Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a plant that grows in Southeast Asia. It has been used for centuries to increase work stamina and help with overall mood, pain relief, and more. It was first introduced to the United States in the 1990s and has since grown in popularity as an herbal supplement.
Kratom leaves were traditionally chewed, smoked, or made into tea, but today Kratom can be mixed with food as a powder, or taken as capsules, gummies, and shots. Depending on how Kratom is consumed, the flavor can fluctuate between bitter, herbal, mild, and tasteless.
The leaves from the Kratom tree have chemicals in them called alkaloids, which are responsible for making it such a powerful substance. The primary active component of Kratom is mitragynine which binds with opioid receptors in the brain and reduces pain by blocking nerve signals from the spinal cord. There are dozens of different types of Kratom strains on the market today and each one has specific benefits depending on what you’re looking for.
Kratom can be separated into four broader strains — red, green, white, and yellow — that are based on the vein color of its leaves. The array of alkaloids that are present in each strain can lead to different effects, such as energy, relaxation, and pain relief. Mitragynine, for example, is known for providing feelings of increased energy while simultaneously reducing fatigue. This makes strains that harness more mitragynine (like green and white) the perfect choice to power through the day without feeling drained.
Much like other plants, the environment in which Kratom is grown can also impact its alkaloid content, which results in its various strains. Sunlight, nitrogen levels, soil bacteria, and temperature are all important to the variants of Kratom.
While there is an abundance of variations among each Kratom strain — from Green Indo Kratom to Red Horn Kratom, and beyond — we thought that covering the basics of the red, green, yellow, and white strains would be a great starting point. From there, you can decide which strain best fits your needs and experiment with different variants!
Red Kratom Strains
Red kratom strains are found toward the tops of the Kratom trees and are known for exhibiting more relaxing properties than the white and green varieties. This makes them ideal for anxiety relief or nighttime use, right before bed, to help induce a more profound, sounder sleep. The dominant alkaloid in this strain is 7-hydroxymitragynine, which activates its sedative properties. Because of its soothing, mild nature, products made with Red Kratom Strains are popular among avid Kratom users and Kratom beginners alike.
Green Kratom Strains
When you think of green, feel “in-between.” Green Kratom Strains present a subtle balance between red and white strains, which creates a sweet spot between mellow and energizing effects. These strains’ ability to activate certain nerves in the brain is great for picking you up from a midday slump, improving focus, or helping with socialization. They also positively interact with other strains, leading to amplified effects. Some variations of green strains are also thought to help with digestion or serve as an analgesic (pain reliever).
White Kratom Strains
You know those days where you just can’t seem to find a good groove and the day is dragging despite the ever-growing list of things to do? Those days are tough, but White Kratom Strains could offer a possible solution!
These strains are harvested early on in the plant’s maturity cycle and act as a stimulant, which can lead to increased focus and productivity. They are also ideal for a mood boost, energy pick-me-up, or relief from stress. People who find themselves struggling to complete simple, everyday tasks because they’re tired from lack of sleep, a jampacked work schedule, or other stressors might find White Kratom Strains to improve their day-to-day.
Getting Started With Kratom Strains
One of the best things about Kratom is that there are endless options to choose from and an array of products available to try out — from capsules to full leaves for kratom tea. But with so many Kratom strain varieties available, it can be a bit confusing if you’re just getting started. Some of them make you feel more awake and energized, while others relax your body and mind to help with anxiety or pain relief. When experimenting for the first time, start out by trying one type that might suit what you need before moving on to another until you find your favorite!