as kratom, which supporters say has pain relieving qualities and can be used as a substitute for opioids.

As part of a lecture series, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) invited University of Florida researcher Christopher McCurdy to provide an overview of the science of kratom and what role it could play in mitigating the overdose crisis.

McCurdy, who previously served as the director of an NIH research center, titled his lecture, “Can a Controversial Tree Help End the Opioid Crisis?” He went into detail about anecdotal experience and clinical research, explaining how there’s promising evidence that kratom could help alleviate pain, reduce withdrawal symptoms from opioids and lower dependence on methamphetamine, for example.

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