Kratom has taken the internet by storm in recent years. In case you haven’t heard of this perceived holy grail, then you are in the right place.
Kratom, scientifically known as mitragyna speciosa, is a tropical tree with nootropic effects. The plant has attracted a lot of attention from scientists and organizations worldwide over the rumours that it had healing effects.
Unfortunately, to date, no substantial evidence has been discovered to back up these claims, which has seen the FDA classify kratom as a food supplement.
Well, can you buy kratom from your local GNC? The answer is a big NO! There has been a public out roar on why kratom hasn’t been allowed into grocery stores just yet. Read on to find out in our comprehensive outline of the issue.
What is GNC?
General Nutrition Centers, often abbreviated as GNC, is a chain of US-based company stores that sells nutrition and health-related supplements, herbs, energy products, and minerals. GNC is a vast and popular retailer and has over 6000 stores across the US, which employs over 17000 Americans.
The retailer is famed for its famous and legitimate supplements, including herbs. Well, one might wonder why not kratom? There are several legitimate reasons curtained in a maze of kratoms’ history and legal boundaries.
Why is Kratom not allowed at GNC?
To understand why kratom is not sold at GNC, Walmart, and Amazon, we will delve a bit into the history of this legendary herb. There is so much red tape surrounding the production and sale of kratom in the United States.
Kratom is a tropical tree produced in the South East Asian Islands of Borneo, Indonesia, and Vietnam. The plant thrives in the climatic conditions, and the volcanic soils of this region, and all the kratom sold in the States are imported from Asia.
Kratom grows as a tropical wild tree and has alkaloids, which are responsible for its stimulant properties. The tree is a relative coffee which further attests to its properties.
The natives have been using kratom for centuries for herbal properties, a practice that caught the public eye. Since 2008, many researchers have carried out intensive investigations on whether kratom has any healing potentials. To date, they have been unable to draw any conclusive report.
The lack of success in the research had repercussions on the kratom sector.
Initially, the Food and Drug Association (FDA) and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) classified kratom as a level 2 drug in 2016. However, the decision was later heavily challenged in court, and the drug was declassified in 2017.
The same year, FDA classified kratom as a food supplement and tossed the ball to local governments to regulate the drug as per their local laws. Therefore, up to this point, the FDA and DEA have no problem selling kratom in the States. The only condition is that it should be treated as a supplement drug.
Unfortunately, a few states still have unclear policies concerning the use and sale of kratom in the United States. These states are Wisconsin, Vermont, Indiana, Alabama, and Tennessee, where kratom is classified as a level 1 drug and heroin and cocaine.
Furthermore, the majority of legal states still have counties and cities where the substance is illegal. For instance, the city of San Diego in California banned kratom. This is just one of many cases where kratom is banned in a small part of the legal states.
This can be unclear, especially for a new user, and when you turn to your trusted GNC store, which is convenient and reliable, they turn you away.
Kratom Declassification By FDA
You are likely to find a hundred other herbal powders and capsules at GNC but not kratom. There are various reasons for this. Since the kratom classification as a level 2 drug in 2016 and a later declassification by the FDA, GNC has never revised its laws on the product.
If you look into it, they have some good reasons for that:
You might think you are in full control of your money, but you are not. In reality, big money merchants and credit card companies can decline to pay for some products through their company’s credit cards. This is common in situations where the product is classified as high risk.
Unfortunately, kratom is classified as a high-risk drug by many agencies, thanks to incomprehensive research reports. Hence, GNC, which uses these companies’ services, cannot risk losing their lucrative partnership. The fact that kratom isn’t uniformly regulated across the country makes it even harder for GNC to develop alternative payment options.
Where credit cards fail, we rush to PayPal and mobile money options. Well, guess what? PayPal also classifies kratom as a high-risk drug and doesn’t offer payment services for kratom products at GNC or any other online kratom vendor for that matter. Therefore, if you search for an online vendor with PayPal as your payment method, you better look for alternatives.
GNC Liability Concerns
Credit card payment isn’t the only thing holding GNC from adding kratom to their already impressive product portfolio. The company is afraid of being liable for the effects that might result from the consumption of these products.
Legally, the company isn’t responsible for misuse or abuse on the user’s side. But if the reports establish that the mishap was due to counterfeit products (there is a lot of counterfeit kratom in the market), GNC will have to take responsibility.
Additionally, kratom has caused several deaths across the United States in the recent past, and no vendor wants to be associated with a killer drug. This doesn’t mean kratom is dangerous, but high doses can be fatal; being mentioned in the courtrooms will taint the company’s solid reputation.
Where Can You Buy Kratom?
Now that GNC is out of scope, should you abandon your quest for kratom? Absolutely not! There are hundreds of local stores and online vendors that sell kratom locally.
However, it is prudent to check if your prevailing local laws permit the use of kratom. If not, then an online purchase of kratom can get you penalized as per your local laws. If its legal, here are places you can check out;
Local Shops and Herbal Stores
Local smoke shops around the United States sell kratom products under various names. It’s prudent to inquire about the products’ quality and legitimacy before committing to making a purchase.
The fact that kratom is not produced locally makes it’s expensive. The product is usually imported from Thailand, Myanmar, and Bali. Additionally, there is little information on kratom, and the only thing that many stores focus on is the profits associated with the drug.
Local stores are not recommended because it’s hard to prove the purity of their products and the vendor’s legitimacy. No one wants to be trailed by DEA detectives.
Each gas station has those shops that sell food and cigars. There is a high chance that you will find kratom on one of those shelves, next to the cigarettes section.
Like local shops, gas station joints are unreliable as their products are rarely fresh and pricey. You don’t want to buy some expensive whack products.
Online Kratom Vendors
Talk of quality kratom? Online vendors are the best source of online kratom. If you can only endure the hustle of creating an account, making an online purchase, and waiting for a day or two for your shipment to be delivered.
Online vendors have several advantages over other sources of kratom;
They have a wide variety of products;
That’s not all; these stores feature some of the most inclusive assortment of kratom strains. Some of which have been customized to yield different user experiences. And all for nothing but affordable prices?
Lastly, top online kratom vendors are reliable and have proof of legitimacy. Their products are pretested of contaminants such as heavy metals and microbes, and their alkaloid composition is drawn out. You can’t compare them to that regular gas station kratom.
Online kratom business is competitive, and all these vendors try to stay ahead of the competition by providing dream services to their clients.
Locating Places to Purchase Kratom
It is easy to locate a kratom vendor online as a quick search on Google will give you all top-selling kratom products and their respective stores. It is advisable to carry a background check on these sellers’ profiles and reviews before settling on making a purchase.
Check their information protection policy, their product legitimacy, payment options, and return policy. Previous customer reviews will give you a clear picture of their services, although fake reviews can be present.
For local shops, there is a kratom map phone application. All the application requires is your location and codes, and it will get you all the stores near you.
In case you don’t have the app, Google maps will do the trick. It provides similar results to when you are looking for the nearest pizza joint.
Despite being a massive retailer, GNC doesn’t sell kratom products for all the right reasons anyway. However, this should not stop you from getting your hands on the most revered product in the recreational market at the moment.
Online shops offer the best alternative, although you can also trust and use your local smoke shop services.
It is good to note that Kratom has substantial effects on your body system, and it’s better to ease your way in starting with small amounts. The products are hit differently from one user to another, and different strains have different potencies. Please carry out the necessary research on each strain before consuming it.