What do kratom strains mean, and why are they important?
Kratom (Mitragyna Speciosa) is a type of evergreen tree that is native to Southeast Asia. The leaves of the Kratom plant are classified by strains named color; green, red, and white are the most popular strains. The strain of kratom is determined by how the leaves are grown when the leaves are harvested, and how the leaves are dried. These factors give the kratom plant its chemical and physical characteristics.
Each strain has different effects and can be used for many different reasons. Each plant develops a different ratio of active ingredients, that gives the plant its vast and unique properties. Often said to have effects like pain relief and energizing effects, it is a truly multifaceted plant!
Green vein kratom comes from kratom leaves that are harvested in the middle stage of the tree’s life cycle. Once they are harvested, the leaves are dried typically using a hybrid drying technique. This consists of drying the leaves indoors in air conditioning and then transferring them outside to complete the drying process. Green strains are commonly said to be more balanced than other strain types and are an excellent option for beginners. They can have mild stimulating effects but are not as strong as white vein kratom. Green vein kratom can be good to help focus, and be a good middle of the day pick me up.
Red vein kratom is one of the most popular strains. This strain is harvested from mature plants that have increased levels of the active ingredient alkaloid 7-hydroxymitragynine. Once the mature leaves are harvested they are then dried using a lot of sunlight or UV lamps. With red vein, kratom post-harvest fermentation can occur creating something known as Bentangie kratom, which will be touched on more in-depth later. This kratom is said to be the best for intense pain relief. Not only can red vein kratom be beneficial for pain management it is also said to have mild sedating effects to promote sleep, perfect for nighttime use.
White vein kratom is said to be the most intense strain and is the opposite of red vein kratom. Many people use white veins during the morning in place of coffee. Considering the kratom plant is related to the coffee plant it shares its caffeine-like qualities giving white vein kratom its possible stimulating effects. White vein kratom is harvested from young kratom trees when the leaves’ veins are still white. They are then brought indoors to be dried in the dark. The young leaves of white vein powder have the highest mitragynine (different from alkaloid 7-hydroxymitragynine)** content of any strain, making it incredibly potent. Said to be great for increasing energy.
**Alkaloid 7-hydroxymitragynine: One of the more rare kratom alkaloids in the kratom plant making up only 2% of the total alkaloid content. Red vein kratom typically has the highest alkaloid 7- hydroxymitragynine content. Mitragynine: Known as the most abundant alkaloid in the kratom plant making up around 66% of the total alkaloid concentration. This percentage varies based on harvesting time and growth conditions. Green and white strains are known for having higher levels of this alkaloid.
Are There Any More Types of Kratom Strains?
Not only are kratom strains classified by their color they can also be categorized by where the plant is native, leaf shape, and more. For example, Maeng Da kratom, one of the most popular kratom strains originally from Thailand. Maeng Da kratom must be grown under certain growing conditions to develop its potential sedating effects. Another example is Bentuangie kratom, a type of post-harvest fermentation that occurs when dried under bright UV light. Many people consider this strain to help ease “sharp” pain rather than “dull” pain. Other strains include Bali, Indo, Thai, Sumatra, and Borneo. There are even many more different strains than the ones listed above. Make sure to do your own research to find what strain is best for you!