Kratom tea is an increasingly popular substance that is sold as a legal high, natural medication, focus aid and sexual stimulant in specialty stores and by online retailers across the country. The drug is derived from a plant native to Southeast Asia and has been used for hundreds of years for many purposes. Studies of the health risks and side effects of kratom tea are still limited; however, kratom and kratom tea are known to be dangerous when taken.

What is Kratom Tea?

Kratom tea is made from the leaves of the kratom tree. The kratom tree is a plant native to Southeast Asia. Traditionally, the leaves of the kratom tree were chewed or dried and made into a tea. In low doses, kratom tea acts like a stimulant, providing mild stimulant effects. In large doses, however, kratom tea takes on the properties of a sedative, much like an opioid drug. In recent years, kratom tea has become popular in the Western world even though it has been made illegal in many of the countries where it is naturally found.

Kratom tea has been marketed as an herbal supplement or “natural high,” and is sold online and in natural food stores. There are, however, many risks associated with the drug and there have been hundreds of emergency room and poison control center visits linked to kratom tea. There have also been several deaths in which kratom tea was involved, usually with other substances.

Despite these incidents, kratom tea is currently legal in the United States. The DEA intended to place kratom on the Schedule I controlled substances list, but after a strong reaction from the public and lawmakers, the agency has delayed its decision until more scientific studies take place. Still, the drug is illegal in several countries and poses a health risk when it is abused.

Kratom Tea Effects

Smaller doses of kratom tea provide mild stimulating effects. It can heighten the mood, increase sexual arousal and lower the appetite of the person taking it. This method of taking kratom tea is more in line with traditional uses. But, when people take kratom tea in higher doses, more noticeable effects begin to take place. High doses of kratom tea can bring about a strong euphoric high. Many people will even drink kratom tea to relieve the symptoms of opioid withdrawal.

Kratom tea also has several noticeable side effects. Anxiety, respiratory depression (slowed breathing), changes in heart rate, constipation, seizures, coma and death are all possible outcomes of ingesting kratom tea. People who use kratom chronically may become addicted to the drug, developing a dependence and suffering from painful withdrawal symptoms when the drug is not present in their systems. The risks of overdose with kratom tea may be increased with the use of other drugs.

The full extent of the risks associated with taking kratom tea is not known. Drugs that are new to the market and have not yet been classified or scheduled and sold legally may seem like safe, alternative ways to get high, or low-risk ways to treat chronic pain, drug withdrawals or other conditions. However, unregulated drugs are actually quite risky because there is no way of really knowing what is in them or how potent the drug is. Until more research is done, kratom tea remains a high-risk substance and should be avoided.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.