Kratom is a substance made from the leaves of an evergreen tree that grows in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Papua New Guinea.

It’s become a popular plant, as different strains seem to relieve pain, increase mental acuity, and provide relief from insomnia. However, it’s become a largely-debated substance in terms of legality, potentially due to a lack of research and misuse of the plant.

Keep reading to find out the answer to “is kratom legal” so that you can stay informed and within the law.

Is Kratom Legal On the Federal Level?

The DEA lists kratom as a “drug of concern” but there is no law against it at the federal level. There aren’t any FDA-approved uses of the substance, either, and they have been working hard to bust false advertisements and dangerous products mixed with kratom.

So, kratom is federally legal. There have been attempts to criminalize the substance in the past but none have prevailed.

This is likely due to a lack of research as well as misrepresentation from statistics. For example, the CDC put out a report saying that there were 91 kratom-related deaths in an 18-month span of data. News headlines ran with this information and many states began making their own laws banning the use of the plant.

However, 84 of the deaths had multiple drugs in their systems, There were only 7 people who tested positive for kratom alone.

Still, the CDC said that they couldn’t rule out polydrug use.

So, it’s likely that kratom has gotten a bad rap due to the fact that it seems to be dangerous when combined with other substances, not because it’s dangerous in and of itself. This also highlights the importance of buying from a credible, trustworthy source to make sure there are no other drugs present in the product.

States and Localities Where Kratom Is Illegal

  • At this time, there are 6 states that have chosen to make kratom illegal. This includes:
  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Indiana
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Wisconsin

Additionally, certain local governments have put up arms to kratom use. This includes:

  • Alton and Jerseyville, Illinois
  • Columbus and Union County, Mississippi
  • Denver, Colorado
  • San Diego, California
  • Sarasota County, Florida

These locations all have laws banning kratom use. Oftentimes, kratom isn’t listed as the substance that’s illegal. Rather, it’s the active ingredients in kratom that lawmakers target. This typically includes mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine.

This is an effort to ban kratom as well as its extractions that only have the active components.

A Potential Solution

Banning substances, especially plant substances like kratom, before having proper research keeps people from potentially feeling relief from their physical ailments. This is what happened with cannabis, which we’re now realizing might have a wide range of beneficial effects.

Plus, making kratom illegal can have potentially harmful byproducts.

For example, if people aren’t able to purchase kratom at the store, they may be driven to buy it off the streets, leading to more contaminations as well as unwanted drugs added to the powder.

An alternative that many states are taking is the Kratom Consumer Protection Act. This legislation holds every person in the kratom manufacturing and distribution process accountable, preventing false advertisements or harmful additives in products.

This seems to be a better approach, as it still allows people to get the potential benefits of the plant and encourages more research to be done.

Stay Safe and Informed

While kratom is legal in most parts of the U.S., it’s important to research laws in your area to make sure you won’t get in trouble.

If you want to try kratom yourself, be sure to look for trusted sources that offer high-quality, contaminant-free products (ie. If you keep in mind that kratom can become dangerous when used with other substances and research the legality in your area, you can be a safe, law-abiding citizen while seeing if it provides relief for you.

Keep reading our blog for more health-related information.