A shrewd, bold businesswoman, Revah remains sanguine despite having opened two dispensary-style boutiques in Dallas, both called CBD Kratom. Medical marijuana isn’t legal in Texas, so don’t expect to find kush at the shop on Knox Street or the second on Davis Street in Oak Cliff. Still, the name is ballsy considering the controversy surrounding kratom, a South Asian plant that many users hail as a potential life-saving herbal alternative to opioids.
While conventional head shops often camouflage controversial products, at CBD Kratom, these supplements stand tall. The small bags, jars and bottles of kratom are aesthetically packaged, benign looking, and customers rattle off praises for the plant. Unfortunately, kratom’s fans don’t include federal regulators. In February, the Food and Drug Administration threatened to stop kratom from entering the United States, and the Drug Enforcement Administration has threatened its legality.
Revah seems unfazed, but the government’s threats have stirred fear and lobbying efforts among some of the countless Americans who are treating themselves for chronic pain with kratom. Some are convinced they will die without it, killed by the addictive narcotics that kratom purportedly replaces.
Kratom has been used since the 1800s for a number of purposes, including reducing the pain of opium withdrawal, but the FDA’s letter declared the plant dangerous and addictive.
Revah disagrees. Thousands use kratom for wide-ranging reasons — insomnia, coughing,