Mitragyna Speciosa, otherwise known as Kratom, is a controversial mind-altering natural drug used and marketed as a nutritional and dietary supplement. At low dosages, Kratom offers a stimulant effect whereas, at high dosages, it produces similar effects to that of morphine. As we know, Kratom works at the opioid receptors, altering the chemistry in the brain and thus affecting its average level of function.
Governing bodies over the use of substances like Kratom, such as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, claim that there is an excellent potential for dependency and addiction with prolonged use. At the moment, the debate around Kratom legality in Canada is growing.
Is Kratom Legal in Canada? – Kratom Legal Status
Is Kratom Legal in Canada? As of present, Kratom in canadais legal, allowed and relatively easy to purchase. It has not yet been banned or classified as an illegal substance, but who knows what the future will hold.
According to the CFIA and Health Canada, the sale of Kratom for consumption is illegal. Anyone selling the product as such may face penalties, including criminal prosecution.
This is a grey area because you can quickly get your hands on Kratom if you know what to look for; therefore, it would seem that the consumption of Kratom itself isn’t illegal.
Simply put, Canada does allow the use of Kratom, although, according to the governing bodies and laws around the organic product, Kratom has only not been authorized for internal use.
Many vendors are getting around Kratom legality by labelling their packaging as ‘Not for Human Consumption’ and advertising it as ‘soap making and aromatherapy,’ ‘research,’ or ‘spirituality.’
We’ll briefly touch on why several governing bodies in Canada feel that Kratom should be a banned substance, along with the other half of the debate on why many people believe it should remain legal.
Also, we’ll clarify what precisely the classification of Kratom is right now and the regulation around it. Even though it is legal, it can only be bought and sold under certain conditions so keep on reading to find out what these are.
Who Governs Controlled Substances in Canada
The governing bodies around controlled substances are the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Health Canada in Canada. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is a scientific-based regulator. Their mission is of ‘safeguarding food, animals and plants, which enhances the health and well-being of Canada’s people, environment and economy.’ On the other hand, Health Canada is predominately the governing body that establishes standards to regulate the nutritional quality of all food sold in Canada. Furthermore, food sold within Canada must comply with the Food and Drugs Act and Regulations and the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Acts and Regulations. In addition, all commodity-specific regulations must also be complied with.
Health Canada first determines the product classification, deciding whether the item is a Food or a Natural Health Product (NHP). To determine the classification of a product, Health Canada looks at its composition, product representation, product format, and the perception of the history of use. Once the product has been classified, Health Canada can apply the correct regulatory framework.Products falling under the classification for food will followthe Food and Drug Regulations used by the CFIA. They will handle all compliance and enforcement requirements relating to the food item. Ifthe product is an NHP, regulations specific to Natural Health Products, enforced by Health Canada, will be applied. So what is the herb Kratom classified as?
More on the Kratom legality in Canada in our section Legal or Not.
How is Kratom Classified?
According to Health Canada, Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is “a herbal product that may pose serious health risks when swallowed or inhaled. Side effects include drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, seizures, liver toxicity and excessively rapid heartbeat.” In addition,Health Canada also claims that Kratom has been linked to both narcotic and stimulant-like effects. They suggest that Kratom exhibits the potential for abuse and dependence.Although classified as a natural health product, Kratom has not been authorized by Health Canada for sale.
Is it that simple?
A note on authorization…
Anyone planning to sell a health product in Canada must make sure the item has been authorized first. Health Canada hasn’t authorized any product containing Kratom, hence why it remains illegal to sell the product. The governing organization advises that Kratom products are not safe for human consumption due to the potential adverse effects. The debate on Kratom legality seems to be continuous.
You can identify an unauthorized product by whether it has a product code on its packaging. This code is an eight-digit identification number (DNI). For example, natural products will have a Natural Product Number (NPN) whereas Homeopathic products, a Homeopathic Drug Number (DIN-HM).
What is the punishment for selling Kratom?
At this time, It is not clear what the specific fine or punishment is for those selling Kratom. We do know, though, that the initial action was taken by Health Canada and the CFIA when they have found Kratom, a vendor selling Kratom, is to order the seizure of the product. Following this, the vendors could risk closure and criminal prosecution for selling such unauthorized products.
Why Should Kratom Be Illegal/Iegal?
Organizations that are aiming to ban Kratom are making claims without having sufficient research to back them up. As it stands, supporters of Kratom continue to call for more analysis to explore the benefits of Kratom as a natural pain killer and botanic dietary supplement.
Lately, those opposed to legalization say that Kratom has all the properties that make it act like an opioid, interacting with the same receptors heroin and morphine would. Their response to the Kratom legality debate is that the risks outweigh the benefits. On the other hand, those wanting to keep Kratom in Canada legal are offering up different claims. They say that research shows that Kratom’s effect is very weak compared to the drugs mentioned above, up to 60 times less potent, with much less chance for abuse.
Understandably, we cannot deny that Kratom has narcotic effects.The substance acts like an opioid drug, which is why many claim it is also highly addictive.Presently, research has yet to display solid evidence proving there are health risks and abuse potential.The majority of claims are based on theories on how Kratom works in the brain.
News Events Regarding Kratom Legality
Kratom legality in Canada
- Together with the Canadian Border Services Agency, Health Canada is attempting to stop products with Kratom from entering into Canada.
Recently in the News / Recent Recalls
September 2018: Kratom Case Reportfrom the official Journal of the college of family physicians of Canada
July 23, 2018: Vancouver Sun Psychoactive Herb on the Radar
May 4, 2018:Unauthorized “Sāj” kratom products seized from two Edmonton stores may pose serious health risks
Past Advisories & Recalls
January 25, 2018: Unauthorized Kratom and sexual enhancement products are taken from multiple George’s Convenience stores in the Greater Toronto Area may pose serious health risks
July 7, 2017: Unauthorized kratom products taken from Culture Rising store in Milton, ON
June 25, 2017: Unauthorized “Jupiter” and “Kratom Zone” kratom products taken from two Edmonton stores
June 12, 2017: Matrix Red Vein Thai, Medicine Man Lone Wolf and Matrix White Vein Thai
May 19, 2017: Unauthorized “High By Nature” kratom products recalled by Garnoff Botanicals as they may pose serious health risks
May 17, 2017: High By Nature
The Future of Kratom Health
Even though Kratom exhibits similar properties as opioids, there is not enough evidence supporting that it is unsafe.There is also not enough research around Kratom to confirm the risks associated with taking the herbal. The substance remains legal in Canada as long as it’s not being sold for human consumption, which means that if you’re looking to purchase Kratom, you still can, although who knows for how much longer. Kratom products labelled safe for ingestion continue to remain unauthorized by Health Canada.Vendors who sell unauthorized products face a risk of prosecution.
If you support Kratom and would like to have the product remain legal, here’s how you can help. It’s part of your duty to take steps towards eliminating the stigma around it. The best way to accomplish this is by making sure that you and those around you aren’t abusing Kratom. The more responsible usage exhibited, the more positive attention Kratom will receive. The result of this is undoubtedly a higher likelihood more positive publicity will begin to circle Kratom. The residual effect will be that more research and funding will open up around the efforts to keep Kratom legal, and hopefully, Health Canada will take note, authorizing its sale. With that said, remember to use responsibly and continue to spread the word on the benefits you receive from Kratom consumption!
We’ll Keep You In The Loop
You can stay updated on whether Kratom does become authorized for sale by Health Canada by clicking hereand searching forMitragyna Speciosa. As always, check back often for updates to this article, including recent recalls, news reports, and new research studies.
- Biochemical Benefits, Diagnosis, and Clinical Risks Evaluation of Kratom
- Canada’s Drug Product Database
- The Licensed Natural Health Product Database
- Health Canada
- Canadian Food Inspection Agency
- Global News Report on Kratom Advisory
- Golden Monk Kratom
- CBC Report on Kratom
- Health Claims on Food & Natural Products
- CFIA Acts & Regulations
- Guidance Document Repository
- Organic Products Regulation
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Kratom products are not authorized by Health Canada and may pose serious health risks. It is illegal to sell any health products in Canada without authorization from Health Canada.What is kratom classified as? ›
Milham, is to make kratom a Schedule II drug — a classification by the Drug Enforcement Administration that's applied to medications “with a high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence.”How many countries is kratom illegal in? ›
As of 2018, kratom is a controlled substance in 16 countries and, in 2014, the FDA banned importing and manufacturing of kratom as a dietary supplement. As of 2018, there is growing international concern about a possible threat to public health from kratom use, while others, such as Dr.What are the health benefits of kratom? ›
Traditionally, it has been used to treat:
- Muscle cramps.
- Codeine (methylmorphine)
- (3) ...
- Thebaine (paramorphine)
- and the salts, derivatives and salts of derivatives of the substances set out in subitems (1) to (4), including:
- Acetorphine (acetyletorphine)
At a low dose, kratom has stimulant effects and is used to combat fatigue during long working hours. At high dosages, however, it can have sedative-narcotic effects. It is also used in traditional medicine and as an opium substitute.What does kratom do to the heart? ›
First, kratom's most common adverse cardiovascular effects include tachycardia and hypertension. And second, kratom use may affect the cardiac rhythm in a dose-dependent manner.What does kratom do to the liver? ›
Hepatotoxicity. Chronic use of kratom recreationally has been associated with rare instances of acute liver injury. The onset of injury is usually within 1 to 8 weeks of starting regular use of kratom powder or tablets, with symptoms of fatigue, nausea, pruritus and dark urine followed by jaundice.What is mitragynine found in? ›
Mitragynine is an alkaloid found in the leaves of the South East Asian treeMitragyna speciosa. Kratom leaves are chewed, smoked, or consumed in tea. Leaves from this tree have traditionally been used for both their stimulant properties and as an opium substitute.What is red kratom used for? ›
Bali kratom originates in Indonesia. It's reddish in color and believed to provide effective pain relief. Users say it's the most “opioid-like” of all the kratom strains. It may help relieve pain-related conditions, such as depression or chronic pain.
Sometimes, kratom use may lead to severe breathing issues, liver damage, kidney failure, seizures, coma and death. Between July 2016 and December 2017, it played a role in at least 91 overdose fatalities, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Does kratom cause memory loss? ›
Higher intake of kratom juice (>3 glasses daily) did not appear to impair motor, memory, attention or executive function of regular kratom users.Does kratom cause brain swelling? ›
Glatter says side effects of kratom include seizures, dangerously high blood pressure, damage to liver and kidneys, swelling of the brain, breathing problems, and cardiac arrest. The chances of these problems are even higher when people use kratom with alcohol or with other drugs, he says.What are the 4 types of controlled substances? ›
Controlled substances include opioids, stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, and anabolic steroids. Controlled substances with known medical use, such as morphine, Valium, and Ritalin, are available only by prescription from a licensed medical professional.What kind of drugs are legal in Canada? ›
Presently, alcohol, tobacco, cannabis (in Canada), prescription-grade narcotics, over-the-counter medications, psychiatric medications, medications prescribed for conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dietary supplements, and vitamins—all drugs—are legalized and regulated.What are Schedule 3 drugs in Canada? ›
Schedule III: Amphetamines, Hallucinogens, etc.
Offenders found trafficking in a Schedule III controlled substance (e.g. Amphetamines and hallucinogens) are liable for either an indictable offense with a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail or summary offense with a maximum penalty of 18 months in jail.
Canada Kratom Express is based in Vancouver and is a great site to go to if you want to know more about Kratom.Is kratom legal in New York? ›
A294 (ACTIVE) - Summary. Prohibits the sale of kratom to individuals under the age of twenty-one; imposes a civil penalty of not more than five hundred dollars for the sale or provision of kratom to any person under the age of twenty-one.What is kratom tea? ›
Kratom tea is made from kratom leaves that are steeped in boiling water. It has a stimulant or opioid-like effect on the body, depending on the dosage. Though it's legal in the United States, the DEA considers kratom a drug of concern due to its potential to lead to abuse, addiction, and even death.