Directed by Chris Bell and David Baca, Jr., A Leaf of Faith explores the legal issues of, and personal use of ‘Kratom’—also known as Mitragyna speciosa, a tree in the coffee family native to Southeast Asia.
Various and sundry concoctions are made from the plant’s leaves, and are consumed for recreational and medicinal purposes. The highest profile use, though, is to replace opioid drugs—and in the withdrawal of same.
Bell is our host as he interviews a cornucopia of interested parties speaking on crucial issues of safety, effectiveness, and regulation. The take-away appears to be an acceptance of some measure of regulation, and a blanket objection to the proposal of damning the leaf as a Category One substance along with heroine. The film’s aspiration is that research of the plant’s physiological impacts will help find a balanced regulatory approach that makes Kratom available to those who want or need it for their well being—especially in the treatment of pain and addiction.