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What Do Different Kratom Vein Colors Mean?

Different Kinds of Kratom

There’s quite a bit of misunderstanding out there about kratom (also known as Mitragyna speciosa). While the most prevalent and passionate discussion is around whether or not kratom should be classified as an opioid (see our blog post: Is Kratom an Opioid?), that’s not the only question mark surrounding this Southeast Asian plant.

People often wonder whether kratom will get them high, and whether it can be used daily in place of coffee (check out Is It Safe to Use Kratom Every Day?). Another common question, which we’ll tackle today: what do those colors mean?

Anyone who has browsed a kratom site has seen product labels like Green Vein Sumatra and White Vein Kalimantan. You might be wondering whether these are sneaky sales tactics, or if they actually have significance. Here’s how we see it: regional names of kratom (Sumatra, Kali, Borneo, etc) usually have only a moderate influence on effect. You might know you prefer Sumatra to Bali, but ultimately all these strains grow in tropical conditions in Southeast Asia, so they aren’t going to vary much more than regional varieties of other plants (due to specific climate, soil, human interaction, etc).

The vein color is where the real differentiation lies. Most kratom users will tell you there is a real difference between a red vein strain and a white vein strain (even when the same regional variety is used, and the same quantity). Let’s dig deeper.

Kratom Regions of Origin

Kratom comes from Southeast Asia, as we mentioned above. The three primary countries in which the plant grows are Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia (and, if you check out our History of Kratom section, you can learn more about these native regions). Vietnam is also a hospitable home for kratom.

Beyond these country specifiers are regional varieties that, as noted above, vary slightly based on soil and chemical composition and other factors. For instance:

  • Bali (an island in Indonesia)
  • Kalimantan (Indonesian part of Borneo)
  • Hulu Kapuas (western Kalimantan)
  • Riau (an Indonesian province)
  • Sumatra (an Indonesian island)
  • Borneo (on the Malay Archipelago, which is part of both Malaysia and Indonesia)

At Original Harvest, we also carry two varieties that are not named for their region, but rather their leaves:

  • Horned Kratom, so named for the unique shape of the leaves. This is thought to be a genetic mutation or evolution.
  • Maeng Da Kratom is a very popular variety that originates in Thailand. The leaves are known for being extremely powerful, though not in a euphoric way (kratom isn’t very useful for getting you “high”). It is most commonly used for energy, specifically the Green Vein variety.

What Causes Different Kratom Vein Colors?

Vein color can be due to the region in which the tree was grown – different rainfall/temperature/humidity/soil can result in leaves showing their vein colors at different times. Often, cultivators note that younger leaves will present with white veins, while older leaves will have transitioned into red vein.

There isn’t any hard and fast science on vein colors yet, beyond the accepted idea that they contain different balances of the healing alkaloids, which provide the different effects. Hopefully, as kratom continues to grow in popularity as an alternative to many pharmaceutical medicines, more research will be done into identifying the exact cause of vein color variations, and perhaps even breeding for certain colors/effects.

Effects of Kratom, Based on Vein Color

As we have stressed above, different vein colors offer different effects. But there is one thing to note before we go into specific vein colors:

Quantity of kratom also changes its effects. In general, larger quantities (doses) of kratom have more sedating effects, most likely because the amount of 7-hydroxymitragynine is building up. 7-HMG is known to be about ten times stronger than morphine, but it is only present in very small doses (~2% total alkaloid content) in kratom. Smaller quantities let the alkaloid mitragynine do its thing, which is mostly boosting mood, increasing productivity, and fighting fatigue.

At Original Harvest, we always recommend using the smallest possible amount of kratom to get the benefits you need. This is where choosing a strain based on vein color comes in. Sure, 10 grams of white vein could relieve your pain and help you sleep, but if 1 gram of red vein could do the same, that is much safer for your body, will prevent tolerance/addiction, and, of course, save you money!

Red Vein Kratom Strains

Red vein kratom might be the most popular of the bunch (one report states it sells more than green and white combined), mostly because it alleviates the complaint most common to those seeking such treatment: relief from chronic pain.

Kratom is an opioid-agonist, which means it interacts with the same receptors in our bodies as opioids like fentanyl and morphine. Many people who are taking opiates for pain turn to kratom as a supplement or alternative because it doesn’t cause respiratory distress (the main cause of fatal opioid overdose).

Red vein kratom doesn’t stimulate the brain, but not all strains cause sleepiness, either. Some are simply well-suited to relieving pain and encouraging relaxation, while enabling the patient to carry on with their day at their usual, un-aided energy level.

Here are three of our most popular Red Vein kratom strains:

Green Vein Kratom Strains

Green Vein kratom is another popular variety, because most strains offer a nice balance of gentle, caffeine-like energy and some pain relief. For the same people noted above, this might be a good choice for daytime relief, while red vein is reserved for evenings. In addition to stimulation and analgesia, green vein strains often alleviate symptoms of depression and improve mental clarity.

Choose from twelve Green Vein strains including:

White Vein Kratom Strains

White Vein kratom is probably the least sought-after simply because most strains don’t offer much in the way of pain relief, the primary reason for trying kratom in the first place. But that doesn’t mean this variety isn’t useful. Instead of analgesia (though strains like Maeng Da and Thai do offer some), white vein strains offer superior “clean-burning” energy that doesn’t usually leave you feeling jittery, and help improve mental focus and productivity during the day. A mood boost is also common with white vein strains.

Try one of our 12 White Vein varieties:

What is Yellow Kratom?

Yellow kratom is not a vein color. Rather, yellow refers to the tint that sometimes accompanies the leaves after this unique curing and fermentation process. Undertaken with the best green and white vein leaves of the indicated region, the fermentation process causes changes in the alkaloids, leaving you with a healing strain that falls somewhere between red vein and green vein. Yellow is definitely worth a try if you’re looking for relaxation but haven’t found a more common variety that works for you.

What is Bentuangie Kratom?

Bentuangie also refers to a special curing method that uses the red vein leaves of Indonesian kratom trees. Bentuangie kratom is relaxing and relieves pain well, but doesn’t leave you unable to get off the couch. This strain is gaining popularity in North America for its analgesic but not soporific qualities.

Which kratom vein color will you choose – or what is your existing favorite? Let us know through social media or get in touch. We always enjoy hearing about the experiences of our current and future customers!


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