Submitted Date 04/20/2021

Kratom makes headlines; there's no denying that this supplement is controversial. I first came across kratom in Portland, Oregon, while I sat in front of a convenience store. A green sign posted by the door read, "KRATOM SOLD HERE." I kept seeing it, so being the good millennial I am, I Googled it.


The internet treats kratom as an ambiguous character. Many people find kratom to promote an opiate-free and pain-free lifestyle; other people have claimed that kratom gives them relief from anxiety and depression. Naturally, kratom's popularity has attracted the attention of the FDA, which has had a close eye on this plant for years.


Kratom lovers believe that the FDA targets kratom because it promotes an opioid-free lifestyle, which can't profit the pharmaceutical industry. The FDA is hypervigilant because not enough studies have been conducted on kratom, and they are unsure as to how to label it. Kratom sits in the FDA's grey area, and it has sat there for years, despite its seemingly safe use in Indonesian cultures for over two centuries.


The FDA's newest import alert on kratom authorizes districts to detain kratom imports "without physical examination" from firms they've put on their "Red List." It's not necessarily a new stance, but it grabs attention nonetheless. It allows the FDA to exhibit more control over kratom imports as they discriminately target the largest overseas suppliers.

Mitragyna speciosa (kratom) is a native plant to Southeast Asia and is part of the coffee family. Traditionally, the leaves have been plucked right off the plant and chewed, as clean as it gets. If you're going to purchase kratom, it's important to know you are buying from a reputable source. Do your research, and find a company that labels their products according to FDA herbal supplement guidelines. A few companies like BOGO Kratom ( sell their products online and are transparent about their strains, processing, and sourcing. Look out for companies throwing additives in there trying to make a quick buck on a popular product. A quality and trusted supplier is key. And if they offer a guarantee on their products like this one, then that's even better.


As long as the company you're sourcing your kratom from can continue importing from Indonesia, where the tree grows naturally, you'll still be able to get your kratom. There's no need to panic buy at this point, but stocking a little extra may not be a bad idea.

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