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What Is Kratom? Properties, Legal Status, and Effects of Kratom

What Is Kratom

Mitragyna Speciosa (a.k.a. “Kratom”)

Kratom, known scientifically as Mitragyna speciosa, is a tropical evergreen tree in the coffee family. It is native to Southeast Asia — specifically Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea, though the common name “kratom” comes from Thailand.

Mitragyna speciosa has been used in traditional and folk medicine for centuries. However, kratom’s “status quo” is changing as it grows in popularity. Today, it’s largely used as a homeopathic remedy.

The Mitragyna speciosa plant itself can grow to a height of about 82 ft. The trunk generally grows straight and can grow to about 3 feet in diameter. The tree also has smooth, gray outer bark. The leaves – known as “kratom leaves” – are dark green and glossy. Kratom leaves are about 5.5 to 8 inches long, and about 3 to 5 inches wide when fully open. These leaves are oval in shape, narrowing to a point at one end. You can also spot flowers growing from the end of kratom brances, but these flowers aren’t used to craft kratom products.

You can find many kratom products, but there are two extremely popular kratom commodities:

  1. Kratom Powder
  2. Kratom Capsules

These kratom product can be ordered online. At Kratom Spot, you’ll also find more than just kratom powder and capsules. In fact, we carry:

What Is Kratom Used For?

The FDA has not cleared kratom for medicinal use. However, users treat kratom like an herbal supplement and have ascribed a wide range of applications to the plant. Kratom is often used homeopathically.

The Different Types of Kratom Powder

Mitragyna speciosa is known for its three primary color strains:

Red vein kratom products are generally known for their relaxation effects, while white vein kratom products are generally known for uplifting, energizing effects. But what about green vein kratom? This third kratom strain is known to be a hybrid of red vein and white vein, meaning you’ll receive middle-of-the-road effects, reminiscent of both red and white vein kratom.

You can also purchase your kratom by regional variety. Different regions are known for producing different types of kratom, varying in potency, strength, color, and more. These regional varieties include:

Kratom Effects on the Body: What Does Kratom Do?

Kratom is known to offer physiological and homeopathic effects. Kratom leaves naturally contain a plethora of alkaloid compounds, but there are two very important alkaloids:

  • Mitragynine
  • 7-α-Hydroxymitragynine

These alkaloids interact with receptors found in the nervous system, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The NIDA has also noted that, in small doses, users have reported “increased energy, sociability, and alertness.”

Is Kratom Legal?

Kratom and the Mitragyna speciosa plant is legal in most of the United States. It can be purchased in head shops or online. It is not regulated at the federal level, though the FDA has publicly voiced concerns about the drug’s risks.

There are 44 recorded deaths associated with kratom use, usually when used in combination with other drugs or when the kratom was mixed with preservatives, its purity compromised. At Kratom Spot, we guarantee that all of our kratom products are third-party lab tested prior to sale. This is so we can guarantee our products are free from chemicals, fillers, preservatives, and other potentially harmful byproducts.

States and counties are allowed to ban kratom at their own discretion. Kratom’s legality is in a constant state of flux, with rules and regulations changing quickly and frequently.

Kratom Ban in the United States

Kratom is banned in Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Vermont, Rhode Island, Washington D.C., and Ohio. While some states have legalized kratom, it may still be banned in certain cities, such as San Diego, while it is otherwise legal in the state of California.

The DEA announced in 2016 that it intended to make kratom a schedule 1 substance, but it did not end up scheduling kratom at all. Why? Because kratom users showed an outpouring of support for kratom after the DEA’s announcement.

Kratom Bans Outside of the United States

Kratom, in most of the world, is controlled, illegal, or banned. The ASEAN, a group of 10 Southeast Asian states including Thailand and Malaysia, where kratom is native, no longer allow kratom in traditional medicines and health supplements traded across ASEAN countries.

Thailand itself has outlawed the possession of kratom leaves, and it is illegal to plant kratom. While the government has considered legalizing kratom, it has yet to do so.

In Malaysia, possession of Mitragyna Speciosa (kratom) leaves is prohibited.

In Canada, kratom can not be marketed for ingestion but can be marketed for other uses, such as burning as incense.

Mitragyna speciosa is controlled in Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Sweden, and is prohibited in the UK. In Ireland, it is the highest schedule of drugs.

It is also controlled in Australia and New Zealand.

Is Kratom Safe?

It is essential for kratom users to have pure, high-quality products that contain no additives, preservatives, or fillers. Impure or contaminated kratom, or combining kratom with other substances, can lead to unintended effects.  Use in moderation, and discuss dosages and how to brew kratom tea with your doctor.

There are also some potential for side effects, including nausea, itching, sweating, dry mouth, constipation, increased urination, loss of appetite, seizures, hallucinations, and even psychosis.

Existing studies have also not definitively proven that kratom has any medical properties or uses. Choosing to use kratom is a personal decision that can only be made at your discretion. Potential users should be sure to talk with their doctors before doing so. Make sure it will not interact negatively with any other drugs or prescription medication you are currently taking.