Kratom FAQ

What is kratom?

Kratom is a substance derived from a plant named Mitragyna speciosa. It’s a tropical, evergreen tree that’s native to Southeast Asia. Kratom has two main alkaloid compounds that provide its effects:

  • Mitragynine
  • 7-Hydroxymitragynine.

It’s believed that these two alkaloids act on the mu-opioid receptor as a partial agonist.

However, kratom has over 40 alkaloids that aren’t well understood. Although kratom use is not new, there have been very few in-depth studies into it’s uses and variations in its chemical composition.

What is kratom used for?

Historically, kratom was cultivated and harvested to treat various illnesses, diseases, fatigue, and increase work productivity.

Today, it’s used recreationally and being studied to potentially treat addiction, depressions, anxiety and chronic pain.

How do you pronounce kratom?

According to the Oxford dictionary, kratom is pronounced in two different ways. One way is “KRAY-tum” and the other is “KRAT-um.”

KRAY-tum uses the long “ay” sound instead of the short “a” sound. Typically, Americans will pronounce it in this manner. KRAT-um uses the short “a” sound instead of “ay.” Many languages use short “a” sounds over the long version.

Other names for kratom include: biak, kakuam, ketum, thang, thom.

What does kratom look like?

The plant itself is an evergreen tree growing up to 85 feet tall. 🌱 However, most cultivated plants are of more modest size and shrub-like. The leaves of Mitragyna speciosa look like this:

In it’s commercial form, it is most often found as green powder. Though, various forms such as capsules and tea mixes are also available.

Where does kratom come from?

Mitragyna speciosa is native to Southeast Asia, specifically: Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea and Thailand. It is also produced in the Philippines and Bali.

What are kratom’s effects?

Kratom has a wide range of reported effects. At lower doses, it is said to act as stimulant but act more like an opioid at higher doses.

What are kratom types?

The effects a person experience is said to be based on the type or strain. These types are typically named after their place of origina and further categorized by vein “color”.

Malay, Maeng Da, Bali and Borneo being the most common strains.

The different kratom colors and effects are most commonly cited as:

  • White – increased energy and euphoria.
  • Red – sedation and pain management.
  • Green – mix of properties between white and red.

Green vein kratom is the most common type.

  • Green Malay is claimed to be one of the best strains because it’s claimed balanced effects. (but it’s also the most common, take that as you will).
  • Red Bali is often cited as the pain-relieving strain.
  • Extracts or the “super” powder form is more potent and fast-acting than capsules or tea.

“Maeng da” is Lao slang for “pimp”.

It’s important to note none of these claims have been proven by the FDA, and research into differences into the effects of strains is limited.

The FDA cautions against using kratom for any reason because of the side effects, potential overdose concerns, possible health concerns, and because it hasn’t been studied in-depth.

Is kratom safe?

The short answer is no. Currently, the pharmacologic properties of kratom aren’t widely known.

The lack of studies on kratom dosage makes it hard to say what a safe amount to consume is.

Some people are *very* sensitive to and kratom and it can cause irreversible damage to the liver and kidneys in some individuals.

Where can you buy kratom?

In many places, your local headshop or smoke store is the place to look. In the United States, the FDA doesn’t regulate kratom and even gas stations sell it. The quality of gas station kratom is questionable.

If you can’t find a local, knowledgeable vendor — you can find kratom online from reputable dealers. (list coming soon)

When buying kratom online, you should purchase from a supplier within your own country to avoid cross-border issues.

How long does kratom stay in your system?


It’s not widely known how long kratom lasts in your system. It’s suspected that it has a half-life of 24 hours.

The body has to process kratom through the liver. It’s estimated that it can take up to five or six days to rid most of the kratom out of the body.

There’s some evidence to suggest it can be detectable for up to nine days depending on your use. Blood tests typically show kratom for up to several days. Urine tests can detect kratom for up to nine days.

However, it depends on many factors whether it will show up.

Does kratom show up in drug tests?

Kratom itself isn’t tested for by employers or court systems. However, this doesn’t mean your drug screen will come clean.

Kratom’s alkaloids mimic opioid properties and may show up on a drug test as another drug. This means you may test positive for an opioid drug that you haven’t taken.

What are withdrawal symptoms?

When someone stops taking a substance, withdrawal symptoms may occur. These can include physical and psychological symptoms. One of the reasons kratom is touted as dangerous by the FDA is the potential for abuse and addiction.

Some addiction symptoms that people may experience are muscle aches, tremors, runny nose, insomnia, itching, nausea, cravings for the substance, constipation, loss of appetite, heart palpitations, irritability, aggression, or emotional changes.

Kratom withdrawal symptoms onset between 12 and 24 hours of your last dose. They last anywhere from three to ten days.

Kratom Legal Status?

Since kratom isn’t very well-known, it isn’t regulated in most places. Although we attempt to maintain this page with the latest information — it’s best to check with your local authorities for current regulations.

Is Kratom illegal in the United States?

Kratom isn’t regulated by the FDA or any drug agency.

Kratom is technically not illegal at the federal level in the United States. However, some states and municipalities have banned the use of kratom and some states have imposed age limits on kratom.

Kratom is illegal to buy, sell, possess, and use in the following states:
• Alabama
• Arkansas
• Indiana
• Rhode Island
• Vermont
• Wisconsin

Kratom is unregulated in all other states with a few having regulations:
• California (except San Diego)
• Colorado (except Denver)
• Florida (except Sarasota County)
• Illinois (except Jerseyville)
• Mississippi (except Union County)
• New Hampshire (legal if 18 or older)
• Tennessee (legal if 21 or older)

What is the Legal Status of Kratom Worldwide?

Kratom is banned in the following countries (but may have laws that vary):

AustraliaNew Zealand (prescription required)
DenmarkPoland
FinlandRomania
IsraelRussia
JapanSingapore
LatviaSouth Korea
LithuaniaSweden
MyanmarThailand
MalaysiaVietnam

Some countries such as Ireland, the UK, and Italy may have varying laws by region on kratom. Always check locally, or check with your local smoke shop for gossip and regulations.

Can you grow kratom?

Theoretically, you can but it’s extremely difficult. Some important tips can help the process.

These include:
• Get fresh seeds
• Keep the seeds moist
• Plant in very fertile and humus-rich soil
• Keep the pH of the soil 5.5 to 6.5
• Don’t over water
• Light levels need to be right to have a successful crop (mainly strong light)
• Keep humidity levels as close as you possibly can to the seed’s country of origin

Growing kratom outdoors isn’t recommended unless you’re in the country of origin.

Sources & Further Reading

2 thoughts on “Kratom FAQ”

  1. Kratom’s possible potential as an alternative to methadone should be studied, imo. You’re only as old as the last time you changed your mind!

    Reply

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