Kratom is a type of tree that grows in the tropical climate of many countries throughout Southeast Asia. The leaves from the kratom trees are often dried in the sun and then ground into a fine powder, which can either be used by itself or in a capsule form.
Depending on how the kratom tree is grown and when its leaves are harvested, the resulting kratom powder will have distinct physical and physiological characteristics. These characteristics determine the “strain” of kratom, which is usually identified with a color and with a region of origin.
Knowing which kratom strains there are and how each works is key to finding the best kratom strain for you. However, only first hand experience will help you be certain!
The 3 Main Strains of Kratom
The most important kratom strain characteristic is the strain’s color: white, green, or red.
You may see differently-named strains of kratom outside of these three varieties, but when the types are broken down any further, it usually refers to where the leaves for different kratom strains were sourced from, rather than a difference in the intrinsic properties and preparation of a particular type of kratom (with the exception of Maeng Da kratom, which refers to a crop of unusual potency, which is highly respected in the community).
We’ll quickly outline each of the major kratom strains and effects so you can learn key differences and find the best kratom strain for your purposes.
White Vein Kratom
White kratom is harvested from young kratom trees, and it is prized by those seeking an uplifting kratom experience. Its intensity makes it harder for beginners to appreciate, but it can be rewarding for those who are interested in and have tried other types of kratom.
Features: White vein kratom may be harvested while the leaves of the kratom tree are still young and the veins are white (similarly to how white teas are harvested from younger tea leaves). After harvesting, the leaves are dried entirely indoors with no light on them.
Potency: Because it is harvested at the earliest stage, white vein kratom has the highest mitragynine content of any strain (except for Maeng Da). As such, white vein may be unusually potent, and new users may consider trying a green vein strain first.
Effects: White kratom is said to have a mild stimulant effect. In lower quantities, it is associated with increased energy and alertness.
Red Vein Kratom
One of the most popular strains of kratom, red vein kratom is best used for its supposed sedative effects. It is harvested from the most mature kratom trees and has the highest 7-hydroxymitragynine content.
Features: Red kratom leaves are processed using lots of sunlight or a UV lamp during the drying process. Red kratom may also be fermented during its processing to create bentuangie kratom, a slightly different variation on the standard red kratom (more info on bentuangie below).
Potency: Red kratom is the most mellow of the major kratom strains, and is not generally classified as a stimulant. This makes it more approachable than its white or green counterparts.
Effects: Red kratom is thought to have a mild sedative effect, helping the user to remain calm. Some people claim red strain is the best kratom for pain relief, although it has not been approved for this use or as a substitute for any medication.
Green Vein Kratom
Green vein kratom is the middle road option between white and red. It is said to offer similar stimulant effects to those of white kratom and is harvested in the middle stage of the kratom tree’s life cycle.
Features: Green kratom leaves are typically dried indoors at first, often in an air-conditioned room, then moved outside to finish the drying process.
Potency: Green kratom has a more subtle effect than its white vein counterpart, but is still regarded as a stimulant.
Effects: As a stimulant, green vein kratom can give a mild energy boost, similar to white vein kratom, but it may also give the user better mental clarity to focus on tasks with greater endurance.
Other Types and Kratom Varieties
The three major kratom strains are split up by the kinds of effects that they have on the user. However, there are still other kratom varieties within these three main categories. Other popular kratom varieties will present a variation of one of the major three, or sometimes a blend of two or more different kratom strains, boasting more subtle differences such as increased potency or a longer-lasting effect.
Maeng Da Kratom
Maeng Da refers to a variety of kratom that was originally grown in Thailand (though growers now replicate the farming practices to grow Maeng Da varieties elsewhere). Maeng Da is carefully curated to be of particularly high quality and potency. Maeng Da varieties may be classified and marketed as both red and white kratom, as Maeng Da has a characteristic blend of the traits of red vein and white kratom. It may provide a boost of energy alongside a feeling of mental clarity.
Bentuangie is a variety of red kratom that is fermented as part of the drying process. It is thought to have the same sedative effects as its red parent strain, but fans of this variety may use it to relieve intense pain. Bentuangie kratom is said to be the best kratom for pain relief.
Yellow Vein Kratom
Like the three main strains of kratom, yellow vein kratom is named after a color, though this name does not derive from a specific leaf. In truth, it is not a distinct kratom strain by itself. Instead, it is likely that yellow kratom is produced when two strains of kratom (such as white and green or green and red) are mixed together. The yellow name refers to this blending of other colored strains of kratom.
Varieties Named for Their Source
Many other major kratom varieties are named after their source. So, for example, White Borneo is a white kratom from the island of Borneo, while Red Bali is a red kratom from Bali, an island in Indonesia.
Different regional strains of kratom change the alkaloid profile of the resulting strain and, as a result, the effects users will experience. However, the region will not have as significant impact as the other factors described above.
What’s The Best Kratom Strain?
With so many varieties and points of origin, the world of kratom offers a cornucopia of options and strains. It’s only natural to ask what the best kratom strain is.
The beauty is, it all comes down to your preferences and reasons for kratom use.
The best kratom strain for one person may not be the best kratom strain for another. Finding your ideal strain will require sampling the many quality strains on offer for yourself. While we hope that these tips have helped you get started with your selection, there’s simply no substitute for first-hand experience.
Luckily, our kratom strain sample packs are the perfect way to try all the world’s best kratom strains for yourself!
Until then, please reach out to our amazing Customer Support team if you have any questions.