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Is Kratom Legal?

Neither kratom nor its active ingredients, the alkaloids, were listed in the schedules of the United Nations Drug Conventions.

The following is a list by country or continent that shows kratom’s legal status. There is not a lot of consistency throughout the world of where this substance is banned or allowed.

(None of this should be considered legal advice. Please consult your own lawyer before purchasing or traveling with kratom. Always consult your doctor before trying new substances).

ASEAN and Asia

The 2019 ASEAN Drug Monitoring Report lists kratom among “New Psychoactive Substances” or NPS in line with the 2013 2013 World Drug Report. That report found that kratom accounted for most NPS seizures.

Malaysia and Myanmar still control kratom as a substance, while it is now legal in Thailand. In 2022, kratom is scheduled to become an illegal substance in Indonesia.

Australia and New Zealand

Kratom is considered a narcotic and a controlled substance in Australia and in New Zealand.

Canada

In 2020, Health Canada warned the public about ingesting kratom and disallowed marketing of kratom products—unless they are for other uses, such as incense.

Europe

Kratom is controlled in Latvia, Denmark, Poland, Lithuania, Sweden, and Romania. The Republic of Ireland designated kratom a Schedule I illegal drug in 2017, under the names mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine.

United States

The debate over listing kratom as a Schedule I drug continues. In 2014, the FDA issued an import alert for kratom. Since 2019, the US Food and Drug Administration has warned consumers generally not to use kratom, that kratom in commercially available products may be unsafe, that these products remain unapproved for interstate commerce, and may be confiscated.

Also in 2019, the CDC waded into the kratom issue with a case report on unintentional overdose deaths with connections to kratom. The Drug Enforcement Administration or DEA has also made moves to schedule kratom, but thus far has failed—in part due to an ongoing inability to prove that kratom and drug abuse are linked.

However, as discussed above, recent research reveals exciting therapeutic possibilities. Alongside anecdotal evidence and surging need, scheduling efforts directed toward kratom continue to fuel notable controversy among both the scientific community and the general public.

UK

The sale, export, and import of kratom are prohibited in the UK under the Psychoactive Substances Act.

If a country or government provided info about kratom, I tried to list it here. There were many places that made no mention at all of whether or not kratom was banned or allowed. If you’re planning on traveling with kratom, exercise caution, as ignorance of a law is not license to break that law, and there could still be consequences.

Author

  • Ed Markey

    Ed Markey is a former special education teacher turned psychedelics enthusiast. His goal is to help shine a light on the emerging potential of psychedelics to help improve people's lives--focusing especially on writing in-depth pieces, research based, to help educate those interested in how psilocybin, MDMA, ketamine, and more can potentially help improve mental health (when taken in conjunction with medical supervision, in states where it is legal to do so).