Thailand is one of the largest producers of kratom worldwide, and the botanical has a long and storied history there. With kratom growing in the wild, Thailand’s history with kratom is understandable. In fact, these wild Thai strains are the origin of many other regional strains that users know and love!
In this article, we go into Thailand’s complex history with the kratom plant. From their cultivation standards to the wild Thai strain that developed into modern Thai kratom to kratom’s legal status in Thailand, we give you everything you need to know about kratom’s Thai connection.
Let’s dive right into Thailand and the wild Thai strain that birthed so many of our kratom favorites.
What is the “Wild Thai Strain” of Kratom?
You may have heard some rumblings about “wild Thai strains”, and it’s only natural to have your curiosity piqued.
So what is “wild Thai”? The mother of the Thai strains of kratom that you know and love!
Put simply, the wild Thai strain is the natural, undomesticated version of modern Thai kratom. The term refers to kratom trees growing in the wild, unmodified by selective breeding or the agricultural practices that have made Thai kratom what it is today.
Is the wild Thai strain available for users? Is it even something you’d want to try?
The answer to both questions: not typically.
Because it’s undomesticated, wild Thai kratom isn’t as potent as most kratom available in the US. Domesticated kratom has benefited from generations of improvement through both selective breeding and careful agricultural practices that optimize the plants’ alkaloid profile and potency.
(Fun fact, those same agricultural practices help make kratom a very environmentally-friendly crop!)
So even if you’re able to find a wild Thai strain available, it’s unlikely to deliver the signature experience most users expect from Thai kratom.
Thailand’s Environment: Perfect Conditions for Growing Kratom
What makes Thai kratom special? A big part of it is the region’s natural growing conditions.
Kratom trees require very specific environmental factors. It requires high heat, high humidity, and bountiful water in order to thrive. It’s one of the reasons that growing your own kratom is a particularly demanding undertaking.
But Thailand? Thailand has all of these in spades.
Beyond that, Thailand’s soil is also a rich source of the particular nutrients that kratom plants require to thrive.
Pair these factors with the centuries of experience Thai farmers have growing kratom, and you’ve got a recipe for success!
Thailand’s Long History With Kratom
Given Thailand’s intimate relationship with kratom, many believe that kratom is widely used throughout Thailand. And while that has been true throughout much of history, the reality is somewhat more complex.
But in 1943, the Thai legislature effectively banned kratom for most users with a law known as Kratom Act 2486.
Why would Thailand ban one of its most time-honored and popular cash crops? Accounts vary, but most relate to the Thai government’s attempts to regulate another substance: opium. Whatever their intentions, however, the Act had a lasting impact on kratom’s use and availability throughout the region.
But even during this period, kratom regulation was sparse and only rarely enforced. As of 1979, kratom was classified as a “Schedule 5” narcotic in Thailand, making it the lowest enforcement priority of prohibited substances.
Is Kratom Legal In Thailand Now?
Despite Thailand’s decades-long prohibition on kratom, the future of Thai kratom is bright!
As of August 2021, Thailand has officially decriminalized kratom. That means that this natural, therapeutic botanical can be enjoyed more freely, supply will increase, and international stigma will diminish.
It’s a major win for the kratom community both in Thailand and across the globe.
Thai Kratom, In Closing
Thailand kratom has a long, storied history. From the origins of wild Thai kratom to its modern cultivation and domestication, it has emerged as one of the most popular and world-renowned strains anywhere.
And all this despite years of criminalization and lasting social stigma.
But today, Thai kratom is more widely available than ever before. With a powerful alkaloid profile and a variety of different strain colors available, it’s no wonder that Thailand produces one of the finest kratom strains on the market.