Opioid painkillers are the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. What if a plant does what opioids do but doesn’t carry many of the deadly side effects, withdrawal symptoms, or addiction problems? This is precisely what the documentary ‘A Leaf of Faith’ talks about.
What Is A Leaf Of Faith?
A Leaf of Faith is a documentary about the advantages and disadvantages of using kratom that was released on Netflix. It educates the viewer about kratom, about what it can do for you, about what people say about it, about the FDA’s attack on it, and more. It also shares the experiences of various consumers to support the claims made in the documentary. (the only written review on IMDb.
The documentary director, Chris Bell, has suffered from drug abuse and talks about the benefits he availed by switching to kratom in the documentary. This documentary is definitely a must-watch for people suffering from the same issues and even those who want to explore only! [source].
Fun fact, the cartoon animation for this documentary was created by Zachary Whitmore while using kratom!
About The Director
Chris Bell, a documentary and filmmaker, has made a career out of looking at drug-related problems that affect athletes and the public. Bell is back for a documentary that discusses widespread addiction to prescription painkillers or drugs globally, especially in the United States. Bell is well known for tougher, bigger, and fearless drug use exposure by top professional athletes — including his own ‘drug cheats’ to gain more weight in his career as a bodybuilder.
Opioid use has achieved epidemic heights in the United States, spanning from drug overdose to the misuse of legal drugs to detox from heroin addiction to the abuse of addictive opioids to treat severe pain. The documentary A Leaf of Faith centres on addiction to opium and a possible cure which is Kratom.
Key Part Of The Documentary
Mitragyna speciosa is a species of tree native to Southeast Asia. It has been used to treat debilitating stress and pain in many ways for centuries. Since the director himself has suffered from opium addiction and has been through the recovery process many times, he takes us on a journey of discovery and learning more about this new solution to the crisis through study and interviews. This encompasses both supporters’ and detractors’ perspectives.
Title: A leaf of Faith
Director: Chris Bell
Screenwriter: Chris Bell
Release Date: May 29, 2018
Running Time: 86 minutes
Summary Of The Documentary
The documentary A Leaf of Faith begins with the director introducing himself and sharing information about his previous experience and how he continues to suffer from chronic pain as a result of it. It’s not just him; his brothers also work in the same field as he does, and his father has had operations that force him to take painkillers to manage the pain.
Bell spoke with various people, including patients who consume the plant and researchers who have been researching the herb for medical and other uses. This plant belongs to the coffee family and contains about 40 alkaloids.
Mitragynine and 7-hydroxy mitragynine are the two major alkaloids found in it responsible for the effects of Mitragyna Speciosa. The opioid receptors in our bodies are affected by these alkaloids.
Experience Of Consumers
A Leaf of Faith documentary shows how those who consume Kratom found a major reduction in the discomfort they were experiencing. Since speaking with people who had used the herb, researchers discovered that not only does it relieve pain but also improves mood, decreases blood pressure, reduces anxiety, and protects against diabetes, according to Bell. However, the FDA did not make these observations but instead independent researchers who had been researching the topic. The FDA has not yet licensed the plant; the DEA, however, wants it banned instead.
Despite its sloppiness, the film covers much of the main problems around the plant, which is still comparatively recent in the United States, such as veteran use, malpractices, polydrug overdose, as many deaths related to kratom are simply caused because of consumers mixing drugs, and addicts’ unique vulnerability to a flashy sell on a fast cure. While the full capacity of Kratom is unknown, Bell is correct in emphasising the importance of eliminating these hasty and poorly informed drugs.
Supposed Negative Effects
While the majority of people were in favour of the herb, a small number of people condemned it, claiming that since it is often used for medicinal purposes, it should be outlawed and made illegal until further study.
Bell also spoke with a woman who believed that her son killed himself as a result of his consumption of Kratom, citing increased levels of mitragynine in his blood at the time of his death.
In addition, 15 people died, all of whom were using this product, making it the most notorious herbal supplement, prompting the DEA to want it outlawed in the United States. However, it was discovered after further research that the people who died whilst using it were still taking other opioid medications, making it a bit of a grey field.
However, according to Bell, since Kratom is just a plant that cannot be registered, profit-driven pharmaceutical firms have little financial motive to conduct testing. From that standpoint, it makes sense for the pharmaceutical industry to fight the adoption of a sustainable, clean, reliable, readily accessible, and low-cost substitute.
The bottom line for the opponents of this plant is that, while some positive research into the psychopharmaceutical properties of this herb has been conducted, conclusive clinical experiments on humans to clinically prove the impacts, potency, and possible side-effects of Kratom have yet to be conducted.
For the time being, we can only depend on people’s personal experiences, a centuries-old tradition, and positive studies into the effects of speciosa. Besides that, it is widely accepted that more rules on product validity and safety should be implemented, as well as correct labelling of the product.
Advocating For Kratom
The herb does not seem to be the perfect supplement or treatment in this documentary, but it does seem to make some kind of a promise. It gives us hope that we may be able to break away from heroin or opioid addiction issues. People suffering from constant pain or stress issues like anxiety and depression have no choice but to choose one of these choices.
Living with all of these issues is difficult. However, since this is such a relatively recent concept in the United States, making it entirely legal is still a dangerous proposition. Kratom is still the subject of a lot of studies. But people who argue that it is not more addictive than pure coffee are both producing and consuming it at the same time.
Experiences Of Veterans
Most veterans suffer from pain and PTSD as a result of their traumatic experiences. One of such veterans was also approached, and he spoke about his struggles during the anti-ban rally. He explained to Ben how using this substance improved him not just physically but also psychologically.
Bell, as a spokesperson or an ‘advocate’, does a decent job of raising general consciousness about the plant by providing a realistic perspective of its advantages and risks, as well as contributing to further research. This eye-opening video is a must-watch for anyone suffering from similar issues or concerned about the marketing gimmicks of pharmaceutical companies in the United States. If you’re in agony, the news of a potentially healthy option for relief is pleasant.
The statistics shown in the documentary are also very alarming and shocking. Bell states in the documentary that about 200,000 people died as a result of prescription drug overdose between 1999 and 2016, with a death rate five times higher in 2016 than in 1999.
Chris Bell, a writer and director of A Leaf of Faith with a history of debilitating pain and addiction, is set out on a journey to discover a non-addictive solution to both prescription and illicit opioids. Bell gathered a diverse group of scientists, leaders, celebrities, and ordinary supporters and detractors of Kratom’s efficacy. Chris connects this deadly crisis to the genuine human challenge of chronic pain and stress, as well as a profit-driven healthcare system’s over-prescription of addictive drugs.
Chronic Pain A Common Issue
In North America, one out of every three people is diagnosed with chronic pain, according to Bell. The majority of people’s first response to this type of pain is seeing a doctor or going to the hospital. Medical research responds to this challenge with the only approach available: medicinal drugs or painkillers. These drugs have an effect on the central nervous system, which contains pain receptors. When A Leaf of Faith was released on Netflix, iTunes, and Google Play on May 29th, everyone was finally able to see all of these arguments by themselves.
Bell supports this medication because it assisted him majorly with his pain management, and he would like to see it researched more. This could be a fantastic choice, he believes. According to the current analysis and customer experiences, there are more benefits to this product than drawbacks according to him.
Finding A Solution For The Dangers Of Opioids
According to a medical representative who was consulted for the documentary, he took Kratom in various doses to properly grasp its effects, and the only side effect he suffered from was constipation, unlike opioids.
Also, according to the chief executive of botanical research, who deals with the import and export of herbal medicines such as this one, an overdose of the substance is unlikely to kill anybody. According to him, anyone who eats more than the recommended amount would feel a bit more “enthusiastic,” making it theoretically safe to consume and a perfect alternative for opioids.
What To Gain From This Documentary?
Some viewers will see the big bad government or big pharma in A Leaf of Faith, and others will see hippies or addicts desperate for a different cure. Finally, there is much to take away from this film and much to think about in terms of how we handle pain and patients who have been addicted to opioids. Even if this is not someone’s favourite approach for a documentary, it does not detract from the content of the film or the point made. We will advise someone who is involved to watch the documentary and make their own decision.
User Reviews On IMDB
Thousands have already watched it, and the majority of the reviews given on IMDB show great support to the documentary. The most liked review states
“Kris really put together a fantastic film. We in the Kratom community are fighting every day to STOP this schedule 1 FDA ban. The FDA is pushing nothing but false Information and bogus claims about this plant. This documentary will open so many people’s eyes and help the world see how amazing Kratom is. So for that, we thank you! Regardless if you know what Kratom is or not, you should watch this video and learn about natural medicine. Somebody in your family or one of your friends can use this to help if they suffer from pain, anxiety, depression ETC.”
An Overall POV
Bell was able to create an engaging and, most importantly, convincing documentary. In a storyline of nature vs science and the people’s will vs the DEA, he was able to combine emotion and satire. Even though the film is only 86 minutes long, we believe it would have been easier if it had been 80 or even 75 minutes long because it drags a bit in the middle.
Many of the various points are presented to us, and then they are repeated several times before Bell goes on to the next part of the plot. Bell is obviously a true believer, and as a result, he has focused a bit more on the characters who were in support of the plant, which can be a weakness of the A Leaf of Faith documentary for some viewers.
Our Point Of View On The Documentary
In this documentary, both the positive and negative aspects of Kratom are explored objectively. It seems to have a lot of promise and some possible hope. It is essential to recognise that there will be certain drawbacks to everything. What we ought to see is if such drawbacks are worth absolutely excluding this substance and opting to use one that has been shown to be fatal. We do not believe so.
Bell did an excellent job interviewing consumers who had interesting stories to share about this commodity. Many people who served and spoke out about it made some very good arguments.
The documentary is beautifully composed. Everything, such as the discussions, the study conducted and its conclusions, and the experimental data presented, is discussed in such a manner that any audience will appreciate it. It also provided animation with explanations of the mechanisms at intervals to help the viewer understand how it operates and what it’s all about.
Bell was effective in providing accurate knowledge related to kratom. For those who are considering using it, his arguments in this A Leaf of Faith documentary are simple to grasp. He has gathered all of the facts about the herb into one documentary, complete with detailed descriptions and proofs.
We believe it would be foolish to continue using a substance that we now understand is very dangerous and has resulted in many fatalities in the United States, let alone around the world, because of the possible dangers. However, more research is needed so that we can integrate and normalise it into the lives of individuals who are actually using lethal pain medication.
And maybe in a few years, this will be turned into a legitimate drug approved by FDA after passing all the required tests, obviously. It could be time-consuming and expensive, but the data suggests that its benefits are much more than its disadvantages. Kratom has potential and could be beneficial.
Overall, the majority has positive things to say about the documentary. In fact, part two was about to begin production before COVID arrived. Go watch the first part if you have not already. If you have watched it and have yet to leave a review, show your support for them as well as the kratom community by reviewing it today!