Kratom has been used for hundreds of years for its remarkable medicinal properties. The natives of many Southeast Asian countries have used kratom throughout their lives, as it was used for everyday household illnesses.
The botanical has been used to fight fevers, relieve physical pain, control diarrhea, and even heal wounds. Indigenous peoples within countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam have long been reaping the benefits of the plant.
However, America and European countries have just recently discovered it. Unfortunately, there is some uncertainty surrounding kratom that creates a certain stigma. Many states and countries have decided to ban the plant. Finland has decided to make it a controlled substance.
In Finland, kratom is considered a controlled substance that a doctor can prescribe. According to the Finnish Medicines Agency, kratom can be imported and stored for legitimate scientific and industrial purposes.
In Sweden, kratom is a controlled substance. Specifically, the main component found within kratom (mitragynine) is listed in the Regulation on the Control of Drugs and the Swedish Medicines Agency’s constitutional collection. Kratom is also listed in Sweden’s Classification of New Psychoactive Substances.
While Finland shares a border with all three of these other countries, the laws relating to kratom vary.
There are no legal sources to buy kratom in Finland unless you’ve got a prescription to use the plant.
Like we said before, kratom is a controlled substance in Finland, and only individuals who obtain a prescription from a doctor will be able to buy, possess, and use it. The law is similar to any other prescription, where you legally can’t share it with anyone else, and you can’t just go pick it up at any gas station.
While the best-case scenario would be fully legalized kratom, the situation could be worse. They are leaving the door cracked for individuals who could benefit from using the plant medicinally.
If this ends up being a “good decision” in the eyes of Finnish lawmakers, then it will likely stay that way. The World Health Organization recently looked at kratom and decided it’s safe, so there’s a chance of the plant becoming legal, but unfortunately, we aren’t fortune tellers. Only time will tell.
It’s normal for the government to be wary of any substance that can alter your mood or state of mind, especially when it is mildly psychoactive, and people can obtain it without a prescription. This could be more than enough for some countries to turn their backs to the botanical and never look back.
Others want to back the pharmaceutical companies by limiting access to natural alternatives. If people switch to medicinal plants, the companies lose out. Any loss of revenue is bad, which is why medicinal plants like kratom may not be so appealing.
Kratom abuse and addiction are serious causes for concern, as they should be. However, physical dependence doesn’t typically happen to individuals who use kratom responsibly.
Its medicinal values have proven to be incredibly helpful at controlling certain health issues. Many have successfully used it for everything from joint pain to relieving anxiety and even improving sleep.
The United States first began seeing kratom pop up in the early 1990s. Its rise in popularity was rapid, as so many people were looking for something safer than opioids that could control pain without causing even more problems.
Prescription and illegal opioids like heroin carry a huge risk of addiction and are extremely dangerous. This is due to the fast-building tolerance and dependence combined with the heavy sedation this class of drug offers.
When your tolerance builds quickly, it will sometimes push individuals to take more than what is recommended. This can lead to respiratory failure and death (overdose).
Kratom is different. It was exciting for people in the West because they had discovered a natural medicine that can offer opioid-like effects without the considerable risk of respiratory complications or overdose. Your tolerance for kratom is also said to build much slower than that of opioids.
Kratom alone isn’t dangerous, but it can be when combined with medications or other substances. Taking large amounts of the plant for long periods can cause liver damage, presenting more issues later down the line.
Kratom and overdose tend to be brought up as a point of argument when ideas of legality get thrown around, but this is a total gray area. We lack the proof to back that kratom can even be fatal or cause an overdose in the first place.
There have been situations in which kratom was detected in overdose cases. Although, being detected and being the cause of death is entirely different. Most of the subjects had other, much more risky drugs and substances at play. It wasn’t kratom by itself.
For example, someone overdosed, and toxicology revealed that kratom was present in the body. Fentanyl was also listed as a co-occurring substance in addition to the kratom. The fentanyl was likely to blame, or the combination of the two (something you should never do) caused the overdose.
Adverse side effects or reactions to kratom are uncommon. However, if you’re using the plant with certain medications or other drugs/substances, you may run into some complications.
Side effects can also be seen in beginners; however, they can typically be avoided if you start with a small dose. Something less than two grams would be ideal, or if you want to be extra safe, you can microdose (>1 gram).
The most common side effects of kratom are as follows:
- Nausea, stomach distress, vomiting
- Deep sedation and lethargy
- Dizziness, light-headedness
Another possible side effect is becoming addicted, but this usually doesn’t happen as long as you can control yourself and use the plant responsibly. It shouldn’t be taken every day, you should always follow recommended guidelines, and you should never mix it with other substances.
Although, it should be noted that the risk of addiction surrounds us in everyday life. From promiscuous acts to eating too many snacks, the potential of becoming addicted to things that make you feel good will always exist.
There are a few things you should consider when deciding your dose. First, you’ll want to ask yourself whether or not you’ve eaten. The kratom effects will hit you hard and fast if you haven’t. This probably isn’t something a newcomer will want to experience right away.
Another factor would be your build. If you are on the heavier side and tall, you may need a slightly larger dose to get you where you want to be. If you are thin and small, you probably won’t need nearly as much.
You’ll also want to ask yourself what effects you are seeking out.
If you want a positive, uplifting, and energizing experience, you must stick with smaller doses spread throughout your day.
If you are looking for something heavier, something to help you unwind after a strenuous day at work, or to help you sleep when you’ve got lots on your mind, you’ll need to take a larger dose.
If you’ve got a lot to do, or you need to drive places, you may want to stick with smaller doses. Large doses can be overwhelming for some, making it hard to focus or do much at all.
Luckily there is a safe method of ingestion for virtually everyone.
There are a few universal rules that keep kratom consumption safe.
- Never combine kratom with other substances. Talk to your doctor and check this drug interaction chart to see if kratom will cause an adverse reaction.
- Only take as much as you need, and take breaks from kratom often.
- Buy strictly from trustworthy vendors. Too many companies sell fake or low-quality kratom.
Remember that kratom shouldn’t be mixed with alcohol either, as it can produce uncomfortable, sometimes even dangerous, side effects.
There are many safe ways to consume kratom. You can brew your kratom into a traditional tea, but some individuals cannot handle the harsh flavor. Some like to put lemon and honey in the tea to mask the taste.
Secondly, you can take capsules or even fill your own. Capsules are a simple way to ingest an exact dose of kratom, although it is typically more expensive. If you want to save money and using capsules is important to you, you can always fill your own caps.
Another method would be to use extracts. This is much more modern and involves using kratom in tincture form. You pay more, but the product is so potent you don’t need to take as much as you would with loose powder.
Kratom is not legal in Finland; it’s a controlled substance that requires a prescription.
If the residents of Finland want to see kratom become legalized within the country, more studies and research will have to be conducted. Also, those who use kratom via prescription will have to make sure that they are always acting responsibly and not abusing their medicine or sharing it with others.
For now, as long as you have a prescription, you’ll be able to enjoy kratom’s many medicinal benefits. If you don’t know where to start, consider finding a doctor nearby who isn’t opposed to natural medicine.