Kratom Guides

The American Kratom Association: A Force for Truth, Safety, & Fair Laws

The American Kratom Association (AKA) is a non-profit organization founded by kratom users — for kratom users — and funded largely by donations from fellow enthusiasts, vendors, and advocates.

The Association spearheads many of the legal battles that have been waged against kratom over the last decade. They also work to dispel they myths by providing science-based information about kratom and its many uses, risks, and benefits.

This article explores the American Kratom Association, its origins, goals, and beliefs, and how you can help keep kratom legal.

Written by Nigel Ford
Last Updated 11 months ago

Nigel Ford

Medical Herbalist

Nigel is a certified herbalist, avid kratom user, and one of the leading members of our Kratom Vendor Review Board. 

About the American Kratom Association

The American Kratom Association was founded in 2014 in response to the 2012 FDA campaign against kratom. The organization is currently registered in Virginia.

The AKA believes it’s essential for consumers to have access to medicine, information, and the freedom to make choices for their own health and well-being. Biased and misinterpreted information — especially when pushed by authorities like the FDA — causes more harm than good.

As a collection of responsible consumers — including scientists and government officials — the AKA aims to correct some of the disinformation that has damaged kratom’s reputation. Its mission is to protect kratom users from unfair laws and unsafe products.

American Kratom Association Leadership

As a non-profit organization, the American Kratom Association is run by a board of directors.

They help ensure the Association maintains its mission statement, updates petitions, stays active with work and legalities, and so on.

Here are some of the most influential members of the board.

1. Matt Salmon

Matt currently sits as the Chairman of the AKA’s Board of Directors.

He represented the 5th District of Arizona for five terms in Washington and currently holds a Master of Public Administration graduate degree from Brigham Young University.

Matt also serves as the Vice President of Government Affairs at Arizona State University and has done so since 2017.

2. Ryan Burroughs

Ryan is the Executive Director of the American Kratom Association.

Ryan became executive director in March 2022. He has a strong business background and oversees the day-to-day activities of the AKA.

3. Chris Bake

Chris serves as a board member of the AKA.

He’s a strong advocate for non-traditional and natural medicines, having a background working with Nutrition for Life. His sixteen years of experience in the CSB Marketing and Management Corporation have helped him promote the AKA.

AKA Vendor Certification

One of the primary roles of the AKA is to make sure consumers have a safe kratom supply. One way they do this is with their Good Manufacturing Standards program.

Any vendor can apply to be certified by the AKA, which then conducts a review of the vendor’s manufacturing processes and products, including third-party lab results. The vendor has to pass annual assessments and the products have to meet strict standards. If they fail to meet the AKA’s criteria, they lose their certification.

Because most countries haven’t regulated kratom, it’s important to check for AKA-certification or third-party testing.

Here’s a list of the certified vendors on the AKA website:

American Kratom Association & Legal Battles

One of the primary goals of the American Kratom Association is to protect the legality of kratom. Some states have banned kratom in response — at least in part — to the FDA and DEA’s statements agains the plant. Others have regulated it with laws that require producers and retailers meet set standards.

Check out our article on current kratom laws around the world if you’re curious about its status where you live, or elsewhere.

There is a very active campaign to criminalize the purchasing, selling, and usage of kratom in America. Much of this comes from the FDA, the same company that authorizes and regulates the use of pharmaceutical drugs and food additives.

As the primary authority for food and drug products, the FDA screens any psychoactive compound before it can be legally sold in the USA. Many drugs approved by the FDA are known to cause adverse reactions, addiction, death, and chronic disease.

Despite these dangerous and sometimes deadly results, these drugs remain on the market and are prescribed to patients daily.

Kratom can be addictive and causes some some side effects, but this is usually due to using too much, too often. It’s far less dangerous and addictive than opioids and other FDA-approved medications used to treat pain. In fact, thousands of people have used kratom to overcome addictions to these more dangerous drugs.

The FDA and other medical groups continue to stand on biased information, despite other organizations’ contrary opinions.

In 2016, the DEA recanted its decision to temporarily make mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine Schedule I substances.

Even the World Health Organization (WHO) didn’t see a need to schedule or ban kratom. In 2021, it reviewed the current research to determine its safety and concluded that kratom does not pose a threat to the public.

There’s fear that the FDA ultimately opposes kratom because it’s losing them money. Until they are able to regulate and control the sale of kratom, pharmaceutical companies working with the FDA stand to lose quite a bit of money as patients switch from drugs like OxyContin, methadone, and morphine to kratom.

Whatever the case, the FDA is a federal organization that has a lot of money and resources at its disposal. The legal battle that has been pitted against kratom is extreme and disproportionate, considering the very few risks that kratom poses.

Because the AKA is a non-profit organization, they often call for donations to help support the legal funding necessary to fight this battle.

American Kratom Association: Goals & Motives

The American Kratom Association has a specific set of goals. These goals underlie all the actions that are taken by the Association. Here are their basic intentions according to their website.

1. Support

The first goal listed on the American Kratom Association’s website is support. Above all, their primary directive is to support all people who rely on kratom as medicine. This support comes in a number of different ways as the Association aims to implement positive kratom policies and information around the world.

2. Educate

Good education is necessary for anybody hoping to make a positive change in the world. One of the main reasons that kratom has been demonized in many circles is because of improper education. The American Kratom Association aims to correct some of the rampant disinformation surrounding kratom by providing accurate, up-to-date, scientific information.

3. Amplify

We live in a society that is often dictated by corporations or government bodies. The American Kratom Association believes that the voice of the individual does not receive the credit that it deserves. They aim to amplify the voices of kratom users around the world in hopes that their stories will reach the ears of officials and authorities.

4. Promote Global Awareness

Kratom is a very powerful and potentially life-saving medicine that can help people from all walks of life. The American Kratom Association wants to help promote global awareness of kratom by providing accurate information and resources for potential consumers.

5. Conserve Natural Resources

Kratom is a valuable natural resource and should be treated accordingly. The American Kratom Association recognizes that our society has a tendency to pillage natural resources in an unsustainable way. The aim is to encourage sustainable harvesting of kratom as well as natural resource management.

Also see: Kratom & Deforestation… Is it an Issue?

AKA & Kratom Advocacy

At its core, the American Kratom Association is an advocacy group. Their main purpose is to advocate for the effectiveness and safety of Kratom.

Kratom has helped huge numbers of people throughout the world by helping to improve symptoms of conditions ranging from anxiety to insomnia, from ADHD to fibromyalgia.

Sadly, the majority of people do not understand how kratom works. Instead, they learn about kratom from clickbait news stories or from one of the many websites that appear in Google searches — such as WebMD.

As such, one of the American Kratom Association’s main goals is to ensure that truthful, science-based information on kratom is available to anyone. They also aim to prevent some of the injustices and unfair legislation that would restrict people from accessing kratom.

There are several different ways that they go about doing this.

Educational Resources

Choosing advocacy in the AKA’s secondary site, Protect Kratom, will lead you to a drop-down list. Choosing education will send you to a website loaded with kratom info.

Beginners can learn the basics about the plant. Those who have some understanding of kratom can educate themselves further by reading some of the scientific studies that have proven kratom effective.

The website also provides information about the legal struggles that kratom faces.

Unlike some of the delusional kratom enthusiasts who populate online forums like Reddit, the American Kratom Association prides itself on providing factual information that is verified by science. This means that, the association advocates for the responsible use of kratom and does not deny there are risks and dangers associated with its misuse.

Scientific Research

The American Kratom Association dedicates a specific page to showcasing scientific facts regarding kratom. On this page, there are lots of infographics, links to scientific studies, and case reports available.

The infographics showcase a variety of important facts in an easily digestible form. However, if you’re interested in the juicy details — such as the pharmacology, psychology, or biological impact of kratom — you might be interested in one of the more in-depth publications.

Such publications include:

The Kratom Eight-Factor Analysis

An eight-factor analysis is a procedure that the FDA uses to determine whether or not something should be scheduled. The analysis follows an eight-factor evaluation that looks at how likely a substance is to be abused, its pharmaceutical usage, historical abuse patterns, relative safety, and other important factors.

A response to the eight-factor analysis from a number of scientists. Many people were quick to call into question the many pages that the FDA omitted from the kratom eight-factor analysis, as well as their refusal to provide the entire document.

Scientists associated with the AKA soon published a document showing their response to the analysis, pointing out obvious flaws and faults and discrediting the document as a valid source of information for making any decisions.

The Kratom Fact Sheet

This publication aims to separate myth from fact. In doing this, the authors point out the unscientific and unreliable stance that the FDA has taken against kratom and then counters with facts about the safety and usefulness of kratom.

The American Kratom Association‘s Policy Report

If you’re interested in learning more about the Association itself, one of the best ways to do this is to read up on its policy report. This will teach you more about the internal operations and goals of the Association.

A Study Countering the Validity of the Reports of Kratom-Induced Death

The FDA has carefully chosen wording and misrepresented facts; these studies place an unreasonable focus on the presence of kratom in the victim’s bloodstream.

However, in all of these studies, the victims who died with kratom in their systems also had a number of other drugs in their system, or should have had their deaths attributed to something else. For example, in one such case, a poly-drug user was found dead with more than six other drugs in his bloodstream; another was found lying amidst aerosol cans and was found to have inhalants present in his blood.

Additional scientific resources include links to studies about the pharmacology and safety of kratom, as well as links to studies and reports of various types.

Related: List of Dangerous Kratom/Drug Interactions

How to Get Involved With the American Kratom Association

The American Kratom Association is just made up of people like you and me.

The association welcomes any and all people interested in helping. There are a few different ways that you can contribute or join the American Kratom Association.

Contact Congress Using Their Form

One of the best features found on the American Kratom Association website is a form that allows you to easily contact your local congressperson.

You can include your name, email, address, town, and so on, in an easy-to-fill-out form.

Then, you can opt to send a pre-written letter or email to your local congressperson. If you choose, you can add additional comments to this email and personalize your message.

The simplicity of this form has allowed thousands of people to message their congress members regarding kratom. The sheer number of people reaching out to Congress and demanding change has actually had some impact on kratom and its legal future.

Join the Kratom Consumer Council

The Kratom Consumer Council (KCC) is another group that was set up by the American Kratom Association. You can join the KCC as a volunteer and offer your services for the greater good of kratom and kratom users.

The council is described as a national grassroots movement dedicated to preserving Kratom in America. You can help work with others to petition for the legality of Kratom, fight against bands, and promote proper education.

Each volunteer must agree to a code of conduct that will dictate their behavior and communication. The code of conduct is fairly straightforward and simply ensures that members will remain professional and uphold a positive image of both kratom and the American Kratom Association.

Sign Up to Stay Informed

To ensure that kratom advocates never fall out of the loop, the American Kratom Association writes an email newsletter. Signing up for the newsletter is as simple as filling out a form on the Association’s website.

This newsletter will help keep you up-to-date with the latest kratom news, scientific breakthroughs, and the ongoing legal battles that are being fired.

Tell Your Story

The American Kratom Association is collecting as many stories as possible from kratom users. These stories will be used to help encourage legislators to accept the Kratom Consumer Protection Act, which the AKA has written to protect kratom users.

The AKA requests that users submit their stories in video format. In it, you must express how Kratom has helped you. These stories will be added to a collection called Kratom Saves Lives (#KratomSavesLives).

Signing a Petition

Over the years, the American Kratom Association has created a number of petitions. Consumer response has been impressive on each one, showing that tens of thousands of people have had positive experiences with kratom — many go so far to say it saved their lives.

Sign up for their email to stay up-to-date on current petitions you can sign.

Joining the Forum

An online forum is a place where internet users can share information, experiences, images, and other media. Focus forums, like that of the American Kratom Association, deal with specific topics — in this case, kratom.

Joining this forum allows you to connect with other kratom users around the world. It also provides you with an avenue to stay updated with kratom news and scientific studies.

Donating to the AKA

The American Kratom Association is a non-profit that is run largely by volunteers. Despite this, they are waging a fairly expensive battle against those who would sully the name of kratom. They will gladly accept donations that can help them with legal fees, promotion costs, maintenance fees, and scientific research.

Donating to the American Kratom Association might be the simplest way to contribute. However, it remains one of the most vital. The Association relies on the donations of kratom advocates to implement the very changes that have allowed kratom to remain legal up until today.

Final Thoughts: The AKA & Its Importance In the Kratom Industry

The American Kratom Association is the strongest pro-kratom advocacy group in America and, most likely, on the planet. They are a non-profit society funded largely by donations with a mission of protecting kratom and kratom consumers in the USA

If you’re interested in learning more about the American Kratom Association, don’t hesitate to check out their website or join their mailing list. There is always new and exciting information about kratom to share, so don’t miss your chance to find out about it.