Feeling overwhelmed by the types of Kratom strains and varieties?
If you’re just starting out in the Kratom world, it can be a daunting trying to order some Kratom because there are just so many different strains and regions that it comes from. Opinions on each are as varied as the people within the community. Let the Kratom Buddha, help guide you….
Types of Kratom
Kratom is typically sold in 3 major color varieties: Red, White and Green and then within those colors are numerous regional Kratom varieties (Indo, Malaysian, Thai, etc…). The are other ‘colors’ as well, though they refer to fermentation/drying process instead of the vein color, which adds to purchasing complexity.
Inconsistent naming among vendors creates additional confusion as well.
The grade of the Kratom refers simply to it’s potency. This is determined by a few factors including alkaloid concentration and processing methodology. It is not a standardized system at all, and there is no clear definition of what processes/concentrations are required to meet each grades requirements. It’s still the wild west in Kratom, so it’s difficult to separate the marketing bullshit from actual useful information. Here is a loosely compiled list of various grades in order of weakest to strongest.
- Commercial Grade (weakest)
- Premium Grade
- Super Grade
- Enhanced Grade
- Ultra Enhanced Grade (most potent)
Understand this list is not definitive, nor do these terms really guarantee potency of any kind. Buying from reputable vendors is your best bet, it’s probably good advice to ignore the grade labels on most products until there is a higher level of standardization in the community.
Kratom Color Varieties
Red Vein Kratom
This is easily the most popular Kratom color variety, which is known mostly for it’s potent analgesic properties. In terms of popularity it’s sales are higher than the other Kratom color varieties combined. If you’re looking for pain relief, this is typically the color variety you’ll want. It’s popularity is both due to supply and demand factors. It’s considered a more resilient strain for growers, meaning it’s easier to grow and hardier than other color varieties, making it a much more abundant option. On top of it’s ease of growth, it’s alkaloid characteristics push it’s high demand.
Red Vein is typically used for it’s analgesic (pain relieving) and anxiolytic (anti-anxiety, calming) attributes. Within the Red Vein varieties there are regional Kratom strains as well, like Red Thai, Borneo Red and Red Vein Sumatra, which all have their own individual traits. Understanding Red Vein dosing is important to get the desired effects, due to the way it affects opioid receptors. Low doses are useful for an energetic mood elevating boost, while higher doses are recommended for sedation the the treatment of pain.
Red Vein Kratom is usually recommended for opiate (heroin or prescription opiates) withdrawal. It is effective due to the way it binds to the mu-opioid receptors similar to pharmaceutical painkillers, but lacks many of the strong side effects.
If you’re interested solely in an analgesic, sedative or opiate withdrawal, Red Vein Kratom strains are what you want.
White Vein Kratom
White Kratom strains are typically sought after for their stimulant effects and for mood elevating properties. ‘White is Bright’ is a good way to remember how white vein strains behave. These are effective productivity boosters, similar to coffee in their energy boosting effects, which is their usual purpose. It’s often used by people with mentally demanding position such as engineers and programmers who are looking for something to help them stay sharp during long work days.
White Vein Kratom disposition enhancing properties are also beneficial to those who are suffering from depression. Though it should be noted that it’s more of a short-term solution and generally used to get patients through ‘bad days’, because daily use can quickly lead to a tolerance buildup.
Some patients find the intensity of the white vein a bit too much. The solution for this is to mix White Vein with other Kratom varieties to enjoy a calm, anxiety free lift. White varieties should be consumed at the beginning of the day, because some patients find if taken too late, it affects their ability to sleep. Treat it like coffee and you’ll be fine.
- Pontianak White Horn
- Borneo White
- White Vein sumatra.
If you’re looking for euphoric mood elevation or a productivity boost, White Vein Kratom is highly advised, in low doses.
Green Vein Kratom
In the middle of whites and reds lies the Green Vein strains. They’re the great jack of all trades, both offering mild energy boosting with analgesic effects. This is a popular strain for recreational users, who enjoy euphoria and analgesic properties without the typical sedation that accompanies them.
Green Vein is the Kratom of choice for recreational use during social events. It provides a mild euphoric boost giving patients both the energy to be fully immersed in the moment. Due to it’s anxiolytic properties, it also mitigates social anxiety which can accompany those who are feeling over stimulated. It’s effects are generally mild and not overpowering, so you’ll still be you, just with a light enhancement. I think it could be compared to having a cup of coffee and a beer, you’re still you, just a bit more relaxed and conversational. Green strains tend to last longer in effect than others which makes it great for nights out.
Greens are also considered good strains for mixing with either reds or whites to balance out their potent abilities. If you find reds too sedating or whites overly stimulating, adding some green vein to your mix can help balance it out. Greens are the great equalizer of the Kratom strains.
- Malaysian Green
- Pontianak Green Horn
If your looking for a recreational Kratom strain that is good for social events, green is an excellent choice. .
Other Kratom Varieties
Yellow or Gold
One would think this would imply a yellowish vein, but in fact it’s just a method of drying the leaves. Sun exposure causes a significant increase in 7-hydroxy-mitragynine (7ohm) alkaloid content during the curing process. However the tradeoff appears to be a degradation of other key alkaloids, though the science here is still in the beginning stages. So, Yellow or Gold Kratom varieties in theory should contain high 7ohm concentrations. General consensus is that yellows lie somewhere between Whites and Greens, while Golds lie between Reds and Greens.
- Yellow (Between a White and Green)
- Gold (Between a Red and Green)
These are just simply custom blends. Some people find reds to be too sedating and thus mixing in some greens or whites ‘energizes’ the batch. In converse, many find whites to be over-stimulating and utilize a little red to calm the combination down. The range of purple recipes is as far and wide as the consumers imagination. If you capsulize your product, often you’ll be left with some extra kratom which can be combined with the ‘leftovers’ of previous capsuling efforts to make a kind of motley mix of various Kratom strains. Purples are fun to experiment with because each experience can be quite different from the next.
This kratom is unique because it undergoes a fermentation process. After the leaves are harvested they’re stored in sacks to ferment. The idea is that this process is supposed to convert the mitragnynine into mitragnynine puesdoindoxyl, which is perhaps a stronger analogue. Once the fermentation step is complete, the leaves are dried in the sun to further enhance the alkaloid concentrations. Most Bentuangies are made from Reds so they exhibit Red characteristics, however are typically stronger, pungent and have a more robust taste.
Bali / Borneo Kratom Strain
You would think that the name would indicate it’s origins, but in fact it’s grown in Borneo. Bali proved to be a good port for shipping this popular strain of Kratom, so the name was actually derived from where it was shipped instead of it’s actual origins. Today, the two names of strains are essentially the same thing.
Bali Kratom is known to weight heavier on the sedative side of effects, though it still retains some of it’s euphoric capabilities. If you’re looking for an analgesic, anxiolytic strain of Kratom, you can’t miss with Bali Reds.
Indonesian Strains (Indo)
These are similar to their Bali counterparts in that they lie on the analgesic end of the Kratom spectrum. Known for their pain relief properties, they are popular strains for dealing with opiate withdrawal.
In higher quantities the effects in addition to the analgesic benefits are said to increase euphoria and joy, which temporarily help with depression. Indo tea in the evening after a stressful day of work is an ideal tool to battling stress and aiding sleep. A much healthier and mild alternative to alcohol and tobacco.
Due to their increasing popularity there are sold in a variety of strains, Premium Indo, Super Indo and Ultra Enhanced Indo.
Maeng Da Kratom
One of the first well know strains, this strain was originally popular with working class laborers. Maeng Da translates to “Pimp’s Grade” in Thai, it’s name is due to the strength of it’s characteristics. It was sought after for it’s energizing properties, helping workers battle fatigue. It’s a fast and furious strain of Kratom, due to it’s high potency and shorter effective period. Dosing with Maeng Da, tends to be lower because of it’s robust alkaloid concentrations.
Maeng Da is less targeted than it’s relatives due to how it was originally developed. It’s one of the older Kratom strains so it was grown strictly for potency and yield, not targeting either end of the Kratom spectrum. It’s a generalist in the Kratom strain world, have capabilities on both ends. Though it definitely is considered more of an stimulant than a sedative variety.
Malaysian Kratom (Malay)
Cognitive enhancement is what this strain is known for. It’s strictly for boosting energy levels and helping with focus and concentration. A great breakfast strain that is a great way to start the work day when you have to get work done, or need high levels of concentration. It’s typically recommended not to dose Kratom daily, so it’s advised to just take it on days where you’re in need of a cognitive boost.
If you work a mentally demanding job, or have needs for high cognitive performance, this Malay Kratom can give you a boost when you most need it.
Riau Kratom Statom
This strain is hard to find, and is similar to strains found in other Borneo/Indonesian varieties. Grown in the southwest parts of Sumatra, it’s effects lie on the analgesic/sedative side of the Kratom spectrum. The unique property of Riau Kratom is that it’s a bit sweeter than other Kratom strains. This makes for more palatable teas, if that’s your ingestion method of choice.
Another Indonesia based strain, this is grown on the western island of Sumatra. Typical with other Indo Kratom varieties, it’s strengths are in analgesic/sedation effects. These strains have a reputation for having longer lasting effects than other types of Kratom. This makes them especially useful for alleviating pain symptoms, as you’ll need to dose less often, reducing dependency.
If you can find Sumatra based whites, they are just as potent as their red cousins and long lasting, however on the other side of the spectrum. This property makes them great workday productivity boosters.
Thailand has outlawed Kratom since 1943. (This was due to the competing tax situation with opium. Opium taxes were considerably higher, and in an effort to retain their high tax yields from the opium trade, the government criminalized it’s low tax competitor Kratom.) So most of the ‘Thai’ strains are not actually grown there, though the strain does originally come from Thailand. ‘Thai Kratom’ can come from almost anywhere and is typically a name slapped on Kratom of dubious origins. Proper Thai strains lie in the middle of the spectrum offering both energizing and sedative properties depending on dosage.
This is a new player in the community. Reports are that they’re highly potent and often come in capsule form. A new product in the North American Kratom market. These are productivity boosting Kratom strains, which makes capsules a great component as they can easily be ingested at the work place.
Kratom Alternatives and Boosters
Some Kratom alternatives and other herbs that have synergistic relationships with Kratom.
A plant that is a fairly close relative to the Mitragyna Speciosa (the Kratom plant). This has grown in popularity in Thailand due to the 1943 ban of Kratom, as a viable alternative. Unfortunately, it lakes the potency and the important mitragynine alkaloid that makes Kratom an effective analgesic. The alkaloid in Mitragyna Javanica is mitrajavine, and although it does have pain reducing properties, they’re effect is much milder than it’s cousin Kratom. If you’re living in a country where Kratom is banned, it’s a viable option.
Vein and Stem Powders
A new concoction in the Kratom community are powders based on crushing up what used to be a waste product. It was found the stems and veins have unique alkaloid concentrations, so users looking for a different experience are dabbling with these powders. Often affordable, they’re still not popular, but interest in them is growing. Often they are mixed with typical Kratom leaf powders as an effective potentiator.
These are different processing methods for producing Kratom. The intention is to use processing to compress the alkaloid concentration delivering increased potency at a fraction of the volume. These are typically recommended for experienced users, due to their extreme potency.
These are created by boiling the leaves and extracting the alkaloids from the liquids by dehydrating them and what’s left is a more pure alkaloid product. You’ll see resins sold in various strengths, 8x, 15x, 30x, etc… Essentially a 15x resin is 15x stronger than the same dose of regular powder. So dosing needs to account for this, and it’s important that you start at very low doses when starting with resins, due to their intensity.
Liquid Kratom, can you imagine anything more convenient than liquid form? That’s exactly what you get with Kratom tinctures. The key to getting good tinctures is to find Full Spectrum Tinctures known as Kratom FST. Full Spectrum preserves the entire alkaloid profile, which typically indicates you’re getting an unadulterated high quality product. Some companies produce tinctures that target specific alkaloid profiles, lying on either side of the Kratom alkaloid profile. It may mean that the kratom is going through more processing, which may or may not be desired. The verdict is still out on tinctures, they’re super potent, but there is no regulation/standardization about the process.
Gold Reserve Kratom
Another attempt and providing customers with a more potent product. The powder is made from Indonesian Kratom Strains and is meant to be a blend of pure alkaloid extracts. In theory it should act quickly and be highly potent. Reports have been mixed as some users find it to be a little too intense, causing irritability and anxiety. Though most users enjoy the euphoria and the 5 to 10 minute acting time, which is considerably shorter than regular Kratom powder. Dose low, very low when starting, .5gram should be the maximum for any first time users.
Ultra Enhanced Indo Kratom (UEI)
Perhaps the most potent variety of Kratom on the market today. The process for creating UEI Kratom is mixing Indo leaves and highly concentrated pure alkaloid powder. The effects are similar to other forms of Kratom, however, even at low doses, the effects are amplified. This is a variety that should be reserved for experienced users, and is generally too strong for people just starting on Kratom. For people trying to replace opiates for pain relief, this is a popular strain because of it’s strength. Like all Kratom strains, it’s habit forming and dependency (although mild), is still a concern.