“Kratom” does not actually refer to one product. Rather, kratom as we know it is a collection of different veins and strains derived from the plant Mitragyna Speciosa, which is native to Indonesia and other parts of southeast Asia. There are many unique variants of kratom, and each strain can produce distinctive side effects. For instance, some kratom strains are said to boost energy levels, while others may produce sedative effects. This is why it’s important to understand the different types of kratom before you make a purchase decision. Fortunately, this guide will help keep you informed:
There are three main versions of kratom that occur in nature. They are referred to as green, red, and white vein kratom –– named because of the color that appears on their leaf stems. Though all kratom leaves contain certain active components (alkaloids), each vein has a distinct chemical composition. For reference, red-vein kratom tends to contain more mitragynine, and white kratom has more 7-hydroxymitragynine. In practical terms, this means that red kratom is generally more associated with benefits like pain relief and relaxation, while white kratom is said to be an energy-booster. (In fact, some people take some forms of white kratom prior to exercise.) Green kratom strains usually sit somewhere between red and white strains.
Varieties of kratom aren’t just defined by the color of the leaf vein. Additionally, kratom strains can be identified by a number of other factors –– such as the plant’s place of origin, the size of the leaf, or the potency of the product.
Here’s a quick look at some common kratom naming practices:
- “Super” & “Elephant” –– “super” kratom is named for the large size of the leaf. The same is true for “elephant” kratom.
- “Horned” –– horned kratom refers to ridges that appear on some kratom leaves. Horned kratom is thought to be quite potent.
- “Maeng Da” –– translates literally to “pimp grade.” Kratom farmers typically use this term to designate the best leaves in their crop.
- “Borneo” “Samarinda” “Sumatra” etc. –– refers to where the kratom plant originated from. Note, not all kratom names accurately reflect their country, city, or region of origin.
Some kratom strains may even contain multiple designations –– like “Super White Borneo” for example.
In addition to the naturally occurring kratom veins, two further types of kratom have been developed: yellow (or gold) kratom and chocolate kratom. Contrary to popular belief, these are not actually rare forms of kratom, but rather, fermented versions of existing kratom veins. By fermenting kratom, vendors can alter the appearance and chemical nature of these veins. As such, yellow and chocolate kratom produce their own unique side effects. Chocolate kratom, in particular, is very different from other kratom strains, in that it is the only variety that experts recommend for use before night to improve sleep.