Kratom is a medicinal plant native to Southeast Asia.
This herb has had a shaky history with the law. It’s been banned and unbanned in several European countries over the past few decades.
More and more countries are leaning towards regulation (favoring kratom users) or decriminalizing the herb.
Unfortunately, France is not one of these countries, and kratom remains banned until further notice.
Here’s everything you need to know about the French kratom ban.
Is Kratom Legal in France?
In 2020, French authorities banned kratom through Article R5132-8.
Over the course of that year, kratom became very controversial in the whole European Union.
France is one of the most liberal-minded countries in the region, but not enough to keep this medicinal herb legal.
French law prohibits production, export, possession, import, manufacture, transport, supply, transfer, and acquisition of kratom for any reason.
Fortunately, this is not the typical pattern in the EU, as most members don’t criminalize kratom use.
In France, you sadly won’t be able to access kratom legally.
The only way to get it is to order it from black market vendors (definitely do not do this) or order it from a legal vendor through a mail forwarding platform like Skypax (not as dangerous but still illegal).
There’s really no good way of ordering kratom if you live in France at the moment.
All kratom comes from the same plant (Mitragyna speciosa), but there are different strains or cultivars of the plant — each one with its own distinct effect profile.
Some kratom strains are stimulating; others are more sedating. Knowing what strain you’re using and what effects it has is a key aspect of using kratom effectively.
White vein kratom can be considered a stimulant. Its high content of 7-hydroxymitragynine (an alkaloid that binds to serotonergic receptors) makes a low dose of this variant feel like a cup of double espresso but without the jitters. As a result, white strains may enhance your creative thinking, make you feel more alert, and focused.
Red vein kratom can be considered the most relaxing of the three, as it has a high mitragynine content (a mu-opioid agonist alkaloid responsible for the calming effects). This characteristic makes this kratom an ideal substance to reduce stress and pain.
Green vein kratom is somewhere in between the two mentioned above, as these strains are usually more balanced, as are their alkaloid profiles. Therefore, this kratom is beneficial for those with more general problems or who need to treat multiple ailments concurrently.
Many people use kratom to increase their concentration and focus.
As you can imagine, white strains have the best results in this regard. However, green strains are a good alternative if you find white strains too stimulating.
However, if you find it too stimulating, you could experiment with green strains. In this situation, a small dosage is ideal. An interesting fact is that kratom produces higher stimulant effects in lower doses. Probably, this is because the higher the dose, the more predominant the mu-opioid agonist nature of 7-hydroxymitragynine will be.
First of all, you should know that even though kratom is a great pain reliever.
Second, it’s not recommended that you self-medicate whenever you have any discomfort. If your symptoms are prolonged and lasting, they may indicate something more serious, so you should see a doctor beforehand.
Red vein kratom is the main strain type used as a pain reliever. The recommended dosage varies depending on the individual’s tolerance and the severity of the pain.
A significant advantage of kratom is that it has many similar effects to opiate drugs — which means it can offer some relief from the symptoms of opiate withdrawal.
That said, don’t expect the symptoms of withdrawal to go away entirely after taking kratom.
This is only a tool, but you still need to experience some withdrawal symptoms in order for the body to regain its natural homeostatic balance.
Kratom merely serves as a substitute to get off the more addictive and dangerous prescription or street opiates. Kratom will then need to be weaned off later — but it’s much easier to quit kratom than it is chemical opiates.
Kratom has undeniable euphoric and mood-supportive benefits, and some strains are well-known for their anxiolytic benefits.
However, before you use kratom for mood or anxiety, it’s important to identify why you might feel this way. If you’re using kratom as a crutch to mask the underlying cause, it’s eventually going to stop working or come back to bite you in another way.
If you’re using kratom on top of other methods to work on your mental health, it’s going to be a much more powerful and long-lasting tool.
Red kratom is generally better for anxiety symptoms, while white kratom is better for depression.
Kratom is safe as long as it is consumed responsibly. You just need to keep in mind two simple factors: frequency and dose. Make sure to use kratom only when you need it, and take the lowest adequate amount to avoid building a high tolerance.
Related: What’s the dose of kratom?
The side effects of kratom can be very unpleasant if they are not consumed properly.
However, you should also know that many drugs you can legally get in pharmacies also have side effects that can be even worse.
The side effects are as follows:
Since authorities recently modified the Kratom law, there are no expectations about any new changes to be made.
As far as current laws are concerned, kratom’s use and possession are criminal offenses in France. It makes no difference between possession for personal use and trafficking.
Aside from that, there is good news: most of the EU is legalizing or decriminalizing the plant, so it wouldn’t be that crazy to expect the same from France in the future. After all, we’re talking about a medicinal herb, not a drug — it’s a matter of time before things fall in place.