Kratom is a tropical tree native to Southeast Asia. Consumption of its leaves produces both stimulant effects (in low doses) and sedative effects (in high doses), and can lead to psychotic symptoms, and psychological and physiological dependence. Kratom leaves contain two major psychoactive ingredients (mitragynine and 7-hydroxymytragynine). These leaves are crushed and then smoked, brewed with tea, or placed into gel capsules. Kratom has a long history of use in Southeast Asia, where it is commonly known as thang, kakuam, thom, ketum, and biak. In the U.S., the abuse of kratom has increased markedly in recent years.
At low doses, kratom produces stimulant effects with users reporting increased alertness, physical energy, and talkativeness. At high doses, users experience sedative effects. Kratom consumption can lead to addiction.
Several cases of psychosis resulting from use of kratom have been reported, where individuals addicted to kratom exhibited psychotic symptoms, including hallucinations, delusion, and confusion.
Kratom is not controlled under the Controlled Substances Act; however, there may be some state regulations or prohibitions against the possession and use of kratom. The FDA has not approved Kratom for any medical use. In addition, DEA has listed kratom as a Drug and Chemical of Concern.