Florida limits sale of kratom to those over age 21

Posted 7/11/23

Is kratom a potentially-deadly drug or a benefical herb?

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Florida limits sale of kratom to those over age 21


Is kratom a potentially-deadly drug or a benefical herb?

On July 1, a new law signed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis went into effect, limiting sale of kratom, an herbal product derived from the dried leaves of a tree in the coffee family. to those over the age of 21.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned consumers not to use kratom products because of potential adverse effects. The most dangerous side effects appear to be connected  with consuming kratom in combination with alcohol or other drugs.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), kratom can produce opioid- and stimulant-like effects.

A July 8 report on National Public Radio reported  a recent rash of wrongful death lawsuits have been filed against the gas stations and vape shops that sold kratom. “It’s native to Southeast Asia, where it’s been used for centuries as a folk medicine. At low doses, users say it relieves pain, anxiety and symptoms of opioid withdrawal. But at higher doses, it can produce a euphoric state like an opioid and has been linked to its own addiction, seizures and death,” the report explained.

NIDA supports research towards better understanding the health and safety effects of kratom use, noting thatt serious side effects have been reported in people who use kratom, including psychiatric, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and respiratory problems.

Anthropologists report that kratom has been used in Southeast Asia for hundreds of years as a multi-purpose remedy in traditional medicine, to increase alertness and energy while working and during social gatherings. While estimates of the scope of kratom use in the United States vary, the expansion of kratom vendors and increasing case reports suggest kratom use has become more common over the past two decades, a NIDA report states.

Those who use kratom may swallow raw plant matter in capsule or mix powdered kraton into food or drinks. Some people brew kratom leaves into tea or drink.

The FDA, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and NIDA support research to measure and better understand the short- and long-term safety risks of kratom use.

The sale of kratom is banned in Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisonsin. In addition, some counties Mississippi, New Hampshire, Colorado and California have laws banning the sale of kratom.

In Florida, kratom is legal everywhere except Sarasota County, where it has been banned since 2014. In Sarasota County, possession of kratom is a misdemeanor and carries a maximum $500 penalty. Sarasota County’s Code of Ordinances referred to kratom as a “designer drug,”

Drug interactions may increase the risk of side effects. According to the NIDA, studies suggest many people who use kratom also use other drugs and have conditions for which medications are often prescribed. Case reports suggest the use of multiple drugs involving kratom has been associated with severe adverse effects, such as death and liver problems.

The American Kratom Association is pushing for the Kratom Consumer Protection Act, to bring regulation to the industry while keeping kratom legal.

herbs, drugs, opioids