Kratom Strains Guide
Table of Contents
Vein Color and Kratom Speed
The rainforest jungles of Southeast Asia and parts of Africa house an amazingly beneficial plant by the name of kratom (also known colloquially as thang, biak, ketom, thom, and/or kauam). Sometimes referred to by its scientific name, mitragyna speciosa (M. speciosa), kratom belongs to the Rubiaceae (coffee) family (Stolt et al. 2014) and is becoming increasingly popular as a natural way to relieve pain, decrease anxiety, and promote productivity*.
As with other plants, there are different sub-types. When one refers to specific strains of kratom, he is most often referring to the color of the powder and its supposed harvest location. Think of Green Malaysian or Red Vietnam. These days, the title of the country is simply a name of reference so users can recall their favorites. Interestingly enough, all kratom types are now grown almost exclusively in Borneo.
Although it is a misnomer, keep in mind that we do refer to strains throughout the website for familiarity reasons. Essentially, “strain” is really just a way to classify how a kratom powder was treated after its leaves were cut. That, and its environmental conditions and seasonal timing.
Although secondary attributes will vary between kratom samples, there are only two primary types of mitragyna speciosa plant – horned and regular. There are differences in color, but these differences may be noticed throughout a single plant. What this means is you could have a red, white, yellow, and green yield all from the same tree.
Coloration is determined by the specifics of the drying or curing process used by the farmer and is also influenced by the seasonal timing of the harvest. Kratom contains plant chemicals called alkaloids, which are solely responsible for the effects felt from a particular strain. The composition of these alkaloids is dictated by the environmental conditions effecting the originating tree as well as everything that happens to the leaf once it is cut.
We will refer to kratom throughout this post as having particular vein colors because that is what most people are familiar with.
The three most popular types of kratom are referred to by the color of the final ground powder product: red vein, white vein, and green vein. Yellow and gold colored kratom has become relatively popular in recent history as well. These are usually fermented or are blends, which are normally used as a way to experience a more robust alkaloid profile than one would get by sticking to a single vein color.
The general properties of red, green, and white strains are the same for any type, though individual kratom strains exhibit their own unique effects. Again, we can thank kratom’s more than 40 known alkaloids for the leaf’s wide array of beneficial effects. Each distinct kind of kratom varies, sometimes significantly, in composition.
Red Vein (Slow Kratom)
Red kratom, or slow kratom as it is commonly referred to, is most popular for its ability to relieve pain and encourage relaxation. It is also used as a tool for getting to sleep faster and sleeping better. Since much of the red color observed with this kind has to do with drying and curing techniques, particular batches may vary among samples and could appear any shade including green. This is not an indication of strength. Some of the most well-known red varieties include Red Bali, Red Maeng Da, and Red Thai.
White Vein (Fast Kratom)
White vein kratom strains are said to be fast. They are commonly used as a stimulant and are often recommended as ideal substitutes or additions to coffee. It may also be associated with mood regulation and mild euphoria. Just as with reds, the final color of white kratom is influenced by the procedures carried out during the farming process. It is not oxidized by the sun as much as its darker counterparts. Popular whites include White Maeng Da, White Borneo, and White Elephant
Green Vein (In-between)
Green varieties of kratom lie somewhere in the middle of reds and whites in terms of reported effects. Typically they receive less direct sunlight during the drying phase and contain more nitrogen than other leaves. These leaves usually undergo fewer steps after harvesting to influence alkaloid content in a certain way. Commonly used green vein kratom names are Green Borneo, Green Sunda, and Maeng Da Sulawesi.
Yellow Kratom and Blends (Varies)
Yellow kratom leaves do exist in nature and can be potentially found on any tree. It is even possible to have red, green, and yellow all on the same leaf. Though yellow leaves may be a sign of uneven nutrient uptake by the host tree, where kratom powder’s yellow comes from is extended oxidation by sunlight. Yellows are used for an entire spectrum of purposes based on their individual chemical makeups. Blends are of course a mixture of any two or more types of kratom and are usually specified in the name or product description. Our best selling yellows and blends are Yellow Thai, Tri-blend Maeng Da Bali, and White Batak.
Notable Kratom Strains
Red Maeng Da and Red Bali are two of the most purchased red strains available. The former is often considered the most balanced of the pain-relieving kinds. It provides an ideal balance of alkaloids while remaining relatively high in mitragynine, the main pain-relieving alkaloid inside the kratom leaf. Red Bali is said to be fairly sedative and may thus be used by people who want help falling asleep. This can often be attributed to a higher concentration of 7-hydroxymitragynine in the leaf, which comes in part from the sun drying process used by Indonesian farmers.
When it comes to white vein kratom, two very popular kinds are White Borneo and White Maeng Da. Maeng Da kratom is said to be the highest in mitragynine generally speaking, but we have seen others test higher from time to time. That said, it is consistently one of our strongest strains. White Borneo is said to aid with energy production and to yield anti-depressant characteristics. The energy production may be due to higher levels of the alkaloid, akuammigine, which promotes the production of adrenaline. More studies of akuammigine need to be carried out before we fully understand its potential.
Green Types of Kratom
When most people think of green kratom they are probably thinking of Super Green or Green Maeng Da. These two strains are quite similar in that they both provide high levels of mitragynine, an indole alkaloid responsible for the plant’s analgesic effects. Both are used by those looking for energy, focus, and increased production. In tests, these two strains set our current record in mitragynine content when our Super Green came out at 2.23% and our Green Maeng Da scored a 2.20%.
Notable yellow kratom includes Yellow Thai and Yellow Bentuangie among some other creatively named kinds. Yellow Thai is said to be great for energy and focus while Bentuangie may be more sedating than other strains. Some people choose to mix the two for a combination of energy and pain relief. Both of these are traditionally a bit lower in mitragynine but higher in 7-hydroxymitragynine, a barely-present but very potent indole alkaloid like its cousin. In fact, 7-OH-mitragynine is around five times stronger than mitragynine. The amount present is a result of oxidation during the curing process.
Kratom blends are a great way to sample the best of each individual ingredient at once. Some blends we sell often include:
- White Batak – a blend of Borneo, Malaysian, and Maeng Da;
- Green Nias – composed of Maeng Da Sulawesi, Borneo, and Thai kratom; and
- Tri-blend Maeng Da Bali – a blend of equal parts White Maeng Da, Green Maeng Da, and Red Bali
Of course you don’t have to stay limited to what pre-mixed blends you can find online. Get creative!
What Does Kratom Do?
Some things that kratom is used for, as well as some things that kratom is currently being investigated for, are:
For details on kratom pharmacology, usage, effects, and more, please refer to our post, What is Kratom?
How to Take Kratom
Kratom can be consumed orally a variety of ways. It most often comes in the form of a dried, finely-ground powder that is commonly taken directly by mouth then quickly followed by a large amount of liquid in a process referred to popularly as “toss-and-wash.” Others like to brew kratom tea. Kats Botanicals has a nice write-up on some different recipes.
The taste of kratom is very unique and is not for everyone. For those averse to the taste, kratom capsules are an extremely practical method of consumption. Our capsules are size “00” and each contains 525 mg of kratom.
In summary, there is much confusion around the internet regarding how kratom is really harvested and brought to market. Just remember that color and location name are not indicators of anything in particular, just arbitrary names we use to keep things familiar. The main thing you want to look for when considering differet kratom strains is consistency from your vendor, that way you always know what you are going to receive.
What kratom strains would you like to see stocked next? Feel free to reach out to us and let us know!