If you’re one of the many Americans who have no other option but to buy kratom from a local headshop there are things you need to consider prior to doing so. Before you hand your hard-earned money over to a shop owner who may or may not know anything about the kratom plant, you’ll want to know exactly what you can expect.
In the following guide we’ll cover all possible contingencies so that you’ll have a solid grasp of what you can anticipate and what you should avoid.
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There are many reasons why one might be tempted to purchase kratom locally, whether from a paraphernalia shop or a tobacconist. For one, a lot of people are cash poor and prefer to pay using a credit card.
In recent years, online kratom vendors have encountered difficulties when attempting to process credit card transactions. Many of the biggest names in the industry have done away with credit card ordering entirely, opting instead to accept cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ether or Venmo. Others only accept eChecks or CashApp payments.
With such limitations placed on the consumer it’s no wonder they might want to jump in their car and head over to a nearby head shop where they can pay for a pouch of kratom powder or a package of kratom capsules with cold hard cash.
Let’s face it, postal carriers can take forever and a day to deliver to your house. When it comes to snatching up some fine Mitragyna speciosa (read: kratom) plant matter, patience may not seem like a virtue so much as a handicap. You want your kratom and you want it now, but the online order you place may take anywhere from three to five days to arrive.
Rather than wait around in hopes that you’ll be able to brew something by week’s end, why not head over to a neighborhood spot and pick some up right then and there? This is the mentality of the average consumer who buys head shop kratom.
This is one of the biggest drawbacks to buying kratom locally. Head shops are notorious for price gouging, knowing full well that folks in fly-over states are unaware of industry standards.
You can hardly fault head shop owners for overcharging since they have to pay their employees, restock their inventory, and cover the cost of rent and electricity. Without such an upcharge they would be unlikely to turn a profit of any kind.
Nevertheless it would seem that some local proprietors are shadier than others. For example, I reached out to one head shop in Colorado and inquired about their pricing. The staff member I spoke to told me that they usually charge $250 for a single kratom kilo. That’s more than double the price that the average online kratom supplier charges for 1,000 grams of kratom powder.
On a less extreme note, most head shops charge around $50 for every 30 grams of kratom. This appears to be the case if you are buying it in powder form. If this seemed a pretty high then just you wait until you see pricing on kratom capsules.
A multitude of shop owners slap a $10-15 price tag on as little as two kratom capsules. These caps are usually offered as a 2-pack in a shrink-wrapped package that bears little to no information about recommended dosage or place of origin.
This is another problem I have with the vast majority of head shop kratom sellers. Only the most trusted proprietors bother to do their homework prior to stocking kratom products. Far too many head shops carry a wide assortment of such products without bothering to learn anything about them.
Consequently, customers can head into these establishments and inquire about the difference between kratom strains such as Red Vein Bali and Maeng Da only to be met by blank stares or owners who promptly change the subject.
I’ve spent countless hours talking to head shops about kratom and four out of five of them know nothing about their kratom’s source. This is alarming because it demonstrates the potential risk of using their products.
If a vendor does not disclose detailed info about their kratom, it’s always advisable to skip out on them before they can make you sick. That might sound paranoid, but consider the case of Krypton, a head shop brand of kratom that sent multiple users to the hospital where it was discovered that the product was contaminated with a synthetic painkiller.
Responsible purveyors of premium grade kratom understand the importance of GMP compliance. They routinely submit each batch of their kratom plant material to a third party laboratory so that it can be tested for heavy metals and other prospective contaminants.
The best vendors in the game openly disclose the results of such lab tests on their e-commerce websites. This is how you know that you are doing business with a professional instead of a greedhead with little on their mind beside dollar signs.
The problem with head shops is that they are invariably on the hunt for the latest trend. Don’t believe me? I’ll cast your mind back to the bath salts craze of 2010 which left many people ill and was even associated with at least one case of cannibalism.
Did all of the negative press surrounding so-called bath salts (a class of recreational designer drugs) stop head shops from carrying them? On the contrary, a lot of shop owners only began to order such products after they made the news.
Following such trends can often result in shops stocking dangerous compounds that have not been properly analyzed prior to distribution. This poses a major issue for those who are seeking quality kratom since there’s no real way of knowing whether you’re getting something that’s pure or something that’s been enhanced by synthetic means.
On the plus side, the top head shop brands are manufactured by GMP compliant companies that pride themselves on ethically sourcing unadulterated plant matter from the oldest plantations in Southeast Asia. These brands are clearly labeled, carry appropriate warnings and make it clear that the FDA has not approved kratom for medicinal use.
If you have no other choice and you really must buy your kratom from a brick-and-mortar shop, be sure to demand answers to some fundamental questions. Inquire as to the difference in effects from one strain to the next. Find out where the products come from. When you’re confident that you’re getting what you paid for then, and only then, should you proceed with your transaction.
The following is our comprehensive list of the top kratom brands offered by head shops across the U.S.
Happy Hippo manufactures a massive product line consisting of specialty blends that are geared toward seasoned users. There’s something for everyone in their inventory of more than 50 unique strains.
Krave Kratom is one of the oldest and most trusted head shop brands. They offer traditional kratom strains in both powder and capsule form. Individual doses and bottles of kratom capsules are widely available in the United States.
As I covered in my vendor review, Purkratom is a fully stocked online apothecary that also provides wholesale opportunities to small business establishments. Their catalog includes adaptogenic supplements, sleep formulas, CBD and premium grade Green Vein Borneo.
Remarkable Herbs has been around for a minute, but they remain one of the bestselling head shop brands thanks to their potency and consistency. Their finely ground powder is like something you’d sprinkle on a cannoli and their aroma is twice as nice.
Last but far from least is Urban Ice Organics, the kratom brand of NaturalOrganix.com. Perhaps the most open and transparent company in the industry, Natural Organix has heavily invested in the future of kratom legality, going to great lengths to make sure that their customers take recommended dosages.
Their labeling is free from the bold claims made by lesser brands and they are quick to point out that kratom is not intended to treat or cure any disease. Put simply, Urban Ice Organics is kratom done right.
You might be wondering what makes buying kratom online a more viable option than buying locally from a head shop or smoke shop. It’s simple. Transparency is undeniable.
The best online kratom vendors are honest and open about their business practices. They tell you all about their products, their company and their techniques for manufacturing quality kratom.
And if they don’t?
The Internet does the work for them. Even if a shoddy seller fails to inform potential customers about their purity and reliability (or lack thereof), there is a plethora of online forum communities that are dedicated to revealing the truth about a given brand.
By visiting sites like Reddit, I Love Kratom, Meds Chat and Double M Herbals, you can find out everything you want to know about an online store before you bother putting your money on the line.
Trustworthy online sellers offer free kratom sampler packs, coupon codes, cyber sales and more. Additionally, they provide a 30 day money back guarantee if you are less than satisfied with your order.
By contrast, the average head shop refuses to issue refunds on any of its items. You’ll usually find a sign reading NO REFUNDS posted by the cash register or hanging on the wall behind their cashier.
If you’re heading to the closest head shop to pick up some kratom, make it your business to compare prices beforehand. Consider jumping on Reddit to see what others have said about select brands. Most importantly, make sure that the brand you are considering comes from a legitimate source.
Be safe, be smart and be well.
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