Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is an herbal extract known for having energizing and sedative properties. It’s related to coffee and grows in the tropical forests of Southeast Asia, where locals have used it as traditional medicine for centuries.
In this article, you’ll learn what makes this herb unique, as well as its legal status in Charleston and where to find the best shops near you. Furthermore, we’ll dispel the usual misconceptions about kratom and tell you why it’s so important to be informed.
Is Kratom Legal in Location?
Yes, kratom is legal in Charleston and throughout South Carolina.
Like many other states, South Carolina has no regulations on kratom, meaning anyone is free to produce, sell, distribute, buy and use it without issue.
Uniquely, there has been no legislative action intending to legalize or restrict the use of this substance. However, in 2018, the state justice conducted a raid on a company near Myrtle Beach, resulting in the seizure of a significant amount of kratom.
The F.D.A. claimed that the products were adulterated under 21 U.S.C. because there was little evidence to assure that kratom wasn’t dangerous. Despite this claim, no further seizures have occurred since then.
The F.D.A.’s complaint is consistent with the agency’s campaign to ban kratom in the U.S., where kratom is mostly legal. Moreover, it turned to the World Health Organization (WHO) looking for additional support. The way things are, an unfavorable ruling would be enough to forbid the substance in many countries.
The WHO studied kratom and published the results in its kratom report. Fortunately for all users, they found no evidence of a threat to public safety, instead recommending keeping tabs on its usage and product quality standards.
Will Charleston Ban Kratom?
There’s no reason to fear an incoming ban on kratom any time soon. The substance remains unregulated, but there’s no push — public or politically motivated — to change the situation. Everything points to kratom remaining legal, at least in the short term.
Of course, a lawmaker’s mind can be unpredictable, so we recommend staying on top of any possible developments in this area.
Why Do Some States & Cities Ban Kratom?
Almost all banning attempts are due to misconceptions and prejudices about psychoactive substances. For many people, the mere mention of opioids or alkaloids leads their minds to think about dangerous synthetic drugs.
In addition, kratom is a relatively new substance in the Western Hemisphere, so there’s little reliable information about it. When there are so many disinformation campaigns, such as the latest one conducted by the F.D.A., it’s tough to tell what’s true and what’s not.
The truth is that there’s nothing synthetic or inherently dangerous about kratom. It’s relatively safe, has many benefits, and nobody should be afraid to try it once.
Top 6 Kratom Shops in Charleston
For several reasons, finding a reputable physical shop is usually the most challenging task for beginners. It’s time-consuming and quickly becomes a matter of trial and error, which can be a waste of money and effort.
Wanting to make things easier for you, we’ve made a list of Charleston’s six best kratom sellers. It will be enough to get you started and save you some time, but remember that you can always look on your own.
1. Smoke N’ Brew
Offering reasonable prices and a vast selection of products, this shop has won a place among the best in town. The kratom they sell is pure, organic, and lab-tested, so you don’t have to worry about their safety. Feel free to explore their gift shop, as it has many interesting items.
You will find this shop at 815 Folly Rd, and you may call them at (843) 501-7979 for further inquiries. Go to its website, and you can explore some of the products they sell and find a contact form.
2. Gallery Smoke Charleston
This shop sells an outstanding variety of kratom strains at a low cost while providing excellent customer service. The staff will answer all of your questions and make you feel at ease when shopping for your favorite items.
The company has several shops across Southeastern U.S. Their Charleston shop opens at 370 King St, and its phone number is (833) 872-7473. Additionally, you can check their website and Facebook page, from where they serve to all their locations.
3. Wholesale Tobacco & Ale
One of the earliest kratom providers in town, this shop is a family-run business that will make you feel welcome and comfortable. They provide a large selection of kratom strains, all of which are organic and reasonably priced.
You are welcome to visit them at 1610 Sam Rittenberg Blvd, Suite 105B, or you may also give them a call at (843) 571-0143. Their website is pretty old-fashioned and doesn’t have much to show, so we recommend you visit their Facebook page if you need to contact them.
4. Avalon Vapor CBD
Here, you’ll discover one of the best selections of vaping and kratom products in the city. White Sumatra and Green Maeng Da are the most sold strains, and they’re always keeping quality high and prices low. We are sure your visit will be so pleasant that you will return later.
Visit them at 1027 Folly Rd #3937, but if you want, you can give them a call at (843) 934-0070. On their website, you’ll find a contact form as well as their opening hours and directions.
5. Purple Haze Smoke Shop
This shop has everything you need, from tobacco to vapes, as well as kratom. Their prices are affordable, and their selection vast enough to overwhelm you. In addition, if you have any questions, their knowledgeable staff will gladly answer all of them.
The company has two locations in Charleston, one at 778 Folly Rd and the other at 1698 Old Towne Rd. Visit their website to find additional contact information for each of them and their other shops across the state.
6. Island Tobacco
Besides their excellent selections of vaping, CBD, and tobacco, this shop offers some of the best kratom products in the area and carries products from reliable manufacturers like Remarkable Herbs; this shops’ Green Malaysian and Red Bali are must-haves.
You can locate them at 808 Folly Rd, but you may also call them beforehand at (843) 225-5202. They don’t have a dedicated website, but their Facebook page is updated almost daily.
Looking for Kratom in Another City?
Find out where to buy kratom near you:
Why It’s Better to Order Kratom Online
As a kratom user, you’ll find yourself choosing between buying from online vendors or physical stores. Choosing one or another will depend on whether you like the warmth of human interaction or the comfort of buying from home.
We believe internet purchasing not only saves you time and effort but is also the superior choice over visiting brick-and-mortar shops.
To begin with, most online vendors adhere to the American Kratom Association’s (AKA) requirements or conduct third-party testing on their items. In contrast, physical shops often have no method of proving their goods are legitimate.
Furthermore, there are no intermediaries because you get your kratom straight from the manufacturer, which increases quality. By the way, you also save money since you don’t have to pay the overhead costs of selling from an actual location.
In addition, you can always read thousands of reviews for each vendor and strain, even for the rarest ones. A physical store is lucky if it reaches a hundred positive reviews, and most don’t even have enough.
Finally, buying kratom online opens up a world of possibilities because you now have access to all strains on the market, not just the most popular ones. No store can ever match the selection of a vendor with more than 100 strains on sale.
Is Buying Kratom In-Store Safe?
In general, we can’t say that purchasing kratom in a shop is unsafe. The majority adhere to any requirements each state may have for storefront businesses, and owners strive to keep their establishments clean and attractive to customers.
However, no matter how spotless or legit, a shop can’t compete with the resources of online vendors. These can easily prove the quality and safety of their products, all while offering considerably lower prices, among many other benefits.
Kratom Vendors That Ship to Charleston
By now, you know the benefits of online purchases, so you must be wondering about starting in this new way of kratom-buying. However, the truth is that finding the one vendor that meets your needs can be challenging, even for the most seasoned enthusiasts.
For that reason, we’ve made a list of the eight best reputable vendors that ship to Charleston, all with AKA certifications or third-party lab tests regularly done. We hope you can find one that suits your needs, no matter which of those may be.
1. Kona Kratom
Kona Kratom is a safe and trusted choice because of its competitive price and quick shipping times. It not only guarantees the highest quality kratom but the best customer service and the most diverse strains available, all sourced directly from Southeast Asia.
In addition to a 30-day money-back guarantee, if you spend $29.99 or more on a product, shipping is free. Additionally, sample packets are available at no cost to aid you in selecting the strain you need.
Kona Kratom’s top picks:
- Green Malay
- Red Maeng Da
- Red Dragon
2. Star Kratom
Star Kratom has no match in delivery speeds, and its same-day and next-day shipping options make this vendor shine over others. With the company’s commitment to quality and safety, those features win second place in our ranking.
However, this vendor has one disadvantage: a limited selection of strains. Despite that, their thorough testing and affordable items make this vendor a formidable choice.
Star Kratom’s top picks:
- Red Bali
- Green Maeng Da
- Green Malay
3. VIP Kratom
VIP Kratom only sells kratom of the finest quality, just as its name suggests. As a result, their prices are greater than those of other suppliers, but it’s still a fantastic deal for their customers. Their quality control is so rigorous that they became famous for returning whole batches that don’t meet their requirements.
If you buy from this vendor, you’ll notice that their products are more potent than what you’ll find in other vendors. That’s the perk of getting high-quality kratom. Besides this, the company offers many benefits such as bulk orders, fast shipment, and refunds.
V.I.P. Kratom’s top picks:
- Red Sumatra
- White Maeng Da
- Green Hulu
4. Gaia Kratom
Gaia (Mitragaia) Kratom
Gaia Kratom has been six years on the market and is one of the most recognizable vendors in the country. With over 20,000 social media followers adoring its prices and strains, this retailer offers kratom in tablets, capsules, tinctures, as well as raw powder.
They sell over 140 strains, all with competitive prices and of excellent quality. In addition, their customer service offers discounts if your order exceeds a set amount, which can save you quite a lot of money in the long run.
Gaia Kratom’s top picks:
- Green Batak
- Red Brunei
- White JongKong
5. Chief Kratom
Chief Kratom is the place to go if kratom tinctures are your thing. Their AKA certification attests to their manufacturing practices, but we have no idea where they source their products from. In addition, they don’t even specify the strains they use.
Nevertheless, they have managed to keep purity high and costs low, and their tinctures are organic and free of artificial additives.
Chief Kratom only sells one product and doesn’t inform the strain or its source.
6. Happy Hippo Herbals
Happy Hippo Herbals is more expensive than typical because of intensive lab testing, but it makes up for it with benefits for regular customers. Unlike its competitors, it sorts its products based on how long they take to take effect.
Their website requires patience to navigate, but their product selection is well worth it. Furthermore, this vendor has an AKA certification for good manufacturing standards, so it is as reputable as possible.
Happy Hippo Herbals’ top picks:
- Green Maeng Da
- White Horn
- Red Maeng Da
7. Golden Monk
Golden Monk Kratom
Golden Monk built a solid reputation for its discrete shipping options, dating back to when people saw kratom usage negatively. Even now, they deliver your order in an unmarked inconspicuous package to shield your goods from prying eyes.
In addition, they have a point-based program that offers discounts to all customers, even new ones. Benefits like those can come in handy when you’re low on money, so we recommend you try them someday.
Golden Monk’s top picks:
- Red Bali
- Maeng Da
- Green Malay
8. Kats Botanicals
Kats Botanicals sells a range of medicinal plants in addition to kratom, all while using organic processes. It’s engaged with the community, and it goes as far as making product updates based on customer feedback.
Some of their strains and items tend to be unavailable or simply don’t exist anywhere else, such as the Digital Buddha. Their 11,000 reviews say that this vendor takes this business seriously, and it would be unfair to say otherwise.
Kats Botanicals’ top picks:
- Green Maeng Da
- Digital Buddha
- White Maeng Da
Which Kratom Strain Should I Use?
If you haven’t guessed already, we refer to all plant types as strains. There are dozens, even hundreds, of kratom strains, each with its own effects and applications. We then classify them based on vein color.
As a kratom user, you need to know about their features and possible uses, including:
- Relieving pain
- Reduced anxiety
- Boosting energy
- Euphoria and improved mood
- Sleep aid
In this next section, you’ll get to know the strains and what they do best.
Green Vein Kratom Powder
The main feature of the green strains is their stimulating and painkilling effects, which they provide depending on the dose. Green vein kratom powder is where these opposing effects meet, making it the most well-balanced of the bunch.
The top-rated green-vein kratom strains are:
Green Malay is one of the most popular strains owing to its calming and uplifting effects, despite its lack of strength compared to red types. It’s good at relieving stress and anxiety and a great way to unwind in social situations.
Green Borneo is a fantastic de-stressor and analgesic, no matter the location of the pain. It becomes a handy stimulant at low dosages, making it an effective weapon for combating weariness.
Green Sumatra generally remains consistent between batches and vendors, making it a safe option for most. People value its long-lasting stimulation and mood-boosting effect, but it can cause insomnia if you’re new to it.
Red Vein Kratom Powder
Red vein kratom powder is a potent analgesic and a fantastic nootropic that can help with anxiety, stress, and muscular discomfort. In the right proportions, several red strains can even aid against insomnia.
The top-rated red-vein kratom strains are:
Red Bali is one of the most prevalent strains in the current market. It’s excellent for relaxing after a long day, but it doesn’t fall behind in mood-lifting and pain relief. These make it a fine entry point for new users.
Red Horn is another fine strain to combat moderate pain and relieve anxiety, and it’s a good choice for beginners. However, it may be more expensive than similar types due to marketing ambiguity.
Red Sumatra is a good alternative for those seeking a strain to relieve pain, similar to Red Thai. This variety, which is known to help with insomnia when taken in higher quantities, provides users with a sense of calm right before going to bed.
White Vein Kratom Powder
White vein kratom powder, opposite to red vein strains, provides energizing and nootropic effects, handy for long study sessions and workdays. For that reason, it can become a suitable replacement for coffee.
The top-rated white-vein kratom strains are:
White Thai is a top pick for those looking to improve their well-being and capabilities. According to users, it is ideal for social occasions and promoting creativity due to its relaxing and stimulating abilities.
White Bali can help anyone suffering from exhaustion or sleepiness feel more energized, aware, and focused. However, it can also relieve pain and relax your body at higher doses, which gives this strain its global appeal.
White Indo is an excellent choice for boosting your mood and energy, similar to coffee, but without the side effects. In addition, its effects last longer and are more intense than other strains, so it’s perfect for daily use.
Is Kratom Safe for Older Adults?
Many older adults have turned to kratom, looking for an alternative to conventional medication. That’s not surprising as thousands of users attest to the herb’s pain-relieving abilities. Still, there’s little information about its effects on older people.
In a 2021 study, researchers turned to the U.S. poison centers looking for trends in kratom-related cases involving older adults between 2014 and 2019 . They studied 3484, of which 4.6% involved adults over 60 years old.
Unsurprisingly, kratom appeared to cause more adverse effects in older adults. Researchers also observed cases of the substance interacting with prescribed medications.
All in all, it’s still too early to say if kratom is safe for older adults. Research suggests there are potential risks, so we recommend maximum caution. If you’re still going ahead, by all means, avoid mixing kratom with other medications.
Related: Will Kratom Interact With My Medication?
Can You Become Addicted to Kratom?
In short, yes, just as you can become addicted to coffee, you can do the same with kratom. People might get dependent on it over time if they don’t use it carefully.
There is fear that because kratom acts on opioid receptors, it’s as dangerous as opioids. However, this is not the case. It’s much harder to become addicted to kratom, and it’s easy to avoid and overcome. Plus, kratom is unlikely to cause an overdose.
Kratom addiction manifests in two stages: psychological dependency initially, followed by physical dependence.
In this stage, you begin to crave the effects kratom provides you, as it happens with all other addictions. It’s just a mental craving for the one thing that frees you from the uncomfortable sensations of pain, anxiety, or depression.
It occurs when the body adapts to the constant presence of kratom and “thinks” the normal state is when the substance is in the system. When it’s not, the body suffers withdrawal symptoms, which show themselves as a feeling of illness.
Fortunately, symptoms are mild in comparison to other substances. Once the body returns to the “old normal,” the feelings of irritation, anxiety, and general discomfort are gone. That, however, can take some time.
There are many ways to combat addiction, so remember that you’re not alone. Besides quitting kratom, you can resort to support groups or even rehab. Thousands of people beat addiction every year, so there’s still hope. In fact, kratom can help overcome some addictions. It helps many people overcome opioid withdrawal and alcohol misuse.
Why Isn’t Kratom Used in Traditional Medicine?
There’s a simple reason for this: there’s not enough data. As mentioned before, kratom research is limited at best and biased at worst.
Kratom has been used as traditional medicine in Southeast Asia for centuries, but it’s only been recently introduced to the Western world.
However, the situation seems to be changing for good, slowly but positively. In a 2020 survey conducted by Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers, they found that kratom could be less dangerous than prescription opioids.
That same study recommended that agencies and institutions study the herb and its potential benefits instead of seeking its prohibition. Such benefits, they said, included treating pain, anxiety, addiction, and depression.
It’s possible that, once the scientific world confirms kratom’s benefits, it becomes a legal medicine like CBD while still allowing recreational usage.
Conclusion: Where to Buy Kratom in Charleston
As of 2022, kratom remains unregulated in South Carolina, and public officials don’t seem interested in the substance. Still, keep up with kratom-related news, not just here but in neighboring states too.
There are several shops in the city and the neighboring area, but if you don’t want to go through the hassle of visiting them all, you can try online purchases.
Trustworthy vendors like Kona Kratom, Star Kratom, and VIP Kratom do their best to ensure product quality and safety, either by following the AKA or doing third-party testing. We’re sure these or others will satisfy your needs, and it would be beneficial for you to try them.
- Graves, J. M., Dilley, J. A., Terpak, L., Brooks‐Russell, A., Whitehill, J. M., Klein, T. A., & Liebelt, E. (2021). Kratom exposures among older adults reported to U.S. poison centers, 2014–2019. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 69(8), 2176-2184.