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Close-up of researchers inspecting cultivated kratom leaves.
Image Courtesy of University of Florida College of Pharmacy

Highlights

  • “Kratom” commonly refers to an herbal substance that can produce opioid- and stimulant-like effects. Kratom and kratom-based products are currently legal and accessible in many areas, though U.S. and international agencies continue to review emerging evidence to inform kratom policy.1
  • While there are no uses for kratom approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, people report using kratom to manage drug withdrawal symptoms and cravings (especially related to opioid use), pain, fatigue and mental health problems.2,3,4 NIDA supports and conducts research to evaluate potential medicinal uses for kratom and related chemical compounds.
  • NIDA also supports research towards better understanding the health and safety effects of kratom use. Rare but serious effects have been reported in people who use kratom, including psychiatric, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and respiratory problems.1,5 Compared to deaths from other drugs, a very small number of deaths have been linked to kratom products and nearly all cases involved other drugs or contaminants.1,6,7,8,9,10

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