Is Kratom Dangerous?
Like all things, there are dangers to using kratom. If you have a preexisting condition, take an overdose, consume it with other substances or take it excessively, then you run a risk of developing a number of problems. You may also be allergic to it and simply have a reaction.
However, for short-term, occasional use of small doses, you should not encounter any problems. If you are going to use it then start low, learn how your body reacts to it and then take things from there.
The strain of kratom and the method of ingestion will change the recommended dose, so it is important to pay attention to the label. If you bought from a reputable supplier then this should be displayed quite plainly on the front or back of the packaging.
Typically, a starting dose will be somewhere from 1 grams to 3 grams and regular users will take as much as 5 grams in order to experience a stronger hit. To begin with, you should always start low and see how you respond to it.
Is Kratom Illegal?
The lawmakers of the world have generally taken a very relaxed standpoint on kratom, and it has been legal for many years in many countries. However, after the issues caused by bath salts and synthetic cannabis, there was a push to criminalize many formerly legal drugs and in some countries (listed below) kratom was a victim of these changes.
Is Kratom Legal in the US?
In 2016 the DEA announced that it would be temporarily reclassifying kratom as a schedule I drug, which would be putting it in line with drugs like heroin. This move, they hoped, would help to stop the sale of legal drugs in the United States. However, as you can imagine, the public were in uproar. Kratom users got together and demonstrated against the move, after which they seemed to change their mind (for now at least).
The move to schedule I would have meant that the DEA saw absolutely no medical benefits to kratom and also considered it to be highly addictive. This is not entirely untrue, but the people who use the drug as an occasional anxiety relief and to help with opiate addiction would likely argue against that.
As things stand, kratom is legal in most American states, with only a couple of exceptions and grey areas. The main one of these seems to be Indiana, where it appears to be illegal. There are also a couple of states that are forced to label it as “not for human consumption”.
Countries Where Kratom is Illegal
Kratom is legal in more countries than it is illegal. That’s good news for the people who consume it regularly, but bad news for anyone in these “illegal kratom” countries. The countries that have criminalized kratom (that we know of) include:
However, it’s worth noting that some of these bans have been politically motivated and have little to do with any perceived dangers. There are also countries where the legality is a bit go a grey area, including:
- New Zealand
Countries Where Kratom is Legal
This list would actually include most countries in the world, because kratom seems to be legal in the majority of them. It would also be an ever-changing list as countries change their stance, clamping down when they feel like it and letting go when they feel the weight of medical and public pressure.
It is legal in the UK, most of the US and across most of Europe, albeit with some grey areas and illegal statuses in Scandinavia.
Kratom and Alcohol
Kratom has been recommended as a treatment for alcohol withdrawals by many former addicts. However, it may not be as effective here as it is in treating opiate withdrawals (which, as we have discussed on our kratom and opioid page, is not even that effective). The fact that it may cause damage to the liver when used in excessive quantities, combined with the emotional effects in the hangover symptoms, the potential for addiction and more, means that we can’t recommend it for such purposes.
However, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work, just that there are better options out there and that it’s not something you should take without consulting a medical professional first.
There are several mainstream media reports of kratom overdoses and these seem to have increased over the years as it has become more widely available. In fact, over 250 cases are reported each year in the US. The simple fact is that legal drugs are often, and incorrectly, thought to be completely safe. Combined with the increase in kratom strengths (thanks to cultivation and extraction techniques) this is causing a number of worrying incidents.
There is no kratom overdose threshold as such. We all respond differently and everything from tolerance to genetics will determine what is a safe dose for you. To make sure you avoid this, you should begin with a very small dose and then build from there, finding your recreational limit and your safe limit.
If you experience any of the following symptoms after consuming kratom, then seek medical attention immediately:
- Fast Heartbeat
- Extreme Drowsiness
If you find a reputable dealer and get a good product, then your risks of developing serious issues also decrease because you know you’re getting a genuine product. Speaking of which…
Legal Kratom Vendors
The industry is always changing and what can be a legitimate and trusted supplier one minute can be out of business the next. As a result, we’re not going to list any vendors. but we do have some advice on finding the right ones:
- Don’t base your decision on who has the top ranking on Google (including ads and organic positions).
- Google the names of companies, followed by “reviews” before trusting them.
- Ignore what the affiliate reviews have to say as they are biased.
- Make sure the kratom comes from a reputable manufacturer and region.
- Read reviews on respected communities.
- Place small orders first.