The act of figuring out where you can buy kratom locally can be something of a challenge for the uninitiated. Maybe you just learned about the many potential applications of this Ayurvedic herb and you’re hoping to pick some up in-person so you don’t have to wait for it to be delivered.
The good news is, there are many different establishments that now offer kratom in various forms. In some states you are likely to find kratom capsules in neighborhood filling stations or convenience stores while in others they are limited to roadside smoke shops or back road paraphernalia stores.
As with energy shots and “poppers,” kratom is sometimes sold in adult novelty shops. This is because of the growing popularity of kratom for stamina.
About a decade ago, kratom vendors started selling their wares on in a number of different marketplaces. With the rise of this popularity in the United States, users have begun to expect to find kratom in some mainstream stores.
One of the most commonly asked questions I get is, “Can you buy kratom on Amazon?” The short answer is, “No.” Although many vendors used to sell kratom products on the titanic e-commerce site, the company has since banned sellers from including it among their other items.
Since kratom is made from the leaves of the Mitragyna speciosa tree, an evergreen perennial belonging to the coffee family of plants, one would assume that it would be a mainstay at any vitamin store. Unfortunately this is not the case, at least not on a corporate level.
The Vitamin Shoppe is one of the largest and most successful American retailers of nutritional supplements. In the past, they have stocked a variety of controversial nootropics.
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You read that right. Over the last several years, the New Jersey-based retail apothecary carried Phenibut, the central nervous system depressant that has been known to cause dizziness, nausea, loss of motor coordination and respiratory problems.
Phenibut use has been linked to dependence and addiction which, naturally, leads to drug abuse. Phenibut overdoses have resulted in lowered body temperature, poor balance and lethargy.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg as The Vitamin Shoppe has sold a plethora of other potentially dangerous substances in some or all of their 750+ locations. These substances have included Adrafinil, Piracetam and the Vinpocetine.
You may recall that the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) announced a “tentative conclusion” that Vinpocetine didn’t meet the definition of a dietary supplement in 2016. That hasn’t stopped companies like The Vitamin Shoppe and GNC from stocking it.
Sadly, kratom is often lumped in with these and other dangerous drugs. The last few years has seen kratom demonized in the media and questioned by lawmakers across the country and beyond. After 2018’s Salmonella outbreak, the FDA issued a public warning, urging the public to avoid kratom use.
Consequently, most mainstream establishments refuse to sell it and even fewer would recommend it to their customers. This goes for Vitamin Shoppe as much as any other brick-and-mortar retailer. Those who are on the hunt for kratom powder must do so through other channels.
Over the last 20 years, headshops and tobacco outlets have become the primary sources for buying kratom locally. While these stores have played an instrumental role in the Western world’s introduction to the Ayurvedic herb, there have been other businesses that have shaped the future of kratom.
Places like Arizona’s East Coast Super Subs and Ohio’s Releaf Kratom have made Mitragyna speciosa accessible to residents in a whole new way with their kratom vending machines. These dispensaries enable the afflicted to snatch up some speciosa any time they need it, making the buying experience fast, convenient and completely hassle-free.
Of course, this isn’t something that is very commonplace, at least not at this time. Most users do not have this luxury and some of us have to search far and wide to find a proprietor with anything worth the typically high prices.
It’s hard to say whether purchasing your “tea” from a smoke shop is advisable since quality, consistency and honesty varies widely from shop to shop. Some headshops are run by passionate ethnobotanical enthusiasts who genuinely care about their customers’ well-being. Alas, for every true blue Mr. Green Thumb there’s a dirty dozen bad actors just looking to turn a big profit.
There are innumerable smoke shops that charge prohibitive prices for kratom and similar products. This price gouging makes it tough for the middle class to get their hands on a decent kratom stash. What’s more, some shop owners do not disclose the source of their kratom powder.
When looking for a local vendor, always be sure to ask plenty of questions. You’ll want to know which strains they carry, what each strain is good for, where they source their product from and whether it was tested by a third party laboratory.
If a vendor cannot answer these questions or straight up refuses to do so then you should take your business elsewhere. There is nothing to be gained by dealing with second-rate scam artists or greedy hucksters.
There are several ways to find kratom near you. Some online kratom vendors have store locators on their websites. A store locator page will give you the addresses of any shops in your area that stock the vendor’s brand.
Another useful tool is Kratom Maps, a site that makes this process even simpler and more transparent. You simply log on to their site, punch in your ZIP code and mailing address, and voila! Search results come up, showing you the places that are closest to your place of residence.
Even though you won’t find Mitragyna speciosa tea at GNC and Vitamin Shoppe, there are plenty of other stores that specialize in natural herbs and aromatherapy solutions. Like Vitamin Shoppe, these places are apothecaries. Unlike Vitamin Shoppe, most of them do not upcharge.
The very best U.S.-based apothecaries only stock 100% all-natural herbs. These are not wholesale products, they are ethically sourced kratom strains that are free of pesticides and other adulterants. One example of a first-rate apothecary is In the Weeds Apothecary, a Virginia-based business that maintains an expansive online store.
Whether you are ordering kratom online or purchasing it from a brick-and-mortar shop, a little independent research and some thoughtful inquiries will get you all the top shelf kratom you could want.
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