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How to Buy Kratom Online Safely

Updated on November 8, 2018
Paul Kemp profile image

Paul Kemp has been fascinated by the saga of kratom since the Summer of 2013. He was a founding Board Member of the AKA for almost 5 years.

Kratom Leaves and Flowers

Kratom leaves are traditionally chewed or brewed into a tea and commonly used by laborers to enable them to work more productively in the jungles of Southeast Asia. They are also consumed ceremonially and as a social beverage, similar to coffee.
Kratom leaves are traditionally chewed or brewed into a tea and commonly used by laborers to enable them to work more productively in the jungles of Southeast Asia. They are also consumed ceremonially and as a social beverage, similar to coffee.

Many New Online Buyers Are Faced with a Dazzling Array of Possibilities... and Challenges

We need to bring some street smarts to the subject of buying kratom online. We also need to briefly consider the "Big Picture" of the questions surrounding kratom's legality.

Kratom, in its pure state, has been found to be safe, but the FDA is trying to have it banned -- apparently for the benefit of the pharmaceutical industry and their own budgetary benefits, not for the safety of the people of the United States.

So, this creates some uncertainty for purchasers. It is unfortunate, but it's a reality.

The good news is that some kratom vendors are testing their products so they know what they are selling is free of microbial contamination, pesticides, mold, heavy metals, adulteration, etc.

Simply put, high quality kratom vendors are doing what the public expects of any botanical product -- making sure it is safe and pure.

The flip-side of this trend is that many kratom sellers aren't testing because it is expensive and time-consuming -- and this puts them and their purchasers at some danger -- however small -- of both health risks and of enforcement actions by the FDA that could stop them from getting their online order.

For this reason alone, it may be safer to buy kratom online from a vendor who closely follows the FDA's "current Good Manufacturing Practices" (cGMP) or employs a co-packer that packages and labels their products for them, guided by published FDA standards.

Some Guidelines for the New Purchaser of Kratom

As the reputation of the herb kratom grows, many Americans who are new to it are wondering how to buy kratom online safely. They may have first tried kratom by a cautious purchase in a smokeshop, liked it, but realized that they were paying too much for the safety of the convenient and immediate purchase. The quality of smokeshop or even an herbal apothecary shop can often be less than a well-selected online purchase, as well.

But how, they wonder, can they know which of the thousands of online kratom sellers can they trust?

Before we go too far, let's make one thing clear, any worry about an overnight ban of kratom is unfounded. As much as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration would like to outlaw kratom for all their spurious reasons, they can't support their outlandish claims about this simple herb in a court of law or before the U.S. Congress.

Every state that has openly conducted a public process to consider a kratom ban – apart from Alabama, where the lawmaking process appeared heavily corrupt -- has decided this herb presents no significant danger to their citizens.

Both common sense and the Controlled Substances Act do not support a prohibition of this plant, so any worries the newbie purchaser may have of paying for a product online and then having their order frozen by an overnight ban is unreasonable.

We should also consider that kratom has developed a powerful and effective lobbying non-profit group to defend its legality -- the American Kratom Association, which represents consumers. The AKA and other trade groups, with the help of an army of vigilant consumers numbering as many as 5-7 million, are always alert to legality threats on the federal, state, and local levels.

Having said all this, there are still some grounds on which careless and aggressive vendors may open themselves to FDA raids, so it is smart to choose a vendor that avoids the only legitimate reasons the FDA has to interrupt their online sales of kratom.

So... On What Grounds Would the FDA Be Likely to Take Action?

Making Medical Claims

Making any type of medical claims as to the benefits that may be experienced from consuming kratom presents a "red flag" reason for the FDA to swoop in and stop both online and brick-and-mortar establishments from selling kratom.

Even disclaimers, such as "Not for Human Consumption" are suspect and out of date.

Selling Untested and Possibly Contaminated or Adulterated Kratom

The "salmonella scare" in which the FDA used their legitimate regulatory powers to demand recall of kratom from a handful of mostly larger vendors, based on claims that their products were contaminated with salmonella, should be a good reminder of the problems vendors may encounter when their testing procedures fail to detect actionable levels of bacterial, viral, heavy metals, or unlabeled adulterants in their products.

Whether the recalls were justified on the basis of whether the samples of kratom were proven to contain sufficient salmonella levels to cause a human to become infected was never proven. It is odd that, for all the millions of U.S. kratom consumers, many of whom ingest kratom via toss & wash or powder in capsules, this had not been a risk the community had become aware of before this FDA-promoted scare.

I know many kratom vendors who test their products -- some of them own major widely-marketed brands -- and none had ever found salmonella in their product before. E. coli, yes -- and that batch of kratom was refused -- but no salmonella.

(Meanwhile, salmonella is rampant in fruits, vegetables, chicken, and frozen foods, but none of their customers are told to stop eating all foods of that type -- and yet this was the reaction of the FDA toward the relatively small outbreak of salmonella in kratom.)

However, when the FDA places the heavy hand of the law on your shoulder, it is wise to cooperate with them, so vendors -- who were fortunate to have good record-keeping in place -- were able to recall specific batches where contamination was allegedly found, pay their fines (if any), and move on without too great a financial loss.

Smaller vendors, without the required product testing and record-keeping in place, though, would have been crushed!

The lesson we can learn from this experience of buying kratom online when the FDA is irrationally opposed to the botanical is that -- for your health and the safety of your purchases -- it is wise to buy from established vendors who test their product rigorously, label their kratom properly (without making any medical claims), and are well-capitalized enough to withstand any product recall demanded of them.

It also should go without saying that any online kratom vendor should have a secure SSL ordering process with 128-bit (or higher) encryption, same-day insured and trackable shipping, and excellent customer service.

A plainly-stated guarantee of complete customer satisfaction, with the ability to back it up, is also highly recommended.

Outlook for Kratom's Future

It's hard to know what the FDA is trying to do, regarding kratom. Judging by their actions, they want natural kratom off the market -- but they don't have the necessary scientific backing to support placing kratom into Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act.

Perhaps the FDA doesn't want kratom banned, but merely wants someone to turn kratom into a safer pain-killing drug, without the dangers and incapacitating side-effects of opioids. A ban would make the necessary research -- which could take several more years -- much more difficult.

Whatever the undisclosed plans of the FDA, the growing popularity of kratom that millions of Americans prefer to support their health and sense of wellbeing is unlikely to end.

As with other herbal products that have a strong public demand (and lobbying muscle) to support them, kratom has a bright future. However, it is only wise for prospective purchasers to protect their investment by consideration of the points mentioned above when attempting to buy kratom online.


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