If you’re new to Kratom and the culture that surrounds it you have probably found yourself a bit confused. There are a lot of different strains on the market and so much information to digest, it’s difficult to sort it all out and even more difficult to decide which way to go. There are a couple of Kratom strains that get a lot of attention such as Red Bali and Maeng Da, and others that are very obscure with limited availability.
To further complicate things the qualities defining certain strains are not always clear cut. There are strains named due to the geographic location where the tree is grown. Other strains seem to be named for the physical qualities inherent in the tree or perhaps the alkaloid content of that tree. An example would be Maeng Da is widely known for being highly potent and this strain also has the handle “Pimp Grade”.
There is in fact science that substantiates the stronger potency of the Maeng Da strain when compared to other strains but there are many instances when names are designated for marketing and branding purposes. When this is done the name may have nothing to do with the particular properties or distinctions of the Kratom leaves that make up this strain. Examples of names made up for branding purposes would be “Golden Leaf Kratom” and “Cajun Kratom”. Because companies do not necessarily follow uniform labeling practices it is imperative that you find a top quality vendor.
What Makes the Difference in Varieties?
In spite of all of this we can point out some common strains that are available in the marketplace today. There are different kinds of Kratom and the products fall into three separate categories based on three different features:
• Color – This refers to the color of the vein running down the center of the leaf, which can be white, green or reddish. The color has a strong impact on the kind of effects that users experience when using the product. White and green veined leaves tend to increase energy levels while red veined leaves provide a more sedating effect.
• Grade – The grade refers to the strength or potency of the leaf or product which depends on the method used for harvesting the leaves and the alkaloid content in a specific tree. The various grades are noted on labels from weakest to strongest with the weakest being Commercial grade, then Premium grade, Super grade, Enhanced grade and the strongest is Ultra Enhanced grade. There is so much variation and lack of uniformity in labeling practices that you need to look past this and more to the quality of the vender that you are buying from in order to get a higher quality grade.
• Strain of leaf – This is usually revealed by the last part of the name. Examples of this are with the names like Super Green Malay Kratom and Premium Red Bali Kratom which are sold on certain websites. In most instances the name of the strain relates to the geographical location where the tree is grown. The different strains have distinct alkaloid content and so different strains will give you different effects. The only way to determine which strain is best for you is to try a few, make note of the effects and keep trying. You may decide to blend a couple of strains together which is what the indigenous population in Thailand does. Below are listed some popular strains along with their characteristics.
Top Rated Types of Kratom Strains
Strains are usually rated on the effects they create in their users such as relaxing, energizing, pain relieving and euphoria as well as their level of potency.
Bali Kratom Strain
The name of this strain is misleading as it actually is grown in Borneo, not in Bali like the name implies. It originally got the name “Bali Kratom” due to the fact that it is shipped out to markets worldwide from ports located in Bali. The truth is that Bali Kratom and Borneo Kratom are the same and the names interchangeable. Generic Red Kratom is also derived from this strain.
The Bali strain of Kratom tends to be more relaxing but have the ability to produce sensations of euphoria as well. It’s also known as an analgesic (pain reliever). In terms of being energizing, it is only mildly so when compared to other strains.
Indonesian or Indo Kratom:
This strain has a more relaxing effect and is found on that end of the spectrum. It provides strong pain relief and helps to relieve depression and anxiety. It has even been utilized for people trying to withdraw from heroin and opium addiction. They actually replace their drugs with the Indo strain of Kratom. This strain is a good stress reliever, eliminating tension in the muscles and lifting your mood.
When taken in higher doses, users describe it as causing feelings of euphoria, profound empathy, joy and happiness, tranquility plus a very strong feeling of well-being. Indo Kratom is sold in a number of different grades such as Premium Indo, Super Indo and the Ultra Enhanced Indo which is known to be if the highest quality Kratom products on the market.
This is one of the most famous strains of Kratom because it is known to be one of the strongest strains available. It originates from Thailand and has a very uplifting effect in terms of mood and energy level. Many people use it to boost productivity and replace their morning caffeine drink with Maeng Da. The rough translation for this name is “Pimp’s Grade” in Thai – which means the strongest strain of Kratom.
The Maeng Da strain is known for providing more intense effects, but lasting a shorter amount of time. Most those using this strain find that they need a smaller dose to see the same effects as other strains. At low doses it’s not a strong pain reliever but with high doses it is effective at reducing pain and will have a definite sedating effect while relieving anxiety. Do to the high potency many users blend it with other strains to smooth out the effects and provide a more balanced experience. Maeng Da is available for purchase alone or in other fusion products which blend different strains together.
Malaysian or Malay Kratom
This strain is known to be more of a stimulant with a lot of benefits for improving brain power. It’s really not recommended as a pain reliever or for that matter for relieving anxiety but it does help users release tension without the side effect of becoming tired or drowsy. Malay is a strain that seems to last longer in the system and is one of the strains commonly blended with other strains to balance and smooth out the effects. Experienced users suggest mixing this strain with other green or with white strains to prevent being over stimulated or restless. Those who’ve written reviews claim that Malay Kratom gives users a positive mind-set and improves attentiveness and focus.
Riau Kratom Strain:
This is a rare strain of Kratom, grown in Sumatra, in the Southwestern area of the island. It has some of the same features as the Borneo and other Indonesian strains. It’s a good pain reliever and mood elevator while having a relaxing and sedating effect. Reviews have described Riau Kratom as tasting sweeter than most other strains which is great for those who dislike the bitter taste of the Mitragyna Speciosa leaf.
As the name indicates this strain is grown on the Indonesian Island of Sumatra and as such shares many of the features of other strains sharing the Indo name. Red Veined Sumatra Kratom is great for relieving stress and as a sleep aid. The effects tend to last longer in the system than other more typical strains.
The White Veined Sumatras are just as potent and creates a very nice and balanced energy effect that makes it perfect for those needing to maintain focus and be stimulated and alert all day long. It may not be as strong as some other Kratom strains but the effects do have a long duration and are very pleasant.
This strain is comparable to the Bali strain but a little more energizing and not as much of a relaxant. It also works well as a natural pain reliever or analgesic. Most Thai Kratom does not actually grow in Thailand as it has been outlawed and illegal for people to grow and sell it in Thailand for many years now. So the name is misleading. It is relatively inexpensive but because it’s mislabeled it is usually the catch-all name they put on generic Kratom strains.
Vietnam Kratom capsules have just recently come on the market in North America so all vendors do not stock them yet. The strain is becoming popular so this should change soon. This strain is very potent and the leaves are said to have be as much as 25% higher in alkaloid content per gram than other Kratom varieties. Users report similar effects as with Maeng Da Kratom in terms of intensifying focus, drive and energy.
Mitragyna Javanica – A Kratom Alternative
The Mitragyna Javanica tree is related closely to the Mitragyna Speciosa tree. Because it has been illegal to cultivate and sell Kratom in Thailand since 1943, this has been grown and sold as a perfectly legal alternative since then. The effects it produces are similar but because it doesn’t contain the mitragynine alkaloid, which generates the typical Kratom experience, it’s lacking. It contains mitrajavine instead which does assist in pain relief and relaxation and can bring about feelings of euphoria, but it’s just not as strong when you compare it to the real thing, Mitragyna Speciosa.
Stem and Vein Powder
Some venders are now carrying the stem and vein parts of Kratom leaves which used to be discarded. Users are starting to try these out because of this material contains quite unique alkaloids in combination. When the stems and veins are crushed the effects are reported to be very sedating and at the same time uplifting to the users mood. Used this way the onset seems to be longer as well as the duration of the effects. People are using it alone or combined with other strains of Kratom as a potentiator.
Types of Kratom Extracts
The items listed in this section are not Kratom strains, but different kinds of extracts. The way they’re processed increases the alkaloid concentration and thus the potency. Used this way a smaller dose gets you stronger effects. Those new to Kratom should begin with the usual strength powders or capsules before opting to try extracts.
This is made by taking raw leaves and boiling them in order to extract the alkaloids while the remaining liquid hardens. An 8x resin extract means that for every 8g of Kratom leaves used, a 1g resin brick results. Using the math roughly you should be able to decrease your dose to 1/8th of the standard dose. Resin extracts are usually very sedating and good for relieving pain and anxiety.
Full Spectrum Kratom Tincture:
A tincture is a liquid extract of Kratom and is used for convenience by putting it in beverages like Kratom tea. While looking for extracts you should try to find Full Spectrum Alkaloid Kratom so that you know that the full profile of alkaloids that are found naturally in the Kratom plant is preserved. Some extracts try for greater potency or don’t use the right process and the end result is a product lacking in certain alkaloids. Kratom FST (Full Spectrum Tincture) will give you all the natural alkaloids and create all the benefits and effects with fewer risks that you’ll build a tolerance or have side effects.
Gold Reserve Kratom
This is one more enhanced Kratom powder. Experienced users have given it positive marks so far. It’s a blend of 90% pure alkaloid extract and Indonesian Kratom powder. It’s a very fast acting strain creating effects in as little as 5 to 10 minutes. Those using this say it creates an acute feeling of warmth and tranquility which puts them in a state of bliss. Experienced users use a dose of 0.5g to 1g, but this is too much for beginners. In excess amounts it does lead to irritability and anxiety plus other side effects.
Ultra Enhanced Indo Kratom (UEI)
Ultra Enhanced Indo Kratom is one of the most potent strains on the market today. This Kratom powder is enhanced and combines both Indo leaves and an extract powder which is highly concentrated containing pure alkaloids. The experience from this form of Kratom is said to provide intense feelings of euphoria and a profound state of well-being with increased motivation. In very small doses the effect is stimulating but when taking a normal dose the effect is sedating as well as relaxing. This particular Kratom strain is used as an alternative to the usual pain medications as well as in the treatment of patients addicted and trying to withdraw from opiates.