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The world of Kratom can be a confusing place. It can be challenging to determine which method works best for you and which strain you prefer with so much information available.
In essence, Kratom extract is very concentrated, highly portable, and stores safely for a long time. Kratom powder is more readily available and can combine with a host of foods and beverages.
What is Kratom?
Kratom is available in many forms, like extract or powder, but all come from one place – a tropical evergreen that grows to soaring heights. The Kratom tree is indigenous to Southeast Asia – Borneo and Thailand, mainly – and grows in tropical forests, flood plains, and riverbanks.
Kratom grows straight up for 80 feet and can have a trunk diameter of 3 feet. These trees have a grey, smooth bark, and green, glossy leaves that are oval with an opposite growth pattern and 12 to 14 veins each.
Leaves from the Kratom tree are harvested at precisely the right point in their growing cycle and processed using long-established methods.
Where Does Kratom Come From?
Kratom has been chewed, brewed into tea, and ground into powder for centuries. Locals of Southeast Asia use it for anything from fatigue to spiritual enlightenment. Some people chew the leaves right off the tree, whereas others prefer to prepare it more traditionally.
Although popular and widespread in Southeast Asia, it wasn’t until 1839 when Dutch botanist Pieter Korthals named Stephegyne speciosa, thereby formally introducing it to the Western world. Soon afterward, George Darby Haviland changed the name to Mitragyna speciosa and reclassified the plant in 1859.
The three main countries with the most Kratom trees growing are Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand. The Thai trees are cultivated and mostly found on Kratom plantations, although a few still grow wild. Apart from these three places, Kratom can also be found in Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Vietnam, with a small southern China population.
What Makes Kratom Special?
Kratom happens to have a very high alkaloid count, with almost 25 alkaloids. The two that are specifically effective are mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. Around 66% of all the alkaloids in a Kratom leaf are mitragynine.
Kratom connoisseurs claim this tropical evergreen leaf influences various conditions, helping to boost your wellbeing.
Alkaloid content in Kratom leaves can differ from region to region and from tree to tree. Conditions such as the rainy season’s length and time from the latest rainfall also affect the leaves’ alkaloid levels.
The number of alkaloids depends on the harvesting frequency of the tree. Those trees harvested at frequent intervals tend to produce leaves with a much higher alkaloid content than those infrequently gathered.
If there’s been a dry spell, the leaves on the Kratom tree won’t grow that much and instead amass alkaloids in their buds. After the first rain, they experience a growth spurt but still retain the leaves’ high-alkaloid content.
Some of the other alkaloids in Kratom leaves include paynantheine, mitraphylline, and rhynchophylline; however, none are as abundant as mitragynine.
How Are The Strains Made?
Kratom comes in three different color strains – red, white, and green. Each strain has a particular benefit for the consumer. Although many believe that the strain’s color corresponds to different types of Kratom trees, this is not always the case.
Although white and green Kratom trees exist in Southeast Asia’s tropical forests, most Kratom on the market, regardless of the strain’s color, comes from red vein Kratom. The end product changes color during the drying and fermentation process.
If you’re partial to Kratom powder, note the variations in product colors. However, if your chosen delivery method is extracts, the only way you can know what strain you have is by the label.
How Are The Strains Different?
The most significant strains of Kratom leaves are red, white, and green. Most of these strains come from red vein Kratom and are cured in a particular manner to produce a specifically hued strain. The strain’s color relates directly to the amount of UV light the leaf gets as it dries or ferments. There are also yellow-veined hybrids, a strain that’s fermented in bags to achieve the yellow color.
Here is some more information about each strain:
- Red – This strain is the most popular on the market. It promotes peacefulness and calm and may help you maintain a balanced perspective.
- Green – This color may help you stay motivated and promotes alertness during stressful situations.
- White – This strain may help people seize the day and combines the red vein’s sunny outlook with the extra wellbeing boost of green vein Kratom.
People also like to mix their strains. A combination of the green and white strains may help promote overall wellbeing, and white and green together may inspire motivation.
What Are The Differences Between Kratom Extract and Powder?
The main difference between these two types of Kratom is that one is a (semi) liquid, and one is a powder; however, they go through the same processing up to a point.
The leaves are picked at the height of their alkaloid content for both methods, usually after the first rain following a long dry spell. The longer the time between the severe aridness and precipitation, the higher the alkaloid content.
To make Kratom powder, the leaves are then dried in the sun to cure them. The amount of time the leaves are left in the sun determines if they become red, white, or green Kratom. After the leaves are dried, they are ground to a powder and packaged to be sold.
There are technically two different types of Kratom extract – tea or water-based extract. In each of these forms, the Kratom essence is extracted from the leaf and preserved in liquid (or semi-liquid). There is a third form – resin – but this form is increasingly challenging to make and take.
Water-based extractions use water or water and ethanol to make a more viscous liquid – a super potent Kratom extract. It is Kratom boiled down to its essence, and it is very powerful. To make the extract, instead of immediately drying the leaves in the sun after harvest, the Kratom leaves are soaked in a water or ethanol-water combination for a few weeks to let the liquid evaporate.
Be wary of Kratom “shots,” which are often mixed with other liquids and chemicals to alter their taste. Reputable Kratom vendors should have completely transparent labeling in that everything that is in the product is listed on the label.
How Do I Take Kratom?
One of Kratom’s attractive characteristics is how versatile it is and the many ways there are to take it. The most popular form on the market is Kratom powder, and many people use the powder for the toss-and-wash method, in beverages, or to make capsules.
The simplest way to take Kratom powder is the toss-and-wash method when you ingest your dose in powder form and immediately drink a liquid to wash it into your stomach.
Capsules are a way to take your Kratom discreetly, and by making your capsules, you’re able to measure out your dosage to the milligram. You can potentiate your Kratom capsules with cayenne pepper, turmeric powder, or cat’s claw.
Another simple way to get your Kratom is to make it into a tea and add any sweetening or flavoring you’d like. You can then chill the tea to drink later or have it hot. Combine your Kratom tea with potentiators like citrus fruits, chamomile, or apple cider vinegar. These can boost the benefits of the Kratom, so your dose lasts longer.
Like the powder, you can take Kratom extract by merely swallowing it or adding to your beverage. You can also take it sublingually, which means you put your dose under your tongue and wait a while for it to be absorbed.
There are many blood vessels in your mouth, particularly under the tongue and along the cheek walls. A significant benefit of taking Kratom extract sublingually is that the blood vessels absorb it quickly, getting to your bloodstream in just moments.
The Final Word
These two forms of Kratom – powder and extract – are prevalent and versatile ways to take Kratom.
The powder is adaptable to many of your daily routines, meals, or beverages and is pure Kratom leaf, dried and powdered. Kratom extract is distilled in water or water and ethanol base to create a semi-liquid that can be taken sublingually, mixed into food, or simply dropped into your mouth.
Your chosen method of delivery largely depends on your personal preference. Many experienced Kratom consumers prefer extract because it is super potent and transportable. However, for precise and safe dosage, many choose to use Kratom powder.
Whatever your Kratom needs or expectations, Kats Botanicals can provide Kratom extracts and powders to meet your wellness goals.