If you’re an alternative medicine enthusiast, you’ve probably heard about or even tried out kratom supplements before.
But despite kratom’s numerous medicinal claims, it’s unfortunate to report that the herb is illegal and heavily regulated in many jurisdictions worldwide. Therefore, due diligence is paramount before using, distributing, or even growing kratom.
In this article, we focus our attention on kratom’s legality in Canada. But first, let’s familiarize ourselves with what this herb is and its perceived therapeutic benefits.
What Is Kratom?
Many Canadian herbal supplement enthusiasts cannot help but wonder if kratom is legal in the country. Before we answer the questions pertaining to kratom Canada legal, it’s best to understand what this herb is all about.
Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a tropical tree native to Southeast Asia, widely consumed as a remedy for various ailments. The herb may have entered the mainstream pharmaceutical industry recently. However, thousands of Southeast Asians have administered it for centuries to relieve numerous medical conditions.
What Can You Use Kratom For?
Pain relief is one of kratom’s most popular applications. Studies indicate that kratom may treat pain by impeding the transmission of pain signals by opioid receptors through the brain and central nervous system (CNS).
Mitragyna speciosa has also been widely investigated for its potential anti-inflammatory properties. Certain compounds in the herb may attenuate inflammation by reducing the production of pro-inflammatory proteins like cytokines.
Kratom shares botanical origins with coffee. Extracts from the plant produce stimulating effects nearly similar to those of caffeine. Therefore, consuming kratom might boost energy levels, thereby relieving fatigue.
Many kratom users also associate the herb with antiemetic abilities. That’s due to its positive interactions with the body’s reward system.
Last but not least, you might consider using kratom for stress relief. One study found that people who self-medicated with kratom demonstrated significant improvements in their anxiety symptoms.
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Is Kratom Legal In Canada?
We began by noting that kratom’s legality is a huge concern despite its many health benefits. For instance, kratom is presently banned in Malaysia and Myanmar. That’s quite interesting, considering that these are two of the major Southeast Asian countries where the herb grows natively.
The good news is that Mitragyna speciosa is legal in Canada. You can access kratom extracts throughout all ten Canadian provinces and three territories.
In fact, Canada is one of the many European Union countries that have never legislated against kratom.
Are All Kratom Products Legal In Canada?
Like many herbs, kratom extracts are available in multiple preparations. Users get to pick specific formulations depending on their preferred delivery methods.
Below are kratom’s most common preparations;
- Powders, pills, and capsules
- Herbal teas
- Sublingual tinctures
- Kratom-infused edibles like gummies
- Kratom-enriched cosmetic products
- Kratom-based vape oils
- Aromatherapy products
- Kratom pre-rolls
While Mitragyna speciosa is legal throughout Canadian jurisdictions, the regulation prohibits the sale of consumable kratom goods. These are essentially all kratom preparations formulated for oral administration, such as pills, capsules, powders, tinctures, and other edibles.
Kratom regulation falls under the dockets of Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
Health Canada formulates the regulatory standards for all nutritional products sold throughout Canada. It focuses specifically on consumable goods. The agency takes issue with kratom due to the herb’s potential psychedelic properties. Therefore, it doesn’t approve the sale, marketing, or distribution of any kratom edibles within Canadian borders.
On the other hand, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency establishes the guidelines for regulating the safety of foods. It aims at improving the general health and well-being of Canadians, while also improving the economy and fostering eco-friendly practices. Like Health Canada, CFIA is concerned about kratom’s mind-altering abilities.
To determine whether to allow or restrict herbal supplements in Canada, Health Canada will first analyze a plant’s biochemical composition. Results from this analysis help in classifying the plant’s extracts as a food or Natural Heal Product (NHP).
Products classified as foods automatically fall within the CFIA’s sphere of influence. This agency will establish if the nutritional supplement complies with Canada’s Food and Drug Regulations. To meet these stringent regulations, a product must be deemed non-toxic, pharmacologically effective, and environmentally friendly.
On the other hand, products considered NHPs are subject to Health Canada’s NHP regulations.
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Are There Exceptions?
The fact that Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency don’t approve consumable kratom goods within Canadian borders should be the least of your worries as a user. That’s because this restriction applies only to kratom vendors.
In other words, kratom consumers can administer the herb in any formulation without risking arrest and prosecution. You only need to vouch for the product’s quality and follow the recommended dosage guidelines.
Even with the restriction on consumable kratom goods, it’s reassuring to know that there are many other ways to take the herb. Besides, kratom vendors in Canada have devised ingenious ways of selling kratom-infused edibles without running afoul of the law. One such method is by providing kratom supplements as “giveaways.”
For instance, assume you own a vape outlet that deals in kratom-infused e-juices. Now, you could price your vape juices slightly above the market rates in exchange for “free” kratom edibles.
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Mitragyna speciosa is undeniably one of the most effective herbs. But it’s also one whose legal landscape is constantly evolving.
Therefore, it’s essential to understand kratom laws in your jurisdiction before selling, distributing, using, or even growing it. And while the herb is legal in Canada, experts recommend vouching for the quality of kratom supplements before selling or consuming them.