This is the State Crime Lab’s first encounter with Kratom, a plant grown in Malaysia and Thailand. It comes in leaf form, pill form and what appears to be extract.
“We see it in a dark, black type of powder to a mustard and a darker tan, brown powder,” says Amanda Kilgore, the criminalist who tested the substance.
Police seized it during a raid on a Sioux City porn shop. They sent it to the crime lab to determine if the packages contain banned substances, like K-2. It turned out to be 100 percent natural, pure and legal.
“It has been found to be exactly what it’s labeled, where as the cannabanoids you just have no idea,” says Kilgore.
But that doesn’t mean it’s safe.
“Buyer beware, and for parents, it’s educate your children,” says Dale Woolery, Director of the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy.
Kratom was recently added to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s list of “Drugs and Chemicals of Concern.” It’s also on Wollery’s radar.
“I don’t think we’re to the point where we want to ring the alarm bell on this. But i think we all need to be vigilant and we’re at an age right now where we have new products coming online everyday.”
Kratom in small doses acts as a stimulant. In large doses, it’s a sedative. Side effects include hallucinations, delusions, tremors and nausea. The Iowa Poison Control Center reports once incident involving Kratom. But authorities anticipate more as mainstream drug dealers come up with more ways to mass produce mind altering substances.