Kratom’s popularity is on the rise, which has caused a spike in online and local retailers who offer kratom products. If you are familiar with kratom products and vendors, you may be used to seeing the acronym “AKA” under a site’s qualifications, but not know what it refers to. This moniker simply refers to the American Kratom Association.
In this piece, we will describe the American Kratom Association’s history and its mission, and explain why so many kratom vendors flaunt that they have earned the organization’s approval.
What Is Kratom?
To fully comprehend the importance of the American Kratom Association (AKA), you must understand the history of kratom itself. Kratom products are created using the dried leaves of the Mitragyna speciosa trees. This species of tree is native to Southeast Asia and is a member of the larger coffee tree family. Mitragyna speciosa trees thrive in a humid, tropical environment, and are prevalent in Indonesia, Thailand, and Papua New Guinea. Kratom has been used to promote wellness in these locations since the 19th century.
Once the leaves of these trees are properly harvested, they are thoroughly cleaned and dried on racks. Next, many kratom suppliers will grind the kratom into a fine powder, which can then be sold in that form or be put into kratom capsules for use.
Traditionally, kratom is consumed by the user chewing the leaves, taking the pill or capsule, or by mixing the kratom powder with tea or another. Some users have even discovered various tips and tricks to avoid kratom’s naturally bitter taste. In addition, several manufacturers offer kratom skincare products.
You may be wondering where the American Kratom Association comes into all this. Keep reading to find out more about their organization and its goals.
The American Kratom Association
The American Kratom Association is currently run by a board of directors. This team determines and supports the organization’s goals, policies, and agenda. The Executive Director of the American Kratom Association is Peter Candland, who supervises the contractors, oversees the organization’s daily tasks, and regulates the AKA’s plans. Candland also makes sure that the AKA remains compliant with the IRS.
Per the American Kratom Association’s website, the organization has five primary goals:
- The AKA aims to support consumers. They believe many groups (political and private alike) do not focus on the needs of the consumers and they want to change that.
- The American Kratom Association seeks to educate everyone in the US about kratom and its benefits. They intend to discuss kratom and its safe usage with the Food and Drug Association (FDA) and hope to ensure that kratom products are regulated.
- The group wants to amplify the voices of Americans and let their stories be heard. Many kratom users rely on kratom products to ease their minds and promote wellness. The AKA wants to advocate for these people.
- Global awareness is a big focus for the AKA, who promotes the responsible use and intends to inform kratom legislation worldwide.
- The American Kratom Association prides itself on protecting natural resources. They believe in sustainable harvesting and reforestation of kratom.
The American Kratom Association offers guidelines that can improve kratom quality overall. As of April 2020, the organization has published an update to its Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) Standards Program. To be approved as an AKA GMP Qualified kratom retailer, the manufacturer must adhere to strict manufacturing and processing guidelines. An approved, independent auditor will corroborate whether the manufacturer has followed these rules. But that’s not it! Once the manufacturer has obtained GMP Qualified status, they must undergo independent audits each year to ensure their integrity and commitment to the organization’s standards.
The use of an independent auditor ensures that the kratom manufacturer’s status is not biased by a party with a vested interest in their success or failure. The kratom manufacturers who obtain the American Kratom Association’s GMP Qualified status are listed openly on the organization’s website. Within the kratom community, being labeled as AKA GMP Qualified is a badge of honor and speaks to the retailer’s quality and commitment to proper kratom production.
The Future of Kratom
The American Kratom Association is focused on promoting the safe and legal use of kratom. The organization aims to assure product quality and to work with parties (e.g. the FDA) to protect consumers and provide factual information for anyone interested in kratom.
Directly on the AKA’s website, they have a way for you to donate to their cause. They seek to advocate for consumers of kratom—and for the substance’s legality itself.
If you are interested in learning more about the American Kratom Association and its standards, we suggest checking out its comprehensive website or contacting the organization directly. For those who are more familiar with the AKA, it may be a good idea to check out their updates page, where they list any changes or current news regarding kratom.