What You Need to Know About Kratom and Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
January 7, 2019 0 Comments

Although Malaysia exports only a small percentage of Kratom compared to the huge 95% coveted by Indonesia, it is nevertheless important to know about the history of Kratom growth and usage in Malaysia in order to gain a better understanding, not only about where the plant comes from, but also where it’s going.

New Kid on the Block?

Although the idea of Kratom might be relatively new to you, and, indeed, to the Western world, it is, in fact, an ancient plant which has been used for hundreds – if not thousands – of years by the people of Malaysia and the rest of Southeast Asia. Known for its abilities to create energy and – conversely – relaxation, Kratom has been a staple of indigenous people in these islands who found that it helped them not only to get through their long and tiring days, but could be used to treat a number of ailments and illnesses, and while Malaysia might only account for a small percentage of the world’s supply, it is a useful study in the history and progression, and what that might mean for the likes of you and me.

How it Grows

Kratom needs a specific set of conditions in which to not only survive, but thrive, and Malaysia offers them all. Rich and fertile land combined with often-wet soil (thanks to the long rainy seasons) are the bedrock of Kratom growth – so much so that many trees in Malaysia are reported to reach heights of up to 60 feet with an average width of around 15 feet.

How Kratom was, and is, Used in Malaysia

Although Kratom use was first reported in Thailand, Malaysians soon caught on to its benefits, but up until the 1800s it was used primarily as a relaxant. However, its benefits became more widely known and it became known as a health-giving plan, too. Malaysians enjoyed these benefits until 1952, when the Malaysian government introduced The Poisons Act 1952, which heavily regulated the production and use of the plant.

Malaysia’s Laws

Under the Poisons Act 1952, it is illegal to harvest or sell Kratom in Malaysia, and anyone found guilty of doing so could incur fines of up to RM10,000, or almost US$2500, or face a jail term of up to 4 years. However, growing the plant for personal use is something of a gray area, although there is talk of it being made illegal to plant a Kratom tree without permission, which would end growing for personal use, too (there is a caveat to this law, though; it is still legal to cut and export Kratom leaves in their natural form, i.e. without being processed, and farmers must secure a license for this which prohibits them from selling it in Malaysia, or using it themselves).

Missing a Trick?

Keeping this ban in place, or further strengthening it by making it illegal to even plant Kratom without permission, will not only devastate Kratom farmers, but will also mean that Malaysia’s economy is missing out on being part of a massively lucrative deal – with a reported 4oo tons of Kratom being exported from Southeast Asia to the United States every month, the country is excluding itself from being part of a massive $130 million USD of business every year. The hope is that, as Kratom continues to grow in popularity, Malaysia will want to be a part of such a lucrative industry, particularly as Kratom vendors and users will welcome regulations which will ensure the quality and safety of the products they sell and use.

What Next?

Of course, nobody knows what is going to happen in the future, but the hope is that with continuing education and proper (and fair) regulation, Malaysia will relax its rules and allow the planting, harvesting, processing, and exporting of Kratom for the rest of the world to enjoy. In the meantime, all we can do is watch with interest.



Author : Andy Cyrus