Selecting a strain is one of the most overwhelming processes those new to the world of kratom go through. There are dozens of strains to choose from and no concrete guidance that describes the differences between strains. Before we go into a method for evaluating and selecting the best strain of kratom for you, let’s cover some basic information about the plant.
Known scientifically as Mitragyna Speciosa, kratom is native to the tropical rainforest climate of Southeast Asia. It grows to about 80 feet, and is a tropical evergreen tree related to the coffee tree. Cultures native to the area have chewed the leaves or used them for teas to get both stimulating and relaxing effects. The effects supposedly vary between stimulating and relaxing based on several factors, including time of harvest, strain variety, and alkaloid content. Now that you have this background info, you are ready to learn the process for selecting a strain of kratom.
The first thing you will notice when you start looking at the different strains of kratom is that there is a color at the beginning of the name. This can be red, green, white, yellow, or gold. The red, green, and white colors refer to the harvesting process. The veins change color depending on where the plant is in its maturity cycle.
The vein has a white color during the early stage of the maturity cycle. It turns green during the middle stage and red in the last stage. The time of harvest is thought to affect alkaloid content, which is suspected to be the reason why some strains produce stimulating effects and others produce relaxing effects.
Yellow and gold vein colors are different from the main three because their color does not come strictly from the maturity cycle. These colors are created through a specific post-harvest drying technique. This is also thought to make a difference in how the dried product affects the experience had by the user.
The important thing to know about vein colors is that each strain can have all of the different vein color varieties. So in terms of items available in an online shop, one strain can have up to five different color varieties for sale.
After the vein color comes the actual name of the strain. Many strains are named for the area where they were originally cultivated. Bali kratom comes from the island of Bali, for example. There are a handful of strains named by other means. Maeng Da loosely translates to “pimp grade”, which is referring to the strain’s strength. Green emerald kratom is named for the distinctive emerald color of the leaves. These are just a couple of examples.
Reach out to a vendor you want to try and ask them what their best-selling strain is before you order. The strains that sell the best are restocked the most often, which means it will typically be the freshest strain available.
The next part of the process for selecting a kratom strain is deciding what experience you are looking for. As we mentioned earlier, kratom can produce both stimulating and relaxing effects, according to anecdotal evidence.
It is important to mention that any discussion of effects comes purely from the personal stories of users, and not from any scientific data backed by the FDA. Kratom vendors must always include a disclaimer like this in all of their marketing materials. Otherwise, they risk getting in trouble with the FDA, which could get them shut down.
With that being said, many users say that white vein color varieties tend to be more stimulating, reds are more relaxing, and greens have a blend of the two effects. Then each individual strain has its own potency level, but this is measured pretty much entirely subjectively. In other words, you need to decide what you are looking for out of the kratom experience.
The final part of the process is to use your new knowledge of kratom to be adventurous. Like we mentioned earlier, there really aren’t many strict differences between strains and vein colors.
While recommendations from friends and experienced users can help narrow your selection, the only way to find the strain you like best is to try as many as possible. Start a notebook where you jot down your thoughts on each strain you try, If you follow these three tips you will set yourself up for the best kratom experience possible.