Six US states have banned the sale and use of the Kratom, a psychoactive plant-derived drug from Southeast Asia that is available online and in head shops. Researchers studying kratom have found that it affects brain receptors for strong opioids.
A new study provides some data to support those states' concerns (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, DOI: 10.1021/jacs.6b00360). A team of researchers shows for the first time that kratom's primary constituent, mitragynine, and four related alkaloids bind to and partially activate human µ-opioid receptors (MORs), the primary targets of strong opioids in the brain, spinal cord, and gastrointestinal tract.
Countdown to kratom landing on the list of federally controlled substances in 3… 2… 1…