A 2020 John Hopkins medical survey of more than 2,700 self-reported users of the herbal supplement kratom has suggested that the psychoactive compound has a lower rate of harm than prescription opioids for treating pain, anxiety, depression and addiction. The study, published in the Feb. 3 issue of Drug and Alcohol Dependence, also confirmed that kratom is not regulated or approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and that scientific studies have not been done to formally establish safety and benefits. The John Hopkins medical researchers caution that while self-reporting surveys aren’t always entirely reliable, they advocate for the FDA to regulate kratom, which would require testing for impurities and maintaining safe levels of the active chemicals.

Natural Herb Kratom May Have Therapeutic Effects And Relatively Low Potential For Abuse Or Harm, According To A User Survey
Credit: Johns Hopkins Medicine
Johns Hopkins Medical Report