kratom legality

Kratom Legality: A Comprehensive Guide

Kratom Legality: An intro

For thousands of people, perhaps millions, the kratom strains have been of great use. The strains are very helpful in reducing anxiety, stress, pain, opioid withdrawal symptoms, and improves the mood, enhances the energy levels, increases sociability, and helps in achieving peace of mind. So, it’s a matter of trouble and confusion for people to understand about kratom legality, after knowing its benefits.

This implies that millions of people would be deprived of the health benefits, and they have to suffer from a few medical conditions, such as the ones aforementioned. It’s some sort of bad news because people have to stay addicted to alcohol, and heroin rather than having the soothing effects of kratom.

In this article, you will come across kratom legality and its legal status in the US along with some other countries in the world.

What makes kratom legality so complex?

The main problem with kratom legality in the US lies in the conflicting interests of several law enforcement bodies. At first, comes the Federal Law, which is responsible for governing the entire country. Just below that, you will get the State Law, which can go beyond the Federal Law, and contradict them. On some occasions, the Federal Law even gets the upper hand.

Then there appears some organizations that make the water muddier, such as the FDA, and the DEA. It’s been observed that the FDA wants to make kratom totally illegal, in spite of all the health benefits associated with this wonderful herb. Also, they have failed to provide enough evidence that proves that kratom strain is really harmful.

In the same way, the DEA too wants kratom illegal, and ban any type of transaction that revolves around this herbal plant. They believe that the use of kratom resembles any other opiate drugs like heroin. But in reality, that is not the case. Kratom helps in opioid withdrawal symptoms.

And going internationally, you will find the same issues. In many countries, because of the Draconian Drug policies, it is a crime to deal with cannabis and can attract hefty penalties. You will be surprised to know that even in some places where kratom trees are grown, they are completely banned, and any type of transaction is considered illegal.

Southeast Asian countries are notoriously famous for strict drug laws, and they haven’t spared kratom either. Way back in 1943, Thailand made kratom illegal, with an aim to keep a tab on the opiate drugs market, especially opium. That’s a shameful act, as the ban was imposed for making people use opium instead of using kratom.

Kratom legality in the US:

Whether kratom is legal in the US is a bit complicated. It is evident from some facts that kratom is completely legal when viewed from the federal level. However, the DEA doesn’t like that, and there is nothing to get surprised if you are being questioned for having the compound in your possession, which is not illegal.

It seems like the DEA has constantly tried to hold back kratom for many years. In 2016, they had tried to put the alkaloids under the category of a controlled substance. Alkaloids are nothing but the chemical compounds present in the kratom strains by which the beneficial effects come from.

As per the records, the DEA hasn’t been able to put the alkaloids under the Controlled Substances Act as of now. However, moving from the federal level to the state level might get trickier, and confusing. Reports suggest that kratom is considered legal when it comes to the state level.        

However, kratom is still illegal in some states, and even in some counties as well. Therefore, some people might face a peculiar situation where they haven’t committed any crime under federal law, but considering the state law, they are criminals. Now that’s really funny, and at the same time ridiculous.

The situation even gets worse when kratom is made illegal in some counties, but the state law doesn’t hold kratom as illegal. Here are the names of states and counties where kratom is considered illegal.

  • Indiana
  • Arkansas
  • Rhode Island
  • Wisconsin
  • Alabama
  • Vermont
  • Saratoga County, Florida
  • Columbus City, Mississippi
  • Jerseyville County, Illinois
  • Union County, Mississippi
  • San Diego, California

Where is kratom legal in the US?

Kratom is made legal in all the regions of the US, apart from the ones aforementioned. That means, there is no restriction on kratom. It also means that kratom can be grown legally, possessed in any quantity, and it is completely legal to use it. Kratom can also be sold legally, and there is no need to show prescription while buying it.

However, if kratom states that it can treat any sort of specific condition, it cannot be marketed, and hence selling will get prohibited. Because only the substances that are being approved by the FDA can make the claims. That’s the reason why kratom is never seen to sell as a drug, a dietary supplement, or a medicine.

You might have observed some crazy statements on various kratom selling websites, which states that they are selling things for non-human consumption. That’s too because of the FDA guidelines.

The legality of kratom by country:

No matter how hard the laws are while governing everything that relates to kratom, it is available and far more legal in the US than other countries. The legality of kratom in different parts of the world is a very complex matter, and it can’t be covered in this small space. However, you will get some highlights on the subject.

As stated earlier, kratom was outcaste in Thailand in the year 1943, but in 2018 it was made legal for medicinal purposes. Kratom is illegal and banned in Malaysia as well. Now that’s pretty weird because these countries are the biggest exporter of kratom.

The kratom legality of Canada is questionable, and there are debates if it should be banned or not. Different health associations in Canada have presented their concern over the substance and states that it is illegal to do things circling around kratom. Ironically, kratom powder and capsules are used by many people.

Kratom is considered illegal in some European countries, which includes the UK, and Italy. Kratom is legal in France, Spain, Germany, and other big European countries. In New Zealand and Australia, kratom is treated as a controlled narcotic substance.

In India, kratom is legal, and some trees of the kratom tree family grow there. They have similar properties, but not exactly the same. They are cheaper, and the quality is poor.

What happens when you travel with kratom?

As you have seen that kratom legality by country, and within the US are very complicated. It has been found out that much information on the internet is misleading. You will come across some blogs that state kratom is legal in many parts of the world. Well, that not true, and still kratom is illegal around the globe.

If you are traveling through countries, and possess kratom, you might get caught by the border control. When you are buying kratom from a country where it is illegal, you could get into a lot of trouble. Even while traveling in several states, or counties within the US, could land you in deep trouble.


Hence, it is seen from the above-mentioned information that kratom legality is a complex issue. It is also unclear how the legal barricade to this herbal plant will replace in the near future.