DEA Drug Fact Sheet

Kratom is a tropical tree native to Thailand, Malaysia, Burma, and other areas of Southeast Asia. Consumption of its
leaves produces both stimulant effects (in low doses) and sedative effects (in high doses) and can lead to addiction.
The leaves from Kratom trees are widely available on the internet and sold as crushed leaves that can be smoked or
steeped for tea and as gel caps.
Street names
Thang, Kakuam, Thom, Ketum, Biak
Looks like
The kratom tree can reach heights of 50 feet with a spread of more than 15 feet. Forms available through the Internet
include leaves (whole or crushed), powder, extract, encapsulated powder, and resin “pies,” (pellets made from reduced
Methods of abuse
Kratom is mainly abused orally as a tea. Chewing kratom leaves is another method of abuse.
Affect on mind
At low doses, kratom produces stimulant effects with users reporting increased alertness, physical energy,
talkativeness, and sociable behavior. At high doses, users experience sedative effects. Effects occur within 5 to 10
minutes of ingestion and last for 2 to 5 hours. 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. Withdrawal effects include symptoms of hostility, aggression, mood
swings, runny nose, achy muscles and bones, and jerky movement of the limbs.
Affect on body
Kratom’s effects on the body include nausea, itching, sweating, dry mouth, constipation, increased urination, and loss
of appetite. Long-term users of kratom have experienced anorexia, weight loss, insomnia, skin darkening, dry mouth,
frequent urination, and constipation.
Drugs causing similar effects
The dominant effects of kratom are similar to those of psychostimulant drugs.
Overdose effects
Kratom has been abused as a recreational drug around the world. In low doses, Kratom works as a stimulant and in
high doses as a sedative. In low doses (10 grams) kratom induces mild euphoria and reduces fatigue, and generally
does not interfere with ordinary activities. With strong doses (20-50 grams) the effects are said to be profoundly
euphoric and immensely pleasurable.
Legal status in the United States
Kratom is not controlled under the Controlled Substances Act. There is no legitimate medical use for Kratom in the
United States. However, it is marketed on the internet as “alternative medicine” for use as a pain killer, medicine for
diarrhea, and other ailments and for the treatment of opiate addiction. Kratom is legal in the United States but is on the
DEA list of Drugs and Chemicals of Concern.
Common places of origin
The kratom tree grows in areas of Southeast Asia, but various forms of kratom are widely available on the Internet.
This content came from a United States Government, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) website,