If you have looked into the kratom market at all, you immediately become aware that there is no shortage of vendors to choose from. This is true for both online companies and vendors that use brick-and-mortar shops. Many people have heard or read about kratom and its unique benefits and qualities, and some have heard about the potential dangers of misuse. Consumers need to be well informed on what to look for to help avoid poor vendors peddling fake or adulterated products. The best places to buy kratom depends on a few different aspects, and ultimately, your personal preference.
Shopping for kratom online can be done from the comfort of your own home, and this may be appealing to a variety of consumers. There are a few advantages to shopping for kratom online. First, you generally have a wider selection and you can navigate by personal preferences using online filter bars. Next, you can take your time reading product information or descriptions for all the different products available — finding the right kratom strain for your intended uses and level of experience — without feeling like you are asking a million questions, or that you are being rushed. Additionally, you can read an array of customer reviews on a product that you are interested in to get unbiased insight.
There are a few disadvantages to shopping for kratom online. First, you are going to have to wait for your kratom for however long shipping will take. Second, with the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and AI-powered customer service, more and more online and phone interactions are becoming automated.
For some consumers, finding quality kratom locally is an option. Brick-and-mortar shops have employees who can attempt to answer all your questions surrounding dosages, kratom types, capsules vs. powders, and any others that may arise. There are three primary types of brick-and-mortar stores that sell kratom:
The first two options are the least likely to be able to help customers with specific knowledge surrounding kratom since they offer a large variety of products. This may raise concern among customers surrounding the quality control of kratom distribution and sourcing transparency due to a lack of specialized knowledge on the product itself. The best way to fully ensure appropriate and safe use is “appropriate regulation by the FDA” according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). In the absence of this regulation, consumers must rely on retailers to be knowledgeable and transparent about the kratom they sell in order to ensure the product is safe and unadulterated.
The biggest benefit of shopping at a brick-and-mortar establishment is that you get your product immediately. Some disadvantages may include higher pricing, limited selections, difficulty verifying the quality, and lack of knowledge from employees that work at establishments that do not exclusively offer kratom.
With the seemingly endless amount of options for purchasing, and the confusing Food and Drug Administration (FDA) kratom laws and regulations, it can be difficult to understand where to purchase kratom from and what to look for. Ultimately, finding the best place comes down to finding reliable vendors. The information below is meant to provide insight for consumers on where to buy kratom.
Since the FDA Kratom regulations are confusing and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has announced plans to ban all sales of kratom, you want to check the local laws in your area prior to purchasing any product. First, check the kratom legality map to understand whether or not the state you live in has legalized kratom. The same map will help consumers understand what the restrictions are, what legislation is in place, which states ban kratom, which cities ban kratom, which states are currently performing studies, and which states have adopted the Kratom Consumer Protection Act bill.
The knowledge surrounding the product being sold by the retailer can be an indication of product quality and overall expertise. Insight from the establishment selling the product can help inform consumers, provide tips surrounding kratom usage, and point them in the right direction when shopping for kratom — all while creating a more personalized customer experience as a whole.
If the retailer is unable to answer basic questions that you are asking surrounding the product itself (where the product comes from, the farming and processing techniques used to preserve the product, or any other questions about the supply chain), you should be wary of purchasing from said retailer. Likewise, a knowledgeable retailer should be capable of addressing your concerns as a new or prospective kratom user, as well as be able to speak to how you can manage dosage and mitigate tolerance levels as a more experienced user.
As David Kroll, a pharmacologist, wrote for Forbes, “adulteration of herbal supplements has been a perennial problem in the dietary supplement market.” Without an authenticity certification, there are risks for consumers that the products they are buying do not have adequate processes for safe storage and shipping, or that the plant-based supplement is tainted with chemicals or other non-plant-based substances.
Genuine kratom vendors will make it exceedingly clear that their product has an authenticity certification, which shows they keep a close relationship with suppliers and can account for the safety and purity of the products from farm to retail. The American Kratom Association (AKA) is one of the leading organizations providing authenticity certification through the AKA Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) Standards Program. This program was created in order to establish a higher level of manufacturing processes, ingredients, and product quality for all kratom vendors. This takes into account the following:
To verify authenticity, you can look for the AKA authenticity certification label, or look online at the list of AKA GMP qualified vendors
Look at customer reviews online. Most reputable kratom dealers will include customer testimonials or product reviews somewhere on their site. This can be a tedious task if you are shopping in person, but if someone has had an amazing experience or an extremely poor experience, there is a good chance that you can find insight online. Consumers that have been duped will want to pass this information onto potential customers or future shoppers to prevent it from happening to them.
Although some kratom vendors may produce their own kratom from start to finish, there is generally some manufacturer involved in the process. If the kratom that you are wanting to purchase is truly an authentic product, then they will have no issue putting you in contact with the manufacturer or importer for additional questions and clarification surrounding the product. If the vendor claims that they are unable to do so, look for a batch number on the label. Authentic products should have some form of a batch or lot number — a number that you can use to access more information surrounding the product and processes that go into making the product. The lot number can help protect retailers and consumers with product recalls, quality assurance, legal compliance, and official certification(s). Ask a variety of questions once you get in touch with the manufacturer and be sure to validate any claims made by the vendor. If something doesn’t match up between the vendor and the manufacturer, it is fairly indicative of poor products.
Obtaining kratom comes down primarily to two general options: online retailers, and in-store retailers such as headshops/smokeshops, botanical/herbalist shops, and gas stations. In the end, the best choice for buying kratom all comes down to a matter of personal preference.