Written by Antony Roberts Part 1

Kratom like any natural product, there are inconsistencies from batch to batch and manufacturer to manufacturer.

But generally speaking, online accounts from various forums indicate that red vein kratom has a more pronounced sedative effect, while green and white display greater stimulant properties. There seems to be moderate disagreement over which strain is best for pain relief or assisting social anxiety, but common wisdom is to try several and figure out what works best on a case by case basis.

The pharmacological effect — or “feel” — of kratom is determined by the composition of the various alkaloids. Some of the alkaloids found in kratom affect the opioid receptors (more on this later), but many remain uncharacterized in terms of physiological effects.

The two most common alkaloids in kratom are mitragynine (MG) and 7-hydroxy mitragynine (7-OH MG). But the amount in one leaf or plant versus another can vary. In one study examining 13 commercial products, MG, 7-OH MG, and three other indole alkaloids were only detected in 11 of them. However, the relative concentrations of MG in these products ranged from 1.2% to 6.3%, and 7-OH MG ranged from 0.01% to 0.04%.



Written by Antony Roberts Part 2

To put this in perspective, imagine drinking a few glasses of whisky & coke. But the ratio is of ingredients is totally different from one glass to the next, and sometimes the whisky is 80 proof and sometimes its 100 proof. This is exactly what we see happening with kratom, but it’s the ratio of alkaloids that can change, and therefore the overall potency and effect.

Ok, so let's (arbitrarily) say there are 30 possible alkaloids in a given kratom leaf. This would be equivalent to a whisky bar with 30 different types of liquor on the shelves. You could be drinking rye, bourbon, or scotch and still be drinking whisky, all made from some type of grain. The same way you’ll find vastly different flavour, different alcohol content, etc… in a glass of Jack Daniels versus Macallan 21, you’ll find different effects from different types of kratom.

And those are just a few of the factors that affect a single alkaloid in kratom. When you start to add up all of the possible variables and multiply them by the total number of alkaloids (dozens, remember?), it becomes appreciable that different brands, strains, and veins could have a considerably different chemical makeup.

Harvest your grain too early, and you don’t get the right alcohol content (or flavour) in your whisky. The same is true of kratom.

Process either of them badly, overheat or don’t store properly, and you get a very different end product.

Do you toss & wash or make kratom tea? Does boiling water destroy some of the alkaloids? Does it enhance others? Even your method of consumption can change the overall physiological effect and the way kratom interacts with your opioid receptors.

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