Kratom’s rising popularity is owed in large part to anecdotal reports of the array of benefits users attribute to kratom powder and other kratom preparations. In low-to-moderate doses, these may include boosted energy and focus, relief of chronic pain, alleviation of opioid withdrawal, improvement in mood, relaxation, and euphoria. Some of these are desirable effects for users seeking symptom relief without major tranquilizers, opioids, or habit-forming pharmaceuticals.

Accessibility drives use of kratom products

Unlike more strictly regulated or scheduled botanicals and drugs, kratom remains mostly unregulated in some States and is relatively easy to obtain. It is still generally legal on a federal level as a botanical product. And even states imposing restrictions still allow access to an herbal supplement in certain preparations. The ready availability and legal ambiguity of kratom allows wider access for those wishing to try it as an alternative therapy. Especially for sufferers of chronic pain, opioid addiction or withdrawal, mood disorders, fatigue conditions, and more. Those unable to safely access or troubled by the side effects of conventional medications may find kratom a viable herbal remedy.

Proponents tout health benefits supporting kratom use 

In online kratom communities and publications, advocates cite research that legitimate health benefits may underpin subjective, anecdotal experiences of kratom as an alternative medicine or nootropic supplement. For example, some evidence links the primary kratom compounds mitragynine and 7-hydroxy mitragynine to pain relief by activating opioid receptors. This may justify kratom’s use in managing pain has proven treatment-resistant. Other studies show antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity, accounting for additional therapeutic mechanisms that proponents claim give kratom true medicinal value.

Support for kratom acceptance continues to build

Indicating growing mainstream acceptance, the rising billion-dollar kratom industry, legalization efforts, and advocacy imply that kratom has passed from a niche botanical product to a more widely embraced herbal remedy commodity. The Kratom Association, and Botanical Education Alliance, along with consumer advocates and policy reform groups are leading lobbying efforts to prevent further kratom regulation and gain its acceptance as a legitimate herbal alternative. Some states have seen bans overturned and legislation introduced to regulate kratom as a supplement instead of prohibiting the herb.

Explaining kratom’s rising popularity

Current evidence and data suggest kratom’s increasing mainstream adoption is owed to a confluence of factors.

  • Anecdotal benefit reports – Word-of-mouth and social media drive use by those claiming relief of health issues from this accessible botanical.
  • Pushing for acceptance – Advocacy campaigns tout kratom’s natural benefits while fighting restrictions to increase availability.
  • Retail distribution – As major brands carry kratom despite the regulatory grey area, availability and public familiarity grow.
  • Industry growth – The billion-dollar business manufactures demand by further spreading retail access and influence.
  • Scientific support – Some emerging research lends biological plausibility to anecdotal benefit claims further legitimizing kratom.

For sufferers of chronic conditions poorly served by current treatment options, kratom’s low barrier legal status and affordable price as a natural botanical can make it an appealing alternative remedy worth trying regardless of limited scientific vetting. Advocates are seizing this interest, while rapidly growing the industry despite politics aimed at greater control. The increasing popularity of the kratom plant for medicinal use may also reflect shortcomings of current healthcare approaches. The top extracts powder and other unscheduled ethnobotanicals allow self-treatment otherwise controlled by and restricted within the conventional qualified medical practice.