Two things influence the structural formation of any given kratom plant: genetics and environment. The plant’s genetic makeup, also called a genotype, acts as a blueprint for growth: it allows a spectrum of physical possibilities, but it is up to the environment to induce these characteristics. The physical expression of a genotype is referred to as a phenotype, which is simply defined as the traits that the environment pulls out from the plant’s genetic code. We refer to the different phenotypes as “Strains”. Everything from color, shape, smell, and effects production are affected by the environment.
Our article will hopefully help you understand the evolution of the kratom plant a little better, from its antique beginnings through today’s modern cultivation and marketing techniques. By the end of it, you will understand that there are indeed defining characteristics for every strain, but each plant is as special as a snowflake as it uniquely expresses genes according to its garden environment.
“Strains” are not exactly a truthful definition to explain the different kinds of kratom. Kratom does have different results, but the way the market categorizes them, is severely misleading. The different phenotypes CAN change the end result, but, the industry has no current accurate way of organizing them. So, don’t let the commerical explanations of kratom lead you away from the truth. We here at Re-leaf LLC have removed some of the common strain names, that the market likes to boast. Among them are: Vietnam, Malay, Thai, Indo, Borneo, Bali, and Maeng Da.
Vietnam, Thai, and Malay kratom don’t really exist in the American market like you currently are forced to believe. Indonesian, Borneo and Bali are also very misrepresented in the kratom industry.
Let’s start off with Vietnam, Thai and Malay. If you didn’t know, it is illegal to export kratom from Vietnam, Thailand, or Malaysia. In Thailand you get an immediate two years (up to 10) in prison, Malaysia you get 4 years in prison (up to 10), and Vietnam you can receive up to 5 years for exporting kratom. If your vendor sells you these, how did he get them? If he/she is carrying true Vietnam, Malaysian, or Thai kratom then technically they are conspirators in a global drug trade. I use the word drug, not because of my feelings in the matter. I use the word because those countries define the plant as just that. So exporting them out of those countries would be illegal drug trafficking. It’s simple common sense actually. I am very familiar with this business and some of these vendors are claiming ignorance, when in fact they are lying to you, confusing the market. I am also very close with almost 100 foreign kratom suppliers. None of them currently export from any of those areas. Let alone all of them.
People aren’t really realizing how serious this problem is. If you think about our community in the kratom world, we are trying to separate ourselves from the criminal world. So why is it that we boast about receiving kratom from countries that have deemed this plant illegal. As a vendor, if I cause a demand that puts other families at risk, how is that good? I mean think about it. If I ask for real Malaysian kratom. Then that means a family or group of people will conspire in Malaysia to harvest, dry, mill, and then export the product. Putting ALL parties at risk. I don’t want someones father going to prison because I wanted a leaf that isn’t even as different as the market is portraying it. The funny thing is conveniently the “illegal strains” are just as much money as the other strains on the market. Call me an idiot, but if there is a big smuggling operation connected to a product, wouldn’t it demand more money for purchase?! What does that tell you?! It tells you that the vendors over seas are fibbing. That’s what.
Now, I want you to get out a map and look up where Indonesia, Borneo, and Bali is at. Now think to yourself WHY there is “strains” named after those areas?! Is it because the Genotypes are different? No, they are not. How bout the phenotypes? Well, yes there are but not based off of some loose terms like Indo, Borneo or Bali. As a matter of fact, kratom doesn’t even really grow in Bali. Kratom in Bali is virtually non-existent. So, I hate to break it to you… you are all the victims of a much larger lie. A lie that continues to grow because we aren’t stopping it.
So let’s recap. Malay, Thai, and Vietnam are really not as prevelant in the market as you are led to believe. My estimates are less than 1% of all the kratom in the market as such, is really from there. And thats a generous guess.
Borneo, Indo, and Bali are just terms to get your juices flowing. It works off of your mentality as, “the next best thing” or the “grass is always greener”. The market has you completely manipulated.
The worst part is all the “experts” that comment on forums and claim to know everything. You know, the ones who act like they know what all the “strains” do. The ones who make comprehensive lists about all the certain strains. Those people are unknowingly destroying the honest approach at naming kratom. Each new post or each new article only muddies the water more and more. And on top of all the “know it alls”, you also have the companies who just create non-sense web pages in order to have good results in the search engines. The companies trying to captialize on SEO marketing. The ones that don’t know crap about kratom but are flooding our internet with fake news.
I mean the word “Maeng Da” is completely fabricated by the internet. There is no such thing as Maeng Da
Let me tell you a little story about how I came to know about Maeng Da.
I’ll tell you a brief story about Maeng Da.
I looked over at a man and a cashier in a head shop. They were bagging up this material that looked like green dirt. I eventually meandered on over to the transaction inside the head shop. As I was rudely hovering around eavesdropping on the two people who were in the middle of a purchase, I was very interested staring at a wad of money in the buyers hand. The head shop cashier was bagging up this green dirt.
Eventually I made my way over to the cashier and he took advantage of my interest. After the buyer had left, he called me over. He said, “do you know what kratom is?” I immediately responded with, “what is that? Is that some sort of spice.” The employee giggled an said, “No. Just google kratom, then come back and buy some.” I kind of shrugged it off as I walked out of the store. I sat on a bench and did just what he asked of me. I googled kratom.
What I found in those digital footprints, was amazing. I couldn’t believe that my whole life I would let this information be available, and never know about something like kratom. That day searching, I saw many posts, websites, and articles on this leaf. In my quick research looking into the history of this plant, I found it littered with a strain we call “Maeng Da.” Every where I looked I saw the words ‘Maeng Da.’ Of course, I had no idea what ‘Maeng Da’ was that day. But, with the internet telling tales of this amazing strain, I rushed back into the head shop to go buy some Maeng Da.
The cashier was smiling as I walked in. He immediately said the magic words, ‘Maeng Da’. He started off by pointing at some boxes that carried the green dirt, and said “This is White Maeng da, this is Green Maeng Da, this is Red Maeng da, along with Red Borneo, and Red Bali.” He then began to summarize the popularity of the 5 strains he carried. With the ‘Maeng Das’ being the most popular. I immediately asked for the one he said was the most popular. Red Maeng Da.
I finished paying 14 dollars for the 14 grams of kratom. I hustled outside and took half that kratom out of the bag, and did what you do with it. I used it. My journey was on. Kratom hasn’t left me since. But, ‘Maeng Da’ has lost its luster for me. I’ll tell you why.
Becoming a vendor was the funnest most informative journey a kratom enthusiast could take. I wasn’t your normal buyer in the beginning. I did so much research. Before I became a vendor I was actually employed by a very successful kratom company. So i luckily had a great start.
Again Maeng Da was by far the most popular strain that that particular company sold. I was very successful selling kratom for that company, but, I ended my employment for the company, only 20 days after it started. I sold A LOT of kratom for that company in that span and got permission from my future wife to start my own company.
This is where the research really got interesting. I wanted to know what all the strains were, what the veins were, and the most intriguing thing I wanted to know was, what the hell was Maeng Da?
I ended up befriending about 15 or so Indonesian vendors (now currently at about 100+). I utilized a bunch of applications that translate English to Indonesian and vice versa. I became very good friends with 4 vendors. Those 4 vendors, to this day speak to regularly (now about 13).
In my journey buying kratom, I have tested out about 15 Indonesian vendors kratom (currently easily over 100). Every single vendor carried this famous “strain” everyone calls Maeng Da. I didn’t really know how to break this anomaly down. From what I understood, strains were the names of specific regions where they came from. I eventually found out, there is even strains named after specific kratom species, such as, “Elephant, Horned, etc.” I also ran into some strains named after the kratom farmers wives. A popular wife named kratom is “Zareena.” I just couldnt understand, or fathom what made what name and how they differentiate each strain.
With common sense on my side, I started digging. I asked every single vendor/farmer this question: “What is Maeng Da?” All of them had the same answer. They all put it in a different way. But the every single person connected to kratom, that was from Indonesia, said the same thing.
Their answers were silly….
The answer I got was that Maeng Da is just the strongest strain. Not one vendor could give a good reason why they marketed a strain Maeng Da. There was never one story about the origins. There was never a scientific reason. There was never anyone every giving one solid reason or even clue that this strain even really existed.
When I ordered samples from vendors I would always get a “Maeng Da”. Sometimes I even got a regions title before Maeng Da. Such as “Jong Kong Maeng Da”, or “Sulawesi Maeng Da’
I couldn’t just take the words of someone trying to sell me kratom. So I eventually took to the internet armed with motivation and an endless journey to find out what the hell this mysterious ‘Maeng Da’ was.
I ran into articles claiming it was a farm raised plant, who had grafted the plant onto another plant from Thailand and grew a hybrid type of tree. I had a hard time believing that Maeng Da was a “Franken-Tree”. The article is one of the most popular articles out there describing the origin of Maeng Da. It is also one of the biggest piles of crap about the origins of Maeng Da. Just pure bulls@#@.
But, there was one common thing in my hours of research looking for this plants origin. Inconsistency. Not one article made any sense to me. How could it be? How could the strains be so confusing. I mean if strains were named after regions, than why were some strains named after the kind of kratom leaf it was, like “Horned or King.”
I began really pressing the Indonesian vendors I know. Now, I wanted to know, just how they came up with every strain name they had. Well, your not gonna like what they told me.
Before I go any farther. I want to let you know why I choose my vendors. Most of my vendors are kratom hustlers. They travel all over South Asia collecting certain harvests, and buy stuff from other farmers and kratom hunters. I choose vendors that are honest with me. I don’t want any bigfoot stories. I want them to tell me exactly what I’m getting and where it came from.
All the vendors tell me the same thing. Strains are made up. Period.
Yes, some do different things. But, no there is no way to tell them apart. Yet.
The word “Maeng Da” is a actually a derogatory name. It means, “Pimp Grade” in Thailand. It is not a classy name. Its equivalent in America would be, “Fine Ass Hoe”. What it really means, is “Premium.” And what premium usually indicates is, middle of the tree leaves, that are large, from an older tree. They are double milled and then double filtered. Most premiums should be dried inside a room with proper ventilation. That is also called “Super.” So if someone calls their strain a “Super Malay” That means you are getting premium leaf. Thats it. The only thing Maeng Da means is premium. All my leafs are “Super” so I don’t waste the font on it.
I’ve asked plenty of farmers/vendors about this mysterious “Maeng Da.” The only way the differentiate strains, is by region of growth. The region is what gives the leaf its characteristics.
For example, Hulu Kapuas, is pretty new to the kratom game. They have had most of the farmers with the preferred crop from Rubber and Palm Oil to Kratom. Why does the region matter? Well, for instance. A palm oil crop will ravish the earth. After 20 years of harvesting Palm Oil at maximum harvest the earth left behind is severely damaged. So, if you have a plantation kratom plant that had palm oil production in that area before kratom, well, that kratom will be a little different then say a wild kratom plant that hasn’t had the soil hurt by a very damaging crop such as Palm Oil. I’m not saying that all farm grown kratom from Hulu Kapuas is bad. As a matter of fact, I love one specific farm in Hulu. And, wild Hulu Kapuas is one of my favorite green and white veins out there. But, if you happen to land some farm raised Hulu Kapuas that has housed a Palm Oil crop before the kratom was planted, chances are it isn’t as good as a farm that didn’t have damage done to the earth by the previous harvests. There is some great Hulu out there, and Im not saying that all farm raised kratom from Hulu is bad. I’m simple making a point that the region, weather, soil, species, age of the plant and climate all changes the 40+ alkaloids in the plant.
Each of those alkaloids are interdependant on each other. And there is no magic number that makes Maeng Da. As a matter of fact, kratoms alkaloids are so symbiotic that no one can figure out what makes it work. There are various ways to test Mitragynine and 7-Hydroxymytragynine in labs and you have some vendors claiming to have very strong numbers from lab tests. but, even that doesn’t mean s#$%.
Think of Maeng Da being a song, and the alkaloids are the symphony. There are many different ways to play that song. Science really has no clue why each song sounds the way it sounds. Meaning that, science has no clue how a different set of alkaloids can create one feeling in someone versus another in someone else. Any vendor telling you that they have the only real Maeng Da is a dirt bag liar, or just uneducated. There is many ways to have “Maeng Da”
As a matter of fact, most Maeng Da’s are just surface tested out by the farmers before being titled Maeng Da. I’ve heard some farmers can just smell, look, and taste the “Maeng Da strength.” There is no scientific method that titles your strains. The only thing that makes a strain, a strain at Re-leaf LLC is the damn region.
If we could organize our species, and educate the Indonesian farmers, we might be able to even know what kind of leaf it actually is. That won’t happen because Americans are taught to just accept knowledge as its given and run with it. The reason these lies have spread so vast, is because most vendors don’t give a sh#@ what they are selling you. As a matter of fact, most don’t test for contaminants. So they could care less where it came from. They are living in the age old saying, “ignorance is bliss.” They ask for one strain and most of the farmers give it to them, based of mixing one of the 12 strains they could possibly have.
I challenge you to browse the internet and find the true origin of Maeng Da. When I grew up we used to be taken on trips into the orange grove to hunt a ficticious bird called “Snipe.” It’s sad to say but there was no Snipe. And it’s even sadder to say this: There is no Maeng Da.
Now, back to the definition of “strains”.
If you have a vendor who does not network with any other vendors and they only live in one region, lets say, Papua New Guinea, he can only grow “Papua” kratom. Now you might have 4 different types of leafs from him. Four different phenotypes. And, those phenotypes have 3 different veins. So, at most, a farmer who does not network with other farmers can only have 12 distinct, original strains. There is no way for a farmer to grow, “Bali” in the Sulawesi islands.
You will rarely find an indonesian vendor only carrying 12 “strains”. Well, most experienced vendors in Indonesia have bypassed educating naive american buyers, and just attempt to sell them the damn leaf, no matter the name. I’m about to tell you something very sad. It pains me to tell you this because if you don’t believe me, I won’t say your silly, but I will say that you have no logical way to know your kratom strains are. You are at the mercy of Indonesian sellers that are in a huge competition with one another to grab the sales of American vendors. Do you honestly think that these Indonesian vendors hold integrity as a number one priority, or something far more meaningful, like money.
If you told a vendor that you would only buy Bali, Malaysian and Thai kratoms. It’s funny. Most vendors magically have all those strains.
The only difference between a strong Bali and a Maeng Da is the damn title. If you wanted a Bali strain from the farmer in Sampit, Indonesia, how the hell did you magically just get a kratom from Bali? Do you seriously think that these farmers label their product with honesty?
Some Indonesian salesman, don’t really hold integrity that high. Some salesman, cut the throats of there brethren, and will say anything to make the sale. The most popular phrase when asking about a specific strain is, “I can make any strain.” I would pass that statement off as english to indonesian translation error for a couple months. But, farther into this journey I found out they were dead ass serious. They literally say yes, to anything.
I just want to ask you a serious question. Do you really know what makes a “strain” name? Do you really know the different species of kratom? It’s simple at Re-leaf LLC.Right now we at Re-leaf LLC name the “strains” by a number. Period. That’s it. Every time we get a new batch we just name it “Phenotype # —-” That’s it. Even if we order product from the same region, when we get the product its alkaloid composition is different. So, why lie? Why continue representing it as something consistent when it isn’t? Is it quality? Yes. Every time I use our product I am grateful at the ability to source from our great network. Would it be easier to sell if I just did it like everyone else? Absolutely. If I kept slapping on the same name on a bag and used different product most people wouldn’t even notice. (CLICK HERE to hear a world-renowned scientist explain why the entire industry is confused) I have vendor “aquaintances” that I believe would totally do this. It’s a shame but the market isn’t exactly all roses. Actually I’d say about 25% of the market’s vendors started out to sustain their own need for kratom. I’m not saying that is bad. But, we only can hope that quality and integrity come before the owners personal wants. This conflict of interest can create a serious quality control problem. I know first hand. Sometimes you gotta cut ties with suppliers and even throw away a large amount of product. It’s just part of the business.
Funny enough. We actually had a couple customers do their own tests (we didn’t condone these tests) on their spouses. Two sets of spouses decided to put different “strains” in the bag that their significant other SWORE was the only strain that worked. They hid what the product really was by putting it in a different bag, labeled the product they swore was the “only thing that worked”. Because OF COURSE, that was the only strain that would work for them. One person only did this a few times to their spouse before telling them. Which they were very surprised. Amazingly they still refused to believe it. The other did this to them for months.This went on for a while. The funniest thing is that sometimes they would make them try a different product and then the spouse would of course “hate it” and ask for the one they are used to. Asking for the “only one that would work”. Funny enough, then the spouse would put the same product (the one they supposedly didn’t like) inside the bag labeled as the product they were expecting. Emphatically every time they would remind the spouse that “see that is the one that works for me.” All the while the spouse was switching in and out many of our products. I can’t say I wasn’t instigating this. Because I kinda was. I was fascinated. They were proving in real time what I already knew. You can actually improve your kratom experience with positivity and all those hard heads (I love those hard heads as well though!) were always just afraid of change. Almost a placebo like effect. The power of positive thinking with kratom is definitely a real thing. Stop convincing yourself of unrealistic rules. Here is the world’s leading researcher talking about the difference between kratom “strains” (CLICK HERE – it is the same 24 second Dr. McCurdy clip)
As for the different kinds of species. There are 3 species of kratom: Hirsuta, Javanica & Speciosa You only want Speciosa. That is the one that is better suited to achieve what customers are looking for.
As for some other names like, Horned. Horned is not a plant type it is a sporadic happening on many trees. Or, Elephant. That is just a big leaf.
When you get a Kratom it is most likely a different Phenotype than you have had. So, don’t be that person searching for a leaf that you had in the past. Better luck serving dinner to an alien.
Also, it is pointless to compare different vendors product to others product. Completely pointless. It’s almost pointless to compare any experience. Like stated earlier in the article. Kratom is like a snowflake. Each leaf is different.
Also, try not to use other people’s experiences to identify what is best for you. It can help sometimes, but, just realize that very often people react differently. Just as often it could work out the same for you and this is why it is such a problem. It’s like having a candy bar and saying 40% of people eat this and fall asleep, 40% of people eat this and get bunches of energy, and 20% of people receive no effect at all. It puts consumers and vendors in a tough spot. This is why some vendors lie and just start making silly claims. And, this is also why consumers end up spreading misinformation. Sometimes their is no real answer. But, in America nobody can accept that. Someone always has to be right. Which in this case is very wrong.
When you ask stuff like: “Borneo’s make me tired. How about you?”
Well this stuff needs to stop. It is convoluting the market. As a whole, how are we this gullible?
STRAINS ARE NOT CONSISTENT ENOUGH FOR QUESTIONS LIKE:
“What does Red Bali do to You? And should I take it for -fill in the blank-…”
Aside from some loose guesses. THERE IS NOTHING DIFFERENTIATING YOUR KRATOM. Science hasn’t stepped in and it doesn’t look like it will any time soon.
All the names are made up and we need to change the way we label “strains.” I know our way isn’t perfect and we will probably lose some customers that just want to be appeased and order the same “strain” name over and over again. Some people are just looking for a easy solution. Even if they have someone mislead them, some folks are just happy too see the name of “the only strain that works for them” on the package
There is absolutely no commercially consistent reason strains are given names. Each supplier from Indo has a different way of naming strains.
Any one that comes on here swearing that there is some kind of consistency in naming better show me some reason. Not because you’ve bought Borneo from 4 vendors. I’m talking scientific proof why strains are named one thing or another.
The largest suppliers in America and Indonesia literally talk about strains and mixing all the time. If there is a harvest in Putussibau by farmer A and he took leaves off 20 trees. Then farmer A will have 2 different leaves red & green/white. Green and white are essentially the same leaf. It’s just a different shade as the leaf progresses through its growth.
At first, after harvets they separate them by visible differences and sometimes chew the leaf to test it and to separate it. But the main separation happens by the “bone” which is the vein. Reddish bones are made into one pile and green & white into another. Those veins DO dictate an expected effect but it is NEVER a sure thing.
After the piles are sorted then the drying occurs. This is where magic can happen. The powder gets its final color from the way it’s dried. THERE ARE MANY METHODS OF DRYING. So, there are no rules.
Drying dictates color of powder NOT VEIN. Think of surface area.
Red powder is a result of drying technique (ie: green powder is quick dry, best happens in a big low temp oven. White is longer dry open to air so leaf loses its color. Red color is often achieved through rotating indoors and drying in dark room and also uses hydration to achieve a real dark brown or reddish color)
ALL LEAFS SHOULD HAVE GREEN POWDER BUT THE DRYING TECHNIQUES CHANGE THEM.
In the world of kratom, kratom is a mischievous one. Never can you expect the same results. Kratom powder is just like baking. Even the smallest changes can change the result. It’s a roll of the dice even with effects sometimes green leaves give slow feeling effects and sometimes red veins give faster feeling effects. These small differences tend to influence the commerical names (ie: Bali, Maeng Da, Thai etc.). There is no science based reason that strain names are given and EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT.
I have enough research on this subject to write a book. I know BIG players in this community on both sides of the world.
You gotta understand, some of you are the proponents of misinformation. No offense. The industry is filled with “know it all’s” that have purchased from a handful of vendors and then the topic is ruined by those American vendors I’ve mentioned trying to capitalize on SEO results. Hence many false digital footprints.
The truth is not very known because it’s like the existence of Aliens (example, I actually don’t believe in Aliens). The skeptics are many and they will never want to hear the possible truth so they decide to flood the digital world with their baseless opinions denying possibilities. People tend to take the word of their vendor. Bad idea. Most vendors are very uneducated about the leaf itself. If they are educated it’s mostly about techniques. Like the extraction methods. People would rather learn how to make this stronger product then know the history of the leaf. Two separate knowledges. I am a purist and HAD to find out about “Strains”. The extraction methods are not as interesting to me.
So, try to separate these different knowledges. Knowing how to extract and make Kratom strong doesn’t mean they know all about Kratoms history. That’s separate things. Most of those people happen to be the know it all’s and end up bullying the “truthers”like me because they don’t want their followers as seeing them as liars or not very knowledgable. So instead of investigating my claims they simply say that I’m full of crap. The only reason is because the sell or tell people about strains like they are experts. My company is actually “black listed” from certain large forums because the vendor ran forums don’t like when I speak the truth. Those people CAN’T come out and say strains are a myth. Because they will look like liars. So, now you have a LARGE percentage of the type A personalities in Kratom becoming defensive and lashing out senselessly bc they will be seen as wrong. People can’t have that. Lol.
I challenge you to post this article in your forums and chats. See if it will stay up. Guaranteed it will be deleted in less than 24 hours.
This is a huge problem and will continue to be the biggest problem in the industry. Because everyone pushes it under a rug. And anyone that addresses it will have to be either very knowledgeable (very few) or very defensive (a crap ton). So there is this self sustaining lie that will keep being an issue.
Truth is…… most vendors are lying to you. Knowingly or unknowingly… sorry about that.