Kratom has been around for centuries as a natural remedy being a leaf from a tree. Fast forward a few hundred years and kratom’s popularity has grown significantly in the United States. Aside from being used as homeopathic folk medicine there is much to learn about kratom and its origins. In this article we are going to answer questions about kratom and cover a ton of information for new and experienced users wanting to know more!
How was kratom discovered?
As I mentioned above kratom (scientifically referred to as Mitragyna Speciosa) comes from a leaf on a tree. Specifically, a tropical evergreen tree that is natively from Southeast Asia, in places like Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, & Papus New Guinea. Although the name “kratom” originates from Thailand.
This tree is quite impressive, the Mitragyna Speciosa tree can grow to a healthy height of 82ft! While that is a very tall tree, the diameter of the Mitragyna Speciosa only grows to be about 3ft. The outer bark on this tropical evergreen tree has a gray color with a smooth texture. From the Mitragyna Speciosa, the kratom leaf is born, these glossy and dark leaves have visible and proud veins all throughout their body. These leaves have an oval shape taper off to a pointy end. Growing quite large, kratom leafs can range from 5.5 to 8 inches long and 3 to 5 inches wide when fully developed.
From leaf to product
All products made up of kratom are created with the leaves from the Mitragyna Speciosa tree. They’re 3 stages of which the kratom leaf can be harvested during the tree’s growth cycle. The stages will depend on which strain and color you would like to harvest. They’re 3 to choose from, white, green, or red veins. Once the desired strain is chosen, the leaves are then dried out, de-veined, and grounded into fine powder.
So that’s it? Not exactly. Kratom products can come in a powder or capsule format, for powder, it is measured and bagged in sterile clean rooms. For a capsule format, reputable sellers will use high end technology to properly measure a correct dosage of kratom powder and capsulize it. Sounds easy enough, you wait for the Mitragyna Speciosa tree to age, pull the kratom leaves at the right time, send it to get packaged and you’re done!
Again not as simple as it sounds, the most important step when obtaining kratom is testing the product. All reputable and trustworthy vendors will send their kratom off to third party laboratories for comprehensive testing. Why? Testing will verify the kratom’s potency and will check for any contaminants. Any failed batches to be disposed of immediately. Third party testing will also result with a Certificate of Analysis, all kratom manufacturers will have this if it is a trustworthy brand.
The effects of different strains
Note: The FDA has NOT approved kratom powder for medical use. However kratom enthusiasts and professionals praise the effects and how it can assist with aches throughout the body. Aside from aches, kratom can also provide other effects that will be determined by the chosen strain. As I mentioned above, kratom veins have 3 stages, red, white, and green strains.
While I wont go into huge deal of each strain here I will give a brief description and the effects of each one. Red kratom powders and capsules are said in the community to have relaxing effects. Consider using red strain kratom if you are having trouble with aches and sleep. Opposite of the red strain is the white kratom strain, the effects are known to be energizing, and uplifting for those who are feeling sluggish. The last and final strain is known as the green kratom strain. The green strain is a hybrid of red and white strains, meaning you’ll feel both effects of them.
Understanding strains are important, in addition to the 3 major strains, each strain can be sourced from different regions. Each region is known for various types of kratom with changes in strength, color, potency, and more. Here are some of the common locations you see kratom associated with: Bali, Indo, Maeng Da, Thai and many more!
What health effects does kratom have?
Professionals in the kratom industry state it to have physiological and homeopathic effects. This is very different from hemp and cannabis. The Mitragyna Speciosa tree creates kratom leaves that contain a large amount of alkaloid compounds. These natural compounds are responsible for the effects kratom produces. The two most important kratom alkaloids are Mitragynine and 7-Hydroxymitragynine. The effects of these alkaloids are a result of interaction with receptors found in the nervous system according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Note that with research conducted by NIDA, they discovered that users have reported “alertness, boosted energy, and better sociability.”
How legal is kratom?
Kratom, and the tropical evergreen tree Mitragyna Ipeciosa through *most* of the United States. While it can be purchased in head shops, and some online stores, please always check your local state, county, or city laws before purchasing or consuming any kratom! This product is not regulated on a federal level and the FDA has voiced its concerns about the drug risks. In short, do tons of research.
In total, there have been 44 recorded deaths associated with kratom. However most of these occurred because of combination with other drugs. Kratom is an opioid and mixing it with other drugs will compromise with the purity. With that being said kratom is always in a constant state of fluctuation, with rules and regulations frequently updating. Check with your local state, county, and city laws every so often to stay up to date with kratom use and sales!