Kratom is growing in popularity, but you may have noticed that it’s not available from the world’s biggest online vendor: Amazon. Regular Amazon users will know that the site stocks plenty of natural therapeutics and supplements, some of which are classed as smart drugs or natural nootropics.
But kratom is nowhere to be seen. If you search for kratom on Amazon, you may see a number of products styled as kratom, but none of these products actually contain the plant as an ingredient.
Unfortunately, it’s become a common tactic for sellers nowadays to mislead and confuse customers. This is especially so with products that aren’t approved or regulated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
However, this hasn’t stopped Amazon customers looking for kratom products on the store. Search data shows people often trying to find kratom powder or capsules to help with pain, anxiety and more.
This alone highlights the huge appetite for kratom products. But Amazon is known to shy away from products considered controversial by the mainstream.
And kratom is just one of those. So, while Amazon may call itself the “Everything Store”, that isn’t quite true. But let’s look deeper into the reasons why Amazon doesn’t stock kratom, and show you where you can purchase this wonderful Southeast Asian plant.
Kratom and the FDA
Kratom originates from Southeast Asia, primarily in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. People in these regions have used it for hundreds if not thousands of years, but it’s only recently that kratom has emerged in the United States. But it’s not been a smooth path.
Due to side effects, the FDA prohibited kratom shipments in 2012 and 2014. These decisions led to widespread kratom confiscation, and the removal of products from Amazon sites. Despite admitting that kratom may have beneficial properties in 2017 (notably for opioid withdrawal), then-FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said that kratom could not be approved for therapeutic use.
This announcement led to more shopping stores removing kratom supplements. With Amazon dedicated to guaranteeing safe products for its customers, the company refuses to sell products that are either banned or controlled by the FDA.
Kratom and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
The DEA is another federal agency with a negative view of kratom. In 2016, kratom garnered national attention when the DEA announced plans to ban products in the United States.
This brought a wave of negative press for kratom, and Amazon stopped vendors from advertising kratom. Some sellers got around this restriction by taking out references to kratom, and only labelling products by the strain – such as “Red Borneo” and “White Thai”.
Curiously, searching for kratom on Amazon throws up products like Organifi’s Green Juice, which is infused with coconut and ashwagandha. Amazon also notoriously stocks powdered kava kava, a psychoactive plant from the Pacific islands, known to have some nasty side effects.
Yet kratom, a plant from the coffee family, remains restricted. It’s hard to explain why Amazon bans some products but not others, but the reality is this: as of 2020, you won’t find kratom of any kind on Amazon.
Amazon and global shipping
As we all know, Amazon ships products to all 50 US states, and indeed all over the world. However, kratom is not currently legal everywhere in the US, with some states, cities and counties opting to prohibit the drug.
Clearly, potential problems could arise if a customer from a region where kratom is banned tried ordering a product from Amazon.
Kratom is banned in Denmark, Finland, Israel, Lithuania, Myanmar, Poland, Romania, Singapore, Sweden and Vietnam. As of April 2020, kratom is illegal in Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin. Other places where kratom is illegal to buy, sell or possess are as follows: Jerseyville, Illinois; Denver, Colorado; Union County, Mississippi, San Diego, California; and Sarasota County, Florida.
So, where can you buy kratom?
Before we leave Amazon behind, it’s worth noting that while you won’t find actual kratom there, numerous e-books are available. These are packed with information about potential benefits and how to use the herbal drug.
Thankfully, there are plenty of other vendors more than happy to sell kratom. Local retailers in Asian nations where kratom is easily sourced are everywhere.
And some of these vendors sell products to the United States and elsewhere – frustratingly, these products tend to be very expensive. There are also numerous online vendors selling kratom at more reasonable prices.
And as kratom has become more popular, the range of products stocked has increased. Recent years have seen an influx of rare strains not easy to find, including premium Maeng Da, Super Green Malay, and Borneo kratom.
A guide to buying kratom
With the FDA not regulating kratom products, it’s extremely important that you research sellers and their products before purchasing. You may get scammed with a fake product, or at worst, a bad-quality product may have harmful effects.
The good news is there’s a budding online community of kratom enthusiasts who can help you get up to speed and find the right kratom product for you. There’s huge variety in the market, and some products may be more effective than others, depending on your needs.
For instance, if you’re suffering with pain, soothing Red vein strains are more attractive. However, if fatigue is your problem, you’ll probably be more suited to an energizing White vein kratom. Other possible kratom benefits include increased concentration, improved mood, reduced anxiety and lower stress levels. However, none of these have been conclusively proven yet with clinical research.
The two most common types of kratom product sold in the US are powder and capsules. As a rule, kratom powder is purer than capsules, and therefore typically of a better quality.
However, the convenience of kratom capsules means these products are sometimes sold at a higher price. If you’re looking to make kratom tea, one of the primary ways of consuming kratom, you’ll need kratom powder.
Finding quality kratom
Not all kratom is the same, and quality, effects and prices can vary significantly from product to product. Very cheap kratom should raise serious concerns about quality.
However, higher-priced products aren’t necessarily great either. That’s why you should always research each brand and vendor before buying. Protect yourself further by only buying a small quantity the first time you use a vendor – that way, if a product is low quality, you can minimize your losses.
In the event that you see an Amazon vendor claiming to sell kratom, always avoid. With kratom banned on Amazon, there’s absolutely no way you’ll receive legit kratom.
If you’re looking for high-quality, refined kratom, just check out our store! Keen to learn more about kratom before buying? There’s a ton of information online, and e-books are also loaded with useful content.
Getting familiar with the different strains and veins, and how people consume kratom will go a long way to ensuring you have a great experience with your product. To compare kratom strains, click here.