1. 1
    What is kratom?

    Kratom is the common name for the Mitragyna speciosa Korthals, a tree that originates in South-East Asia. In Thailand the leaves of this tree have been used for many centuries for their medicinal and psychoactive qualities, which are comparable to that of opiate-based drugs. Thai workers use the leaves as a stimulant that activates mind and body. It is also used to help people get rid of an opium addiction. In recent times the use of kratom as a recreational drug has also gained popularity in the West.

  2. 2
    What are the effects of kratom?

    The effects of kratom have been described as similar to opiate-based drugs, but milder. The effects are stimulant and euphoric with a small dose, becoming calming and narcotic at higher doses. The effects come on after 5 to 10 minutes and can last several hours.

  3. 3
    Is kratom dangerous or addictive?

    When used sensibly kratom is not dangerous or addictive. In Thailand there are some reported cases of kratom addiction, but these were people who used large amounts on a daily basis for an extended period. When used occasionally as a recreational drug, the health and addiction risks of kratom are very small. Nevertheless kratom, like any other drug, is not without risk altogether. Please read the warnings and guidelines on this site before using kratom.

  4. 4
    Is kratom legal?

    To our knowledge kratom is completely legal in Europe and in the USA. Only a small number of countries have prohibited kratom. See the Legality page for an up-to-date list on the legal status of kratom.


Health risks

Although a small number of people have become dependent on kratom (primarily in Thailand), kratom is not habit forming when it is used responsibly. If used occasionally as a recreational drug, rather than daily, there is virtually no risk of becoming dependent on it.
However, it is very important not to get into the habit of using it every day. For kratom, like many drugs (alcohol, coffee, tobacco, etc.) if used on a daily basis for a prolonged period of time, could become a habit hard to break. Therefore we advise you not to use kratom every day. Before starting to experiment with it set yourself usage guidelines. If you ever find it is hard to stay within your usage guidelines immediately quit using kratom.
Health risks of kratom are small, unless you consume large quantities every day. In Thailand, where there are some people who use kratom every day, those dependent on it can develop weight loss, dark pigmentation of the face, and have physical withdrawal symptoms if they quit abruptly. The withdrawal symptoms may include muscle aches, irritability, crying, runny nose, diarrhea, and muscle jerking.

Health problems are unlikely to occur in occasional kratom users. Some users have reported minor nausea, increased urination and constipation as side-effects. Like any drug or medicine, people’s reactions vary and some people could possibly have an allergic or other unusual reaction to kratom, even if they used it responsibly.

Guidelines for Safe Use of Kratom

We advise you not to use kratom too often: not more than once a week, and preferably not more than once or twice a month. This prevents habituation and will help you enjoy the plant more.

Combining drugs is usually a bad idea. It is recommended that you do not combine kratom with yohimbine, cocaine, amphetamine-like drugs, or large doses of caffeine, because of the possibility of over-stimulation or increased blood pressure. We recommend that kratom not be combined with large amounts of alcohol, with benzodiazepines, opiates, or any other drugs that depress the nervous system. This is because of the possibility that such combinations might cause over-sedation or even possible respiratory depression (not breathing),

It is also recommended that you do not use kratom in combination with MAO inhibitors, such as Syrian Rue (Peganum harmala), Banisteriopsis caapi, Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) and certain anti-depressants. Serious, even fatal, reactions can occur if MAO inhibitor drugs are combined with monoamine drugs. The combination of MAO inhibitor drugs with kratom, which contains monoamine alkaloids, has not been studied.

Other risks

Never use heavy machinery, drive or perform any other hazardous activity while under the influence of kratom. Even if you feel stimulated, rather than sleepy, sleepiness may come on you without warning. Use your common sense.

Pregnant or breast-feeding women and children under 18 should not take any drug or medication except on medical advice. We strongly recommend that any woman who could possibly be pregnant NOT use kratom.

Use your common sense when using kratom for medicinal purposes, such as Attention Deficit Disorder or depression. You are (most likely) not a medical specialist, so we advise you to consult your doctor before using kratom for this purpose.