Kratom — a simple plant with a complicated story.
Some say ingesting its leaves cures their addiction and health issues. Others claim it leads to addiction and death.
The mixed press and commentary lead us to ask — what are the facts? Is kratom legal in the U.S.?
Keep reading to get a better understanding of kratom and it’s legality.
What Is Kratom?
What we know as kratom is the leaves from the tree Mitragyna speciosa. It grows in Southeast Asia and is similar to that of the coffee tree.
It’s become a plant of interest because of the alkaloids, or organic compounds, found in the leaves. There are tons of them, but the two main ones that seem to affect us are mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine.
These two alkaloids may act on our opioid receptors, among others.
Kratom leaves are typically ground up into a powder that’s ingested in capsules or as a tea. The effects of it range from energizing, pain reduction, sleep aid, and so on, depending on the dosage and strain.
Is Kratom Legal in the U.S.?
One of the main reasons it’s become a concern in the states is due to the fact that it apparently works with our opioid receptors.
We’ve been facing an opioid epidemic for several years, so officials hear that there’s potentially another similar substance on the rise and started to freak out.
Thus, the DEA put kratom on their list of drugs of concern.
It’s not federally illegal but several states have banned it, including:
- Rhode Island
Additionally, Washington D.C. and some state counties have made it illegal.
Kratom has fallen under the category of dietary supplements, so the FDA has the reins on it even though there are no federal rulings against it. In the past few years, they’ve gone after companies for selling kratom with “unsubstantiated claims” that it will treat people’s health problems.
It’s important to look at the facts and research when discussing kratom, rather than blindly believing seemingly legitimate sources.
For instance, many health and government websites claim kratom can lead to death. If you look at the facts, however, you see that these deaths mostly involved poly-drug use (i.e. using multiple substances at once).
The CDC claimed that they still couldn’t rule out poly-drug use even in the deaths reporting only kratom being involved.
So, there’s not much evidence pointing to kratom being deadly or very dangerous, like many headlines and articles suggest.
Research, in general, is limited on kratom, perhaps because of the initial resistance against it. Some research shows how kratom could have benefits due to it being involved with the opioid receptors, but most evidence is anecdotal from people who have used it to overcome addiction or health problems.
And there’s a lot of anecdotal evidence out there. Research it and you’ll see.
Regardless, if you choose to try kratom for yourself, look for a quality source like The Kratom Connection. Some of the stigmas around kratom are cases of contaminants making it into the final product, so buying from a legitimate company will keep this from happening.
Learn For Yourself
Now you can answer the question, “Is kratom legal in the U.S.?”
The next question is, “Is kratom right for me?”
The only way to find out is to keep doing your independent research from places with credible references.
And remember, legality doesn’t always equate to safety or efficiency (look at tobacco, for example, which is legal and kills at least 480,000 people per year).
Keep reading our blog to stay informed and up-to-date.