Is Kratom legal? Is Kratom illegal? It's hard to keep up with all the laws regarding this product, so we have created a page where you can access the most up to date information about Kratom products and legality. From Maeng Da to Bali, we take a closer look at Kratom laws in your state and across the country.
There are a number of individuals in the United States who seek out forms of medical care and healing outside of the traditional practices. According to data collected by the Centers for Disease Control in the National Health Institute Survey, it was found that 36% of patients in the United States use some form of complementary and alternative medicine.
Upon closer examination, the survey found that 19% of those polled admitted using natural products consistently for self-managing personal wellness. One of those natural products that has risen to gain some national attention is the herb known as kratom, for sale most commonly in the form of powder or kratom capsules.
Known by its scientific name of mitragyna speciosa, kratom is a tropical tree from Southeast Asia that was consumed as part of traditional medicine there going back to the middle of the 19th century. The leaves were chewed as a way to increase appetite and provide musculoskeletal pain relief. Another application was in extract form where a sweetener was added to relieve intestinal discomfort and coughs.
In 1943, it was deemed illegal to plant kratom trees by the Thai government and in 1979 was classified under the Narcotics Act B.E. 2522 as a Category V drug in the same vein as marijuana. But last year, the Thai government relented and legalized kratom for medicinal use after three failed attempts in 2004, 2009 ad 2013.
Kratom has gained attention in the United States particularly through its use as an herbal supplement, with the first noticeable signs of it in the country around 2010. Individuals began to buy kratom online, at times under different names such as ithang and baik, and in different varieties such as maeng da kratom and others.
The Drug Enforcement Administration began to monitor kratom use over the course of a five-year period period, working closely with the Food and Drug Administration. During this period, the CDC took note of numerous reports of kratom-related poisonings and deaths. As kratom powder became more available, safety became a legitimate concern.
The monitoring prompted the DEA to announce their intent on August 30, 2016 to place those kratom materials that were in use under Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act in the interest of preventing a hazard to public safety. This announcement meant that they were not obliged to consider public comment regarding the decision of whether kratom is safe or not. A bipartisan letter from the Senate pleaded with the DEA to reconsider kratom legality, which was coupled with the outcry from those individuals who were using kratom to combat their ills including those attempting to kick opioid addiction.
There still is some opposition to kratom’s appeal growing on a nationwide basis. As of late 2018, the FDA warned consumers to not use kratom and any products that contain it, citing a need for more time to evaluate it. At the same time they issued a statement urging that consumers dispose of whatever kratom products that they have.
Further studies on kratom were conducted by various institutions in 2017 going forward that showed possible benefits of kratom in providing relief to those addicted to opioids, but without the harmful side effects that can occur with opioid abuse such as respiratory depression, which is a leading cause of death in those who abuse pharmaceutical pain killers.
There are those scientists who feel that more studies are needed, and have been encouraged by the National Institute on Drug Abuse to do more research into kratom’s possibie benefits with other health conditions such as chronic pain for example. While this research is ongoing, the DEA ruling stands.
Currently, cities and states are wrangling with the issue kratom laws and regulation, with six states (Vermont, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Indiana and Alabama) declaring it illegal. But other states are dealing with feedback on the use of kratom, with legislative bills being presented for review and approval by council.
It remains to be seen how the national landscape will continue to evolve, but you can learn more about your kratom laws in your state by using the map at the top of the page, or by finding your state’s kratom laws below.