Luckily for North Carolinians, kratom is legal in the state for all persons over the age of 18. Will the laws change soon?
In this article, you’ll find tips for purchasing and using kratom, including the best places to buy kratom if you live in North Carolina, what to look for when purchasing, and information about kratom’s uses and side effects.
Is Kratom Legal In North Carolina?
Yes, kratom is legal in North Carolina, as long as you’re over 18. The state passed HB 747 in 2016, making kratom illegal for minors.
Currently, the state is considering HB 563, which would further regulate kratom by implementing certain criteria for manufacturers and retailers to meet.
Some states regulate kratom purchases, and others have banned kratom outright, but there are currently no such policies in North Carolina. This makes it easy to purchase and use kratom throughout the state.
Learn more about kratom laws in the United States.
Where to Buy Kratom In North Carolina
In general, there are two ways to purchase kratom: at a local store or online. There are advantages and disadvantages to each, but overall, buying kratom online is the quickest and easiest way to get the highest quality kratom.
We’ll discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each option below.
Buying Kratom Online
Purchasing kratom from an online vendor comes with several key advantages over buying it from a local shop.
First, online kratom retailers purchase their products directly from the source, allowing them to take advantage of bulk order discounts. Since no middlemen are involved, the online vendor can turn around and sell products to the customer at a much lower price than a physical store can afford. The savings from purchasing kratom online can be significant.
Online vendors routinely put kratom through its paces by utilizing third-party lab testing to verify quality and purity. For example, VIP Kratom and Kona Kratom are two online retailers known for rigorous testing and quality control.
Local kratom shops don’t have this luxury since the supply is passed along to several intermediaries between themselves and the manufacturer; it’s often impractical to trace low-quality products to their source.
Another significant point in favor of shopping online for kratom is variety. Shelf space, shelf life, and a smaller pool of customers limit a physical store’s selection. Internet-based kratom shops can carry a comparatively huge range of products.
One minor drawback of buying kratom online is the shipping costs and time. If you want to get your kratom immediately, online shopping might not be the way to go. However, some online kratom shops — like Star Kratom — specialize in speedy service and will get your kratom to you quickly.
Related: Top Ten Kratom Vendors
Buying Kratom In-Store: Kratom Near Me
If you decide that online isn’t suitable for you, your only other option is to find a local store that sells kratom products. Brick-and-mortar kratom shops aren’t too difficult to find in North Carolina, so there should be one within a reasonable drive.
Be aware that it’s much more difficult to establish quality checks on the products from local shops. Unlike online retailers, local stores often resell other companies’ products, which means third-party testing is impractical or even impossible in many cases.
Still, if speed is your primary concern, patronizing a local shop might be the best option for you. Here are a few popular kratom vendors in North Carolina to consider to get you started.
1. Smoke & Talk Kratom, Kava
This Raleigh-area smoke shop has an impressive selection of kratom and kratom-related products for a physical store. However, the prices are high, even for a local shop.
2. Kratom NC
Located in Wilmington, Kratom NC has a decent selection of kratom and friendly, knowledgeable staff. Prices are competitive but still more expensive than buying online.
3. One Stop Smoke Shop
This one, located in Charlotte, is not a kratom-focused store, but it still has a small selection of kratom products. The staff is happy to answer questions, and the prices are fair.
4. Tobacco Barn
Another all-in-one smoke shop, Tobacco Barn, carries tons of products, including a small selection of kratom. It has some of the best prices for a local kratom retailer. You can find it in Winston-Salem
5. Smoke House Tobacco & Vapes
Despite what the name suggests, Smoke House Tobacco & Vapes in Asheville also carries other related products, including kratom. The selection isn’t the best, but prices are reasonable, and the staff is attentive and helpful.
Find Kratom Near You
Review our North Carolina city guides to find the best local kratom stores:
What to Look for When Buying Kratom
Whether you choose to buy your kratom online or in a local shop, there are three primary things you’ll want to consider when selecting a product.
1. Strain Selection
There are three main kratom strains: red-vein, white-vein, and green-vein. Which strain you choose will dramatically affect your experience, so choosing the appropriate strain for your needs is essential.
Here’s a quick rundown of the main strains and what their effects are.
White Vein Kratom
White-vein kratom is the most stimulating kratom strain, making users feel energetic and focused while improving memory and overall cognitive function. These strains also provide feelings of euphoria, giving an extra boost for those long days.
Red Vein Kratom
Unlike white-vein kratom, red-vein kratom is an analgesic that numbs pain receptors, helping people manage chronic pain and opioid withdrawal. Red-vein kratom users often feel relaxed and sleepy when they take it, making it more suitable for the night than in the morning.
Green Vein Kratom
Green-vein kratom is a happy medium between red and white strains, combining the effects of both. Users of green-vein kratom describe its effects as similar to caffeine but with less edge and uneasiness. If you don’t need a dramatic energy boost but don’t want to feel too relaxed, green-vein kratom is likely the best choice.
2. Company Reputation
Before you make any kratom purchase — online or in-person — you should do a thorough background check on the companies you’re considering. A quick Google search is a good start, but you should also read independent reviews to understand the products better.
The more information you have about a company, the easier it is to judge its reputation. If something feels off, trust your instinct and look elsewhere.
Our in-depth vendor reviews are a great place to get started to confirm the legitimacy of a company and the safety and potency of the products.
3. AKA Certification
Kratom is a largely untested and unregulated herb, meaning it can be challenging to know that you’re getting a high-quality product from a reputable company. Opportunists are quick to take advantage of nascent substances like kratom to make a quick buck by selling low-quality knock-offs.
The American Kratom Association (AKA) is an independent company striving to combat such practices by providing certification to companies that pass their quality tests and background checks.
The AKA has stringent thresholds that a company must meet before it can become a member. Current AKA-certified kratom retailers have yearly audits to verify that products are in line with AKA standards.
You should always buy kratom from AKA-certified vendors. Without AKA certification, it is impossible to know that the products you purchase are legitimate and high-quality. Local shops often are not AKA members, making online retailers a safer option.
What Are People Using Kratom for?
Kratom is a herb used for a variety of common issues. Here are some common uses for kratom, including which strains are best for treating each problem.
Pain management is one of the most common uses for kratom. Red-vein kratom is a potent analgesic that blocks pain receptors, much like opioids do.
Kratom also acts as a mild muscle relaxant and can help reduce inflammation and ease joint pain. There are a growing number of clinical trials studying the effects of kratom that point to its effectiveness.
Related: Is Kratom An Opioid?
Anxiety & Depression
Anxiety and depression are reaching unprecedented levels, and more people are turning to kratom to help relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety so they can live their lives. Prescription antidepressants and anxiety medication often have significant severe side effects — kratom is a safer and more attractive option.
White-vein kratom is the go-to strain for treating anxiety and depression since it’s a powerful mood booster and gives its users more energy and focus.
Related: Is Kratom Dangerous?
Chemically speaking, kratom is similar to opiates in that it blocks the pathways your body uses to transmit pain signals to your brain. By interrupting the normal pain response, kratom can ease pain and help chronic pain sufferers manage their condition.
Recovering from opiate addiction is a lengthy and painful process made especially difficult by unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Kratom has a less pronounced pain-relieving effect but is helpful as a bridge to help ease withdrawal symptoms and help people avoid relapses.
Understanding the best kratom strains for treating opiate withdrawal will help you get the best results possible.
Energy & Focus
A sizable fraction of kratom users use kratom for improved energy and focus. White-vein kratom is the primary strain used for this, but people looking for a less intense experience usually prefer green-vein kratom.
White-vein kratom users describe feeling euphoric and laser-focused after taking it, while green-vein proponents liken the feeling to drinking an average-strength cup of coffee.
Related: Can Kratom Help With ADHD?
Is Kratom Safe?
Like many substances, kratom is safe to use as long as you use common sense and follow a few simple guidelines. Taking too much is how most people get into trouble, although there is no research indicating that large doses of kratom have serious negative effects, even in extreme cases.
Still, it’s better to be on the safe side and stick with smaller doses, especially if you’re just starting. Most people recommend starting with 2 g and never taking more than 12 g.
The most serious concern surrounding kratom use is addiction. Kratom shares many characteristics with opioids and is similarly addictive, although to a far lesser extent. Like any addictive substance, it is essential to take breaks every one to two months.
Experts also recommend using kratom only four or five days per week to reduce the risk of addiction and to give your body a break.
Related: Kratom Dosage Guide
Side Effects of Kratom
Kratom has relatively mild side effects when taken in moderation, but taking larger doses can have unpleasant results. Some of the more commonly experienced side effects are covered below.
Some people report feeling nauseous after taking kratom. Usually, this happens after taking a large amount, so limiting your dose size is the best way to avoid feeling sick.
Feeling off-balance and dizzy is common when taking more than 5 g of kratom. Keep your dose size small, and you shouldn’t experience any dizziness.
In small amounts, kratom can help alleviate the symptoms of anxiety and stress, but in larger quantities, it can exacerbate them. This side effect is rare in people taking 2-5 g doses, but white strains are more likely to cause anxiety.
Mental cloudiness is a common side effect of kratom use — especially when taking more than 10 g. If you feel like your memory is impaired or your mind is working more slowly than usual when using kratom, you’re probably taking too much.
Lack of Energy
A long-lasting feeling of lethargy can signify that you need to take an extended break from kratom use. Kratom alters your hormone levels and can cause certain receptors in your body to change their sensitivity, making you less responsive to energy-boosting hormones.
Some people will take a break and avoid kratom for 1-2 weeks, while others will change strains. Which approach you take is up to you; both can be effective.
Other Side Effects & Considerations
There is some anecdotal evidence suggesting that kratom can damage your liver and kidneys. Unfortunately, this lacks research, but there is some information on kratom’s effect on your liver and kidneys available.
It’s dangerous for expecting women to use kratom. Kratom use during pregnancy is generally not recommended for the safety and well-being of the fetus.
Taking kratom with alcohol, recreational drugs, and prescription medications can be unsafe and deliver an unpleasant experience. In general, you should not take kratom with alcohol or while you are taking any medication to avoid dangerous adverse reactions.
Related: List of Kratom/Drug Interactions
What’s the Future of Kratom In North Carolina?
Kratom is currently legal in North Carolina for anyone over the age of 18 to buy and use. It’s considering legislation that would regulate how kratom is manufactured and sold.
Some states have already banned kratom, and others have made it a regulated substance, meaning that kratom’s future in North Carolina is uncertain.
However, there are no indications that North Carolina will make kratom use illegal in the foreseeable future.
If you’re interested in trying kratom, online retailers are the best avenue to use since they offer a wider selection of higher quality kratom at lower prices than local shops.
Make sure to look for AKA certification and do your due diligence researching any kratom retailer before making any purchases. Star Kratom, Kona Kratom, and VIP Kratom are three of the best online kratom retailers and provide quality customer service, fast shipping, and extensive safety checks on all of their products.