Types of Kratom Strains and their Effects
For those seeking natural ways to boost energy or sense of calm, kratom could be a good option. It’s growing in popularity as more people discover this traditional plant, which has been used in indigenous cultures for centuries.
Grown in the rainforests of areas like Indonesia, Cambodia, and Thailand, kratom is made from the leaves of the Mitragyna speciosa tree. This tree is part of the coffee family, and its leaves are usually ground into a powder, but some locals may chew the leaves to gain kratom’s effects. Traditionally, kratom has been used to fight tiredness and improve fitness, to calm busy minds, and in some religious ceremonies.
Kratom’s various effects depend on the strain. There are three common kratom strains: red vein strains, green vein strains, and white vein strains. Each has unique properties, even though they all come from the same plant. The differences lie in when the leaves are harvested in the plant’s life cycle and how they are prepared.
All kratom leaves are cleaned immediately after being harvested to remove dirt, debris, and other contaminants. Next, the leaves are dried. Different strains are dried at different temperatures and for varying lengths of time, depending on what is needed to bring out the strain’s unique properties.
Once dried, the leaves are ground into a fine powder that is packaged and shipped. In some cases, specific varieties are put through additional processes to allow aromas to ferment or enhance with additional alkaloids.
The Three Kratom Strains
As mentioned above, there are three distinct kratom strains: red vein, green vein, and white vein. Within these vein categories, there are additional unique strains based on where the kratom leaves were grown (i.e., Thai Red Vein from Thailand or White Vein Borneo from Borneo). However, the main differences between each strain lie in whether it is a red, white, or green vein.
White Vein Kratom
Picked at its earliest stage, white vein kratom is the most potent kratom vein. It is known to have quick but short-lived effects. Many individuals use white vein kratom to improve focus and provide energy. Its energizing effects make it popular among those looking for a boost before work or a fitness regime, among other uses.
Due to its potency, white vein kratom is not recommended for first-time users. Its powerful aroma is best for experienced kratom users.
Red Vein Kratom
One of the more popular strains, red vein kratom is harvested at full plant maturation and has built up the maximum amount of alkaloids. These alkaloids produce soothing and relaxing properties, making it a more palatable form of kratom.
Red vein kratom is also said to have the longest lasting effects, likely due to its high alkaloid levels. It’s a popular entry point for those interested in kratom. Red vein kratom is ideal for those looking to calm restless thoughts or to relax the mind and body.
Green Vein Kratom
Harvested during its maturation, green vein kratom gets its color from the full green of the leaves at the time of harvest. Since the green vein is harvested during the maturing stage, it has built up a significant amount of alkaloids, but not the same amount found in the more intense white vein.
Green vein kratom is known for its dual energizing and relaxing effects. It’s generally considered a balanced middle ground between the relaxing red vein and the energizing white vein. Many find that green vein kratom’s aroma takes effect quickly and helps bring focus and energy.
Kratom Uses and Research
Due to its varied properties, kratom is popular in holistic wellness circles. Some find kratom helps them power through difficult workouts, while others see it as beneficial to help them wind down after a particularly taxing day. Yet, most agree that they choose kratom due to its natural origins. An estimated 10-16 million people in the United States are said to use kratom in some form.
Kratom research is still relatively young. As more individuals report use and its popularity grows, researchers are taking notice. New studies are being conducted to determine how different kratom strains take effect and to measure their impact. This research, combined with years of historical use by locals, will begin to paint a better picture of kratom and its future.