Kratom Has Actually Been Used In The USA For Around 50 Years, Since Kratom Was First Brought To The USA In The 1970s During The Vietnam War
There is a general perception that Kratom was not even being used in the United States until around the year 2000, since before then practically no smokeshops offered Kratom, and there were no internet vendors offering Kratom either. Indeed, I consider myself a Kratom pioneer since I started using Kratom in the year 2009, and at that time no one I knew had heard of Kratom.
However, according to the American Kratom Association, Kratom was apparently first introduced into the United States in the 1970s during and after the Vietnam War, which is roughly 50 years ago.
Essentially, Vietnam is one of the only places in the world where Kratom natively grows, and therefore Kratom is an integral part of the native culture in Vietnam. American soldiers who were fighting in Vietnam learned of Kratom from the native people, and ultimately soldiers began chewing Kratom leaves for its mood lifting, energizing, and pain relieving effects.
Indeed, it is obvious how Kratom would be extremely helpful to any soldier who is fighting a war, especially a protracted and extremely harsh war like the Vietnam War.
When the Vietnam War ended and the soldiers came home, they apparently continued to use Kratom for its beneficial effects.
Further, there was also a massive influx of immigrants from Vietnam at the end of the Vietnam War. Basically, when South Vietnam collapsed and American forces evacuated, hundreds of thousands of South Vietnamese citizens evacuated to the United States as well, and many of these Vietnamese immigrants were Kratom users.
Thus, all the way back in the 1970s Kratom was being used in the United States, both by American military veterans and South Vietnamese immigrants.
Zooming out, it seems feasible that the limited amount of Kratom use in the 1970s is the spark that ultimately led to Kratom proliferating in the United States once the internet became popular in the 1990s and 2000s, although there is little, if any, written records which can connect the dots between Kratom use in the 1970s and Kratom’s modern day rise to popularity.
On a final note, the fact that Americans were using Kratom in the 1970s increases the probability that Kratom was being marketed for human consumption in the United States before 1994, and if that is the case, then Kratom would be grandfathered in as a supplement and would not need FDA approval. This topic will be discussed in a future article on The Kratom Herald.