Kratom: A Comprehensive Guide of What it is, How to Use, and Where to Buy

Kratom may be trending now, but it’s actually been in use in the Southeast Asia countries of Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, and Thailand for hundreds of years. Today Kratom can be found for sale online, and if you buy it in the right place you can get products that are both naturally grown and lab-tested.

However, it’s not that easy to source reliable information about Kratom. This is due in part to its complex legal status here in the US, so we are working to provide detailed information about Kratom itself and reputable online providers.

What is Kratom

Kratom is a natural herbal product made from leaves of the Mitragyna speciosa tree—a member of the coffee family. Grown primarily in Indonesia, the Kratom tree’s leaves are sometimes harvested and chewed, but more often they are sold and then used as a Kratom tea, Kratom extract, Kratom capsules, or Kratom powder.

Image of where to buy Kratom capsules

All the Kratom sold in the United States comes from Indonesia—mostly collected in Borneo’s rural villages. Local people harvest the leaves from trees on privately owned land or wild Kratom trees and sell them at market.

Tropical regions are home to the right conditions for wild Kratom tree growth. Under friendly condition, these trees can sometimes grow to heights of 80 feet or taller.

People consume Kratom and Kratom products for many reasons. However, it’s important to understand that Kratom leaves contain two unique compounds:

  • Mitragynine
  • 7-hydroxymitragynine

These are both naturally-occurring, active alkaloids that Kratom leaves contain in varying amounts. Research into these compounds is limited. However, research from experimental animal models supports the idea that these compounds have analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anorectic, and muscle relaxant effects.

What are Kratom Strains?

If you search for Kratom or Kratom products online, you’ll almost certainly find some discussion of young trees versus mature trees and the compounds in leaves harvested from both. The idea is generally that mature trees may deliver higher levels of alkaloids.

However, the research doesn’t yet prove this, and the industry itself is as yet not well-regulated enough to support this type of scrutiny. Quality controls for harvesting and sorting Kratom leaves are poor in Indonesia, so higher scrutiny on the part of American Kratom vendors is critical.

The notion of distinct genetic “strains” of Kratom is defeated by the fact that the industry itself lacks quality controls on the cultivation and harvest side. In other words, if it’s not totally certain what is being cultivated in the first place, there’s really no way to discern what the harvest is, or how one variety of Kratom for sale differs at the chemical level from other variants of the same plant.

Image of fresh Kratom leaves for the Kratom Buying Guide.

Most strain names you find online are entirely arbitrary, marketing devices created by vendors. For example, the Red Thai Kratom strain does not originate in Thailand, and Borneo Kratom is probably not from Borneo. And while Bali Kratom is probably in fact from Indonesia, it does not necessarily come from that actual region of the country, and the same is true of Sumatra Kratom.

And while misinformed or even unethical sellers might make claims about effects Kratom “strains” have, there is no evidence for this. For example, the idea that you take White Borneo for energy in the morning but Red Borneo to sleep at night is a marketing tool. If you order based on these ideas from a seller who promotes them, you might be getting multiple helpings of the same batch of Kratom.

What are Kratom Vein Colors?

If Kratom strains aren’t real, are vein colors also a fallacy? You’ve noted that Kratom is typically categorized into four vein colors:

  • Green Vein Kratom
  • Red Vein Kratom
  • White Vein Kratom
  • Yellow Vein Kratom

Green, red, and white vein are the most common vein colors, although the newer yellow vein color is a recent addition—probably not the last we will see.

Despite what many sellers claim, these vein colors do not actually correspond with the vein color in Kratom leaves, the best Kratom to use at a certain time or day, or anything else. In fact, at times you will find leaves with different vein colors on the same tree. Most suppliers don’t bother sorting by color, because there appears to be no appreciable difference.

It is drying and sun exposure that changes the color of the final product. Try it with your own to see—different strains are often just the same batch cured longer.

However, Kratom is often graded by color. The darkest is usually sold as “red,” and although you might guess the lightest would be “white,” that’s usually sold as “green,” with the in-between colors sold as “white.”

Differences in how users feel about products probably comes from chemical differences between batches. As a naturally cultivated and harvested product, there will be differences from batch to batch.

The alkaloid content can vary significantly batch to batch, and the level of mitragynine in unadulterated Kratom leaf can range from 0.5% to 1.5%. That means a two gram serving size of Kratom may contain 10 milligrams of mitragynine or 30 milligrams, depending on which batch it came from.

Many new Kratom users say that they are not feeling how they expected after taking their Kratom. Their first thought is to try new strains of Kratom, but the best advice is to start by reducing the serving size. When it comes to Kratom, less really is more.

Choosing a Kratom Vendor

Looking to buy Kratom? Be careful, because it’s the wild west out there. There are so many bad actors selling kratom that we only feel comfortable recommending a certain high-quality, transparent vendor—and here’s why.

Not all Kratom sellers are conscientious about separating batches, and as we mentioned, your order for multiple “strains” may be bringing you many versions of the exact same product labeled in several different ways. Vendors carrying too many strains can be showing you a red flag, actually. It presents a huge set of operational challenges for any seller to acquire and maintain more inventory while following quality control and good manufacturing practices (GMP).

Failing to do so, however, can mean adulterated products that can even make people sick. That is why it is so important to buy Kratom from a reputable vendor who does the following:

  • Shares their open lab testing policies and procedures with the public
  • Follows the FDA’s good manufacturing practices (GMP)
  • Registers through the American Kratom Association as a GMP Qualified Vendor

American Kratom Association GMP-compliant vendors are the most reputable, because the program itself is devoted to consumer safety and designed to ensure a safe pathway to market for Kratom. It takes time and effort to comply with GMP standards, and companies that do care about consumer safety and the time to guarantee that their products are fit for human consumption.

Super Speciosa is an American Kratom Association GMP Qualified brand that has been verified to meet strict GMP quality standards by a third-party auditor. Super Speciosa sells several varieties of Kratom, each from a distinct batch, typically graded by color.

The signature Super Speciosa Kratom product is the Kratom powder. This is a high-demand products because it tests highest for mitragynine, regardless of color. Green varieties are the lightest, with white typically in between and red the darkest—although as natural products there is considerable natural color variation here.

Find Red Maeng Da Kratom products, Green Maeng Da Kratom products, White Maeng Da Kratom Products, Red Bali Kratom, and the Super Speciosa Kratom line. Find real customer reviews with star ratings and detailed information about Kratom at the Super Speciosa site.

How to Use Kratom Powder

kratom leaf and kratom powder

There is more than one way to make use of Kratom:

As Kratom Tea

Like many other plants and herbs, Kratom can be made into tea. This is a popular a traditional way to take Kratom, and there is no need to have the actual leaf, just the powder. Merely brew a tea you enjoy—preferably one with a distinct taste of its own—and add your serving of Kratom like you might use a matcha powder.

Juice, Smoothie, or Protein Shake

Many people enjoy Kratom powder more in a glass of fruit juice, as it masks the taste somewhat more. For similar reasons, more active users might try Kratom in a smoothie or protein shake.

Kratom Capsule

Kratom powder is easy and convenient to serve in capsules.

Where to Buy Kratom Online

After an exhaustive research campaign, we recommend as the best place to buy Kratom, because they are transparent and passionate about the product. They make their Kratom powder and other products from the highest quality plant material, and their products are third-party tested–you can verify this on their site. They stand behind their products.

If you’re ready to give Kratom a try, this is an online source you can trust.