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Kratom – Is it A Safe Natural Drug, Or Can It Cause Addiction?

Most people are aware of the danger associated with drugs, like heroin, meth, and morphine. Kratom on the other hand is not a drug, it is a supplement that has some opiate like properties. It is available in a lot of places and accessible to kids, and even vending machines sell them. Kratom online is also available, and selling it there is perfectly legal. In this article, we will discuss the old age question of whether Kratom is a safe and natural drug, or is it a highly addictive and dangerous substance that needs to be banned. Without further ado, let’s start: 

What is Kratom?

Before we discuss on whether Kratom is safe or not, let’s define what is kratom first in general. Kratom is a herb that is abundant in most of the states in the U.S. It has the potential to be abused due to its addicting nature and as such, Kratom has been the subject of a long time argument regarding its addiction risks, and if the benefits outweighs its bad points.

The chemicals contained in Kratom herbs have unique interactions with brain receptors in the brain. Kratom can even stimulate the type of brain reactors that responds to stimulant drugs, or even opioids.

Kratom that is sold in the U.S. does not come in leaf form, instead of being sold as a processed product like pills, capsules, or supplements. 

Views on Kratom – is it good or bad?

A number of individuals who had trouble with addiction to opioids have stated that switching to Kratom has saved their life from opioid addiction. Nevertheless, the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as well as the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have concerns about people developing a dependency on Kratom, both on the psychological and physical side of things.

The FDA has issued a warning to consumers to avoid the consumption of kratom. The DEA on the other hand has made threats to establish a ban on selling and using kratom in the U.S. outside of research purposes, and only objections from advocates and lawmakers have stopped such a notion. The DEA has ultimately listed kratom as a drug of concern in place of banning it entirely.

What are the effects of Kratom

Based on the statement released by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), even a small dose of kratom can induce its stimulant effects. These effects are experienced within 10 minutes of consuming the dose of kratom, lasting for about 1 and a half hours. The stimulant effects of Kratom include alertness, giddiness, increase in sociability, and a decrease in motor coordination of the body.

It also has sedative effects, as long as you take about 10 to 25 grams of kratom. It can induce a calm and euphoric feeling for up to 6 hours, depending on the kratom dosage that you ingested.

Known side effects of Kratom

Long term usage of the supplement kratom can cause you to develop one or more of the following side effects, which include constipation issues, lack of appetite, sleeping problems, cheeks discoloration, and significant weight reduction. The addiction factor is also still there, with the CDC receiving numerous calls about kratom overdose on a yearly basis.


It is safe to say that Kratom has the potential for addiction, even if it has its own benefits. It is up to the user to balance it to make sure that they don’t fall into being addicted to Kratom, which can lead to a destruction of livelihood similar to any other drug.

Ernestina Chacko is a writer and a photographer. Before joining, she was a senior contributor at Bloomberg USA.

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