Where to Buy Kratom in Des Moines

Written by Johan Hansen
Last Updated 2 years ago

Johan Hansen

Ex-Kratom Shop Owner

Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is unregulated throughout Iowa, so you can freely buy and possess it in Des Moines without restrictions. This also means that most online vendors will ship here and that many retail stores near you will stock it without problems.

Here we will show you the eight best kratom vendors on the online market today and delve into the herb’s legal status in the city. We will also talk about the role the American Kratom Association (AKA) plays here.

Is Kratom Legal in Des Moines?

Yes, kratom is legal in Des Moines.

Kratom is permitted throughout Iowa, including Des Moines and other major cities. Authorities tried to ban it in 2014 but ultimately failed, thanks to the intervention of organizations like the AKA.

On a federal level, kratom is also unregulated in the U.S., so it’s legal to buy and possess it without a minimum age and other conditions. Still, some states have decided to ban it inside their jurisdictions.

Moreover, in 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) thoroughly reviewed kratom and found it safe. This could impact kratom’s future since many governments look to the WHO’s decisions.

Will Des Moines Ban Kratom?

It’s unlikely that Des Moines will ban kratom anytime soon.

Thankfully, many voices are willing to defend kratom’s legal status in Iowa. We already saw this in 2014 when a change.org petition rounded up almost a thousand signers, which ultimately helped stop an attempted kratom ban.

However, one thing to worry about is the 2022 Iowa Drug Control Strategy report. Investigators labeled kratom as a “new opioid” — a completely false notion. This misconception could lead to authorities changing their mind, although it’s still unlikely.

Why Do Some States & Cities Ban Kratom?

Authorities usually ban kratom based on misconceptions about its effects and addictive potential. For example, Alabama lawmakers labeled it a Schedule I substance — the same classification as heroin and cocaine.

Luckily, information is spreading about the safety of kratom and how to use it responsibly. Non-profit organizations such as the AKA try to make authorities reconsider their stance and change these laws.

Top 5 Kratom Shops in Des Moines

Unfortunately, there aren’t many options to buy top-notch kratom in Des Moines. However, a few smoke shops sell good kratom at a reasonable price. Here we created a list of the best retail stores that stock this herb here.

1. Shag Alternative Superstore

Shag is probably the biggest tobacco chain in Des Moines, as it has several retail stores all over the city. It carries a decent selection of kratom, although it doesn’t provide any information about it online.

We recommend calling (515) 953-5843 before heading to any of their multiple locations. Some of their stores are at 2600 University Ave #200, 3800 Merle Hay Rd Suite 511, and 333 E Grand Ave #105. You can check out more locations on its website.

2. Groovy Goods Daydreams

Groovy Goods Daydreams specializes in glassware, festival gear, and bohemian clothing. Its owners also carry kratom, claiming they source directly from Southeast Asia.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t display any of its products on its website, so you’ll have to call (515) 274-2799 to get a hold of some prices. Otherwise, you can head in person to 2300 University Ave.

3. Ankeny Smoke & Vape

Although it’s the farthest store on this list, Ankeny Smoke & Vape is well worth the drive. It has one of the widest selections of kratom in Polk County, and its staff is known for being warm and knowledgeable.

Unfortunately, its website tends to be offline, so you’ll have to call (515) 216-1596 to get a hold of which products it offers. The store is located at 502 N Ankeny Blvd Suite 12.

4. Allcool Liquors

Allcool Liquors mainly focuses on selling alcohol and cigars, yet it also carries a modest variety of kratom products. It may not be the widest in Des Moines, but it might have what you need.

Sadly, it doesn’t specify which products or strains it carries on its website, but you can find out how to get some coupons there. We recommend calling 515 (412)-1559 before going in person to 5904 Ashworth Rd for a pleasant experience.


Despite being a cannabis-oriented shop, DESPENSARY carries one of the most extensive selections of kratom in the city. On its menu, you’ll find powder, extracts, and capsules from reputable brands such as Urban Ice and O.P.M.S.

You can check out all of its products on its official website or by calling (515) 523-3050. The store itself is located at 221 4th St.

Des Moines Iowa skyline in USA (United States)

Why You Should Buy Kratom Online

Buying kratom in a head shop may seem like the most logical option — after all, retail stores have been with us since we were born. Yet, we firmly believe that it’s better to order it online, as it has many benefits over in-store shopping.

Here are some of the benefits of ordering your kratom online:

  • Readily available reviews and third-party tests — it’s easy to find information about any online vendor on sites like Reddit or Google Maps. Good sellers will also regularly post lab-test results on their websites.
  • It’s cheaper — online vendors don’t have the overhead costs of maintaining a physical store, allowing them to lower their prices considerably without sacrificing quality.
  • A broader selection of strains — sometimes, online shopping is the only way to access exotic strains. It’s pretty much impossible for head shops to stock strains such as Hulu Kapuas or Cambodian.
  • It’s easier — thanks to most stores having nationwide shipping, you can have kratom delivered right to your doorstep without leaving your house. Plus, it’ll even reach rural areas or other areas that don’t have headshops or quality kratom.
  • Quality tends to be higher — online vendors usually source their kratom directly from Southeast Asia, leading to a higher overall quality, as they don’t have to deal with intermediaries.

Is Buying Kratom In-Store Safe?

Although it’s generally safe, online shopping is safer.

Many stores throughout the country sell kratom, but not all of them follow the correct procedures to ensure quality. This happens partly because most of these stores don’t specialize in the herb, which leads to low quality.

Avoid shady vendors by running a small background check to ensure good selling practices. Doing this helps you get the best quality possible but keep in mind that online shopping provides better results.

Here are some things to look out for when buying kratom in-store:

  • AKA endorsement — local stores don’t often have this certification. We recommend you always check the label for this, as it ensures high quality.
  • Good storage practices — reputable vendors will keep kratom in good condition to extend its shelf life. This includes keeping it in airtight containers away from environmental variables.
  • Knowledgeable staff — a seller should know what he’s selling. An excellent way to ensure this is to avoid stores that only carry one or two strains.
  • Positive reviews — good vendors will have a good reputation on sites like Google Maps. Shady ones will answer aggressively to criticism instead of addressing potential issues.

Kratom Vendors That Ship to Des Moines

There are dozens of high-quality vendors that ship to Iowa, but only a few truly stand out among their competitors. Here we created a list of the eight best online kratom vendors that ship to Des Moines so you can get the best kratom products out there.

1. Kona Kratom

Aka GMP Certified yes
Pricing $45.00 — $115.00
Verified Vendor

Kona Kratom

4.95 / 5
Ranked 1 out of 190 vendors

Kona Kratom earns an easy first place on our list thanks to its top-notch quality and excellent customer service. Hundreds of reviews online praise it as the best kratom store and especially highlight its 30-day money-back guarantee.

Its menu carries more than 30 different strains, including Green Malay, Red Indo, and White Sumatra. The only drawback is that it’s a bit expensive — a kilo of kratom runs for $159.99.

The best about Kona Kratom:

  • Fantastic quality
  • Efficient customer service
  • Free shipping on orders above $29.99
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

What could be better:

  • Prices can be a bit expensive

2. Star Kratom

Aka GMP Certified yes
Pricing $35 — $95
Verified Vendor

Star Kratom

4.9 / 5
Ranked 2 out of 190 vendors

Star Kratom is famous among the online kratom community for its incredible turnaround times and affordable prices. This company follows a strict same or next-day shipping policy, meaning you’ll get your products as soon as possible.

The most common complaint, and pretty much the only one, is its narrow variety of strains. However, you’ll still find the most common ones, such as Red Maeng Da and Green Malay. As for pricing, a kilo of raw powder will set you back $99.99.

The best about Star Kratom:

  • Fastest shipping out there
  • High-quality kratom
  • Affordable prices
  • All strains come in both capsule and powder form

What could be better:

  • Strain selection is relatively narrow

3. VIP Kratom

Aka GMP Certified yes
Pricing $40.00 — $125.00
Verified Vendor

VIP Kratom

4.85 / 5
Ranked 4 out of 190 vendors

VIP Kratom sells what is, without a doubt, the most potent kratom on the market. Such is the case that many veterans report being dumbfounded by the sheer potency of their products. Nonetheless, if you’re a beginner, we recommend taking it easy with this one.

Its best-selling strains are Green Hulu, White Maeng Da, and Red Thai. Although it doesn’t offer many other varieties, VIP Kratom makes sure to excel at those that are available. Still, keep in mind that it’s rather expensive — a kilo runs for $179.99.

The best about VIP Kratom:

  • Best quality available on the market
  • Strict quality controls
  • Full refund if the product doesn’t meet your standards
  • Discounts when buying in bulk

What could be better:

  • High prices

4. Kats Botanicals

Aka GMP Certified yes
Pricing $$6.99 — $$99.99

Kats Botanicals

4.5 / 5
Ranked 10 out of 190 vendors

Kats Botanicals has earned its place as one of the most reliable wellness-oriented herbal stores. It offers everything from valerian root to turmeric, including a decent selection of top-notch kratom.

Among its strains, you’ll find varieties such as Green Brunei and White Maeng Da, along with blends like Digital Buddha. Its prices are competitive, but not the most affordable, as a kilo of powder will set you back about $140.

The best about Kats Botanicals:

  • More than five years of experience
  • High-transparency policy
  • Same-day shipping on some orders

What could be better:

  • Free shipping only for orders above $100

5. Happy Hippo Herbals

Aka GMP Certified yes
Pricing $7.00 — $35.00
Verified Vendor

Happy Hippo

4.5 / 5
Ranked 9 out of 190 vendors

Despite its funny-looking website, Happy Hippo Herbals remains one of the best options for buying kratom online. Each one of its products goes through intensive quality controls and sterilization. Plus, its source material comes straight from Indonesia.

This brand carries one of the broadest strain selections out there, with exotic varieties like Red Kali and Green Riau. However, Happy Hippo Herbals’ products have a hefty price tag: a kilo of powder costs a shocking $205, while 100 capsules run for $20.

The best about Happy Hippo Herbals:

  • Top-notch kratom
  • Wide variety of strains
  • It also offers capsules, extracts, and energy shots

What could be better:

  • Most expensive vendor on this list

6. Green Leaf Kratom

Aka GMP Certified no
Pricing $22.99 — $350.00
Verified Vendor

Green Leaf Kratom

2 / 5
Ranked 149 out of 190 vendors

Green Leaf Kratom may be the only brand on this list that aims for quantity over quality. It has an outstanding variety of strains, but it doesn’t post lab-test results. However, many reviews online praise their products’ quality, so it’ll be up to you to decide.

You’ll find incredible varieties on its menu, such as White Hulu Kapuas, Red Bentuangie, and Green Vietnam. Its prices are relatively high given its lack of transparency, as a kilo of raw kratom powder will set you back $169.99.

The best about Green Leaf Kratom:

  • Widest strain collection out there
  • Frequently stocks exotic and hard-to-get varieties
  • Most strains come both in capsule and powder form

What could be better:

  • Serious lack of transparency
  • Prices could be much better

7. Chief Kratom

Aka GMP Certified no
Pricing $11.99 — $

Chief Kratom

4.0 / 5
Ranked 48 out of 190 vendors

The famous extracts from Chief Kratom are a common sight in thousands of retail smoke shops all over the country. However, despite its products’ potency, this brand lacks transparency, as it doesn’t post any information on its website.

Furthermore, it doesn’t specify which strain it uses on each product. Still, many users report that these little bottles are more potent than most would expect. Plus, they run for a ground-breaking $11.99 for 12 milliliters.

The best about Chief Kratom:

  • Cheap and reliable high-quality kratom
  • Water-soluble extracts

What could be better:

  • It doesn’t sell directly to customers
  • Lacks transparency

8. Remarkable Herbs

Aka GMP Certified yes
Pricing $6.49 — $85.99
Verified Vendor

Remarkable Herbs Kratom

4 / 5
Ranked 44 out of 190 vendors

While Remarkable Herbs is undoubtedly one of the biggest names on the kratom market, it has several cons. For example, it doesn’t sell directly to customers, so you’ll have to get its products through online distributors.

Still, its products are a reliable way to get high-quality kratom in any head shop. You’ll find common ones among its strains like Red Bali and Green Malay. Its powders come in small pouches, with the eight-ounce one running for $35.99.

The best about Remarkable Herbs:

  • Readily available products in thousands of retail stores
  • Consistently high-quality kratom

What could be better:

  • It doesn’t sell directly to customers
  • It doesn’t offer refunds or returns

Which Kratom Strain Should I Use?

You may have already noticed that vendors usually divide their kratom depending on the strain and vein color. These variables are crucial in getting the exact effects that you need, as kratom can vary wildly depending on them.

Strains are chemical variations among plants of the same species. On top of that, vein color refers to the maturity of each plant and how it was processed. If all of this confuses you, don’t worry — we created a list to guide you through.

Green Vein Kratom Powder

Green vein kratom powder is known for being versatile, well balanced, and easy to manage. Not only is it ideal for beginners, but it’s also the cheapest type of kratom out there. Plus, pretty much any store that sells kratom will have it in stock.

Green Borneo

Green Borneo is a fantastic place to start if you’re a beginner or simply looking for an all-around strain. It has a perfectly-balanced effect profile and provides anxiolytic and analgesic effects.

Green Bali

Green Bali is probably the most energizing green-vein variety out there. Its nootropic and stimulating properties will keep you focused throughout the whole day. Many users report replacing their morning coffee with this strain.

Green Thai

Green Thai provides a deep sense of well-being, ideal for winding down after a long workday. However, this doesn’t mean that it will put you to bed — most users report feeling a boost in physical energy.

Red Vein Kratom Powder

Red vein kratom powder is a sedating type that’ll melt all your stress and anxiety away. It’s also fantastic for bedtime, as it promotes deep restorative sleep. However, some strains have a slightly energizing effect.

Red Thai

Much like its green-vein counterpart, Red Thai can produce a tranquil headspace and a profound feeling of inner peace. While moderate doses are suited for beginners, high amounts often cause euphoria.

Red Horn

Red Horn is a favorite among kratom enthusiasts, as its effect profile is very unpredictable. This strain varies between batches, but its painkilling and anxiolytic properties are consistent.

Red Sumatra

Red Sumatra will be perfect for you if you’re simply looking for the most potent sedative kratom can provide. High doses of this strain will promote deep restorative sleep while relaxing your whole body.

White Vein Kratom Powder

On the other hand, white vein kratom powder is highly stimulating and nootropic. It’s ideal for people who want a mood-enhancer that’ll last throughout the whole workday. Plus, it retains strong painkilling and anxiolytic properties.

White Thai

White Thai works perfectly as a replacement for alcohol, as it has energizing effects while also providing a calm headspace. Many users also report feeling more inspired when doing creative work such as writing and drawing.

White Bali

White Bali is a great starting point for beginners that don’t know where to begin with white-vein kratom. It provides an easy-to-manage effect profile and a reduced incidence of side effects like anxiety to boot.

White Sumatra

White Sumatra is your dream strain if you’re looking for a caffeine-free alternative to coffee. Its intense, energizing properties can last for a whole day while keeping you focused on your work.

Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) leaves, powder and capsules isolated in white background.

Why Isn’t Kratom Used in Traditional Medicine?

Despite kratom being a common remedy in Asian cultures, it’s not a part of modern traditional medicine. It’s hard to know the exact reason for its disregard, but most kratom users think it’s caused by the stigma surrounding kratom.

Due to the infamous war on drugs policy, kratom was demonized by authorities who constantly compared it to dangerous opioids. Eventually, the stigma led to doctors pushing kratom aside.

Kratom’s medical benefits are still under research, so, logically, things won’t change immediately. Yet, keeping it legal encourages these studies.

Is Kratom an Opioid?

No, kratom is not an opioid.

Many people confuse kratom for an opioid, as it shares many similar properties to substances from that group, including acting as a pain-reliever. However, a few crucial differences set kratom apart from those drugs.

First of all, despite having similar effects, kratom’s active alkaloids don’t come from the opium poppy. Furthermore, kratom isn’t likely to generate overdoses or severe side effects — responsible kratom use carries little to no risks.

Because it’s not an opioid, kratom can be a fantastic treatment for opioid addiction. This herb can significantly relieve withdrawal symptoms thanks to its relaxing and analgesic effects.

Kratom for Weight Loss

While it’s not a magical solution, kratom can be fantastic for losing weight. This herb has specific properties that will boost the benefits of a good diet and frequent workouts. However, it’s best to view it as a supplement rather than a cure-all.

For example, white-vein strains are energizing and mood-enhancing, which helps in strenuous workouts. On the other hand, red-vein varieties can suppress appetite and help you sleep — a key factor to losing weight.

Conclusion: Where to Buy Kratom in Des Moines

There are two ways to get kratom in Des Moines: online or retail smoke shops. We firmly believe that buying online is better, especially from top vendors such as Kona Kratom, Star Kratom, or V.I.P. Kratom.

Luckily, it seems as though kratom will remain legal in Iowa in the near future. However, keep an eye on further developments, as authorities could change their minds.