Kratom, a plant known for its psychotropic and relaxing effects, is in the process of being legalised in Thailand for medicinal use. The Cabinet just approved the Justice Ministry’s bill to amend the Kratom Act which would legalise production as well as importation and exportation of kratom. The bill will be forwarded to the Office of the Council of State before it is approved by the House.
The kratom tree, Mitragyna speciosa, is native to Southeast Asia and in the coffee family. The leaves have been used in traditional medicine to treat pain, fever, dysentery and diarrhoea, according to the Bangkok Post. In recent years, kratom has become popular in the United States and used recreationally with many tea bars offering different types of kratom teas and shakes. Some people with a history of alcohol addiction have used kratom as an alternative. Others enjoy the kratom’s relaxing effects.