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Kratom vs. Kratom-Based Products

Kratom itself is a tropical tree native to parts of Southeast Asia. It has been used as an herbal drug in these regions for far longer than it has been widely available on international markets. 

The leaves of the tree are harvested in order to produce the substance commonly known as kratom. The kratom tree is actually a member of the coffee family, which may explain the increased energy levels and stimulant-like effects of the plant.

It is critical to remember, however, that kratom consumed directly from the tree leaves may produce vastly different effects than that of kratom purchased commercially. Further, "pure" commercial kratom products can produce different effects than supplements that combines kratom with other substances. 

  • There are currently no approved drug products that contain kratom or its primary chemical compounds on the market in the United States. 
  • The FDA has not approved any over the counter (OTC) or prescription medications containing kratom.
  • The FDA continues to monitor emerging research to better understand kratom, but continues to warn individuals against the use of kratom for medical treatment. 

Kratom Supplements

The FDA reports that kratom is not appropriate for use as a conventional dietary supplement or as an additive to conventional food products. 

Kratom-based products have been found to contain harmful contaminants including heavy metals and dangerous bacteria. These contaminated sources of kratom can produce additional and severe adverse effects that are not associated with consumption of kratom or its compounds alone.