Can kratom be used medicinally

Kratom - Considerable Risk

The powder contains various plant alkaloids apparently in very different concentrations, there are no standardizations, so that the effect is uncontrollable. Currently, the FDA in the US is actively evaluating all available scientific information on the matter and continues to warn consumers not to use products containing kratom or its psychoactive compounds, mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine.

In addition, kratom products with massive salmonella contamination have repeatedly been found in recent months. Some products also contained problematic high amounts of the toxic heavy metals lead and nickel.

What is the legal situation?

In various countries (e.g. Switzerland, Australia, Great Britain, Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Sweden) kratom is one of the substances to be controlled, so it is not a legal dietary supplement. In the home country of Thailand, possession and consumption have been banned since 1943. In the near future (the draft is available) there will be a separate law on the use and control of kratom. Accordingly, kratom may not be used in herbal mixtures, food and cosmetic products, but only in medicinal products. It may not be given to persons under the age of 18 or pregnant women, nor may it be consumed by young people. Selling online, in schools and parks is prohibited.

In total, more than 30 countries (including Japan, Serbia, Croatia and Syria) currently have their own laws to control kratom consumption.

In Germany there is still no real legal assessment. A decision by the Narcotics Commission was postponed in 2010. At the 51st meeting of the Committee of Experts on Narcotics, the agenda item "Current state of affairs and the spread of kratom" was only discussed, but no decision was taken. In the opinion of the authors of the arznei-telegram, however, the listing of kratom as a non-marketable narcotic is advisable for reasons of preventive consumer protection.

At the very least, however, it is questionable whether kratom can even be a food - and food supplements are foods like bread or vegetables. If regular consumption cannot be proven in the EU from May 1997, it is a new type of food and the plant powder would first have to undergo a safety check by the EU.



Dietary Supplement Kratom: FDA Warns of Deadly Risks. arznei telegram 49 (6), 55-56, 2018

FDA (2019): FDA and Kratom, as of September 11, 2019, accessed on October 15, 2020

FDA: Laboratory Analysis of Kratom Products for Heavy Metals, as of April 3, 2019, accessed on October 15, 2020

FDA: Adverse Event Reporting System: Kratom Deaths, as of: December 15, 2017, accessed on August 10, 2020

MedWatch: Leaves of the kratom tree: Dangerous instead of healthy, status: 04/04/2019, accessed on 15/10/2020

35th meeting of the Committee of Experts in accordance with Section 1 (2) of the Narcotics Act (BtMG) on May 3, 2010, accessed on October 15, 2020

51st meeting of the Committee of Experts to be heard in accordance with Section 1 (2) of the Narcotics Act (BtMG) and Section 7 of the New Psychoactive Substances Act (NpSG) on May 6, 2019, accessed on October 15, 2020

Current status on the effects and spread of kratom. As of: May 29, 2019, accessed on October 15, 2020

Brendler M (2019): Kratom: Dietary supplement with life-threatening side effects. Medical Tribune online, as of November 15, 2019

Kratom Control Bill approved. The Farang, as of October 14, 2020