The CDC opened up for the public to submit feedback on pain management options on April 17th, 2020. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has since then received thousands of comments related to medical marijuana and multiple thousand mentioning kratom. This comment section has since closed, and the CDC is now taking the next step.
Is Kratom being recognized for pain relief?
The federal agency’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control is looking for input on “individual stakeholder’s values and preferences related to pain and pain management options,”
While the notice published in the Federal Register does not explicitly reference cannabis or kratom, numerous individuals have taken the opportunity to submit their feedback on the therapeutic benefits of the substances as alternatives to prescription opioids in their pain management.
More than a thousand people talked about either “marijuana” or “cannabis,” about 150 discussed CBD, more than 1,300 discussed kratom, which shows kratom powder is growing in popularity for pain at an exponential rate. There were a total of 5,297 comments submitted throughout the time they were open.
One comment mentions kratom helping her extreme pain, “I have degenerative disc disease – more specifically a herniated disc at L5, S1 in my lower spine. I don’t know how this happened but it is likely due to a reckless youth in sports and rodeo.” “The Kratom I bought is in my house. I only use it at home but I am almost out and I dread the coming days. I have a dose in the morning and that gets me through my workday at my desk, in the car, or in my yard. How wonderful it is for me to not have to use a prescription drug to have a normal life of comfort. I have tried CBD oil and it helps, too, but only lasts a couple of hours. At $70 to $100 a bottle for CBD, it doesn’t last long and is a high cost. An order of Kratom will last for months at a lower cost. Furthermore, each pain event I deal with through our healthcare system will end up costing my insurance and me personally hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars.”
Another comment goes on to say, “I am a veteran that is rated at 80% disability, I have chronic back pain, leg pain, and anxiety. I also work rotating shift work for 12 hours at a time in a high pace maintenance facility, that also aids in my pain and anxiety. I currently use Kratom for the pain, and the anxiety, CBD for the anxiety, and ibuprofen for the pain. The kratom I take is very efficient at minimizing/completely dulling the pain, especially when combined with Kavaloctone (paste at 80% concentration). The Kratom I use is high quality and checked for quality. It is instrumental in helping me maintain my ability to do my job, transition between jobs, and helps keep my anxiety down so I can enjoy social interactions.”
NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano mentions, “estimated one in ten Americans suffers from chronic pain conditions that are unresponsive to conventional pain treatments, such as NSAIDS and opioids.”
A study from 2008 states, “We report the self-treatment of chronic pain and opioid withdrawal with kratom. The predominant alkaloid of kratom, mitragynine, binds mu- and kappa-opioid receptors, but has additional receptor affinities that might augment its effectiveness at mitigating opioid withdrawal. The natural history of kratom use, including its clinical pharmacology and toxicology, are poorly understood.”
With all this information, the CDC has finally opened up again, this time for phone calls with the purpose of information that’s gathered through these conversations will help inform CDC’s understanding of stakeholders’ values and preferences related to pain and pain management and will complement CDC’s ongoing work to update or expand the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, published in 2016.
During these conversations, CDC will talk with individual participants within 45-60 minutes on the phone or an internet-enabled virtual platform to listen to personal perspectives and experience related to pain management.
For more information and how to get involved, follow this link.