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How Does Southeast Asia View Kratom: Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia?

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There are many misconceptions surrounding kratom’s view in Southeast Asia, but it’s actually quite positive. Kratom is legal in Indonesia and Thailand, but Malaysia has banned its use. The different opinions on this ethnobotanical plant come from the different cultures that inhabit these countries. For example, there is a strong culture of kratom’s traditional use by laborers in Indonesia. 

Additionally, the Thai government has decriminalized kratom for its medicinal uses, and people are using it to help support their health and wellness. On the other hand, Malaysia’s negative view of this herbal product comes from considering kratom a drug or narcotic substance that causes addiction.

However, despite these differences, we should not let the different opinions of kratom from these countries mislead us. Let’s look at how kratom is viewed in Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia, which has actually prohibited kratom. 

Kratom in Indonesia

Indonesia is one of the top exporters of kratom in the world. Considering that kratom holds a lot of cultural significance and a long history of use in Indonesia, it is not surprising to learn that kratom remains legal. For centuries, it’s been viewed as an herbal plant, so there is no reason to suspect that it would be made illegal anytime soon.

Even though there have been discussions about banning kratom in Indonesia, law enforcement agencies recognize its value and allow it to be cultivated, bought, sold, and consumed. Indonesia’s kratom industry almost entirely feeds the thriving kratom industry in the US. Many locals who sustainably grow, harvest, and package kratom in Indonesia for sale to global vendors significantly appreciate the plant and can build a sustainable livelihood from it.

Kratom in Thailand

Thailand recently decriminalized the possession and sale of kratom, which is native to this Southeast Asian country. As a result, kratom is more accessible in Thailand than it was previously, and the community of users has grown to include Thai locals and ex-pats from around the world who have relocated there. In addition to decriminalization for personal use, the cultivation of kratom trees will be allowed in small quantities under license by the Thai government.

The growing popularity of kratom in Thailand has caused some cultural friction, as the traditional use by locals is to chew fresh leaves or make tea from them using boiling water. Like kratom in Indonesia, many people in Thailand view kratom as a natural herb. However, it’s still viewed negatively in Thailand by those who are unaware of its potential benefits and wellness support. Farmers who produce and sell kratom in Thailand benefit from kratom’s growing acceptance and popularity.

Kratom in Malaysia

In Malaysia, the use of kratom leaves, commonly known as ketum, is illegal under Section 30 (3) of the Poisons Act 1952. Despite its illegality, widespread usage persists because the tree grows naturally and kratom products are readily available in local communities. It’s critical to remember that this bill focuses on kratom possession and trade rather than usage or cultivation. Some parties have urged the government to punish kratom use under the Dangerous Drugs Act rather than the Poisons Act, which would result in greater penalties.

road between trees

Unlike kratom in Indonesia, where it’s legal, it’s clear that Malaysian authorities work to suppress kratom. However, the lack of a strong law enforcement infrastructure and border patrol makes it easier for smugglers to bring high volumes of kratom into Malaysia from Indonesia or Thailand. Most people in Malaysia have long viewed kratom as a dangerous substance. With more research and interest around the world, perceptions are changing. However, kratom’s illegal status in Malaysia is likely to remain. 

We Source the Best Kratom from Southeast Asia

Despite the positive and negative opinions of kratom across Southeast Asian countries, the region remains the best source for kratom. The Southeast Asian climate is perfect for growing the Mitragyna Speciosa tree, and consumers and vendors can buy high-quality kratom at affordable prices. At The Kratom Company, we source our kratom from sustainable growers in Indonesia and Thailand. 
We work hard to give you the best quality product and service and ensure more people discover how beneficial kratom can be for them. Learn more on our blog or shop your favorite kratom products and enjoy free, fast shipping.

Anthony Dent is one of the founders of The Kratom Company who has had years of personal and professional experience in the industry. As a kratom user himself, he is an advocate for all the potential benefits kratom can offer users both new and experienced. As the industry and legal atmosphere change, Anthony stays up to date on the latest Kratom Consumer Protection Acts to keep readers up to date with reliable information.
Anthony DentFounding Member

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