So what is Kratom? Why is it valued by so many millions of people across the US? What are the differences between the colors, strains, and blends?
Kratom is native to Southeast Asia. It occurs naturally on several islands in Indonesia (primarily Borneo, Hulu Kapuas, and Ketapang). It also grows in Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Upwards of 100% of the kratom in the USA comes from Indonesia. At this time, Kratom is banned in Malaysia and was banned in Thailand (due to the government realizing it would interfere with their opium trade and the money that brings so they shut it down until now), it was unscheduled and is now legal for native Thai people to use but is not yet legal for export as of Jan, 2020. Kratom has been used for over 1,500 years in these regions of the world where they pick and chew the leaves for many reasons, not the least of which is, promotion of energy for working, relief from minor aches and pains, increased mental clarity, and much more. In the USA, most kratom is sold in powdered form (either in capsules or bulk powder.) This is created by drying the leaves in Indonesia, and then grinding them to a fine powder before packaging it in bundles and shipping to the USA. Proper Kratom is pure plant leaves and nothing else.
There has never been a certified proven death of kratom overdose anywhere in the world. That does not include adulterated products (such as Krypton which was a mix of Kratom and O-DSMT, a tramadol analogue which caused 9 deaths linked to overdose from the tramadol.)
There are about 29 deaths in the US in the last 10 years that are possibly linked to Kratom. There is simply not enough data from these emergency room doctors’ notes to determine the cause of death. They appeared to have only Kratom in their systems at time of death. But what is not identified is if they had previous health issues, were on other medications that may have had a contraindication with Kratom, or many other possibilities.
Currently, there is an Import alert on Kratom which makes importing the product particularly difficult. It grants Customs and Border Protection the authority to seize any shipment containing kratom for any reason whatsoever. It’s still 100% legal to import into the US minus the 5 states that have banned it as of 2020, but massive shipments have been seized and destroyed for no good reason resulting in losses in the millions of dollars to those companies doing the importing.
Kratom is currently illegal in the following States: Arkansas, Alabama, Wisconsin, Indiana, Vermont, and Rhode Island. It is also banned in Sarasota County in Florida, San Diego, CA, and locally, Monument, CO has banned the sales of Kratom within city limits. There are a few counties/cities that have banned it across the country but only a handful.
We support the American Kratom Association who is our amazing Kratom Advocacy non-profit group. It is because of their hard work, and the power of the millions of people who use Kratom daily (currently estimated to be over 18 million in the US!) They are currently working on bringing a Bill to states across the country called the Kratom Consumer Protection Act. This bill, when passed in a state, prevents kratom manufacturers from doing shady things with the product. It requires a minimum purchase age of 18 (21 in some states), requires that manufacturers use cGMP standards and be qualified by GMP auditors yearly (more about that later), and requires very specific safety protocols and testing of each and every bag of Kratom made and sold in that state.
Laughing Lion is one of only a few kratom manufacturers in the entire country who are cGMP Qualified! This means we are inspected and certified to follow the strictest guidelines for our cleanroom, material handling, testing, PPE / Safety equipment, and record keeping. This allows us to continue selling our products and provide many products to smaller vendors who will no longer be able to produce kratom once the KCPA passes in their respective states. Colorado is on a list of 21 states the AKA plan to get the bill passed in during 2021.
At this time, we believe that Kratom is generally safe in the USA. The DEA is the only national authority that can ban kratom in the country as a whole. And they have decided that they will not ban kratom unless the current studies that are being sponsored and conducted result in a statement that Kratom has no medicinal benefits. The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) has granted the University of Florida, over 9 million dollars to study Kratom over the next 5 years! Specifically, one study is for studying the two primary alkaloids in Kratom, Mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine and it’s effects and uses in humans. And the second, is to study the plant as a whole and potentially move towards human testing.
Kratom has more than 47 currently identified alkaloids present in the plant leaves. The two most recognized Alkaloids are Mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. Many believe that Mitragynine is singularly responsible for the strength of a kratom batch. However, we have determined this is unlikely to be true. Just like the difference between using Cannabis flower vs dabbing or a pure THC extract, there is a significant difference that can be “felt” when one removes the other components that are present in Kratom. We strongly believe in keeping Kratom as close to nature as possible. The amount of 7-hydroxymitragynine in kratom leaves is almost undetectable. Usually a couple tenths of a percent in total concentration. When someone concentrates kratom, they should reduce or remove the 7-hydroxy because the current science we have suggests that in higher concentrations than occur in nature it could be less than ideal.
Thus, what we sell is simply Kratom leaf powder/capsules. Kratom is available in many “strains”, “colors”, and “blends”. However, there is much confusion surrounding these differences.
Kratom Colors: Kratom, Mitragyna Speciosa, is a single species of tree. Growing 25-100’ tall or more and fast growing at that. Our own indoor grow has seen 6 feet of growth in 8 months! There are no “Red Kratom Trees” or “White Kratom Trees”.
- Green Vein Kratom are the mature leaves of the tree picked and dried indoors or in shade.
- White Vein Kratom are smaller, immature leaves that are picked prior to full growth.
- Red Vein Kratom are mature leaves that are dried in the sun causing them to turn darker into a red/brown color or dried indoors retaining a more green color to the powder but retaining the same properties .
- Bentuangie is a standard green leaf that is first placed in large clear plastic bags and left in the sun to oxidize and ferment for days and then dried out in the sun once the desired color is reached. This oxidation results in a very dark brown/ruddy color that also changes the effects of the leaf and provides a much sweeter and earthier taste.
Differences between the colors:
- Green Kratom is generally recognized for its well-balanced effects. Purported to promote mental clarity, mood lift, energy, and it’s best liked during the day.
- White Kratom is generally recognized for its increased promotion of energy, mental focus, and a mild lift to the mood.
- Red Kratom is generally recognized for its promotion of relaxation, calm, feelings of wellbeing, mild mood lifting, and the most commonly used strain and often used at night.
These colors are more important in terms of choosing kratom for use than the actual strains themselves. Since there is only one tree, the differences between the actual strains are minute. The power of the mind to influence what one “feels” affects the differences more than any perceptible difference between them from a scientific standpoint. The “Placebo” effect is incredibly powerful. Many long-time Kratom users will swear they can tell drastic differences, but we’ve seen that in about 95% of cases, changing the “strain” but calling it the same thing, people don’t notice any difference at all. Even knowing this truth, the “placebo” effect still causes differences to be felt when I personally use the different strains.
Where Kratom is harvested:
The vast majority of our kratom is harvested from the very mature and old forests of kratom that are found in Indonesia. We have found that the vast majority of our customers prefer wild-harvested kratom over the more common and plentiful farmed (plantation) kratom.
The 3 “Core” Single Strains:
Wild Kratom grows in abundance on 3 islands in Indonesia (There are more but are small and rare). We import Green, Red, and White of the strains below.
- Borneo (generally Maeng Da’s come from here)
- Hulu Kapuas (Hulu strains)
- #4 Bentuangie (not an official strain but unique and used in mixes)
Differences Between Strains:
The 3 core strains and Bentuangie are used to create all of the other strains that we carry. This is how it is done overseas. We simply were granted access to the “recipe” books so we can make our own strains the same way it’s made in Indonesia.
- Stimulating Strains:
- o Maeng Da: The most popular strain in the US and is a “pure strain”, not mixed with other leaf. Many believe it to be the best kratom out there or the “strongest”. However, this is simply not true. While it’s an excellent product, it is no stronger than any other strain and the strength is simply dependent on the particular batch. Generally thought to be on the more energetic side for all 3 strain colors.
- o Thai: A blend that is a combination of some of the core strains, Thai strains tend to be more bitter in taste but sometimes quicker acting and the generally thought to be the “fastest” of the strains.
- Relaxing Strains:
- o Bali: is a blend of a couple of different strains. Red Bali, our #2 best selling strain actually contains a small amount of white leaf in it. Generally thought to be more balanced and somewhat relaxing vs energizing.
- o Borneo: Tends to be effective for use at night and to help one to relax before bedtime and promote a better night’s sleep.
- o Malay: We only carry Green Malaysian because while not terribly popular, the Green Malay has an appeal to many as a great strain for relaxing while simultaneously providing the mood elevation many desire but without the drastic energy increase other greens may cause.
- Moderate Strains:
- o Hulu: The final “pure” strain, Hulu is generally testing as strong or stronger than Ketapang leaf in its Mitragynine content (although this can vary between batches) and is, similar to Ketapang, generally thought to be well balanced and strong. It tends to test strongest in Mitragynine over any of the other strains. Red Hulu in particular is very popular for its strength and balance.
- o Ketapang: Another pure strain, Ketapang is generally one of the strongest available strains. Very popular for its unique name, Ketapang is generally thought to be a well-balanced strain good for use during the day or for night.
- o Sumatra: A very well balanced strain that many find desirable across all 3 colors. Generally thought to be energizing and yet relaxing at the same time providing a great option for any time of day or night.
- LLH Blends: These proprietary blends are what makes our Kratom unique in the industry!
- o Electrobuzz: An all White Blend that is one of our best selling blends combining 4 different whites designed to provide the best possible promotion of energy and mood lifting.
- o Fuzzy Blanket: Our #1 Selling Product! Winner of 1st Place from Kratom Vendor Reviews.com it is a blend of Green and Red kratom that provides the greatest combination of relaxation, promotion of wellbeing, and aid with relaxing before bed. Comfort for the body after a long day is it’s hallmark!
- o Golden Thai: A popular blend of White and Red Thai strains that provide a bitter taste, but a sweet result! Tending towards balanced energy and comfort while allowing focus and feelings of wellbeing.
- o The Hulk: An all Green Blend designed to provide promotion of mood lifting, mild energy, comfort, and increased wellbeing.
- o Ignite! Similar to Golden Thai, it is another Red and White blend but this one is geared more towards promotion of energy and focus with the balancing effect that red provides.
- o Rocket Fuel: A Green/White blend that is designed to promote energy for a hard day’s work granting promotion of mental clarity, energy, and wellbeing.
- o Ryujin: It takes the guesswork out of anyone looking for a red vein kratom. Combining the best of the red strains, Ryujin provides one of the strongest comforting effects but also balanced relaxation without feelings of tiredness.
- o Infinity Apex: Our strongest all green blend that promotes all the best parts of Green kratom such as improved feelings of wellbeing, promotion of energy and mental clarity, and comfort.
- o Infinity Colorado Sunrise: Our only blend that includes all 3 colors! Sunrise is incredible with its ability to promote wakefulness, wellbeing, and clear, focused energy.
Original Page/Additional Information
Kratom, or Mitragyna Speciosa, is a plant that many people have used throughout history, but it’s recently started to rise to popularity in the Western world. Most people seek out kratom as a type of herbal remedy or supplement, which is why it’s starting to become so popular again.
Where is Kratom Grown?
Kratom grows naturally in Southeast Asia, where people have already been using it for centuries. Related to the coffee plant, Kratom grows naturally in massive forests across the islands of Borneo and Hulu Kapuas in Indonesia, and many other areas have cultivated thousands of acres of farms. Unless specifically stated, all of our kratom comes from wild forest trees which are vastly more mature and larger than the newly planted plantation trees.
Some societies used it as a stimulant, and they would chew on kratom leaves in an attempt to get more energy for their day’s work. These native cultures believe in kratom’s ability to restore appetite, increase energy, and help calm and focus the mind. Over time, tribes began eating it and brewing it like a tea.
Kratom enthusiasts across the centuries have used this natural substance to improve their wellbeing and to help provide increased energy, stamina, and mental clarity. The combination of these properties made kratom extremely popular among field workers, farmers, and other laborers who had physically demanding jobs. These workers relied on kratom to give them energy as well as soothing the body after a physically difficult day.
In the United States it is gaining popularity with an estimated 18+ million users as reported in 2021. Many believe it will help them improve their quality of life instead of the more traditional (in the last 100 years) pharmaceutical route that our Western countries have come to rely on. While the FDA does not agree with these feelings, they claim Kratom is a dangerous opioid that has killed more than 50 people in the last 10 years. However, according to https://www.americankratom.org/science.html , you will see the proof of mismanagement of information and a campaign to demonize the plant that so many have come to trust for daily improvement of their lives--allowing them to function once again as they did before prescription medications caused issues in their bodies. We do not know who is pushing so hard to get the plant banned but I don't believe it's actually the FDA. I believe there are powerful people driving this misinformation campaign. The FDA has the much needed job of protecting Americans from unsafe products but in the case of Kratom, the science says that kratom is certainly safer than they claim it is. So I'd love to discover what it is that is driving this campaign.
Much like other popular plants, kratom comes in different strains, which are associated with different effects. Depending on where you look or who you ask, you may see kratom broken up into red vein, green vein, and white vein strains. That differentiation is made by looking at the little veins in kratom leaves. Among those more general types, there are also specific types of kratom, like Maeng Da or Green Malay. If you’re unsure about the different types of kratom strains, talk to an expert at your trusted vendor, and they will be able to give you specific information.
One heavily debated and misunderstood principle about Kratom is that there is only one kratom tree. There are many different regions it grows in but there is no "Red Vein Tree" and "White Vein Tree". All of the colors come from the same tree! The differences are based on when the leaves are harvested in their life cycle and the way they are dried. We are growing our own trees indoors in our facility in Colorado and can harvest all 3 vein colors off the same tree!
The different strains of kratom are often associated with having slightly different effects. For example, some say green or white veined kratom is best for having energy and an uplifted mood. Red-veined kratom, on the other hand, might generally be associated with relaxing effects and comfort to the body. If you’re looking for a kratom to address a specific ailment, it’s best to consult a doctor. Vendors of Kratom cannot and should not make any sort of health claims about Kratom as it is not permitted by the FDA just as it is not permitted with any supplement they haven't approved.
Kratom Capsules/ Powder
Some natives of Southeast Asia used to chew kratom leaves, holding the chewed leaf in the cheek much lime tobacco dip, and the effect seems to be substantially more effective than once the leaves are dried and ground. For this reason, we are soon going to be packaging and selling Fresh Kratom Leaf as a premium option for our most curious and adventurous customers! For more information click on our link above for Fresh Kratom!
In the United States, most kratom is normally sold either in capsules or as a powder. The powder is simply ground up dried kratom leaves, and it acts very quickly, which makes it popular. Most people who consume kratom powder do so by mixing it into juice, coffee, or a smoothie, and you can still use this form to make a traditional kratom tea although consuming the full powder tends to result in longer lasting effects.
Some people dislike using straight kratom powder because it requires measuring, which can make a mess. Some people also dislike the taste of kratom, as it can be too bitter for some people. In those cases, people normally find that they prefer kratom capsules. This option is basically pre-measured doses of kratom packaged in gelatin or vegan shells. All the customer has to do is swallow the capsule down with some water or any other drink.
These capsules have to dissolve, so the effects may be slightly delayed compared to plain powder. Customers normally report that they can start feeling the effects of their kratom capsules within 30 to 45 minutes vs the normal 10-20 for consuming powder form. For any kratom-buying option, it’s extremely important to purchase from a reputable source who offers cGMP manufacturing and fully transparent testing results. This will help you ensure that the product is pure and does not contain any harmful additives. It will also help you be more confident that capsules contain the right level of dosing.
There is a third option for kratom consumers, and that’s tincture or extract. This is starting to become more popular but still isn’t as widely used as the powder or capsule methods. This method of consumption is not recommended in any way due to the lack of knowledge surrounding the various other alkaloids which may not be passed through into the extract and may change its properties and not in a good way. We strongly recommend that you steer clear of any extracts!
What States Have Banned Kratom?
At one point, there was the talk of making kratom illegal in the United States. The citizens rose up, though, and there was an outpouring of support from people who claimed kratom had amazing benefits for them. In 2016, we joined many supporters in Washington DC to demand that Kratom be kept legal and thus far, it is!. Support has even come from leading medical professionals at places like Johns Hopkins University. That was enough to keep kratom legal nationally, but some states have decided to make it illegal.
Kratom is currently illegal in Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Vermont, and Wisconsin. All of those states have their own legislature that prevents their residents from consuming kratom as a natural supplement or remedy. Other cities have also banned kratom. The District of Columbia, Denver (can be sold but must be labeled that it is not for human consumption), San Diego, and Sarasota all have regulations against this plant.
Is Kratom an Opioid?
While kratom can interact with the brain in some ways similar to how opioids do, it’s not related to opium. In fact, kratom is more closely related to coffee or chocolate than it is to any type of opioid. Chocolate can activate opiate receptors in the brain! Another common food that does is cheese! We don't call those opiates! That’s part of the reason many people feel more comfortable using kratom than they do with any type of dangerous illicit substances. There is still a lot of research that must occur before we can start making very definitive claims about what kratom does, but so far it has a lot of early support from scientific and medical professionals.
Based on available research (https://www.americankratom.org/science.html) kratom enthusiasts and scientists believe this natural supplement carries fewer health risks and dependence problems than other substances.
Even though the evidence shows that Kratom is safer than other substances, one should always consult your doctor before starting any kratom! Nothing is without risk and every American should make an educated decision as to what they put into their bodies. NOTHING IS RISK FREE INCLUDING KRATOM! And if you decide to use it, it means taking appropriate, calculated doses, and purchasing from a trusted vendor with a safe product.
Kratom has become popular for medicinal purposes in the United States and is starting to be enjoyed recreationally as well. Whatever it is you want to get out of your kratom experience, it’s important to consume it responsibly and rely on pure plants from a trusted source. At Laughing Lion Herbs, we take great pride in carrying only fine kratom that was ethically sourced and safely produced in our facility.