The Many, Many Kratom Strains
There are tons of kratom strains out there. You’ve seen the names: Indo, Super Indo, Maeng Da, Bali, and so on. To further complicate things, there are variations by color on most of these strains, either red, green, or white.
So what does all of this mean, and how does it affect the final product? The answer to that is a little tricky. While each and every kratom strand is from the same plant, the exact chemical makeup of each kratom variety is different in subtle ways that can make a big difference.
How Kratom Strains are Different
Studies show kratom has its effects thanks to two alkaloids found in kratom plant leaves. Alkaloids are naturally occurring and have have a wide range of effects on humans and animals alike. These compounds range from morphine to nicotine to quinine.
The two alkaloids that count when it comes to kratom are mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. Both of these alkaloids have unique properties that are the focus of multiple scientific studies. Research has shown mitragynine is an opioid agonist, which means it activates the opioid receptors in the brain. One study shows mitragynine levels in kratom products range from 1%-6%.
In a study conducted on mice, 7-hydroxymitragynine showed potent analgesic (painkiller) effects when administered orally. This compound was found to be present in much smaller quantities, only 0.01%-0.04%.
The main difference in kratom strains is the level of each alkaloid present. While most kratom brands do not advertise alkaloid levels in their products, some kratom companies have provided general guidelines on the range of alkaloid concentration in each strain.
Kratom Strain Colors*
Kratom strain colors are determined by the vein running up the center of kratom leaves. Each species of kratom can have veins of each color, making it possible to find a Red Indo, White Indo, and Green Indo product on the same shelves. Generally, these three varieties can be expected to have different effects.
Red: Red vein kratom typically has a higher concentration of 7-hydroxymitragynine than green and white strains.
Green: These kratom strains are often a middle ground, with neither alkaloid more prominent than the other.
White: White vein kratom is generally higher in mitragynine than red or green strains.
The important thing to recognize is the strain name doesn’t always indicate where each strain is grown. “Bali” “Indo” and “Maeng Da” are best thought of as names for a particular strain. Bali strains are generally the most abundant, Maeng Da is typically very powerful, and Indo strains often have a higher concentration of alkaloids than others.
Choosing a Kratom Strain
While there are general guidelines here that can help you narrow your search for the right kratom strain, it is difficult to determine exactly which kratom strain you should invest in without doing more research into the specific effect you wish to achieve.
It’s also important to remember that while this post cites scientific studies, none of the above studies were conducted on human subjects and so kratom’s effects differ from what researchers found. While we’ve laid a general groundwork here, determining the right product for your desired effects may require more research.
To see Smoke N Brew’s selection of kratom powder and capsules, visit one of our local retail locations.
*Parts of this post cite The Kratom Cure by Joanne Hillyer, available here.