Kratom is part of the same family as the coffee plant, and though it doesn’t taste anywhere near as good, it’s been used as a medicinal plant for decades.
This plant helps people break their addiction to opioids, is a natural analgesic, offers a burst of energy, and has fewer health risks than most prescription medications out there — though many people fear it because of its potent effects.
This article tells you about kratom’s legality in Maryland, but we’ll also delve into other important aspects of this medicinal plant.
Kratom is currently legal in Maryland.
In 2020, bill MD SB147 set out to put an age limit on who could buy kratom. However, this died in committee, so its use remains unregulated.
With kratom unregulated, it’s important to be careful when buying kratom. Because there’s no oversight or rules regarding its manufacturing and distribution, anything can be sold as kratom, putting users at risk.
Kratom is legal in Maryland, but it’s also unregulated, so it doesn’t go through state quality controls. Because of this, you must take precautions. Anyone can sell kratom, and this gives place to scammy vendors.
The bag of stuff marked “kratom” at the local gas station may be nothing but filler and who-knows-what. That kratom ad that popped up online offering a free trial might be nothing but a scam. Unfortunately, these scenarios are all too common.
The good news? Plenty of vendors actually care about the products they sell because they know the difference kratom can make in a person’s life. The best companies are built by people who have seen kratom’s power and often use it daily themselves.
So, how can you know the difference? Luckily, it isn’t too hard. Look for three things:
- Third-Party Lab Tests: Any reputable company sends its kratom to a third party for lab testing. This proves the potency and purity of the product and is the only guarantee you’ll get.
- AKA Certification: The American Kratom Association is a non-profit company that heavily influences industry standards and state laws. Any vendor with its certification goes through an annual audit that checks the kratom’s quality. While not fail-proof, it’s certainly one more way you can make sure you’re getting the best.
- Company Reputation: Sometimes, this point is easily dismissable; after all, who actually leaves reviews, and who knows how legit they are? This can be true, but reviews are an excellent way to determine how well a company treats its customers and if its products are worth it.
Some local stores might meet these standards, but overall, most lack the testing and the reputation. After all, it takes money and a broad customer base to build both.
Online is also more discreet, and these kinds of vendors tend to have a broader selection. Still not sure where to start? Kona Kratom, Star Kratom, and VIP Kratom are three clear examples of high-quality companies that put customers first.
Again, buying in-store is also an option, but much more dangerous if kratom is unregulated where you live.
However, here are five stores located in Maryland that sell kratom, all with good ratings:
- Miracle Kratom (Bellevue)
- The Botany Bay (Lexington)
- The Dandi Lion (Paducah)
- Avery’s Kratom Barrel (Franklin)
- Discount Smokes (Louisville)
There are many reasons to use kratom, and you might find it meets needs that aren’t listed here, but the following are the most popular.
Kratom boosts mental performance and helps many people concentrate and do repetitive or creative tasks more efficiently.
White vein kratom is best if you’re looking for nootropic effects due to its interaction with serotonergic receptors, which are responsible for creative and lateral thinking.
In white vein kratom, 7-hydroxymitragynine interacts with serotonergic receptors, regulating focus, energy, and creativity. Users liken the experience of using it to the effects of a cup of coffee, without the common side effects such as anxiety and jitters.
Kratom won’t cure anxiety magically — nothing will. That said, kratom can help anxiety and depression alongside appropriate treatment.
Users with anxiety tend to find relief in red vein strains high in mitragynine. This mu-opioid agonist alkaloid can help you relax and ease the symptoms.
Those suffering from depression often find white vein kratom incredibly helpful and benefit from its stimulation.
Although kratom is not a cure for either of these two diseases, its effects can alleviate symptoms and help you on your road to recovery.
Kratom carries analgesic potential, but it can also cause undesirable effects in high doses. So start small, and regulate your dosage until you find the sweet spot.
Kratom can help with withdrawal; it’s not an opioid but produces similar effects due to its similar mechanism of action.
In general, it takes relatively potent strains and high doses to combat opioid withdrawal. Red strains work best due to their interaction with opioid receptors, plus provide a sedative and analgesic effect that considerably diminishes withdrawal symptoms.
Opiate withdrawal symptoms include unwanted compulsive movements, insomnia, anxiety, excessive sweating, among others.
Different kratom strains can cause a broad range of effects. Luckily, vein color is a good indicator of their effects. There are three different kratom vein colors: red, white, and green.
After the herb is processed, all the strains look the same, so it’s impossible to categorize them by looking at the powder. You can only recognize the vein color on the kratom leaf.
Before you buy kratom, ask yourself a few questions:
- What do I want to treat/What effects do I need?
- Do I have underlying issues to consider (i.e., anxiety, depression, other medical conditions) or prescription medications that could be affected?
Here’s a brief explanation of each strain and what each is good for. This way, you have an idea of what to look for and what to expect.
White vein kratom offers the most stimulating effects due to its high level of 7-hydroxymitragynine. This alkaloid targets opioid receptors (responsible for euphoric effects) and serotonin 5HT2A receptors (related to cognition and concentration).
Most people prefer this option because of its stimulant, nootropic, and mood-enhancing effects.
This is the strain to choose if you’re looking for the following:
- Relief from depression
- A mental boost
- Mood enhancement
- A creative burst
Red vein strains are the most soothing option. Their effects and bright red vein color come from a high concentration of an alkaloid known as 7-hydroxymitragynine, a mu-opioid agonist. By interacting with opioid receptors, red vein kratom causes analgesic and anxiolytic effects.
Choose a red strain if you need:
- Help with anxiety
- Pain relief
- Calming effects
- Help to fall asleep
Green vein strains are somewhere in between red and white. They’re neither wholly stimulating nor sedative — they’re in the center of the spectrum depending on strain and dose. As for the effects, these strains improve mood and may produce mild euphoria, but they can also be sedating.
Green strains are also the least potent out of all three vein colors, making them forgiving and ideal for beginners.
Green strains are ideal for:
- Mild pain relief
- Calm or energizing effects that aren’t too potent
- Social situations
Kratom is safe if you use it responsibly. However, any active substance can harm you in an excessive amount, and kratom is no exception.
If you use it irresponsibly, you might experience some side effects with kratom, including:
- Brain Fog & Related Effects
Kratom can be more stimulating at lower doses; this also carries less risk of side effects and helps avoid building up a tolerance. Before experimenting with high doses, always remember to start less potent strains in low doses to see how your body reacts.
Here are the general guidelines on kratom doses:
On average, people use between 2 and 5 g of kratom per dose.
- Microdose: Less than 2 g
- Average dose: 2 – 6 g
- High dose: 6 – 10 g
- Heavy dose: anything over 10 g
Always start low, and only use it as often as you need to. By using as small a dose as little as possible, you can avoid side effects, tolerance, and addiction.
It doesn’t look like a kratom ban is happening in Maryland anytime soon.
While the current legal status allows those who need kratom to access it, it also allows anyone to sell whatever they want and call it kratom. This puts the responsibility on the user to maintain a high standard when it comes to buying it.