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    A Brief Introduction to Kratom Strains

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    Joy Awakuni-Gonzalez

    Brief Introduction to Kratom Strains

     

    Kratom ‘strains’ seem to be a big debate in the community where everyone claims they know the truth and everyone else is wrong, at Soap Korner we try to stay away from that debate for a few reasons. Some say Kratom is Kratom is Kratom, while others say the complete opposite and that leaves are separated by vein color, growing region, and then processed in one way or another to make strains that will have varying effects. I believe, as with most things, that there’s a middle ground. Having traveled to Indonesia twice and seeing some of this with my own eyes I don’t know or understand everything but I do know that marketing is a very powerful tool for businesses, whether in Indonesia or the United States. Americans also love choice as well as a good story to go with what they purchase. Most aren’t able to visit Indonesia themselves so they learn through their favorite vendor, who may be telling a story they believe or were told by a supplier or for purely marketing reasons, they like the story that goes along with the product. There are different products that may give different end results for one reason or another, how and why we may get the different results is still a debate that I’m not sure I’m entirely ready for. 

     

    We import loose leaf tea from places like China, India, and Nepal. Many may not know but tea is Camellia Sinensis- white tea, green tea, oolong and black tea all are from the same species of plant, just like Kratom- the difference is in the way it’s processed. White tea is mostly unprocessed, green is slightly processed, black tea heavily processed and oolong is somewhere between green and black. But it’s so much more confusing than that, there are different cultivars, varieties, growing regions, growing conditions, processing methods, and so on and so on. We carry almost 20 different types of oolong and that’s just the beginning. 

     

    Could Kratom be similar in any way? I’m not sure, but different growing conditions and places, as well as processing methods, may give a different end result, lab results reflect this (lab test results can be discussed another time :). 10 Years ago there were not this many choices, you may have had Bali or Borneo and a few others, today you have literally hundreds of ‘strains’. Green Riau, Green Ketapang, Green Hulu, Green Maeng Da, Green Borneo, Green Sulawesi, Super Green, Green Malay, Green Veined Thai, and so on. Are all of those ‘strains’ from green-veined leaves from the perspective area, most likely not.

     

    The most important thing, of course, is safety.  Do they follow GMP procedures to ensure you have a safe clean product, do they follow what is laid out in the KCPA, Kratom Consumer Protection Act? Beyond that, personal choice plays a huge role but consistency with your favorite Kratom supplier is key. We have a variety of products to give the consumer a choice if your favorite is Green Maeng Da and the results are consistent, how important is the story behind it? That’s for you to decide.