Kratom is a tree native to Southeast Asia. Its leaves contain two alkaloids that have been used as traditional medicine in the region for thousands of years.

Although it’s a controversial substance, for the right people it can support sleep, provide an energy boost, and relieve pain. In specific instances, it can support addictive withdrawal from alcohol, opiates, and more.

Today in the United States, kratom is widely available. However, it’s mostly unregulated, which means there are both a lot of terrible brands and a lot of misinformation on the internet.

If you see companies claiming intricate and detailed differences between strains of the same colors, you’re being duped for a marketing scheme. Testing the alkaloid content of kratom isn’t an easy process, and few companies do it.

Perhaps even fewer are transparent in their manufacturing process, which is why the only kratom brand we recommend is Viable Kratom, because they’re honest about their products, and have the strictest third-party testing in the industry.

What Do Different Strain Colors Mean?

kratom strain colors explained

In terms of what we can say about the differences in strains with certainty, we know that red and white strains have different alkaloid contents. Red vein kratom has higher 7-hydroxy-mitragynine, and white vein has higher mitragynine.

Practically, this gives red vein kratom more of a sedative effect, and white more of a stimulating effect.

We covered this phenomenon more deeply in these articles on kratom for sleep and kratom for focus.

Green Kratom is Just a Mix

Green kratom strains aren’t a third strain, really. They’re a mix of white and red. Green is typically the most popular strain because it’s the most balanced. It’s not too much of an upper, and it won’t knock you out either.

Why Are The Strains Different?

All strains are the same species. So think of this like the difference between green tea and black tea. Like tea, it all comes from the same tree, and other variables shift the caffeine content of the tea, as well as its color and other properties.

Red and White Kratom Strains are Dried Differently

Oh look, another kratom strain chart to show you.

kratom strain differences explained

Red vein kratoms are dried in the sun, at, well, outdoor temperature.

White vein kratoms are dried in a greenhouse. This greenhouse environment is about 20 degrees hotter. And, it doesn’t get direct sunlight.

This accounts for the changes in the alkaloid contents of the kratom. Exactly what happens on a chemical level or why, we’re still not sure. Some chemistry happens.

What Regions Does Kratom Come From?

Kratom only comes from where the kratom trees grow, which incldes three major regions.

the 3 kratom regions

Indonesia is where almost all commercialized kratom comes from. That’s why you’ll see “Borneo” and “Sumatra” kratom. These refer to different islands in Indonesia.

borneo vs sumatra kratom

In Malaysia, there are strict regulations. And in Thailand, as of 2022 there are changes in the works right now to make kratom available.

Kratom Strain Charts to Ignore

All over the internet, you’ll find charts showing bars with all kinds of effects that kratom has, and intricate differences between strains of the same color. This is just marketing bullshit.

This doesn’t mean there aren’t differences in batches of kratom. But the differences all rest in the alkaloid amount and percentage. The difference between a red vein Borneo and red vein Sumatra isn’t much. And it’s definitely not one we can quantify.

Again, don’t get kratom from sources claiming to have data when there actually isn’t any available. To learn more about whether kratom can support you, check out our articles on kratom for sleep, kratom for energy, and kratom for alcohol withdrawal.

And if you’re looking to try kratom, we can attest to Viable’s transparency and quality.