Kratom: What is it, and Why Should We Regulate Kratom?

In recent times, kratom has reached almost every corner of the United States. Around 10 to 15 million people consume kratom regularly, in the form of powder or capsule. The number of consumers has doubled from 2006.

Since the product demand increased, the number of players and manipulators also increased. In May 2021, the FDA found 37,500 tons or 1.3 Million $ worth of adulterated kratom in Florida. The agency seized the product. However, instead of emphasizing that the seized kratom was adulterated, Janet Woodcock showed concern over the controversial toxicity of kratom.

This reaction from the agency coordinates well with its recent efforts to ban or regulate kratom sales in the US. It is not the first time the federal agencies have tried to interrupt kratom sales; they had already made several failed attempts.

But the question is, what is kratom? Why is so much controversy prevailing over it? If you search kratom near me, you will get a list of stores that offer kratom powder, tinctures, or edibles to you. However, instead of going to a store, you can also avail online purchases. But before that, it is vital to know about it.

What is kratom?

Kratom is a herb dominantly found in the tropical and subtropical regions of southeast Asia and Africa. For a long time, farmers of Southeast Asian countries, such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, etc., have been consuming the herb to reduce fatigue and get the energy to continue working on farms.

Some things to know about kratom are:

  • Conventionally, the farmers chewed kratom leaves. However, when the world came to know about the plant, its export began. During transportation to faraway places, the leaves got dried. Thus, the manufacturers developed the idea of kratom powder.
  • Now you can find kratom in various forms. Look for kratom near me, and you will get a list of kratom products. People use this product as a sedative or stimulant. They also use it to deal with chronic pain, anxiety, digestive ailments, and insomnia. Although, none of these benefits have been approved by the Food and Drugs Association. There are anecdotal experiences.
  • While federal agencies are against it, most citizens are with kratom. They are searching for kratom near me. According to PinneyAssociates, the available evidences are not enough to conclude that kratom is a great threat to public health or it is responsible for any drug or opioid overdose epidemic that caused around 93,000 deaths last year.
  • There are several other cases where someone dies with kratom in their system, but the cause of their death was not kratom. Sometimes, kratom products might create a negative effect by mixing with other medications. If you are worried about addiction, some people have overcome their opioid addiction through kratom.

Despite all these things, there is a need to regulate kratom. Why? The following section answers.

Kratom Regulations

Talking about kratom Scott Gottlieb, a senior FDA official, says that the association is worried about the increasing number of unapproved products crossing the state borders.  The agency is responsible to act when it witnesses a harmful unapproved product reaching the public in the name of cures and treatments for a serious medical condition. In recent years, kratom, a botanical substance, has drawn significant attention because of its increasing popularity and possible health risks.

FDA also announced a public health advisory regarding the growing concern of the agency about the risks behind the increasing use of kratom. Besides, the former FDA commissioner says, the agency has warned people against the possible health risks from use of kratom products, including risks associated with consuming contaminated kratom products with  high amounts of salmonella. In the past, these contaminated products have proved to be a risk to kratom users and have led to several illnesses. In a drive to test the purity of kratom products and check contamination in them, the agency found use of heavy metals in large amounts. Despite the warning from FDA, most companies continues to make manipulated medical claims ( without any reliable scientific backup) and sell dangerous contaminated kratom products

This statement came after several months of salmonella breakout, where many people were admitted to the hospital after consuming salmonella with kratom. He further adds, a large amount of people are fighting the opioid crisis. In such a situation, the agency could not allow vendors to take benefit from the situation and sell products saying it treats opioid addiction or treat many medical conditions.

One of the top reasons to regulate kratom is the unnecessary claims made about it on online platforms. According to the official site of the FDA, here are some of the claims often made by companies:

  • Kratom works as a morphine or other μ-opioid receptor
  • People around the globe consume kratom to treat opiate addiction.”
  • Sometimes people who use kratom to treat opiate addiction may require regular kratom consumption to avoid bouncing back to opiate.
  • Usage: It is for recreational purposes and also for reducing chronic pain.
  • Kratom is a natural alternative to cure anxiety, diabetes,  depression, addiction, diabetes, fatigue, and chronic pain. Now, kratom has replaced the use of some branded drugs, such as  Oxycodone or Hydrocodone, to help people get out of their heroin habits.
  • Researchers claim that kratom consumption can fight against cancer!
  • Kratom consumption increases focus/attention, gives energy, offers relaxation, and also cure addiction and chronic pain. They sometimes also present manipulative reviews from consumers that one of our customers used kratom for Migraines, Chronic Pain, ADHD/ADD, Opiate Addiction, Anxiety, Arthritis, Insomnia, and much more!

The agency does not signify whether these claims are correct or not. However, sometimes these claims stop people from taking proper medical care. Besides, the anecdotal experience of people across the states shows the wide range of kratom benefits. But the FDA looks for scientific proof.

So, regulating kratom is a healthy step. It will ensure that consumers do not end up consuming adulterated products.


When the Drug Enforcement Association showed its intentions to put kratom in the schedule 1 category, the HHS ( Health and Human Services) supported it by proposing a letter for the kratom ban. This decision invited a heavy outrage from kratom advocates, scientists, federal lawmakers, and states. So, if an agency again tries to ban the compound, it might face backlashes. It is better to regulate the herb until there is no clear scientific evidence that it negatively impacts the human body.

Christopher Stern

Christopher Stern is a Washington-based reporter. Chris spent many years covering tech policy as a business reporter for renowned publications. He has extensive experience covering Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commissions. He is a graduate of Middlebury College. Email:[email protected]

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