kratom

noun

kra·​tom ˈkrā-təm How to pronounce kratom (audio) ˈkra- How to pronounce kratom (audio)
1
: a psychoactive preparation that is composed of the crushed or powdered dried leaves of a yellow-flowered tropical tree (Mitragyna speciosa of the family Rubiaceae) of southeastern Asia and that is smoked or ingested orally (as in tea or capsules)

Note: Kratom contains the alkaloids mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine which produce stimulatory effects at low doses and sedative and analgesic effects at high doses.

At lower dosages, kratom is a mood enhancer … . But at higher levels, it functions as a mini-opioid, causing drowsiness, calmness, and a level of euphoria.Peninsula Daily News (Port Angeles, Washington)
Information and data on the positive and negative effects of kratom are limited, and because of this, health officials have voiced concerns that it is largely unregulated.Bryce Dole
Traditional medicine utilizes kratom to deal with muscle pain, depression, fatigue, and other physical and mental health problems.Rishi Madan
The Food and Drug Administration does not view kratom as safe and has repeatedly warned against use of the substance, which has been marketed for pain relief, depression and anxiety.Blair Emerson
2
: the tree or leaves from which kratom is derived
As a society, we're now using other medications to control pain, while actively searching for more. Some consider kratom (Mitragyna speciosa), a tree native to Southeast Asia, to have potential in this respect.Robert Ashley
For centuries, kratom has been grown in African and Southeast Asia as an ingredient that locals can use in traditional medicine.The Daily Herald (Everett, Washington)

Examples of kratom in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The National Institute on Drug Abuse is studying how kratom impacts opioid use disorder. Rebecca Grapevine, The Courier-Journal, 16 Feb. 2024 Products containing kratom, a substance with opioidlike effects, which are sold over the counter in many gas stations, claim to be herbal supplements but are mislabeled. Emily Hemendinger, Discover Magazine, 10 Feb. 2024 The American Kratom Association admits there are many illegitimate kratom products. Mark Strassmann, CBS News, 27 Dec. 2023 The use of Red vein kratom made from kratom leaves eventually extended outside of Malaysia, sparking the curiosity of both researchers and new kratom enthusiasts. Sponsored Content, The Mercury News, 16 Feb. 2024 Debate on kratom's effects Some people believe kratom can help treat opioid use disorder by replacing opioids or help alleviate withdrawal. Rebecca Grapevine, The Courier-Journal, 16 Feb. 2024 The kratom lobby has thwarted efforts to regulate it at the federal level. Orlando Sentinel and South Florida Sun Sentinel Editorial Boards, Orlando Sentinel, 2 Jan. 2024 Plus, all of their kratom is cultivated and sourced directly from Southeast Asia! Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 20 Dec. 2022 When life’s stressful, many kratom users have said that this kratom strain steps in to calm the nerves and bring back that zen vibe. Sponsored Content, The Mercury News, 19 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'kratom.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

borrowed from Thai krathɔ̂:m

First Known Use

1975, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of kratom was in 1975

Dictionary Entries Near kratom

Cite this Entry

“Kratom.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kratom. Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition

kratom

noun
kra·​tom ˈkrāt-əm How to pronounce kratom (audio) ˈkrat- How to pronounce kratom (audio)
1
: a psychoactive preparation that is composed of the crushed or powdered dried leaves of a yellow-flowered tropical tree (Mitragyna speciosa of the family Rubiaceae) of southeastern Asia and that is smoked or ingested orally (as in tea or capsules)

Note: Kratom contains the alkaloids mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine which produce stimulatory effects at low doses and sedative and analgesic effects at high doses.

In folk medicine, kratom has been used for its reported analgesic and euphoric effects, as well as for intestinal infections, diarrhea, and cough.Marc T. Swogger et al., Journal of Psychoactive Drugs
… there has been an increase in reported adverse effects associated with kratom, which prompted the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to consider classifying kratom as a Schedule I drug, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to warn consumers against its use.Sara Post et al., Clinical Toxicology
2
: the tree or leaves from which kratom is derived
Growing approximately 15 m tall, the kratom tree possesses relatively large, broad, glossy leaves that are oval shaped and dark green in color.Marcus L. Warner et al., International Journal of Legal Medicine
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