Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) has become a popular herb for pain relief, opiate withdrawal, and combating anxiety and depression.
Virginia recently moved to regulate kratom, making it illegal for anyone under 21 to purchase it.
This guide covers everything you need to know about buying and using kratom in the state, plus where to get the best products.
Is Kratom Legal In Virginia?
Kratom is now regulated in Virginia as of March 26, 2023. SB1108 (the Virginia Consumer Protection Act) states anyone under 21 cannot buy kratom, and all products have to meet certain restrictions, such as listing all ingredients and providing a warning, as far as labeling and packaging are concerned.
This is a good compromise, considering one bill, VA HJR39 proposed in 2020, would have directed the Virginia Board of Pharmacy to investigate kratom to decide whether to classify it as a controlled substance.
The House Rules Committee voted in favor of “laying it on the table” or setting it aside, but it died at the end of the legislative session.
It is important to note that kratom is illegal in Washington D.C, despite being legal in Virginia.
Where to Buy Kratom In Virginia
It’s possible to purchase kratom in person, but often a better idea is to shop online. Even though kratom is now regulated in Virginia, the quality of the products might still be lacking.
1. Buying Kratom Online
Purchasing kratom online is recommended over buying in a local store for several reasons. First, and most importantly, many online kratom vendors put their products through rigorous third-party testing to ensure the products you buy are pure and safe.
Another advantage to buying kratom online is cost. Online kratom retailers have lower overhead costs and can pass those savings on to you. Often, online vendors work directly with manufacturers, cutting out intermediaries and reducing operating costs and storage times. The result is a higher-quality product at a more affordable price.
If you’re not already convinced, consider that online retailers specialize in selling kratom and offer a broader range of products than a physical shop.
Local stores often sell tobacco, CBD, and THC items and only carry the most popular kratom products. Shopping online gives you access to more variety than you can find in person.
Shipping is a bit of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, purchasing kratom online is convenient since it’s be shipped directly to your door. On the other hand, shipping times can be long, depending on what vendor you choose. Star Kratom has an excellent reputation for shipping products quickly if you’re concerned about long shipping times.
Check out the Best 10 Online Kratom Vendors here.
2. Kratom Near Me: Buying Kratom In-Store
Despite the benefits of shopping online, some kratom users prefer to shop in a local store. Kratom’s unregulated status in Virginia means there are plenty of physical locations to choose from.
Purchasing kratom from a local shop is a good option when you need to replenish your stock quickly and don’t want to wait for an online order to process and ship.
If you want to get the freshest kratom possible and the widest selection, you might be disappointed in what your local stores can offer. Shopping online for kratom is a significantly better option, and the in-store experience pales in comparison.
Besides paying higher prices for lower-quality kratom, physical retailers don’t offer the same security as online retailers by putting the products through extensive laboratory testing.
Many local stores resell other companies’ products and have no connection to the original supplier, making it difficult to verify the purity and strength of the kratom you buy.
Nonetheless, here are some of the most popular shops in Virginia:
1. Kratom & CBD Shop
Kratom & CBD Shop in Fredericksburg carries a small variety of kratom products at competitive prices — for a physical store. The reviews are generally positive, and most customers report quality service.
2. Tobacco Hut of Vape, Cigar, Kratom, & CBD
Despite selling more than just kratom, this Gainesville store has a decent selection of kratom products and friendly staff. The prices, however, are quite high.
3. Tobacco and Vape CBD & Kratom
Located in Suffolk, this vape, CBD, and kratom retailer carries an excellent selection of products at reasonable prices. It has overwhelmingly positive reviews and excellent customer service.
4. Tobacco Plus Vape CBD & Kratom
The Tobacco Plus Vape CBD & Kratom staff are friendly and knowledgeable, although the prices can be high. This shop is in Springfield.
5. Chesapeake Tobacco & Vape & CBD & Kratom
This shop in Chesapeake doesn’t have the largest selection of kratom products, but the prices are competitive, and the staff is helpful and happy to answer questions you might have.
6. Glass City Tobacco CBD, Kratom, Vape, Juul, Cigars, Hookah, Gifts
Glass city tobacco in Gainesville sells some kratom products, although the focus is on glassware. The selection is limited, and prices are on the high side, but the staff is welcoming and helpful.
Find Kratom Near You
Discover more about buying kratom in Virginia with these city guides:
What to Look for When Buying Kratom
Now that you know where to purchase kratom in Virginia, you need to know what to look for while you’re shopping. Choosing a reputable retailer that provides quality, safe kratom is essential, as is picking a strain that matches your needs.
1. Strain Selection
There are several strains of kratom, each with unique advantages and disadvantages. Choosing the right strain for your goals is vital if you want to have the best possible experience.
A) White-Vein Kratom
White-vein kratom is the most stimulating kratom strain, providing its users with an energy boost and helping them concentrate. White-vein users often describe the strain as a coffee replacement and suggest taking it in the morning.
B) Red-Vein Kratom
At the opposite end of the spectrum, red-vein kratom is relaxing and acts as a sedative. Common uses of red-vein kratom are pain relief and treating opioid withdrawal symptoms. Unlike white-vein kratom, use red-vein kratom before bed.
C) Green-Vein Kratom
Green-vein kratom offers an experience halfway between that provided by red and white strains. Users of green-vein kratom report enhanced focus but overall relaxation, somewhat similar to the effect of combining caffeine with L-theanine. Each person’s reaction to green strains is different, so the best time to take green-vein varieties depends on your response.
2. Look for AKA Certification
Since kratom is unregulated in Virginia — and most other states — it’s absolutely essential to look for certification from the American Kratom Association (AKA). The AKA is an independent organization that offers certification to businesses that meet their quality requirements.
The goal is to lobby for the legality of useful herbs like kratom and to verify vendors to combat unethical vendors from contaminating the marketplace.
For a vendor to become an AKA member, a company must prove their product surpasses the AKA’s minimum quality threshold and submit to annual audits. Any AKA member failing its yearly audit is stripped of its AKA certification.
You should never purchase kratom from a company that is not AKA certified since you have no way of knowing the products are high-quality and safe to consume. It’s hard to find local retailers with AKA certification, making online shopping even more attractive.
3. Company Reputation
It can be challenging to find a reputable company to purchase kratom from. Unfortunately, many shady businesses looking to make a quick buck sell inferior products. These companies sell low-quality kratom products at best and fake or dangerous products at worst.
Google is your friend in the search for reputable kratom vendors since unhappy customers tend to be vocal and will leave negative reviews. If you’re concerned about picking a low-quality kratom retailer, check out our kratom vendor reviews for in-depth looks at popular suppliers.
What Are People Using Kratom for?
1. Kratom for Pain
Pain relief is one of the top uses for kratom. For many chronic pain sufferers, kratom is a natural alternative to dangerous, addictive opiates and can provide significant relief.
Although kratom’s popularity is growing, it’s still in its infancy as a pain relief treatment. Research shows it acts on opioid receptors much like opioid painkillers do, but is less addictive and unlikely to cause an overdose when used responsibly. However, kratom is classified as an atypical opioid since it affects other systems as well.
Related: Best Kratom Strains for Pain
2. Anxiety & Depression
Anxiety and depression are becoming more common, with an estimated 20% of adults exhibiting moderate symptoms in a 2019 survey. Green and white kratom strains provide mild to significant sedative effects and can help people with anxiety and depression manage their illnesses.
3. Opiate Withdrawal
The opioid epidemic in the United States affected an estimated 1.6 million people in 2019 and seemingly worsens every year. It’s incredibly difficult for opioid users to recover from opioid abuse, partly due to the severity of withdrawal symptoms.
Kratom may help manage opiate withdrawal by triggering the release of endorphins, the body’s natural pain response. While kratom doesn’t match the intensity of opioid use, it has enough effect to help people in recovery cope.
4. Energy & Focus
Using kratom as a nootropic for increased energy and concentration is a less common use but has been gathering support over the last few years. White strains are the most popular, with people reporting a significant increase in alertness after using them, akin to drinking a cup of coffee.
Our guide to the best strains for boosting energy can help you choose the best option for combatting fatigue and staying focused.
Is Kratom Safe?
Kratom is safe to use but only if used in moderation.
Any psychoactive substance comes with risks and side effects, but adverse effects from kratom usually become manageable with appropriate dosing, periodic breaks, and moderate frequency.
Starting small is the best way to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Small, in this case, means about 2 g of powdered kratom. Experienced users say anything under 5 g is a small dose, but if you’re just starting, stick with 2 g.
Use your reaction as a barometer to judge whether or not your dose is correct. In general, you shouldn’t feel uncomfortable and jittery or overly sedated and borderline catatonic. It’s normal to feel a moderate stimulating effect from white strains and a significant wave of relaxation from red kratom, with green kratom providing a bit of both.
Dial your dose back if you feel the effects you experience are extreme.
Kratom can be addictive, so it’s important to limit your use to 4-5 times per week. Additionally, it is a good idea to take a one-week break once every 1-2 months.
Related: Why Is Kratom So Controversial?
Side Effects of Kratom
Even though kratom is safe to use in general, it can cause side effects. Most kratom users only experience side effects when they take extreme doses, so knowing the potential side effects can help you dial in the correct amount. Our dosage guide can give you the rundown on what amount to start with.
The most common side effects you may encounter include:
One of the most commonly reported side effects is a foggy feeling coupled with short-term memory issues. If you experience these side effects, it’s a sure sign your dose is too high. The overwhelming majority of people who report these symptoms are taking amounts greater than 10 g.
Another common side effect is an upset stomach and nausea. Again, starting small and not taking too much is the best way to combat this side effect.
Paradoxically, some kratom users experience elevated anxiety levels. If you’re concerned about triggering anxiety, make sure to increase the dose gradually. Give each dose some time to take effect before increasing further.
One rare side effect you might experience is dizziness. Kratom triggers your body to produce adrenaline, which can cause some people to feel faint, lightheaded, and dizzy. Keeping your dose under 5 g will prevent you from experiencing any of these symptoms.
Regular kratom users may experience increased feelings of fatigue due to their effect on their endocrine system. Since kratom causes your body to produce adrenaline and other hormones, your natural hormonal balance gets disrupted over time.
Experiencing fatigue is a sure sign that you need to take a break and let your body readjust.
6. Other Side Effects
Some users report liver damage and kidney issues. These claims are not backed by clinical research, but it’s best to avoid kratom if you have existing liver or kidney disease to be safe.
It is not safe to use kratom while you’re pregnant. You also shouldn’t use kratom in combination with alcohol, other medications, or recreational drugs, as doing so can cause serious and possibly life-threatening conditions.
Learn more about the risks of mixing kratom with alcohol.
What’s the Future of Kratom In Virginia?
Kratom is now regulated in Virginia, but it’s still legal to buy and consume anywhere in the state as long as you’re over 21. Don’t forget that kratom is illegal in Washington DC.
Despite the shift in legal status, we still recommend shopping online at AKA-certified vendors. Purchasing kratom online will save you money, offers assurance that your kratom is sourced from reputable companies, and allow you to choose from a broader range of products.
The best online kratom sources include Star Kratom for fast shipping, VIP Kratom for a wide selection of premium kratom products, and Kona Kratom for the best overall shopping and customer service experience.