Kratom, an herbal supplement originally from Southeast Asia, has garnered attention for its reported ability to boost energy, alleviate pain, and help with anxiety and depression. However, despite its widespread availability, this substance poses significant health risks.  

Here’s what you need to know about Kratom to protect yourself and your loved ones. 

What is Kratom? 

Kratom is a tropical tree native to Southeast Asia, and its leaves can produce stimulant effects in low doses and sedative effects in high doses. It has traditionally been used in countries like Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia to treat addictions, boost energy levels, and provide pain relief when consumed as whole leaves or brewed into tea. 

In the United States, Kratom has gained widespread popularity, with an estimated 1.7 million Americans aged 12 and older using it in 2021. Kratom products are available online and in stores, primarily for oral consumption in forms such as powders, pills, gummies, teas, and extracts.  

However, it’s important to note that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved any uses for Kratom and has issued warnings about its safety. 

What is Kratom commonly used for in the United States? 

Many Americans are turning to Kratom to self-treat a range of health conditions such as coughing, diarrhea, anxiety, and depression. Originally used for medicinal purposes, Kratom’s short-term pain-relieving effects make it appealing. Some brands market their Kratom products as energy and focus boosters for pre-workout purposes, while others highlight Kratom’s relaxation benefits. 

In addition, some studies suggest that Kratom could help with pain management as a non-addictive alternative to opioids. Many individuals also view Kratom as a potential remedy for opioid withdrawal, believing its pain-relieving properties can ease tough withdrawal symptoms. 

However, there are conflicting expert opinions on Kratom use. While some praise its benefits during opioid withdrawal, critics warn that Kratom might trigger overdose and relapse. There are concerns that regular Kratom use could lead to substance addiction. 

It’s important to note that much of the current research on Kratom has been based on self-reports and observational studies rather than controlled clinical settings. Further investigation is necessary to confirm Kratom’s effectiveness and safety. 

Why is Kratom usage currently under investigation? 

Kratom has potential risks and side effects that should not be overlooked. 

Although some users report positive benefits from using Kratom, there may be short-term effects like nausea, constipation, dizziness, and a dry mouth. The lack of government oversight means Kratom products can vary in content, sometimes containing other chemicals and plants that lead to unpredictable side effects. 

For example, severe symptoms have been reported among Kratom users, including psychiatric, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and respiratory issues. There are also documented cases of prolonged use leading to seizures, stomach ulcers, liver complications, and fatalities. 

While it’s not definitive whether Kratom alone can lead to an overdose, combining it with other substances like alcohol, sedatives, and opioids can significantly increase the risk of death. 

What restrictions apply to Kratom use? 

In 2014, the FDA issued an import alert for dietary supplements and bulk dietary ingredients containing Kratom, declaring it unfit for consumption as a drug, dietary supplement, or food additive in the United States. 

However, Kratom products are not regulated at the national level, which makes them easily accessible. That’s why several states have implemented bans and restrictions on Kratom use: 

  • Alabama categorized Kratom as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, like heroin and marijuana, and banned it in 2016.  
  • Georgia established quality and safety standards for manufacturers in 2019. In addition, it’s illegal for anyone under 18 to possess Kratom, and selling it to someone under 18 is a misdemeanor.  
  • Texas now requires Kratom manufacturers to register their products and provide certificates of analysis from an independent third-party laboratory to ensure compliance with the law.  

To learn more about your state’s Kratom laws, including bans, age limits, or any restrictions in your county or city, visit this link

How can you protect yourself from Kratom’s harmful effects? 

  • Provide your loved ones with accurate information about kratom, emphasizing its life-threatening impacts and the limited research on its efficacy. 
  • If you choose to purchase a Kratom product, try to purchase it from a reliable and trusted business. 
  • Never mix Kratom with other substances. Reported overdoses often involve Kratom contaminated with opioids like fentanyl. 
  • Never consume Kratom alone; have a sober companion present in case of an emergency.  

If you or a loved one have suffered an injury from the adverse effects of Kratom use, we strongly recommend contacting a qualified personal injury attorney as soon as possible. A skilled lawyer will fight for you and make sure a negligent Kratom company is held responsible for the harm you suffered. 

The majority of the information for this article was sourced from Please consult with your doctor(s) before making any medical decisions.