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"This is Florida's next crisis," Jacobs said. "We must at some point figure out how to become proactive rather than reactive to these kinds of efforts."

At low doses, kratom produces stimulant effects, making people more talkative, alert and energetic, according to a DEA fact sheet. At high doses, kratom users can experience the drug’s sedative effects, the report shows.

Is Kratom just a tropical plant?

U.S. Marshals, along with U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigators, seized more than 250,000 units of dietary supplements and bulk dietary ingredients that are or contain kratom, including 1,000 kilograms of bulk kratom.

Mitragyna speciosa, or Kratom, is a plant that grows in certain Southeast Asian countries and has been indicated to have narcotic and stimulant-like effects.

The complaint alleges there isn’t enough information to provide assurance about the safety of kratom and consuming kratom can lead to serious health issues including respiratory depression, vomiting, nervousness, weight loss and constipation, the complaint states.

The compliant also says withdrawal symptoms may include hostility, aggression, excessive tearing, aching of muscles and jerky limb movements.


He decided to try kratom, a dusty green psychoactive powder from the leaves of a Southeast Asian tree. It was marketed as a safe way to ease anxiety and mimic the effects of opioids. It was legal, virtually unregulated and described as all-natural. He could find it at gas stations, cafes, smoke shops or online.
He took it regularly, including before paramedics were called to his home in April 2021.

As medical examiners log an increasing number of overdoses involving kratom across Florida and elsewhere, the industry has largely operated without government constraints or safety measures that could help protect consumers.
Florida lawmakers considered banning kratom three times in the past decade. But industry advocates successfully fought the efforts, ensuring powders, gummies and liquid extracts are readily available at gas stations and smoke shops from Pensacola to Miami. The products vary dramatically in strength — but manufacturers don’t have to disclose or limit their intensity at all.

Some of the tactics in the kratom business may sound familiar. They mirror the strategies that were used for another controversial product — synthetic cannabis compounds, or “Spice.”


More than a decade ago, U.S. officials spotted a trend. Importers, court records show, were slipping Spice into the country from China by calling the white chemicals “cosmetics” or “sodium.” Products found at gas stations promised Spice was “herbal incense” or “not for human consumption.”

The Times requested Florida autopsy reports citing kratom or one of its major chemical compounds, an alkaloid called mitragynine, as a cause of death or contributing factor dating back to 2010.
No news organization has ever done this on a large scale. The requests initially turned up more than 600 cases. Reporters handbuilt a database to track the overdoses and key details about them, including blood-mitragynine concentrations, contributing medical conditions and every substance flagged in a person’s system during toxicology testing.
A Times investigation found more than 580 fatal kratom-related overdoses in Florida.

The Times bought the products from online vendors, gas stations, smoke shops and other businesses around the region. Below are the key testing results for each product.
They are ordered most potent to least, by product type, based on mitragynine levels. The Times also tested one product containing a large amount of 7-hydroxymitragynine, another kratom alkaloid that is more potent than mitragynine.
Sample of product summary

  • The package the product was sent in came with a printed-out sheet showing testing results for mitragynine, 7-hydroxymitragynine, heavy metals and bacteria. A section of the report showing who ordered the results was blacked out.
  • The product’s label advertised “pain relief + mood enhancement.” Federal law prohibits kratom companies from making medical claims on packaging or in advertising because the substance is not an approved drug.
  • This product had nine times as much mitragynine as Sharma believes is safe to consume over an entire day.
  • This product type was found at the scenes of two kratom-only overdoses in Florida.
  • This product type was found at the scene of a kratom-only overdose in Florida.
  • This product type was found at the scenes of two kratom-only overdoses in Florida.

Matthew Lowe, executive director of the advocacy group Global Kratom Coalition, said some synthetic products have "very, very high doses" of a particular chemical found in scant amounts in kratom leaf material. Several kratom researchers have warned that chemical — 7-hydroxymitragynine — poses a higher risk of abuse.
"It certainly isn't kratom as nature intended," said Lowe, whose organization supports the California bill. Kratom products should have "the same ratios as the alkaloids are found within nature."

Researchers have raised particular concern about synthesized products that isolate chemicals like 7-hydroxymitragynine, saying they could carry risks that are different from the kratom leaf long used in Thailand or Malaysia. McCurdy said when that chemical is isolated, "it's no longer really a kratom product."

Kratom Concerns
The escalation of importation, distribution, as well as online and retail sales of kratom products in the United States over the past two years raises numerous public health and safety concerns. Kratom is a tree, native to Southeast Asia that contains the drug mitragyna which produces both stimulant effects (in low doses) and sedative effects (in high doses) and can lead to addiction.  Kratom is mainly consumed orally as a tea, but it may also be smoked or its leaves may be chewed.
Consumption of kratom can lead to a number of health impacts, including

  • respiratory depression,
  • nervousness,
  • agitation,
  • aggression,
  • sleeplessness,
  • hallucinations,
  • delusions,
  • tremors,
  • loss of libido,
  • constipation,
  • skin hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin),
  • nausea,
  • vomiting, and
  • severe withdrawal signs and symptoms. 

click link to read additional informaiton

Excellent, comprehensive research on Kratom.  Printalbe format. 

Researchers detail how lawmakers and regulators could establish key guardrails for selling and using the herb.


The kratom association says it has reported dozens of kratom companies to the FDA for making medical claims. When asked for these reports, the association declined to share them.
Haddow, the association lobbyist, recently told CBS News that the industry has about 8,000 players. When asked how many are legitimate, he responded: “I would say three dozen, maybe a few more than that.”

Haddow- is a highly paid national lobbyist for the Kratom industry.