Kratom (Latin name: Mitragyna Speciosa) is a Southeast Asian native medicinal herb. In Europe and the US, it is available as a pure extract or ingredient in “legal high” or “herbal high”. Meanwhile, Kratom in Malaysia is popularly known as ketum, and it has a long history in the country. The Malaysians also call the plant bia or biak.
This article talks about the history, use, health cases and legal status of Kratom in Malaysia.
History of Kratom in Malaysia
In the 19th century of Malaya, when opium was popular, those who relied on it turned to Kratom when it was scarce. They used Kratom to manage opiate withdrawal.
As time goes by, peasant workers in the country have chewed, smoked, and brewed Kratom leaves to treat common diseases. They also use it to increase work performance. Apart from that, Kratom is popular among men as a social drink. They also utilize it in religious rites in tiny villages.
More recently, manual laborers like farmers have used Kratom as a narcotic remedy to alleviate weariness. Kratom in Malaysia is widely consumed in the form of “herbal tea”. As we all know, Kratom helps improve difficult task production and combating fatigue while working in the hot sun.
How People in Malaysia Consume Kratom
People in Malaysia often consume Kratom as a juice or a tea derived from its cooked leaves. Making Malaysian Kratom tea or juice is not as difficult as making illegal narcotics.
Kratom merchants in Malaysia often prefer older leaves from farmers. To remove signs of dirt, the Malaysians usually rinse fresh Kratom leaves with water. Then they place them in a kettle of boiling water.
Once inside the kettle, brew the leaves for a maximum of 4 hours on low heat. Every half-hour, stir them to ensure that the leaves are not attached to the port’s surface and get burned. When you smell a strong odor, then the brewing is complete.
The brewed Kratom juice is then allowed to cool before being packaged and sold in little plastic packets. The Malaysians usually keep them fresh and cool for up to three days using ice. Each package of Kratom juice (around 250 to 300 ml) costs 5-7 ringgits.
Modern Use of Kratom in Malaysia
The typical Malaysian Kratom user lives in rural areas, where village communities and local employment define social functioning. As a result, consumption is ingrained in daily work and social interactions. The Malaysians consume Kratom to improve both physical and social work performance, and to unwind after a long day.
Apart from maintaining vitality, the people in northern states of Malaysia employed kratom to manage benign health conditions. Morphine addicts have also begun to utilize Kratom to wean themselves off the drug. Kratom’s opioid agonist-like effects aid in weaning morphine addicts off the drug.
On the other hand, Kratom abuse is a regional issue in the rural Malay in terms of socio-economic customs. This occurs as a result of the locals’ belief that Kratom is safe to ingest for other purposes. A study reported that Malaysian Kratom affects sexual performance and they use it as aphrodisiac.
From January to December 2012, three northern Malaysian states (Penang, Perlis, and Kedah) saw media reports about Kratom misuse. People in those states made Kratom cocktail, which is a mix of carbonated drinks, cough syrup, and Kratom juice. They named the cocktail koroi, and it has been gaining popularity among young and older Kratom users in Malaysia.
They said koroi gives a more satisfying high. In fact, Malaysian people who want to self-treat their illegal drug and alcohol addiction drink koroi.
Kratom Side Effects and Toxicity Cases in Malaysia
Despite Malaysia’s lengthy history of Kratom use, there have been no reports of liver impairment or other health problems, unlike in the West. There have also been no reports of cases of toxicity or death as a result of Kratom consumption.
The idea is that, the powdered, refined form of Kratom available in the West has a different effect on people than the fresh leaves chewed or cooked in Malaysia.
Meanwhile, other chemicals that affect the effects of mitragynine may be present in the pharmacological profile of mitragynine ingested in the West. Depending on the strain and source, the elements of Kratom leaves may cause a wide range of effects.
As a result, liver problems, other ailments, and fatalities that are frequent in the West could be caused by a contaminant or an error in product identification or preparation.
Individual clinical case reports from the West linking Kratom usage to side effects or fatalities often involve people who combined Kratom with other substances. It will be regrettable to use these occasional complaints to justify legal restrictions against Kratom.
In addition, unlike heroin, opiate, or cannabis users, Malaysian Kratom users do not participate in dangerous drug injecting practices. As a result, infectious diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis C are less likely to affect them.
These findings from Malaysian Kratom users imply that Kratom, when used appropriately, has a lot of therapeutic potential for people who are dependent to serious narcotics.
Crimes Related to Kratom
Despite the fact that Malaysian Kratom users now consume the plant for more than simply as an alternative medicine and a stamina enhancer, there have been no known criminal cases involving the consumption of Kratom in Malaysia.
Buying Kratom in Malaysia is less expensive than amphetamine-type drugs or heroin. Unlike heroin or cannabis users, Kratom consumers do not need to engage in criminal activity to fund their addiction. The reason is they can easily grow the plant or obtain it from local Malaysian vendors.
To date, other than illegal act of smuggling and trafficking, there has not been a single case of murder, kidnap, theft, robbery, or rape related to the consumption of Kratom.
Kratom, on the other hand, allows users to mingle and chat with their coworkers in a friendly manner. Malaysian Kratom consumers tend to have positive family and social interactions, while some are concerned about addiction.
Kratom Addiction in Malaysia
According to research, Malaysian Kratom consumers are usually able to bear the side effects of chronic use on a daily basis. Despite the fact that they are more likely to show addiction by increasing their Kratom dosage over time, 90% of the study participants reported no health side effects.
The outcomes of this study, as well as other similar ones, showed that addiction of Kratom in Malaysia has no side effects on Kratom users’ physical or mental health. Addicted Malaysian Kratom users typically only suffer a loss of energy when they stop consuming Kratom for more than 3 days.
Other than a loss of energy, there has been no reported case of other withdrawal issues such as those found in morphine, heroin, or cannabis users. There is also no indication that Malaysian Kratom users are likely to use illegal substances or that Kratom use is a gateway to illegal drug use.
Legality: Is Kratom Legal in Malaysia?
The Poisons Act of 1952 prohibits and regulates the use of Kratom in Malaysia. Those caught distributing or buying Kratom in Malaysia, or in possession of processed its leaves face a fine of up to RM10,000 or a four-year prison sentence, or both.
More recently, the Malaysian government submitted a new law in parliament to reclassify Kratom as a dangerous drug, moving it from the Poisons Act of 1952 to the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1952. If the law had passed, Kratom users would have faced more severe penalties.
The initiative, however, was halted. Lawmakers did not believe that consuming or buying Kratom in Malaysia posed a serious threat to warrant inclusion in the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1952.
The government, however, do not deem cultivation of Kratom trees prohibited. As a result, only a small percentage of Malaysian consumers grow their own trees. Despite the ban, most people got their supply from familiar sources or local coffee shops. Coffee shops sell a pre-made juice that people can consume right away.
Many researchers on the use of Kratom in Malaysia reported that Kratom is safe and its consumption, when not mixed with other chemicals, has no serious side effects on the physical and mental health. Malaysian Kratom users can also easily control their addiction.
However, due to the government ban, buying Kratom in Malaysia may not be a good idea. Instead, you can buy the great Malay strain from Borneohale. We are from Indonesia, and we grow the miracle plant in our own plantation.
Our Kratom is of high-quality and we regularly do a lab test to ensure that it contains mitragynine and is free of Salmonella, E. Coli, yeast, and mold. Discuss your options with our Sales Representative and get your Kratom directly from the source.