People in Southeast Asia have used kratom for centuries as a natural remedy to boost energy, relieve stress and treat addiction. In the United States, kratom is increasingly being used as a pain reliever – a “safer” option than opioid pain medication.
An increasing number of pain patients – unable to get opioids or tired of their side-effects – are trying kratom. Suze Blood, a 43-year old Maine woman who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, degenerative disc disease and fibromyalgia said: “For people with chronic pain who want complementary therapy or want to avoid the organ damage mainstream medications can cause, it’s a great option,”
Red vein kratom helps people relax and has “an excellent ability to reduce pain,” according to the Kratom Trading Company, while white vein Kratom is used as a stimulant “to promote alertness, mental vigilance and wakefulness,” according to Kratom Online.
That being the case, Kratom is not classified as a controlled substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration, but is considered a dietary supplement regulated by the FDA. Supplements in the U.S. are held to far less regulatory standards than medications, but that hasn’t stopped a handful of states from making kratom illegal or the federal government from trying to get it off the market. Kratom is illegal in Vermont, Indiana, Tennessee, Arkansas and Wisconsin. Several other states are weighing similar legislation, including New York.