According to the estimates of scientists, there are somewhere between 10 and 15 million, if not more, American adults who use kratom.
There is an intense debate in the U.S. and throughout the world about whether kratom is an incredible plant medicine or a dangerous drug. Advocates for kratom claim that it is a much safer alternative to prescribed medications such as opioids. On the other hand, anti-kratom advocates claim that kratom has dangerous and addictive potentials.
Since there is no clear consensus on whether kratom has more benefits or more risks, the legality of kratom differs from place to place.
Is kratom legal? In some places yes, while in others it is banned. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about kratom laws and its legality.
What Is Kratom?
Kratom is a tropical evergreen plant that is a part of the coffee family. Native to Southeast Asia, this plant grows indigenously in countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, and Papua New Guinea.
People who live in regions where the plant natively grows have used kratom for a wide variety of purposes in their practices of herbal medicine. While the first written evidence of people using kratom dates back to the 19th century, it has likely been used by humans for much longer than that.
What Are the Different Types of Kratom?
There are different types of kratom both in their strain and in their color. Strains are commonly named after where they are grown. The different vein colors of kratom, white, red, and green, refer to how mature the plant was when the leaves were harvested.
So, you will find strains that are named things like Red Vein Thai kratom or White Vein Borneo kratom.
Both the strain type and the vein color dictate the type of effects that are produced when kratom is used.
White vein kratom is harvested from young trees. These leaves are known to help create an uplifting experience for users with their mild stimulant effect. When taken in lower doses, it is associated with an increased amount of alertness and energy.
Since white vein kratom is less mature, it tends to have the highest mitragynine content. This means that the effects are stronger than in other leaf vein colors, which might make it a bit intense for beginners.
Red vein kratom is harvest from mature trees and is known to have sedative effects. Some people use red vein kratom for things like pain management.
Green vein kratom is younger than red vein and older than the white vein. While it also has a stimulant effect, it isn’t as strong as in white vein kratom. Anecdotal reports claim that green vein kratom can help give you endurance and increase mental clarity.
Is Kratom Legal?
In a lot of places, kratom exists in a gray area. There is a heated debate in the U.S. and in various countries around the world about whether or not kratom should be further regulated or made completely illegal. A number of U.S. states have banned kratom even though it does remain legal at the federal level.
There was an announcement by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in 2016 that they would list kratom as a Schedule I drug. For the record, that would be it in the same category as heavy-duty substances like ecstasy, heroin, and LSD. However, that decision was withdrawn and, as of 2021, it still hasn’t been made illegal at the federal level.
So, the short answer to is kratom legal? is: yes and no. In some U.S. states, it has been banned as well as in some countries around the world. In many places, though, it remains in that gray area where it’s still technically legal but the threat of legislation against it looms as a potential in the future.
Where Is Kratom Illegal?
A number of U.S. states have passed legislation banning kratom. These are:
- Rhode Island
Many states that allow the use of kratom do have restrictions on how old a person must be to buy and consume kratom.
On top of that, some municipalities and counties have banned kratom even though it’s still legal in the state. Some of these include:
- San Diego, CA
- Some cities in Colorado including Parker Town and Monument Town, in Denver it’s only legal to sell if it’s not for human consumption
- Sarasota County, Florida
- Jerseyville City, Illinois
- A number of counties and cities in Mississippi
- Franklin City, New Hampshire
In some EU countries such as Belgium, Austria, Cyprus, and Germany, kratom is fully legal. In others, like Denmark and Estonia, it is a controlled substance. Countries like Finland, Croatia, and Bulgaria have fully banned the substance.
Is Kratom a Beneficial Supplement or a Dangerous Substance?
As you can see, there is no clear consensus on whether kratom should be freely available, highly regulated, or full-on banned. Even within certain U.S. states, kratom can be legal at the state level but illegal within certain cities or counties.
If you’re considering taking kratom, it’s worth your time to dive into some of the details of this debate. Understanding where both sides of the great kratom question are coming from can help you decide whether or not this is a substance that could be more beneficial than harmful to you. Whenever you’re taking a new supplement it can be a good idea to consult with your doctor so they can inform you of potential side effects or drug interactions.
Did you find this article answering the question “is kratom legal?” interesting? If so, be sure to check out the rest of our blog for more fascinating and informative content!