The wide variety in kratom laws among American states is striking. Some ban the herb completely, while others keep it legal but put in place strict regulations to ensure its quality, It available in Mitwellness. The American Kratom Association (AKA) has a law map with the specific laws of each state and territory, and it’s a great resource to use when researching how different jurisdictions treat kratom.
The plant kratom comes from the Mitragyna tree in Southeast Asia, where it’s been used for centuries. Its leaves contain alkaloids that produce calming and energizing effects. The most well-researched of these are mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, which bind to opioid receptors in the brain and produce similar pharmacological effects to those produced by prescription pain relievers such as codeine and morphine. However, kratom’s psychoactive properties are less potent than those of opioids and have far fewer side effects.
Despite these benefits, the DEA’s proposed reclassification of kratom as a Schedule I drug in August 2016 sparked intense public and political opposition. A petition to the White House received over 130,000 signatures, and legislators from both parties sent letters urging the DEA to reconsider its decision.
In the end, a combination of factors led the DEA to rescind its proposed ban in December 2021. The reversal was an unprecedented one and signals that the DEA is more willing to listen to the public and legislators on this issue.
Although the reversal doesn’t mean that the herb will be decriminalized or legalized, it does provide hope that further research into kratom and its uses will be supported. While kratom can be addictive, it’s less dangerous than many prescription drugs and black-market narcotics. In fact, some people who use kratom to treat opioid use disorder report that it helps with their addiction symptoms.
Medical professionals contacted by the Pilot & Today expressed mixed opinions on recommending kratom to their patients. Two doctors cited difficulties with finding clean and high-quality kratom and the risk of side effects when not dosed correctly. Another doctor cited the difficulty of finding enough clinical evidence to support the safety of kratom.
It’s also important to remember that kratom can interact with other medications, so it’s always best to consult a health care professional before starting any new supplement or herb. If you do choose to use kratom, be sure to take it in moderation and only from trusted sources. Also, be aware that some states have harsh possession penalties that can lead to jail time for possessing the herb.