Kratom Research Grant

Science Research leaves of Mitragyna speciosa (kratom) and Chemical analysis in Lab.

“Chris McCurdy was a pioneer in the area of kratom research 10 years ago,” McMahon said. “This NIDA grant shows interest in the potential of kratom-based medicines, as well as concerns over the potential misuse of kratom-related substances.”

With new special research funding for kratom made possible by this and other grants, the number of scientists on the research team and infrastructure to study kratom for pain have expanded. Quantities of samples that once took two to three months to generate can now be available in just one week.

The next stage of university of florida kratom research involves identifying the pharmacology of its chemicals. Bonnie Avery, Ph.D., a key co-investigator and clinical professor of pharmaceutics at the college, identifies kratom’s alkaloids through chromatographic science methods, to determine where they go in the body and how they are broken down into genetic metabolites.

“Dr. Bonnie Avery’s contributions to the understanding of kratom simply cannot be overstated. In fact, up to and during her final weeks, Dr. Avery’s dedication and commitment to kratom research were essential to furthering our knowledge about kratom. Personally and professionally, Dr. Bonnie Avery will be missed by all.

The University of Florida, where Dr. Avery conducted her research, will accept donations from those in our community who wish to celebrate Dr. Avery’s life and further the studies she was so unfailingly dedicated to.

Kratom proponents published article showing kratom as a safer and less addictive alternative to opioids for the management of pain and opioid addiction. The anti-kratom faction argues that kratom, itself, is a dangerous and addictive drug that ought to be banned. Given the widespread use of kratom and the extensive media attention it is receiving, it is important for physicians, scientists and policy makers to be knowledgeable about the controversial subject. The purpose of this commentary is to update readers about recent research developments and controversies in this rapidly evolving area. All of the authors are engaged in various aspects of kratom research and it is our intention to provide a fair and balanced overview that can form the foundation for informed decisions on kratom policy. Our conclusions from these analyses are: (a) User reports and results of preclinical studies in animals and mice strongly suggest that kratom speciosa and its main constituent alkaloid, mitragynine may have useful activity in alleviating pain and managing symptoms of opioid withdrawal, even though well-controlled clinical trials have yet to be done. (b) Even though bali kratom lacks many of the toxicities of classic opioids, there are legitimate concerns about the safety and lack of quality control of purported “kratom pills” products that are being sold in the US. (c) The issues regarding the safety and efficacy of white maemg da kratom and its mitragynine constituent can only be resolved by additional red kratom research.

After that, McMahon and Jay McLaughlin, Ph.D., an associate professor of pharmacodynamics, order some in vivo pharmacodynamics tests to determine the health effects of individual alkaloids on receptor targets in the human brain.

The scientific team at the college will continue developing treatment strategies to detox addicts off opioids, similar in the way the classically accepted drugs, buprenorphine and methadone,which are more addictive and are currently prescribed. Although less addictive than heroin and other prescription opioids, they are narcotics with the potential to be abused, which is why learning how to take kratom from university researchers is very interesting and a safer alternative to suboxone.

The last main research objective is for McCurdy to change a natural substance in kratom to reduce symptoms of opioid withdrawal.

Other members of the scientific research team include pharmacy scientist Francisco Leon, Ph.D., and research assistant professors Jenny Wilkerson, Ph.D., and Takato Hiranita, Ph.D.

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