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The FDA Has Demonized Kratom Because It Is An Opioid, But Opioids Are Naturally Produced By Our Body And Essential For Life

endogenous opioids

The FDA has waged a misinformation war against Kratom for many years, and this misinformation campaign typically conflates Kratom with dangerous, addictive, and deadly synthetic opioids and opiates. Literally, the FDA says that because Kratom is an opioid, then it is just as much of a danger as synthetic opioids and opiates.

First off, there is no comparison, since Kratom has never caused a scientifically proven death in history, whereas synthetic opioids and opiates kill 50,000 Americans per year.

Beyond that, the FDA’s thinking that Kratom is an opioid and therefore Kratom must be bad is just flat out wrong. Opioids are actually naturally produced by the body, and are essential for life.¬†The natural opioids produced by the body are called endogenous opioid peptides, and they play a critical role in the body’s response to pain, as well as in motivation/learning, emotions, and food intake.

Literally, we would not be human without the opioids that our body produces, nor would we be able to survive!

More specifically, our body produces at least 17 endogenous opioids across 5 categories: Enkephalins, Endorphins, Dynorphins, Nociceptin, and Endomorphins.

Among the Endomorphins there is Endomorphin-1 and Endormorphin-2. Notably, Endomorphin-1 is highly selective for the mu-opioid receptor, and produces analgesic effects just as strong as Morphine. You read that right, our body naturally produces an opioid painkiller with the same strength as Morphine, and this is essential for the body’s response to pain, stress, and rewards.

Another very notable endogenous opioid is Beta-Endorphin, since it is the primary compound which causes runner’s high. Basically, when the body is put under stress during exercise, it releases lots of Beta-Endorphin to counter the pain, and this can lead to a strong opioid high. Indeed, exercise can be addictive due to this, and more importantly exercise provides pain and stress relief due to the release of Beta-Endorphin.

Aside from being associated with the runner’s high, Beta-Endorphin also plays an important role in hunger, thrill, maternal care, and sexual pleasure.

Further, the body has its own built-in opioid antagonist called Nociceptin, and it is basically the natural version of Naloxone. The point of Nociceptin is that it can induce pain and fear, which is a critical survival mechanism.

This article briefly discusses just a few of the endogenous opioids, but there is a mountain of scientific research which proves that without endogenous opioids we would not be able to survive. Endogenous opioids are critical for pain and stress relief, as well as critical for motivating people to make the right choices like exercising, having relationships, and succeeding in work via inducing pleasure whenever we do something that is good for us.

Thus, with this information in mind, the FDA’s stance that Kratom is bad because it is an opioid is absurd. Opioids are essential for life, and at least 17 opioids are naturally produced by our bodies.