The Ministry of Justice has announced that it will work with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to allow the use of kratom leaves in food, herbal and cosmetic products.
On August 24, Kratom (Mitragyna Speciosa) was taken off the national list of controlled substances. Thais, under FDA regulations, are permitted to cultivate and sell kratom plants, while the government plans to later develop the plant as an economic crop.
According to Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin, his ministry had received numerous complaints from business owners who have been unable to convert kratom leaves into products such as medicine, food and cosmetics due to FDA regulations. Kratom, like cannabis, has been removed from the list of controlled substances but must be processed legally.
Somsak noted that despite the decriminalization of kratom, the plant still cannot be used in many industries despite its benefits, which include combating fatigue, boosting energy, enhancing mood and relieving pain.
Due to a lack of clinical trials, FDA Strategy and Planning Division Director Warawut Sermsinsiri said concerns remain about the safety of kratom in food and other products. He added that the agency will need more information to ensure public safety.
According to the director, a research team will be formed to compile studies conducted in Thailand and abroad to ensure that the herb or its extracts are not harmful to human health.(NNT)