Krypton, Which Claimed To Be A Kratom Product But Was Laced With O-desmethyltramadol, Is A Case Example Of Why The World Needs The Kratom Consumer Protection Act
Krypton was a legal high product that was sold roughly a decade ago. It claimed to be a Kratom extract, but in reality it was actually O-desmethyltramadol, which is a dangerous synthetic opioid.
Essentially, research chemicals were getting massively popular about a decade ago. Research chemicals were generally analogs of illegal drugs, i.e. they had similar effects and physical structures to illegal drugs, but they had some slight structural differences, making them technically legal. Research chemicals sprung up which mimicked the effects of cannabis, cocaine, methamphetamine, ketamine, psychedelics, and synthetic opioids.
In the specific case of O-desmethyltramadol it is the main metabolite of the synthetic opioid Tramadol, which is a prescription opioid painkiller. Therefore, O-desmethyltramadol had roughly the same effects as Tramadol and induced a powerful synthetic opioid high.
What made O-desmethyltramadol truly dangerous was that it could be purchased by the gram, and users who purchased it would receive a pile of white powder. The typical Tramadol dose is 50 mg, and it is very difficult to measure out doses that small, so often users would overdose.
The manufacturers of Krypton decided to say the product was a Kratom extract, but were really lacing Kratom leaf with lots of O-desmethyltramadol. Further, Krypton came in 50 gram containers, when the recommended dose of Krypton was a mere 0.5 grams, making it easy to overdose. Basically, Kratom users take 1 teaspoon of Kratom leaf for a light dose, which is roughly 2-3 grams, and 3 teaspoons of Kratom leaf for a heavy dose, which can be around 7-10 grams. On the other hand, if a Kratom user purchased Krypton and took a teaspoon they could easily die.
This is especially true since Krypton was a non-uniform mix of Kratom leaf and O-desmethyltramadol. It is possible for the O-desmethyltramadol to settle in a certain part of the container, which is known as a hotspot, and even if a user is just taking 0.5 grams they could overdose if they encounter the hotspot.
Indeed, 9 people ultimately died from Krypton in 2009 and 2010 in Sweden, and scientists found that these cases were due to O-desmethyltramadol overdoses.
Unfortunately, regulatory authorities quickly blamed Kratom, and numerous European countries banned Kratom by 2011 including Sweden, Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Romania. In the years following the first wave of bans, the United Kingdom and Ireland banned Kratom.
Further, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) used the Krypton incident as proof that Kratom was a deadly opioid. Even after scientists definitively proved that the Krypton deaths were due to O-desmethyltramadol, none of the European countries which banned Kratom nor the FDA redacted their statements on Kratom being deadly. Indeed, the FDA still refers to the 9 Krypton deaths as ‘Kratom related’ deaths.
Essentially, regulatory authorities decided that Kratom products could be laced with anything, and used that as an excuse to ban Kratom, while ignoring the fact that Kratom leaf itself is safe. This is quite biased, since if any other product is found to be laced with something then proper regulations are put in place to prevent it from happening again rather than banning the product itself.
The Krypton incident is a case example of why the United States and the whole world needs the Kratom Consumer Protection Act (KCPA). The KCPA ensures that only natural and pure Kratom reaches consumers, via requiring testing for any contaminants and adulterants in Kratom products. Essentially, in regions where the KCPA has been adopted, incidents like Krypton are not possible. On the other hand, without the KCPA something like Krypton could happen again.
Ultimately, the Krypton incident caused Kratom to be banned for over 80 million people by 2011, leaving those 80 million people with no alternative besides dangerous opiates and synthetic opioids, and therefore causing an untold amount of death and destruction. This shows how one bad actor can wreck the legality of Kratom in multiple countries.
Therefore, the United States and the rest of the world needs the KCPA ASAP, in order to keep Kratom legal long term by preventing anymore incidents like Krypton.