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Is Kratom a Drug?

by | Jan 21, 2021 | News | 0 comments

Is kratom a drug, a medicinal herb, a dietary supplement, a “safe food”, a tea? These terms have a whole lot to do with social perception, a little to do with legal issues, and nothing to do with science.

Kratom is a shrub that grows natively in Southeast Asia. Botanically, kratom comes from the Rubiaceae family, the same family as coffee. Kratom’s leaves are most often consumed by eating fresh or dried leaves or brewing the leaves into a tea.

Like coffee, kratom is not a substance that typically leads the people who consume it to become unproductive, unfocused, or socially dysfunctional (Singh 2015). Kratom consumed moderately seems to be no more taxing on the body than coffee. Most people can consume a fair amount of coffee with no ill effects, but for a small percentage of people, coffee and kratom have undesirable health consequences. In fact, kratom’s most active alkaloid, mitragynine, is less toxic than coffee’s main alkaloid, caffeine.

In a recent TV ad campaign, the American Kratom Association (AKA) says kratom is “not a drug” and calls it a “safe food”. There are legal reasons for this terminology, as the AKA is promoting a legal framework to protect the rights of American kratom consumers. If kratom is legally classified as a drug then it must pass through a costly, rigorous, years-long procedure through the Food and Drug Administration in order to be available on the market. This process is only available to large pharmaceutical corporations. This is why the drug Epidiolex costs $13,000 per year per patient with epilepsy, and the product of dubious distinction, CBD, costs one tenth that amount, even though Epidiolex and CBD are the same substance. A food coming from a plant, like coffee or tea, would not have to endure rigorous regulatory processes in order to be sold.


Kratom has not been evaluated by the FDA. We make no claims that kratom cures, prevents, or treats any disease or ailment. All information on the website is for educational purposes only. Keep this product out of the reach of children. Kratom is not a dietary supplement, but a precise amount of an ingredient sold as a raw materials and/or bulk herbs. All information provided has not been evaluated by the FDA and all kratom products on this site are sold for horticultural, educational, and scientific use. This product is for use and handling only by those with the knowledge and equipment to safely handle this ingredient. You agree to release us for any adverse effects that may arise from improper handling and/or consumption of this product. You certify that you are at least 18 years of age and that you agree with this disclaimer.

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