Kratom, or Mitragyna speciosa, is an herbal tree from the coffee family, native to Southeast Asia. The people of Southeast Asia had used kratom for its purported health benefits centuries before the herb ever made it to Europe or North America.
However, the herb is gradually gaining popularity in the western world as consumers attempt to find ways to incorporate kratom products into their wellness routines. One of the challenges in shopping for kratom products is deciding the ideal products to purchase, given that kratom exists in numerous strains. Below is everything you need to know about kratom strains.
What is A kratom Strain?
A plant strain is a designated group of offspring descended from a modified parent plant. The modifications in the strain may occur due to various factors, including genetic mutations and adaptation to new growing conditions.
However, the most significant source of plant strains is clonal propagation or breeding, causing the development of plant cultivars (cultivated varieties). Unlike the mother plant that originates from seeds, botanists create plant cultivars vegetatively, imparting certain desirable traits into the cultivar.
Cultivators impart potency for kratom strains or cultivars, aiming to develop the most potent Mitragyna speciosa strain. Potency in kratom strains influences the strain’s capacity to induce specified purported therapeutic benefits.
Kratom is high in alkaloids that induce various therapeutic benefits, including its two primary active alkaloids, mitragynine, and 7-hydroxymitragynine. However, besides breeders’ asexual propagation, environmental factors like the plant’s age during harvesting and the typographical factors in the region of growth affect a kratom strain’s potency. Therefore, below is an overview of the most popular kratom strains based on plant maturity level (plant age affects leaf color venation) and region of origin.
Kratom Strain Classification By Leaf Venation Color
One unique fact about the kratom tree is that its leaves’ veins change colors as the plant grows from producing leaf shoots to maturity. The color changes indicate alkaloid composition changes in the plant and influence the final kratom product’s color, as highlighted below.
White Kratom Strains
White kratom stains feature white leaf venation because kratom leaf veins turn white at their youngest maturity level. According to one study on kratom alkaloid concentration, white-veined kratom leaves have the highest mitragynine concentration of all kratom leaves.
The alkaloids in the kratom leaves interact with the body’s opioid system, including various opioid-like effects. However, one study showed that kratom’s alkaloid profile features atypical alkaloids that interact with the opioid system without increasing the risk of dependency.
Consequently, the white kratom leaves induce an uplifting effect characterized by bouts of energy and an enhanced sense of calm motivation. Therefore, kratom consumers typically take white kratom strains as a natural pick-me-up to boost their energy levels without experiencing any form of jitteriness.
Green Kratom Strains
Kratom leaves change their vein color from white to green as they continue to mature. The green leaf venation also represents a shift in the plant’s alkaloid profile composition.
Unlike white-veined kratom strains, green-veined kratom strains have a balanced alkaloid profile, with no particular alkaloid dominating the profile. Consequently, green-veined kratom strains induce a more balanced effect characterized by a mellow sense of euphoria. Therefore, green kratom strains are ideal for individuals who want to add kratom to their wellness regimen with mild to moderate changes.
Red Kratom Strains
Kratom leaf veins turn red when the leaves reach their peak maturity level. The kratom leaves harvested at this point have the lowest mitragynine concentration of all kratom alkaloid profiles. However, they have a higher concentration of 7-hydroxymitragynine and paynantheine, two alkaloids with potent analgesic effects.
The potency analgesic properties mean that red-veined kratom strains induce pain-relieving and sedative effects. Therefore, most kratom consumers purchase red kratom strains as an ancillary pain relief therapy.
Yellow And Gold Kratom Strains
Yellow and gold kratom strains are the latest products in the kratom market and achieve their unique color through special drying techniques. Moreover, their effects range from euphoria to relaxation.
Kratom Classification By Region Of Origin
As stated earlier, the typographical factors in a region affect kratom’s potency and alkaloid composition. Therefore, besides leaf venation color, experts classify kratom strains by region of origin. Below is a highlight of the most popular kratom strains by region of origin.
Bali kratom is a kratom strain that grows predominantly in Indonesia’s Jong Kong region. The region’s soil and climate influence an alkaloid concentration that imparts the strain with stimulating qualities. Therefore, white, green, and red kratom strains are among the market’s most invigorating kratom strains.
Borneo kratom is a kratom strain native to Borneo’s lush jungles. It is available as white, green, red, and white Borneo strains that induce a unique, stimulating effect without overwhelming the consumer.
Malay kratom is native to Malaysia’s forest region and is among the most potent kratom strains available on the market.
Maeng Da Kratom
Maeng Da kratom is a hybrid kratom strain growing in Thailand and Indonesia. It has the most potent invigorating effect of all kratom strains.
Kratom is a diverse plant available in different strains that induce unique benefits ranging from stimulant effects to complete relaxation and sedation. However, kratom strains are dose-dependent, including the opposite effect in high doses. Moreover, they induce individual-specific effects, so try different stains until you identify the kratom strains that suit your wellness needs.