Kratom advocates are cheering a new decision from the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) not to recommend that the plant-derived substance be internationally banned following a scientific review.
There were some concerns that the WHO’s Executive Committee on Drug Dependency (ECDD) would take steps to either urge international control over kratom—which has been touted as a natural painkiller that works as a safer alternative to prescription opioids—or recommend a critical review that could have ultimately led to scheduling following another year-long inquiry.
“People report using kratom to self-medicate a variety of disorders and conditions, including pain, opioid withdrawal, opioid use disorder, anxiety and depression.”
But in a report released last week, members of ECDD voted 11-1 to simply continue monitoring data on the health impacts of kratom over the next two to three years, rather than institute strict controls.
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