One product that has gotten a lot of attention within the past decade is Kratom. Kratom is a substance that can potentially provide relief and is currently the subject of much controversy and varying opinions. The one thing that stands out when looking at Kratom and the various products available are the active compounds found within the plant. If you have never heard of Kratom or are looking to learn more, it is helpful to start by looking at the plant from which the products are derived. Once you start to learn about the plant, you can better understand the various strains available and find the highest quality products.
As with any natural health product, you need to make sure you find out as much as possible. As there are sometimes rules in place that prevent the spread of accurate information, taking your time to find out correct information can help prevent any problems from arising in your research. The article below outlines everything you need to know to get a general understanding of what Kratom is and where it comes from. Topics covered include everything from the tree to the processing and the types of products you see available. Also included is the current legal state of Kratom and the importance of customer responsibility. When you know more on the subject, you can stay informed and safeguard yourself from counterfeit products and shady businesses.
The Kratom Tree
The Kratom tree, scientifically named mitragyna speciosa, grows deep in rainforests throughout Southeast Asia. The tree is a member of the Rubiaceae plant family. The coffee plant and various other medicinal herbs are also members of this plant family.
The conditions in the rainforest where this tree is most commonly found make it an ideal growing location. The plant needs high temperatures and humidity for it to yield a significant crop. Along with the humidity and temperature, the soil where the roots will grow must be acidic and nutrient-dense. Southeast Asia is home to a vast display of plant and animal species and is home to many active volcanoes. The soil here is perfect for the mitragyna speciosa tree.
For hundreds of years, the mitragyna speciosa tree has been used for medicinal purposes. Within the past ten or so years, the tree has become the subject of research projects around the world, primarily in Western countries such as the United States. The indigenous population in Southeast Asia’s rural areas has long been using the product to help with focus and a reduction of anxiety. These claims are what has triggered more in-depth scientific research to be conducted. Through the research by various scientific organizations and educational institutions, the Kratom tree’s active compounds started to be explored more seriously.
This research concluded that the plant had various active compounds, with some being more prominent than others. The two active compounds that have seen bulk research efforts and offer the most therapeutic potential are mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. When Kratom products are created, these two alkaloids are the main focus. Careful processing techniques are utilized to isolate these compounds and harness their full potential. As the processing is so significant, it is essential to buy from a reputable source to ensure you are getting high-quality Kratom.
Kratom has become a more popular substance in the past ten years, increasing demand for the product. As such, more growers in Southeast Asia can make a living growing and partnering with Kratom suppliers in other countries. Unlike many of the cash crops that grow in Southeast Asia, like timber and palm oil, Kratom farms utilize traditional growing techniques that ensure no surrounding rainforest is destroyed. They do this by planting the trees wildly among the other vegetation and in “backyard” farms. All Kratom farms tend to be family-run, and through careful harvesting techniques, the communities can sustain the crop making it profitable and sustainable year after year.
Unlike crops where the entire plant is ripped from the ground, leaving soil stripped of nutrients, Kratom farms use staggering harvesting techniques. Staggerings means that the entire tree is left intact while only some leaves are picked and processed. By leaving most of the plant’s structure untouched, the tree can continue to grow stronger while also ensuring the surrounding vegetation is not ruined.
These sustainable harvesting methods have attracted the attention of other growers worldwide who sell various types of cash crops. They look at these Kratom farms as potential models for their operations. As the rainforest’s biodiversity must be protected, these Kratom farms are paving the way for a sustainable future in this part. In too many cases, large profiteers planting timber will make false promises to these communities, stripping their land and leaving them in poverty. Kratom can help disrupt and stop this dangerous cycle.
After the leaves from the mitragyna speciosa tree have been harvested, they are left to dry. Depending on the grower and supplier, they may choose to dry them in the shade or sun. Through each step along the processing chain, there are opportunities to further manipulate the concentrations of active components within the final product. As such, a supplier looking for a specific ratio of mitragynine to 7-hydroxymitragynine will tailor its processing techniques to achieve their desired result.
In some cases, rather than drying the leaves, they will be fermented in large bags. This method is an example of one of the ways the processing can manipulate the final product. Once the leaves have been dried or fermented, they are ground down into a fine powder. This fine powder is the purest form of Kratom and tends to be one of the most commonly sold products. When you are purchasing Kratom powder, if you are doing so from a reputable source, they will also be lab testing their product, ensuring that no contamination has occurred along the way.
Once the product has been lab-tested, it is shipped to vendors who will turn the power into extracts, capsules, or other Kratom products. When you visit an online store, you will see that there are many types of products and different strains available. By altering the growing location, harvesting, and processing techniques, the dealer can control the various strains they sell. For example, a Red Malay strain is made from more mature leaves taken from a plant grown in Malaysia.
Common Kratom Products
The most common Kratom products you see available will be the powder, capsules, and extracts. These three products all have specific benefits:
Kratom Powder: Kratom powder is favored among people who want to create their own capsules and extracts. As you can buy Kratom powder in bulk, it is excellent to store long-term while getting you the most bang for your buck.
Kratom Capsules: Kratom capsules are essentially pre-measured doses of Kratom powder added to a gel cap. These provide convenience, which is excellent for researchers on the go or those looking for consistency.
Kratom Extracts: Kratom extracts are more tailored for experienced researchers and enthusiasts. The extracts offer customers a more potent dose of Kratom. In most cases, the extract powder will be twice as potent, if not more, than the standard Kratom powder.
The Legal State Of Kratom
Despite Kratom being a potentially therapeutic substance, many regulatory bodies within the USA and other countries have taken a firm stance against its legality. A former FDA commissioner even tried to classify Kratom as a Schedule I controlled substance on par with other dangerous substances. Thankfully this did not happen, but there are still restrictions in place that prevent the distribution of Kratom for personal use.
Right now, in the USA, Kratom is available for research purposes only. When you buy Kratom, you need to make sure that you have a clear goal of using the product. Outlining a scientific procedure and your hypothesis will be vital to creating a research project that is legitimate. The more independent research conducted, the more likely that Kratom’s reputation will improve, and a more widespread acceptance will occur.
As a Kratom customer, it is up to you to do your research and find a reputable source. As there are scammers out there selling counterfeit products, you need to beware. Working with a reputable, fair trade business that ensures their farmers in Southeast Asia are taken care of, helps improve the industry overall. With more responsible businesses taking over the industry, scammers and profiteers can be pushed to the curb.
If you want to take it a step further and be a part of the cause looking to make a name for Kratom in the USA, you can contact the American Kratom Association. This advocacy group is dedicated to sharing accurate information and may be able to help you with any questions or concerns you have when it comes to researching. As you don’t want to be left in troubling legal water, they can also help clarify the laws of Kratom in the USA and around the world. Once you know more about Kratom, you can start purchasing high-grade products.