Find the Status of Kratom Ban in USA - Kratom Legality

Making a new appearance on the recreational drug scene in recent years, Kratom has a long history of consumption in ancient Southeast Asia. The kratom plant, scientifically known as Mitragyna speciosa, belongs to the same family of plants such as gardenias and coffee. Ancient Southeast Asians used kratom as a herbal remedy to treat some ailments. Tea brewed from kratom’s leaves was majorly used in pain management, as well as staving off fatigue. Today, kratom is used worldwide for its stimulant effects as well as an opioid substance. You can learn more about kratom effects & kratom side effects to find the best which is legal and suitable for your medical condition.

Kratom Legality Map

However, safety issues raised by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) have made kratom to be listed as a drug of concern. Most countries have legalized kratom apart from a few nations such as Malaysia, the United Kingdom, and Thailand (, 2019). Other countries have all kratom related activities regulated, but the drug is not illegal. In the United States, there has been a battle over the legality of kratom having the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an advisory about the drug, claiming it had multiple deadly risks on public health.

Before going toward the status of kratom legality in different states of USA. Let’s have a look at a brief discussion on the benefits and risks of kratom use.

Benefits and Risks of Kratom Use

Kratom is frequently sold to its consumers as a natural remedy or dietary supplement online or in smoke shops. Typically, the drug is ingested as an oral pill, chewed in its leaves form, smoked or brewed in tea. While some people use kratom for medicinal purposes such as pain-relieving, depression, or opioid withdrawal symptoms, others use the drug for recreational purposes. While kratom use may be beneficial, the drug may pose risks to the health of subject individuals.

Benefits of Kratom Use

Kratom has widely been used for its sedative as well as stimulant effects. The drug has been used as a substitute for opiate users to combat withdrawal symptoms. Additionally, the drug has been widely used to treat fatigue and muscle aches. What makes a better summary of kratom uses than its use as an anorectic, immunostimulant, anti-diabetic, antihypertensive, antidiarrheal, and an anti-leukemic drug? These uses of the drug date back from the ancient

Kratom has two primary compounds responsible for its opioid agonist effects, 7-alpha-hydroxymitragynine mitragynine. The two compounds cause the opiate effects of sedation, pleasure-giving, as well as pain reduction especially when kratom is taken in large quantities. Additionally, mitragynine interacts with receptors in the subject individual’s brain to yield stimulant effects. In its low dosages, kratom benefits its user with increased alertness, focus, energy, as well as attention.

Risks of Kratom Use

Kratom has narcotic effects similar to morphine when taken in excessive dosages. The latter results in addiction. In most cases of addiction, the subject individual uses the drug for it’s pleasant as well as high mellow effects. Additionally, the use of kratom with other psychoactive substances proves to be detrimental to the subject individual’s health. Reports on seizure have been made for kratom’s abusers. Also, the intake of kratom in higher doses result in more common opiate effects as well as a mild euphoria.

Diaphoresis, constipation, hypotension, tremors, psychosis, stupor and respiratory depression can be developed out of excessive dosages of kratom (Christina et al., 2019). In severe cases, hepatic, neurological, pulmonary, cardiac, cellular, and thyroid injuries may be recorded, having death as the worst of the effects of kratom use.

Is Kratom Safe?

One of the questions that have been in the public domain as well as health departments in the United States is about the safety of the kratom drug. Currently, there is limited research on the protection of kratom usage. The safety of the drug can, however, be based on the drug’s impact after use. A review of the positive and negative effects of the use of kratom can help shed light on the safety of the drug. From the previously discussed benefits and risks of kratom use, inferences can be drawn. The most prominent conclusion made is that kratom is an addictive substance that might cause addiction among its users.

Additionally, kratom has been described to have a similar quantity of alkaloids as hallucinogenic mushrooms and opium, a component medically unsafe (Christina et al., 2019). There is no doubt that several nations have banned kratom due to the assumed effects, having other countries regulate their use. Notably, this follows conclusions that the adverse impacts of kratom supersede its overall benefits thus rendering the drug unsafe.

The FDA and DEA on Kratom Ban

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), have both raised grave concerns about the use of kratom in the United States. The two bodies have been at the forefront in the search for restriction of kratom use. The DEA in 2013 made a statement claiming that there lacks legitimate medical purpose for kratom. Three years later, the DEA had a significant plan of listing the drug as a Schedule I controlled substance just like heroin. However, kratom advocates made the DEAs efforts futile having its plan withdrawn.

Similarly, the FDA has shown similar concerns over the safety of kratom and the lack of evidence on the drug’s safe treatment of opioid withdrawal. Salmonella contamination on some kratom products had the FDA issue a mandatory recall on the subject products. However, the American Kratom Association has solicited aid from the general public as well as advocates to oppose efforts by the DEA and FDA in the restriction of the drug.

Through personal experience and other sources, my point is that kratom is a natural substance having multiple benefits which is threatening to pharmaceutical companies profits and FDA approved medicines. Big Pharma is behind all this controversy.

Kratom Legality by States in the United States

In most of the countries worldwide, kratom remains legal with just a few nations banning all kratom-related activities. Other nations have put regulatory measures on the importation and sale of the drug. With the FDA and DEA impact on the illegalization of kratom, the United States is taking a similar pattern towards regulation and banning of kratom.

However, the two-tier legal system, the federal and state level of governance, have made the regulation as well as the ban on kratom a hard nut to crack. Also, the United States has many agencies involved in public health care policy development thus making it difficult to impose a nationwide ban on kratom (, 2019).

Despite that, six states in America have imposed a ban on the possession and purchase of kratom. They include Alabama, Indiana, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Vermont. Additionally, the United States Armed Forces members are prohibited from the use of kratom. With the current legal status and war on kratom, the ban on kratom will be imposed in most of the states in America if not all in a few years to come.


Kratom is legal in Ohio as of February 2019. There was an alleged raid on kratom sellers in the state last year. However, authorities said that was partial action against the sellers who failed to comply with Ohio laws about kratom sale.


Kratom is legal in Texas as of January 2019 without any restrictions. Texas state never tried to ban kratom before the reported date. So one can buy, sell, process, possess or distribute kratom freely.

New York

New York proves more open-minded towards kratom until now. There is no legislation pending about kratom ban. However, a Senate bill dated October 20, 2017, asserts that buyers should show their ID cards to prove that they are above 18 years of age. This bill shows a limited restriction to limit this drug sale to only adults.


It is also legal to sell, possess or distribute kratom in Georgia. This Senate bill allows people to buy or sell kratom in the state freely.

North Carolina

As of February 2018, Kratom is legal to be sold, possessed and distributed in North Carolina. As per local laws in NC, kratom can be sold to individuals above 18 years of age. Rather than prohibiting the drug in the whole state, it only restricts sale to adults only.


Arizona allowed the sale of kratom drug and lifted the ban on kratom in Nov 2018. Therefore there are 2 substances which are banned throughout the Arizona state.


Kratom is sold and bought in California without any restrictions except the city of San Diego. Currently, there seems almost no chances that this restriction will spread out to the rest of the state.


FDA is not a bigger fan of kratom, but apart from that, they have prepared a bill to keep kratom legal in Utah.


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