Kratom (Mitrayna speciose) is an evergreen tree native to Southeast Asia that is part of the coffee family. Unlike coffee, which has only one effect as a stimulant due to caffeine content, the multiple strains of Kratom are significantly different from one another.
So it is wise, particularly for those new to the use of Kratom, to understand which varieties produce which effects.
There are three primary uses for Kratom which people have found beneficial:
- Medicinal: Although there have been no studies showing conclusive results, many users have found kratom quite useful for treating such conditions as opiate addiction, depression, anxiety, insomnia and as a general pain reliever.
- Energy: Many varieties of kratom have varying levels of energy boosting properties, most of which do not have the edgy side effects of caffeine.
- Recreational: Almost all strains of kratom have some pleasantly mood-altering properties. Since the leaf is not illegal in most of the world, it is a popular alternative to alcohol and illegal drugs for many users.
Start with the Colors
The broad categories of Kratom are based on the color of the plant stems and the largest vein that runs the length of each leaf. There are three main colors: white, red and green. However, there is also some difference between the light green and dark green varieties. So, for general purposes, you can say that there are actually four color-based varieties.
Let’s take a look at their known properties.
Red Vein Kratom is probably the most often sold variety. It has a soothing effect that allows you to feel calm, with a great sense of well-being.
It is frequently used as a solution for three specific conditions.
- Insomnia: The relaxing qualities of red veined kratom are considered by many to be perfectly suited for use as a sleep aid. So it is very popular with those who are suffering from insomnia.
- Pain relief: The red strain of kratom seems to be the most effective at reducing pain and treating muscle tension, making it an attractive alternative to prescription pain medication.
- Opiate Withdrawal: Believe it or not, the strongest extracts of red veined kratom have even met with some success in easing the withdrawal from opiates.
White Vein Kratom may also contribute to a positive frame of mind. However, its effects are more energizing than the calming influence of the red vein variety.
This strain is recommended when looking to increase:
- Increase Concentration
- Promote Alertness
- Combat Fatigue and Drowsiness
Since white vein kratom can usually produce these effects without causing anxiety or restlessness, it is a popular choice for those who are looking for a stimulant alternative to caffeine. Because of this, it is believed to be a good strain for those suffering from depression, though not necessarily the very best.
However, anyone who is particularly sensitive to caffeine may still find that white kratom could cause jitters or irritability, as well. Furthermore, just like coffee, this variety may also lead to insomnia or restless sleep when ingested too late in the day.
Green Vein Kratom is considered kind of a happy medium between the red and white veins, providing some of the benefits of each, but at a much more subtle level.
For instance, like the red strain, green vein kratom can be effective as a pain reliever. However, it is not so strong as to cause lethargy or drowsiness. Alternatively, it can be used to increase energy, focus and alertness like the white vein. But it does so without making you edgy.
Users of the green variety have spoken highly of its ability to provide clear thinking and endurance, as well as its effectiveness at dealing with symptoms of anxiety and depression.
What’s really interesting is that it’s not at all uncommon to mix leaves from all the strains together, in order to create a more balanced experience for whatever effect you are trying to obtain.
While the colors of each strain provide the broad categories, these are further refined by the locations in which the trees are grown.
It is fascinating to discover just how much difference this factor makes for this particular tree, when that is not normally the case for most trees. But it was found that specimens grown in hot houses did not contain all the properties of trees, as opposed to tress, which were grown in the wild!
Kratom Strains by Location
There are three main locations where the most potent strains of kratom are found: Indochina, Malaysia and Thailand. Their names have become as much a part of the variety of strains as colors, with individual products being referred to as Indo, Malay and Thai.
In fact, sometimes varieties are named even more specifically for an area in those regions. That is how important location is to these plants.
All three colors are available in both Indo and Malay varieties. However, Thai strains only include Red and Green-Veined strains. But this is not to say that Thailand is, in any way, inferior with kratom production.
In fact, an enhanced version of Thai varieties is currently considered the best all round strain of them all. Not technically named after a region, it is called Maeng Da.
Which Kratom Strain is Best for You?
With so many varieties of kratom available today, the choice can be overwhelming. However, there can be no one top choice, because it depends on which effect you are looking for.
Some days you may need more energy, while on other days you will seek help in winding down. There may be times you want more focus and mental clarity, and others when you need relief from pain.
Even for each of these reasons, there are multiple choices. And there is one factor that you will want to note for future reference.
In general, Indo strains will have a much longer lasting effect. While that may seem like an excellent quality at first glance, you should remember that there could be times when you will not want to be energetic or lethargic for more than a couple of hours at a time.
If you are considering kratom for a particular benefit, here are the varieties that are considered the most potent.
Maeng Da – This strain is definitely of the stimulant variety, so it is an excellent energy booster. However, it has strong analgesic properties, as well. So if you are seeking pain relief without any lethargic side-effects, this one should work admirably. It also has the added bonus of euphoric qualities, which add an overall sense of well-being.
Bali & Borneo – These are almost exactly the same. They are probably the absolute best in pain relief, and are second only to Maeng Da in mood lifting. That said, they do have sedating qualities you should be aware of. Although Borneo may be slightly less effective than Bali in that regard, if that should be important to you. Also worth noting is that both of these are Indo varieties, so they should have longer lasting effects.
Basically, these are both excellent at pain relief and mood lifting, but Maeng Da is a stimulant, while Bali and Borneo are sedatives. If you are seeking an energy booster, or increased alertness, then you will want the stimulating qualities of Maeng Da. If you are need help winding down, or are trying to combat insomnia, then the Bali and Borneo strains will be most effective.
It is extremely important to note that everyone’s body chemistry is different, so it is not reasonable to expect reactions to be exactly the same across the board.
Also, while kratom can be used as tea, it is bitter, so many people prefer capsules, which are available in different dosages. Naturally, it is advisable to start with smaller dosages, in order to gauge effect on your individual body chemistry. The leaf may also be smoked, but doing so will not increase the strength of effects.
There are usually many varieties available for purchase, often with detailed descriptions of each. And here’s the kicker: it is sometimes possible to buy a variety pack containing smaller amounts of multiple strains. This makes it possible to try various ones, in order to discover which is best suited to the effects that you desire.
So it should always be possible to make an informed decision before buying, particularly since you now have the basics that were described here.