Kratom Production: From the Forest to You
- August 28, 2020
Kratom is not new by any stretch of the imagination, at least in many parts of the world. The leaves of the mitragyna speciosa plant have been used by those who live in areas where the trees grow for centuries, and possibly longer. It’s new to the Western World, which means that there still has not been much research done on the plant to learn about its properties and the value that it could hold. With the rise in popularity, though, it has started many wondering about what medicinal value it might have and how it could eventually be classified in the United States.
The popularity has also caused many people to become interested in trying kratom to see what the hype is about. Naturally, they also want to know more about the plant, where it comes from, and how the kratom is made. From the outside, it can seem rather confusing to see all the different names and to attempt to decipher it all. Fortunately, it is possible to demystify some of the confusion surrounding kratom.
In the Forest
For starters, kratom is a natural substance that is not synthetically made in a lab. Instead, it comes from the mitragyna speciosa. This is a tall evergreen tree that grows in many countries across Southeast Asia. People who are native to the area have been harvesting and using kratom for hundreds of years.
The tree only grows in certain climates. It should be hot and humid for the kratom to grow and thrive. The size of the trees can vary. When they are in an ideal environment, they can be 80’ or taller. Many areas of Southeast Asia make it possible for the tree to grow and to do well. Given the popularity of kratom, some farms cultivate these trees commercially today.
The trees can be impressive with their size, but it is their canopy of leaves that is the true draw. The leaves are large, shiny, and green. They can measure around eight inches long and five inches wide, and those leaves are what is collected and used to make the kratom powder. One of the benefits of the tree being evergreen is that the leaves regrow quickly, making it possible to produce kratom all year long.
When the leaves of the tree have reached their optimal maturity level, they are harvested. However, it is important to understand that there are several different “optimal levels” for the harvest. Collecting the leaves from the tree at different times will allow the producers to make different strains of kratom.
The leaves of the tree have white veins when they are not fully mature. These types of leaves are used to create white kratom. Leaves that are a bit more mature will have green veins, and they are used to create green kratom. Fully mature leaves have red veins. As you will have surmised by now, these leaves are used to create red kratom. Later, you will see why the color of the kratom is so important.
Once the leaves have been collected, they go through a drying process. The drying often occurs in the sun, but it could be done in the shade, as well. Different types of powders are created depending on the curing process and the color.
After the leaves have been properly cured, they will be shredded and then ground into a fine powder. When completed, the kratom should have the same consistency as flour, as this will make it easier to blend when it is taken, and it ensures the proper amount is placed into capsules.
Color and Strain
Earlier, you learned about the various colors of the veins in the kratom leaves. The white kratom is said to provide energizing aromas when it is burned. Red kratom has the opposite effect and can produce soothing aromas. Green falls in the middle and can have features of both white and red kratom.
However, these are not the only potential options with kratom. One of the other methods of making kratom, such as bentuangie, requires a fermenting process after the leaves have been harvested. The result is that the kratom is darker, and it is supposed to have a higher level of alkaloids.
While the white, green, and red kratom are all popular options, there are other colors available, as well. Gold and yellow kratom are common, but they are not consistent. In some cases, they are made mixing white and red kratom, and the mixtures may not always be the same. Other producers have added another step to the curing process to make gold kratom.
Those who use kratom will typically find one or two strains that they enjoy and swear by them. They have personal experience with the kratom and attest to the effects. However, because there is not much research done in these areas, it means that there is not any current scientific evidence to prove those claims. There are even some proponents of kratom who say they do not notice a difference between the strains.
Who Produces Kratom?
Kratom trees can grow outside of Southeast Asia, but most of the kratom supply in the world comes from those countries that are in that geographical region. In some countries in Southeast Asia, though, kratom has been made illegal, which means a large amount of kratom farming happens in Indonesia.
Quality Kratom is Essential
Knowing where and how kratom comes from the forest and to you is important. However, you also must be careful when it comes to choosing a company through which you can buy the product. Because the United States does not have any regulations in place when it comes to producing and selling kratom, some manufacturers do not take safety and hygiene seriously. This means that some of the products could have impurities, additives, and contaminants in them.
Take the time to find a reputable seller that offers pure, fresh, and lab-tested kratom. You can then find out for yourself which of the strains works best for you.