How Has The Market Of Kratom Increased In The Age Of Globalization?
Globalization impacts countries’ economies and cultures by facilitating the transfer of resources like goods, technology, labor, content, and more across borders. One sector that has benefited tremendously from globalization is the kratom industry.
A decade ago, people outside Southeast Asia had never heard about kratom, yet 2018 kratom prevalence statistics showed that 3.3 million US adults consume the herb regularly.
Moreover, kratom is federally legal in the US, with states like Missouri and Utah passing the Kratom Consumer Protection Act. Therefore, keep reading to establish globalization’s role in giving consumers reasonable access to Maeng Da Kratom and other kratom products.
Kratom is a botanical species from the coffee family, with alkaloid-rich leaves that deliver various therapeutic effects. The herb thrives in Southeast Asia’s hot and humid regions like Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia, where the natives use it for its purported therapeutic effects. Kratom first gained attention outside Southeast Asia as a substance of interest in managing opioid withdrawal symptoms.
According to one pre-clinical trial review, participants reported less intense opioid withdrawal symptoms and minimal respiratory depression after taking kratom tea. Kratom has an opioid-like effect, but unlike common opioids like morphine, codeine, and heroin, which are 100% depressants, kratom delivers stimulant effects. You can learn more about globalization’s impact on kratom research below.
Another significant kratom fact is that the herb exists in multiple strains, denoted by the kratom leaf venation. The kratom leaf life cycle features three significant milestones marked physically by leaf veneration color changes and chemically by alkaloid profile changes.
Young kratom leaves have white veins and are rich in alkaloids with outstanding stimulant properties. On the other hand, mature kratom leaves feature red veins and an alkaloid profile that favors analgesic and sedative effects. However, before kratom leaf veins turn red, they turn green, so green-veined kratom strains balance white-veined and red-veined kratom strains’ alkaloids profiles.
Besides leaf venation, kratom strains also vary by region because of typographical differences. Kratom is part of Southeast Asian culture, and it is through globalization that you either know it exists or use it. Below are the top globalization-related benefits accruing to the kratom industry.
As stated above, kratom is native to Southeast Asia, where its trees grow naturally across the region. The region’s unique microclimate makes replicating ideal kratom production conditions challenging.
Therefore, although a handful of farmers grow kratom in Texas, Southeast Asia supplies over 95% of kratom for consumption in Europe and the US. Moreover, Indonesia is the leading kratom exporter in the region.
The demand for kratom in the US and Europe has led to the development of kratom plantations. Besides monitoring plant growth conditions to harvest potent kratom leaves, Southeast Asian kratom farmers must also ensure they supply ethically-produced kratom leaves.
US kratom consumers are savvy shoppers who go out of their way to ensure they consume high-quality products, and US-based kratom brands strive to meet their consumers’ needs. Commercial kratom cultivation in Southeast Asia and processing in the US have led to tremendous growth in the kratom industry.
Kratom Consumers in Southeast Asia typically chew the herb’s leaves to experience its purported therapeutic effects. However, kratom leaves have an exceptionally bitter taste that most US and European consumers find unbearable. Therefore, globalization also creates room for kratom value addition in the kratom market besides commercial kratom cultivation.
American and European kratom consumers partake the herb in more palatable forms like kratom powder, capsules, softgels, shots, enhanced kratom, and even kratom gummies. Besides enhancing palatability, kratom value addition also makes the herb easier to dose.
Second, value addition creates a way for US kratom producers to generate higher profit margins from refined products. Moreover, kratom-curious consumers are more likely to try kratom capsules than chew on kratom leaves.
Kratom has a long history among Southeast Asian native communities, used as an elixir for various ailments and as a psychedelic during religious ceremonies. Although kratom use for therapeutic benefits is centuries old in the region, empirical research on the herb’s therapeutic effects was unavailable.
However, globalization facilitated further research, including case studies and pre-clinical trials on kratom. As stated above, researchers first showed interest in kratom as a potential treatment for opioid withdrawal side effects.
One subsequent research review shows kratom’s efficacy in delivering antidepressant and antipsychotic effects. Moreover, another research study proved that kratom’s primary alkaloids, mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine are potent analgesics (pain relievers). Although kratom’s full botanical potential and long-term effects remain unknown, the preliminary research is promising.
Besides indigenous kratom strains, kratom cultivators are developing new kratom strains to meet specific customer needs. Consequently, yellow, gold, Maeng Da, and Bentuangie kratom strains exist. The said kratom strains resulted from distinct grafting processes intended to enhance stimulant and relaxation effects and are gaining popularity among new and old kratom consumers.
Globalization has catapulted kratom to the global stage, transforming it from a little-known regional herb to a fan-favorite herbal remedy. Therefore, individuals outside Southeast Asia’s kratom market can also enjoy the herb’s therapeutic benefits.