What is Kratom? 

So what is Kratom? Why is it valued by so many millions of people across the US? What are the differences between the colors, strains, and blends?

Where Kratom Comes From


Kratom is native to Southeast Asia. It occurs naturally on several islands in Indonesia (primarily Borneo, Hulu Kapuas, and Ketapang). It also grows in Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Upwards of 100% of the kratom in the USA comes from Indonesia. At this time, Kratom is banned in Malaysia and was banned in Thailand (due to the government realizing it would interfere with their opium trade and the money that brings so they shut it down until now), it was unscheduled and is now legal for native Thai people to use but is not yet legal for export as of Jan, 2020. Kratom has been used for over 1,500 years in these regions of the world where they pick and chew the leaves for many reasons, not the least of which is, promotion of energy for working, relief from minor aches and pains, increased mental clarity, and much more. In the USA, most kratom is sold in powdered form (either in capsules or bulk powder.) This is created by drying the leaves in Indonesia, and then grinding them to a fine powder before packaging it in bundles and shipping to the USA. Proper Kratom is pure plant leaves and nothing else.

Is Kratom Safe?


There has never been a certified proven death of kratom overdose anywhere in the world. That does not include adulterated products (such as Krypton which was a mix of Kratom and O-DSMT, a tramadol analogue which caused 9 deaths linked to overdose from the tramadol.)


There are about 29 deaths in the US in the last 10 years that are possibly linked to Kratom. There is simply not enough data from these emergency room doctors’ notes to determine the cause of death. They appeared to have only Kratom in their systems at time of death. But what is not identified is if they had previous health issues, were on other medications that may have had a contraindication with Kratom, or many other possibilities. 

Is Kratom Legal?


Currently, there is an Import alert on Kratom which makes importing the product particularly difficult. It grants Customs and Border Protection the authority to seize any shipment containing kratom for any reason whatsoever. It’s still 100% legal to import into the US minus the 5 states that have banned it as of 2020, but massive shipments have been seized and destroyed for no good reason resulting in losses in the millions of dollars to those companies doing the importing.


Kratom is currently legal Federally in the United States but there are some states and local jurisdictions that have banned or restricted its use. It is illegal in the following States: Arkansas, Alabama, Wisconsin, Indiana, Vermont, and Rhode Island. It is also banned in Sarasota County in Florida, San Diego, CA, There are a few counties/cities that have banned it across the country but only a handful. (updated April, 2022 - Subject to change)

American Kratom Association


We support the American Kratom Association who is our amazing Kratom Advocacy non-profit group. It is because of their hard work, and the power of the millions of people who use Kratom daily (currently estimated to be over 18 million in the US!) They are currently working on bringing a Bill to states across the country called the Kratom Consumer Protection Act. This bill, when passed in a state, prevents kratom manufacturers from doing shady things with the product. It requires a minimum purchase age of 18 (21 in some states), requires that manufacturers use cGMP standards and be qualified by GMP auditors yearly (more about that later), and requires very specific safety protocols and testing of each and every bag of Kratom made and sold in that state.

cGMP - What it Means


Laughing Lion is one of only a few kratom manufacturers in the entire country who are cGMP Qualified! This means we are inspected and certified to follow the strictest guidelines for our cleanroom, material handling, testing, PPE / Safety equipment, and record keeping. This allows us to continue selling our products and provide many products to smaller vendors who will no longer be able to produce kratom once the KCPA passes in their respective states. Colorado has passed the KCPA and it should go into effect beginning of 2023.


Will Kratom be Banned?

At this time, we believe that Kratom is generally safe in the USA. The DEA is the only national authority that can ban kratom in the country as a whole. And they have decided that they will not ban kratom unless the current studies that are being sponsored and conducted result in a statement that Kratom has no medicinal benefits. The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) has granted the University of Florida, over 9 million dollars to study Kratom over the next 5 years! Specifically, one study is for studying the two primary alkaloids in Kratom, Mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine and it’s effects and uses in humans. And the second, is to study the plant as a whole and potentially move towards human testing.