The legality of kratom is a very hot topic in the media these days. There has been so much discussion and state-specific legislation, in fact, that it’s likely more will have changed even in the few days between when this is written and when it is posted on our blog! But we’ll do the best we can to answer the question: Is Kratom Legal?
Why Is Kratom In Danger of Being Made Illegal?
If most of what you know about kratom comes from forums and advocacy sites sharing its many purported therapeutic benefits, it’s likely you’re asking yourself why this seeming miracle plant is facing the threat of scheduling (meaning it would be viewed like heroin, cocaine, and – federally – marijuana). From the point of view of a kratom supporter, this is a very good question and most patients who have been helped by kratom, and their families and friends, are wondering the same thing.
Unfortunately, it’s the way in which kratom provides all this health assistance that is causing this black mark to its reputation: it is categorized as an opioid agonist, and it would seem simply having the word “opioid” in its classification is means for suspicion.
Why is Kratom’s Association with Opioids a Problem?Suspicion is not bad, in and of itself. You should always be careful about any new substance you are putting into your body – given the number of poisonous and deadly plants out there, it’s clear that natural does not immediately equal safe.
Why Are Opioids Dangerous?
Opioids are medications. They are prescribed to help people deal with pain, and in a lot of cases they work really well. The problem is, once you’ve been using opioids for awhile, your body naturally develops a tolerance and requires a higher dose to feel the same relief. This goes for pretty much every substance that affects us chemically – you probably need stronger coffee – or a second cup – these days if you’ve been having a daily shot of caffeine for the past ten years.
Kratom, which acts a lot like opioids but has some clear molecular differences, will also require higher doses over time (unless you do regular cleanses or really minimize your exposure). It also may prove to be a bit addictive (there isn’t much research yet, but the little bit that exists suggests it’s considerably less addictive than opioids). The difference – and it’s a big one – is opioids can cause respiratory failure leading to death. Kratom cannot.
Who Wants To Schedule Kratom?
Many scientists have weighed in on the issue of kratom’s safety and a lot of them have pointed out that kratom on its own does not cause death; and yet, the FDA continues to raise the number of “kratom deaths”. The fact that almost all the deceased had other drugs in their system (and one apparently suffered a gunshot wound to the chest) doesn’t seem to alter the organization’s stance that kratom poses major health risks and should be banned. As we’ve seen with cannabis, banning a product doesn’t just keep it from people who need it, it makes it incredibly difficult for institutions to run the very tests that could clear its name.
Whether you believe the at least potentially erroneous statements are due to poor research or a deliberate smear campaign against kratom, it’s clear that legislators are listening – while kratom remains legal on a federal level, seven states have banned sale of the product (which unfortunately means we can’t ship there).
Which States Have Banned Kratom?The following states have banned the sale of kratom:
Rhode Island (very recently)
Elsewhere, kratom remains legal for the time being, though some cities have placed municipal bans on the product:
- Washington, D.C.
- San Diego, CA
- Jerseyville, IL
- Sarasota County, FL
Recently, Denver, Colorado (yes, the birthplace of recreational marijuana) made kratom illegal for consumption, meaning the products must be sold with a “not for human consumption” disclaimer. Which is a good segue into…
Is Kratom Legal in Canada
Unlike the US, Canada tends to have fairly firm federal laws that don’t vary much from province to province (again, take cannabis for example). Throughout our northern neighbor, kratom is legal for sale, but not for human consumption. Like Denver, products must be labelled as such.
In case you’re wondering, all Original Harvest kratom is labelled “not for human consumption”.
Is kratom legal in your state or province? These three strains are an excellent place to begin if you’re considering treating your pain, fatigue, insomnia, or other symptoms naturally, with kratom:
- Having trouble sleeping or winding down after a hectic day? Try Bali Red Vein kratom powder.
- Green Vein Maeng Da kratom capsules help you rediscover your daytime “normal” by promoting anxiety-free, focused energy.
- Discover serious stimulation without all the questionable ingredients of an energy drink, and benefit from improved mental clarity, with White Vein Vietnam kratom leaf.
Tell us what you think: should kratom be left alone, scheduled as a medication, or banned completely? We want to hear your thoughts!