Things were so much simpler when we first met kratom nearly five years ago. This is especially true as far varieties go – or strains – as we say in our little circles. Back then you had Bali, and you had Maeng Da. Bali was the most popular kratom strain because it was economically priced, but worked incredibly well. Ma Daeng, also known as the “Pimp Grade”, was the premium stuff that could truly deliver on another level, or fall short of markup expectations – depending on your source, of course. But things gradually changed.
The deeper I delved into the kratom culture, the more names I came to know. Red and Green Vein Thai were among the first of the newcomers. Then there was Green Indo, Red Borneo, and White Sumatran making way for Green Hulu Kapuas, Super Bali, Gold Horn, and all the exotic strains that rule the market today. What’s all this stuff mean and how do you sort through the madness? I’m still trying to figure it out myself, but I’ve learned quite a bit – enough to help novices navigate the modern day kratom landscape.
Countries and Colors
I’m a little slow with things, but when I take a minute to think about them, they usually make sense. It all started to add up when realizing that strains are primarily named based on where they’re from. Green Bali, for example, is cultivated on the volcanic island Bali, Indonesia. Gold Malaysia? Grown in the Southeast Asian country Malaysia. Red Vein Thai? Brought up in Thailand, where kratom is ironically outlawed. However, your new favorite herb is not only country coded, it’s color coded as well.
The colors you hear referenced in kratom names refer to the vein color of the leaf. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of inspecting a kratom plant firsthand, you can actually notice the vein color with the naked eye. We haven’t exactly encountered every shade in the color palette, but the kratom rainbow is expanding. So far we’ve come across Red, Green, White, Gold, and even Pink. If a blue strain hits the market, then my mind will be officially blown!
Once again, you’re probably wondering what’s the difference in kratom vein colors. Here’s what we’ve been able to gather:
Red Kratom. Red vein kratom is generally respected for its strength. In fact, some users save it as a late night snack due to its strong sedative qualities and potential to dial up Mr. Sandman. It’s also a go-to strain for many people seeking an herbal pain management solution.
White Kratom. With white vein kratom, you have would may be considered polar opposite to red. These strains are reputed for their stimulant qualities, and thus popular with peoples looking for a burst of natural energy. Whereas red strains are often used for combating things like pain and insomnia, whites are typically called upon during the day or any time a kick of motivation is needed.
Green Kratom. The best of both worlds can normally be found in green vein kratom. Some varieties, like Green Hulu Kapuas, possess energetic traits that rival the most stimulating whites. Others, like Green Maeng Da, are doubly versatile with a stimulating edge in low doses, and sedating strength on the higher end.
Now you know the basics of kratom strains. Solid information, right? Still, I’m feeling like we’ve barely even scratched the surface. Stay tuned for a follow up post where we take a closer look at specific types of kratom and what you can generally expect from each variety.