The United States House Committee on Appropriations has allocated the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) $500,000 towards kratom research for the year of 2021. The AHRQ was given a budget of $338,000,000 in total.
“The Committee is aware of the potential promise of kratom-derived compounds for acute and chronic pain patients who seek safer alternatives to sometimes dangerously addictive and potentially deadly prescription opioids.”https://www.congress.gov/congressional-report/116th-congress/house-report/450
Such news is both exciting and unbeknownst to most. The appropriations were buried within a 541 page congressional record from the proceedings of the 116th Congress, second session. The $500,000 granted was half of what was initially requested by the committee. It is the same amount as the year prior. Nonetheless, consecutive years of federal research is a positive sign for kratom supporters.
The AHRQ is one of the twelve agencies a part of the US Department of Health and Human Services. Their mission is to “produce evidence to make health care safer, higher quality, more accessible, equitable, and affordable.” Their interest in kratom, CBD, and cannabis has substantially grown in the recent past. In December of 2020, the AHRQ conducted a systematic review on plant-based treatments for chronic pain.
The main reason behind the research funding is to, “know more about potential risks or benefits (of kratom), and whether or not they can have a role in finding new and effective non-opioid methods to treat pain.” Clinical trials will take place in geographical regions that have been the most negatively impacted by the opioid crisis. Presumably, the money will be spaced out between scientists, universities, and rehabilitation facilities.