Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a natural herb used to treat chronic pain, anxiety, and depression that has been gaining popularity lately.
Some states have regulations on kratom use, and others have banned it entirely, but, luckily, kratom is legal in Hawaii.
This article explains kratom’s legal standing in Hawaii and covers the best ways to purchase kratom if you live there.
We’ll discuss the best places to buy kratom both online and in-person, how to use kratom safely, and what side effects you need to be aware of.
Is Kratom Legal in Hawaii?
The short answer is: yes. Kratom would have been classified as a Schedule V drug, restricting its use and availability. However, HI SB3064 failed to pass, keeping kratom legal for use.
For now, kratom is legal in Hawaii to buy and use without any special considerations. However, lawmakers are interested in the Kratom Consumer Protection Act (KCPA), which serves as the middle ground and could save kratom from becoming a strictly regulated substance.
The Kratom Consumer Protection Act (KCPA) is a bill that addresses many concerns related to kratom’s unregulated status while still allowing people to use kratom without jumping through hoops.
The KCPA calls for placing age limits on kratom’s use and requiring manufacturers to test and label kratom products with a coherent set of standards. Hawaii has not passed the KCPA yet, but several other states have.
Where to Buy Kratom in Hawaii
Individuals interested in purchasing kratom in Hawaii have two primary options: buy online or look for a local kratom shop. Each option has advantages and disadvantages, but, in general, purchasing online is the better choice.
We discuss the pros and cons of both methods in the following sections.
Buying Kratom Online
The most common place to buy kratom is online. Here are a few of the reasons why so many kratom users source their product online:
Better Quality Control Measures
Purchasing kratom online affords you several significant advantages over buying it in a local store, the most important of which is quality control.
Online kratom retailers hold products to a higher quality standard and subject kratom to rigorous third-party testing.
Another benefit of purchasing kratom online is the price. Most online kratom retailers work directly with manufacturers to reduce costs, allowing them to sell products at a reduced rate.
Brick-and-mortar kratom shops have to manage inventory and consider shelf-life, making it impossible to buy in bulk and, therefore, offer lower prices.
Local kratom shops also can’t provide the same variety as online retailers due to demand. Most places from which you can purchase kratom in-person also cater to tobacco and vape users.
These stores can’t carry as many kratom products as an online vendor since the customer base is considerably smaller.
Disadvantage: Longer Wait Time
The only disadvantages to buying kratom online are shipping fees and wait times. Even the fastest shipping service can’t compete with driving to a nearby store, and, for some people, it makes sense to shop locally.
If you need to replenish your kratom as soon as possible, online shopping may not be the best avenue to use. However, some online kratom vendors — like Star Kratom — have fast shipping, making it a good choice if you can spare a few days.
Buying Kratom In-Store: Kratom Near Me
The other option is to purchase kratom from a physical shop. The main advantage to buying in-store is speed since you won’t have to wait for your order to process and ship. If you need to have your kratom as soon as possible, buying from a local shop is typically your best bet.
However, local kratom stores typically don’t have the same stringent quality controls as online vendors, and verifying your kratom’s purity and potency before buying is nearly impossible.
Local shops are several steps removed from the kratom’s source, meaning the staff won’t know much more about the kratom they’re selling than you do. Additionally, since local shops are further down the supply chain than online retailers, freshness becomes a concern.
If you decide that speed trumps all else and want to purchase kratom in person, here are a few popular shops in Hawaii to get you started.
Hawaiin Holy Smokes
This cigar shop in Honolulu primarily sells cigars and other tobacco products and carries a small selection of kratom. The owner is friendly and helpful and is willing to answer customer questions.
Brahddah’s Hawaii Smoke Shop
Brahddah’s, in Honolulu, is another all-purpose smoke shop that has some kratom products alongside cigars and pipes. Prices are competitive, and the staff is knowledgeable.
Discount Smoke Shop Hawaii
Located in Kailua, this all-in-one smoke shop carries a small range of kratom products at fair prices. It also sells cigars, pipes, and incense.
Hi Supply Smoke Shop
Hi Supply’s staff is helpful and willing to assist their customers, making it a great place for new kratom users. The shop is small but has a decent selection of kratom. You can find them in Wahiawa.
Pipeline Smokeshop in Honolulu is one of the largest smoke shops in Hawaii. There’s an impressive selection of products — including kratom — at reasonable prices.
What To Look For When Buying Kratom
Before you make a purchase, there are a few things you should look for. Having a pleasurable experience with kratom is all about choosing the right strain since different strains have dramatically different effects.
You also need to know how to do a background check on a kratom retailer before committing to a purchase. Unfortunately, many companies don’t follow best practices or have the customers’ safety and satisfaction in mind.
The following sections discuss how to choose the right vendor and what strain will meet your needs.
A) Strain Selection
There are three main kratom strains: red-vein, white-vein, and green-vein. There is some overlap between the strains, but they’re also different enough to make it essential to choose the right one for your needs.
White Vein Kratom
White-vein kratom is the most stimulating strain, providing its users with a significant energy boost. Many proponents of white-vein kratom compare its effects to a strong cup of coffee and recommend taking it in the morning to help aid your focus and cognitive function throughout the day.
The white strain is also used to treat anxiety and stress and can help relieve symptoms of depression (more on kratom’s uses in a later section).
Red Vein Kratom
Red-vein kratom is everything that white-vein kratom is not. It’s a sedative, generally making its users feel relaxed and sleepy.
Most red-vein kratom users only take it at night before bed, especially when taking larger doses. Red-vein kratom relieves pain and acts as a mild euphoric when taken in smaller amounts.
Green Vein Kratom
If neither the red nor white strains particularly suit you, green-vein kratom is probably the best choice.
Green-vein kratom is the best of both worlds in many ways, offering users more mild pain relief and less relaxation than red-vein and a smoother and more manageable energy boost than white-vein.
B) Look For AKA Certification
The American Kratom Association (AKA) is an independent organization that provides certification for kratom companies.
AKA certification requires companies to meet strict requirements concerning kratom’s quality and purity, and continuing membership hinges on passing annual audits.
A company with AKA certification is verified to have higher quality products and accurate labeling, giving you confidence that you’re actually getting what you pay for.
Most local kratom retailers do not have AKA certification. These vendors often sell another company’s kratom; the original kratom supplier may change the product without the local vendor’s knowledge.
If you only take away one thing from this article, make it this: look for AKA certification before purchasing kratom from an unfamiliar source.
Purchasing kratom from an AKA-certified retailer gives you peace of mind that your product will match the company’s quality and purity claims.
C) Company Reputation
The final step before making your purchase is to do a background check on the company.
A simple Google search is enough to get you started. Read customer reviews from as many independent sources as you can find.
Lousy service and low-quality products often spark people to spread the word, so make sure the company you’re investigating has a clean track record.
If a company has a contact option, consider writing an email or giving it a call. You can tell a lot about a company from the quality of its customer service and willingness to assist potential customers. You can also check out our kratom vendor reviews for more information and recommendations.
What Are People Using Kratom For?
There are many uses for kratom, but here are the most common reasons people take it, along with the best strains for the job.
The most common use for kratom is as a pain reliever. Kratom doesn’t treat the underlying cause of pain but can relieve chronic pain by interrupting pain signals.
Kratom also reduces inflammation and acts as a mild muscle relaxer which can help it treat a broader range of pain-causing conditions. Red-vein kratom is the predominant strain for pain relief, although some people prefer green-vein.
Anxiety & Depression
Anxiety and depression are pervasive these days and are some of the more difficult illnesses to treat. Many medications used to treat anxiety and depression have various dangerous and concerning side effects, making them undesirable options.
What’s more, everyone is different, meaning it’s impossible to predict how an individual will react to a given medication.
Kratom helps treat anxiety and depression, with white-vein kratom being the most common choice.
Another use for kratom is to treat withdrawal symptoms in recovering opiate users. Kratom shares a biological mechanism with opioids but has a less aggressive impact on the body.
Since kratom works similarly to opioids, taking kratom can reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms, making it less likely for someone to regress and return to opioids for relief.
There is a lot of information about using kratom for withdrawal, and more research and trials are being conducted.
Energy & Focus
A less common use for kratom is as an energy enhancer and focus aid. White-vein kratom gives users a significant increase in energy, improves reaction times, and may increase cognitive performance.
While the effects are slightly different, many proponents of white strain kratom describe the impact as being similar to caffeine. Some strains are better than others for increasing alertness, so make sure to do some research before choosing one.
Is Kratom Safe?
Overall, kratom is safe to use, but doing so requires following a few simple guidelines. Beginners and experienced kratom users alike should stick to low doses between 2 and 5 g if they want the best possible experience. Kratom’s side effects — described in detail in the next section — become more pronounced and intense in large doses.
Besides side effects, practicing responsible kratom use can help you avoid addiction. Kratom shares many chemical and biological similarities with opioid painkillers and is similarly addictive, though less extreme.
Limiting kratom use to four or five times per week is the best way to avoid developing kratom addiction.
Even if you limit your weekly kratom consumption, you should take a break intermittently. Taking a week off from kratom once every one to two months will mitigate many of the more severe side effects and lower your tolerance, helping you avoid burnout.
Side Effects of Kratom
Virtually all unpleasant experiences with kratom are rooted in taking too much too often. If you experience any of these side effects, you most likely took too much or didn’t properly regulate your weekly and monthly use.
One of the more common side effects of kratom use is nausea. Developing an upset stomach is considerably more likely the more you take, so if you feel sick after taking kratom, try reducing the amount.
Dizziness is also a common side effect and, like nausea, often related to dose size. Stick to the lower end of the 2g to 5g range, and you probably won’t experience any vertigo.
Paradoxically, kratom can cause anxiety in large doses. Treating anxiety with kratom is all about getting the dose right since taking more than 5g can increase anxiety.
Some kratom users experience feeling mentally slow and foggy after taking kratom. This side effect usually occurs in people taking more than 10g but could manifest to a lesser degree with a smaller dose.
One of the uses of kratom — especially red-vein kratom — is as a pain-relieving sedative, so it is not too surprising that tiredness is a side effect. Excessive tiredness could result from extended use without a break, so remember to take one or two days off per month and one week off every month or so.
Other Side Effects/Considerations
Kratom has a complex interaction with hormones, changing epinephrine and norepinephrine levels in your system.
Elevated hormone levels are linked with liver and kidney damage, although there’s no concrete evidence that kratom causes liver and kidney damage. Still, limiting your dose and frequency is a good idea if you want to be as safe as possible.
Pregnant women should not use kratom under any circumstances. People on medication or who drink alcohol regularly should also not take kratom since there’s the potential for dangerous interactions between kratom and other substances such as alcohol or benzodiazepines.
What’s The Future of Kratom in Hawaii?
Kratom is currently legal in Hawaii, and there’s growing interest in the KPCA.
If adopted, users would have access to kratom but with more restrictions and regulations.
If and when changes will occur is uncertain at this time, keeping up to date on kratom legality in Hawaii is crucial.