Is Kratom legal in the UK?

Is kratom legal in the UK
Kratom in the UK

Is kratom legal in the UK?

“Is kratom legal in the UK” and Kratom legality in the UK in general, are questions that arise often. As with many other countries, the legality of kratom is a somewhat “gray area”, and when it comes to the UK, the answer is not any different. There is also unfortunately a lot of misinformation online as the press and the publishers just pass on the propaganda they receive from the officials wanting to ban substances.

Brexit and Kratom

The most unfortunate thing for Kratom users was the UK departing the European Union. One of the protections on the sale of this plant has been the Lisbon Treaty, which guarantees the free movement of goods within the EU. The treaty roughly states that if a substance is considered legal in an EU country, another EU country can’t deem it illegal when the substance originates from that country.

The legal status of Kratom in the UK before 2016

Before the introduction of the Psychoactive Substances Act in 2016 (The Act), kratom was legal in the UK. People could buy, sell, and use kratom without any legal repercussions. However, with the introduction of the act, Kratom unfortunately was more or less placed in the same “basket” with many actually illicit substances. Without any scientific grounds or studies about people who use it and potentially find it life saving.

The Impact of the Psychoactive Substances Act on Kratom’s Legality

The Act changed the legal landscape for a wide variety of substances. Unfortunately, the generic language of the act allows kratom to be included within the jurisdiction of the act in the UK.

Under this legislation, kratom is now considered a psychoactive substance. According to the act, producing, supplying, or importing/exporting psychoactive substances is prohibited for human consumption. Kratom contains alkaloids, such as mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, which can be classified as psychoactive due to having an effect on the human central nervous system

This ban regrettably applies regardless of the plant’s potential medicinal benefits or traditional use in other countries. Let alone the fact that the act should be regulating narcotics, not plants with huge and obvious benefits.

The Problems with the Psychoactive Substances Act

The biggest problem with the act stems from the lawmakers being lazy with passing laws that are very broad, have unintended consequences, and fail to address the root causes of the abuse of very harmful substances.

One argument has been that even perfumes would be classified as psychoactive because their use can arouse emotions.

What is the Psychoactive Substances Act of 2016, and how does it affect kratom?

Overview of the Psychoactive Substances Act

The Psychoactive Substances Act of 2016 was introduced by the UK government to combat the growing use of “legal highs” and other new psychoactive substances (NPS). The Act made it illegal to produce, supply, or import/export any substance that affects a person’s mental functioning or emotional state by stimulating or depressing their nervous system.

In essence, this is not a bad intention when it comes to fighting engineered illegal drugs. However, the downside is that even many household items can be classified as prohibited.

The definition of a psychoactive substance and its implications for kratom

Kratom is considered a psychoactive substance under the Act because it contains alkaloids, such as mitragynine and 7-hydroxy mitragynine, which interact with opioid receptors in the brain, producing certain types of effects. This classification means that kratom is considered prohibited in the UK.

Are there any exceptions or loopholes for possessing or using kratom in the UK?

Kratom Possession

According to our understanding, the Act only prohibits the selling and importing/exporting of Kratom, but not possession. As stated on the website of The Code for Crown Prosecutors:

The Act does not create an offence of possession of a psychoactive substance.

The Code for Crown Prosecutors

This should be relieving for people who have been able to get Kratom in their possession for personal use and are not in breach of the other aspects of the act.

Potential exceptions for medical or research purposes

Currently, there are no specific exceptions or loopholes for kratom under the Psychoactive Substances Act. However, The Act does provide exemptions for substances used for medicinal or research purposes. As of now, kratom is not approved for medicinal use in the UK, and obtaining a license for research purposes is a complex process with no guarantee of success.

It would be a welcome and interesting advancement to have an instance to apply for a license for medicinal purposes. Unfortunately, this does not seem likely in the near future.

Legal Alternatives to Kratom in the UK

For those seeking the benefits of kratom without breaking the law, some legal alternatives may provide similar effects, such as CBD products or Kava.

While CBD is already much like a mainstream product, the legislation and regulations for CBD are also quite fragmented in Europe. However, the UK has set some clear regulations such as the products need to be THC-free.

Kava on the other hand is a substance that for example Australia recently released for commercial sales. In Europe, the fragmented regulations in different countries, make it hard for European vendors to offer it in the old continent and in the UK, unfortunately.

Can I import kratom for personal use in the UK?

Regulations on importing kratom for personal use

Importing kratom for personal use is not allowed under the Psychoactive Substances Act. The UK’s customs officers have the authority to seize kratom shipments entering the country. However, Kratom is not known to have a high interest for customs officials in the UK.

Potential penalties for importing kratom

If caught importing kratom, individuals may face penalties such as fines, etc. It is good to be aware of the risks and potential consequences before attempting to import kratom. According to testimonies found online (in Reddit for example), the usual action from customs is to approach the importer (i.e. person ordering from abroad) with a letter noting that Kratom falls under The Act and the shipment is confiscated, but no further actions are taken or fines issued. Please note though, that this does not mean that every case would be dealt with in the same manner.

Are there any ongoing efforts to legalize kratom in the UK or modify the existing legislation?

Current efforts to legalize or reclassify kratom

At present, there are no significant efforts or campaigns to legalize or reclassify kratom in the UK, unfortunately. While strong kratom advocacy groups exist in other countries, such as AKA the United States, where they have made progress in several states by getting the Kratom Consumer Protection Act (KCPA), similar initiatives have yet to gain traction in the UK.

It would be a welcome move though, to see the UK Kratom Consumers unite and start demanding The Act be overhauled by their representatives and Kratom’s status in the UK be clarified and regulated instead of banning it.

The Role of kratom advocacy groups in the UK and Europe

Kratom advocacy groups could play a crucial role in raising awareness about the potential benefits of kratom and its traditional use in other countries. By educating the public and policymakers, these groups could help initiate a conversation about the legal status of kratom in the UK and the potential for re-evaluating its classification under the Psychoactive Substances Act.

The European Kratom Association, EKA, has pioneered the way of making Kratom recognized as a legal substance within the EU and educating policymakers on its benefits as well as debunking the many myths and misconceptions related to it.

The Importance of scientific research and evidence-based policymaking

For hope for a change in kratom’s legal status in the UK to occur, scientific research would be crucial in providing evidence of the plant’s safety and its apparent benefits. many studies abroad have shown that for example any fatalities from Kratom alone have not been found. These studies would help support arguments for the medicinal use of kratom or its reclassification as a less harmful substance. This evidence-based approach could pave the way for future policy changes concerning kratom in the UK.

What’s Wrong with The Act

So yes, the UK passed the Psychoactive Substances Act which made pretty much a blanket ban on any psychoactive substances. The issue with this act and the topics, in general, is that the definition of what is psychoactive is very broad and not trivial to define. Originally the act was intended to fight against synthetic alkaloids and drugs that legislators couldn’t keep up with. Many people, however, just assumed that kratom was included in this legislation automatically, whereas kratom is actually not mentioned separately in this act at all.

There was also some resistance from law enforcement since they didn’t want to become judges “on the street” trying to determine what substance from a high school kid’s home lab or leaf powder sent from Indonesia might classify as psychoactive.

According to legal sources, the status is controversial and any legal counselor or judge could interpret the law in a few different ways.

According to the posts from UK kratom enthusiasts, the rule of thumb seems to be that ordering kratom for your own use in “sane” quantities is quite safe from legal ramifications, whereas an intent to resell in the UK would be problematic. If you order from a shop abroad (such as the chances that you’ll receive your order without any issues are very high according to testimonies found online.


Kratom is currently not legal in the UK under the Psychoactive Substances Act of 2016. While there are no specific exceptions or loopholes in the act for Kratom, it appears that possessing or using kratom itself is not looked as illegal or punishable by law.

However importing, exporting, or selling can be problematic. It is essential to stay informed about any changes in legislation or ongoing efforts to legalize or reclassify the substance.

For now, those interested in kratom’s benefits need to explore alternatives outside the UK. The future of kratom’s legality in the UK depends on increased public awareness, advocacy efforts, and scientific research to support evidence-based policymaking.

Please note that laws and regulations can change anytime, and GoPure Shop does not take any responsibility for incorrect or outdated information regards the legality of our products in any country or jurisdiction and it is always the customers’ responsibility to check the legal status of kratom. This article or information in it has not been verified by any legally authorized person such as a lawyer and may contain inaccurate legal details or assumptions.

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