Kratom is harvested from mitragyna speciosa, a tree native to Southeast Asia. But turning raw kratom leaf into quality kratom powder is far from a simple process! It requires careful farming practices, a well-timed harvest, and exacting post-harvest processing.
In this article, we’ll be going over the ins-and-outs of harvesting kratom. Whether you’re interested in growing your own kratom or simply curious about where your kratom comes from, we’ll cover everything you need to get up to speed on this complex and fascinating process! So, without further ado, let’s get into the weeds on the captivating world of farming kratom leaves!
Kratom Trees: Where it All Starts
In Southeast Asia, kratom trees can grow to staggering heights, reaching up to 80 feet tall, mitragyna speciosa is a truly majestic sight. Kratom trees are evergreen, so they grow throughout the year, thriving in the tropical rainforests that are their natural home.
But when it comes to harvesting kratom for kratom powder, natural kratom trees don’t cut it. To produce a quality crop, kratom farmers grow their mitragyna speciosa trees in very specific conditions.
To produce a quality kratom leaf, kratom trees demand very specific farming practices, and fluctuations therein can have a massive impact on the resulting kratom powder. Variations in light, temperature, and soil consistency must be strictly monitored and regulated, and even slight changes in these conditions can result in a sickly, low-quality harvest.
When properly handled, these factors can be manipulated by kratom farmers. The result is a kratom leaf crop with a tailor-made alkaloid content — even allowing a kratom farm in one location to grow the regional varieties of an entirely different area successfully!
But the process is exacting and lengthy. Conditions must be continuously monitored and carefully controlled. Moreover, they must be maintained for long periods. Although kratom trees may have a significant alkaloid content after one year of growth, mitragyna speciosa can take upwards of three years before it’s truly ready for its first harvest!
Carefully-Timed Harvest: The Next Key Step for a Successful Kratom Leaf Crop
As in most things, patience is one of the keys to producing a quality kratom leaf. Experience is critical, and careful observation dictates the proper time for harvest.
Throughout the kratom tree’s life cycle, it undergoes several significant changes. Even after the tree has reached peak growth, these changes continue — and can have a powerful impact on the resulting crop of kratom leaf. The most important of such factors relates to the color of the kratom leaves’ stems and veins.
As the kratom leaf matures, the leaves’ alkaloid balance shifts at the chemical level. Gradually, the balance of mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine (kratom’s most important alkaloids) shifts, with mitragynine levels dwindling while 7-hydroxymitragynine levels grow.
This gradual shift causes a visual change in the stem and veins of the kratom leaves. At the earliest maturity, the veins are white. They then shift to green and, at peak maturity, to a rich and vibrant red.
Kratom farmers carefully monitor this process, deliberately choosing the harvest time depending on the particular strain of kratom that they are looking to produce. Thus, harvest time is one of the key factors for cultivating the white, green, and red vein kratom powders that users prefer. Because the color reflects the kratom leaf’s natural alkaloid content, proper harvest time will have a profound impact on the resulting kratom powder’s effects.
Once the kratom leaves have reached the desired maturity, kratom farmers carefully trim the leaves. The farmers leave the branches of the tree undisturbed so that, after another complete growth cycle, the kratom tree can be harvested once again.
Drying, Curing, and Grinding the Kratom Leaf: A Delicate and Important Process
Although the harvest is now complete, the kratom leaves’ journey is far from over.
The raw kratom leaf is washed and dried to ensure that only healthy and pure kratom leaves are eventually made into kratom powder. After selecting the best of the bunch, kratom farmers then hang the cleaned and dried kratom leaves. The drying process is an important, if unsung, factor in producing a quality kratom powder.
Depending on the location (interior vs. exterior), ambient humidity, and a variety of other factors, drying can have a significant effect on the kratom leaf’s alkaloid content and, as a result, the potency of the resulting kratom powder.
For example, bentuangie kratom powder is produced through specialized drying, curing, and fermentation processes. Although the kratom leaf used to produce it is identical to other kratom leaves harvested under the same conditions, this step of the process causes the leaves to develop a particular aroma and alkaloid content, resulting in an entirely distinct strain of kratom.
Finally, the now-dried and cured kratom leaves are ready to be turned into a quality kratom powder! Although kratom leaves were traditionally hand-ground using a mortar and pestle, most modern farmers streamline the process using industrial grinders, capable of processing large amounts of kratom leaf at once.
Independent Laboratory Testing: The Proof of Pure, Quality Kratom
The kratom leaf harvest is now complete, but that’s not quite the end of the story! Any reputable kratom vendor needs to ensure that their kratom powder is pure, potent, and free from harmful contaminants such as heavy metals and pesticides.
At Kratom Spot, we carefully test each and every batch of our world-class kratom powder. Rather than doing this testing in-house, we employ America’s most reputable third-party laboratories; that way, the results are impartial, unimpeachable, and a certified guarantee that you’ll receive a truly top-quality kratom, every time.
Once these laboratories have tested each batch, they provide a Certificate of Analysis (CoA’s) that shows the strain’s unique blend of alkaloids and proves that no contaminants have made it into the batch.
After we receive the lab’s CoA’s, we carefully review them to ensure the batch is up to our exacting standards. We’re dedicated to providing our customers with only the very best; if the potency isn’t up to expectation or there’s some defect in the batch, we don’t sell it. It’s as simple as that.
Once that’s complete, we process and package our kratom powder in GMP compliant clean-rooms, maintaining the highest standards in the industry.
Kratom Harvesting and Manufacturing, in a Nutshell
Although it may sound simple, the process of growing a quality kratom leaf is lengthy, exacting, and difficult. With so many factors in play, kratom farming requires an expert eye, a practiced hand, and knowledge of the ins-and-outs of mitragyna speciosa’s uniquely temperamental growth cycle.
At Kratom Spot, we’ve partnered with the most experienced and knowledgeable farms throughout Southeast Asia. We pride ourselves on bringing you only the very best kratom the world has to offer, and our hand-vetted farmers are one of the most important elements of that promise.
We hope that this article has helped you appreciate the expertise of our dedicated kratom farmers! And as always, if you’ve got any questions about the kratom harvesting process, feel free to reach out to our knowledgeable customer support staff!