Although new to the USA, kratom is the latest buzzword in the country’s wellness and alternative medicines circles. The Southeast Asian herbal remedy is overwhelmingly popular for its purported therapeutic effects, including relief for various physiological and psychological issues.
Kratom is incredibly diverse as it exists in numerous strains with varying alkaloid compositions and dominant effects. The different strains of kratom make identifying strains to meet your unique needs challenging.
In this guide, we take a look at all you need to know about kratom strains, allowing you to take the guesswork out of kratom shopping for a smooth shopping experience.
Kratom Classification By Leaf Venation
Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) leaves undergo various color and alkaloid content changes throughout their life cycle to maturity. The leaves’ veins and stalks change from white color to green and finally red at maturity.
Kratom farmers harvest the leaves at various peak stages indicated by leaf venation color and then dry them to harness specific alkaloid contents. Below is an overview of kratom strains according to leaf venation color.
1. White Kratom Strains
White kratom strain farmers harvest the youngest kratom leaves that have white leaf veins. Although farmers remove the veins during the production process, they give white kratom strains their typical characteristics.
At the tender stage, the white-veined kratom leaves have a high concentration of mitragynine and a low concentration of 7-hydroxy mitragynine. These are the two dominant alkaloids in kratom leaves.
White kratom strains have an off-the-charts stimulant effect, delivering physical and mental stimulation. While white kratom strains have other properties, boosting energy levels is their strength.
2. Green Kratom Strains
Green kratom strains fall smack in the middle of the kratom leaf lifecycle, hence having balanced alkaloid content. They typically deliver a moderate, balanced effect constituting stimulation and relaxation.
For instance, they help people relax in social settings without inducing obnoxious euphoria. Therefore, green-veined kratom strains are best for promoting wellbeing.
3. Red Kratom Strains
Kratom farmers harvest red-veined kratom leaves at maturity when the leaves have a high 7-hydroxy mitragynine concentration and a low speciociliatine concentration. The shift in alkaloid concentrations means red kratom strains deliver a profound yet pleasant relaxation effect. Given the numerous stresses and pressures of modern-day living, red kratom strains are bestsellers.
Their tranquil effect also makes them sedatives at high doses, promoting restful sleep and healthy sleep patterns. Red kratom strains are also exceptional analgesic, alleviating nociceptive, neuropathic, and stress-related pain.
Kratom Classification By Native Region
Typographical factors like weather, climate, and soil profile influence kratom chemotype or alkaloid content. Despite having a similar leaf venation, kratom strains native to different Southeast Asian regions have varying alkaloid profiles and deliver distinct effects.
Therefore you can classify kratom strains by leaf venation and region of origin all at once, e.g., White Malay Kratom. Below are the top-rated kratom strains by geographical area.
1. Maeng Da
Maeng Da is a unique kratom strain derived from a grafting process to produce a super potent kratom strain. The grafting was successful as Maeng Da is arguably the most potent kratom strain in the market.
The strain is predominantly from Thailand but is gradually gaining entrance into Indonesia and Malaysia. There are three Maeng Da kratom varieties: white, green, and red; each variety has unique benefits.
Depending on the type, you can take Maeng Da kratom for an energy boost, anxiety, relaxation, euphoria, cognitive performance, sleep, or pain relief. But remember that Maeng Da is a potent strain, so start low and go slow, especially if you are new to kratom. The strain is available in powder and capsule form.
2. Bali Kratom
Kratom enthusiasts posit that the Bali kratom strain is a fusion of Borneo and Sumatra kratom strains. The strain is Native to Bali, yet it also grows in Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Bali kratom’s distinct characteristic is its lingering effect; however, the strain typically requires some time before taking effect in the body.
While it is sufficiently potent, it delivers a somewhat mild effect compared to other kratom strains. Bali kratom is available in red, white, and green varieties, offering effects like pain relief, mood enhancement, and euphoria.
3. Malay Kratom
Malay kratom is a high-spirited, energy-boosting strain native to Malaysia. The strain functions as a stimulant and increases mental focus, elevates moods, and is euphoric. However, it is dose-dependent, offering a stimulant effect at high doses and sedative effects at low doses. Green Malay kratom is the most popular Malay kratom strain, beloved for its exceptionally balanced effect.
4. Borneo Kratom
Borneo kratom hails from Borneo Island and is available in white, green, and red strain varieties. Although different color venation kratom strains have varying effects, all three Borneo kratom strains are typically stimulants. Even Red Borneo kratom is less sedative than other red-veined strains.
This strain delivers various effects, but it’s not the best analgesic. However, they have a lingering effect on all other fronts.
5. Thai Kratom
Thai kratom is native to Thailand and is also available in white, greed, and red strains. While Thai kratom strains offer stimulant, sedative, and mood-boosting effects, they are most popular for their analgesic effect.
6. Indo Kratom
Indo kratom hails from Indonesia and is popular for offering pain relief, relaxation, and quelling anxiety. Consequently, Red Indo kratom is the most popular of all Indo strains. However, Indo strains are generally less potent than the other kratom strains.
Although the list of kratom strains above is not exhaustive, you now know what to look for and what to expect. Regardless of the kratom strain you choose, start low and go slow.