Kratom is a legal high – but Florida legislators plan to regulate it.

Matthew C. Woodruff
Kratom Powder and LeavesPhoto byPublic Use

You may not have heard of Kratom, but a 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimates that 2.1 million people in the U.S. use it. Kratom is a plain-looking evergreen tree originating from Southeast Asia. It’s used as a stimulant in lower doses and a sedative and painkiller in higher doses. Kratom leaves can be chewed, and dry Kratom can be swallowed or brewed. Kratom extract can be used to make a liquid product. The liquid form is often marketed as a treatment for muscle pain, or to suppress appetite and stop cramps and diarrhea. Kratom is also sold as a treatment for panic attacks.

More information on Kratom, its uses, side effects and FDA information can be found here.

In recent weeks, Florida legislators have taken steps toward regulating kratom. In recent years, the popularity of kratom has skyrocketed in the U.S., including Florida, in part because of its purported opiate-like effects and widespread availability.

There are no Federal regulations on the sale or use of Kratom, but Florida lawmakers are moving forward with a bipartisan plan to regulate its use.

“We don’t want anybody to spike it or to cut it," said state Sen. Joe Gruters (R-Sarasota). "We want an unadulterated, pure form going to the consumer at the end of the day.”

The Florida Kratom Consumer Protection Act would ban kratom manufacturers and sellers from mixing the substance with illegal drugs and synthetic compounds. It would also set the age limit to purchase and consume kratom at 21 years old. The measure has received unanimous support in both the House and Senate as it moves through the committee process.

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Matthew is an independent journalist, an internationally award-winning author best known for Dark Humor/Lite Horror/Supernatural short stories, as well as an ordained minister who served as a domestic missionary. He is a lover of the unusual, travel, cats and the spark that makes people tick. Matthew is based in Florida, USA.

Gainesville, FL

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