Always interesting to see the various opinions about the different powders and their effect. Some claim all kratom is the same and others swear by a certain powder from a specific seller. So what is going on?
A number of resellers are indeed selling the same powder under a number of various names, Indo kratom, Super Green, Commercial Bali are good examples of different kratom names that can originate from one and the same region or producer. On the other hand there are various regions where you will find very different alkaloid profiles in the leaves.
So there is really a lot of variation. Shellard (one of the first scientist who studied kratom and his alkaloids) already concluded this in his 70’s research when he tested the alkaloid from kratom leaves from the different countries and regions and vein collors. Also today we notice that the different alkaloid footprints result in differences in potency, duration of the effects but also the difference in sedation and uplifting effects.
For example the alkaloid profile of strains found in Sumatra are giving more uplifting effects, due to the specific footprint of the region, Borneo on the other hand produces more relaxing and sedative strains. For this reason , luckily, a growing number of sellers are sticking to the regional names and vein color.
From the user feedback (Check a forum like kratomconnoisseurs (registration required) for this) you’ll see that there are indeed noticeable differences between for example the Malay, Thai, Sumatra, Borneo and Riau strains. However, there are also a number of producers and seller who market single strains under various names. Examples of this are Indo, Bali’s, Super green and so forth. So it is very possible that the same powder is marketed under a wide variety of names with the various sellers and in some cases even with different names with the same seller. In this case you’ll not notice much difference of course. You might even ask yourself if this is a good practice. I would not like to find out that my Rioja and Bordeaux wines are all originating from the same grapes afterwards.
Another source for variation is the vein color of the leaves. A growing number of professional sellers are therefor including this in the names of the powder. Which results in names like Borneo Red Vein or Green Malay and so forth. So whats the deal with these colors. In traditional usage the Asians separated the leaves per vein, red veined leaves vs the white/green veined. The first is believed to be more sedative and the green and whites are said to be the more energizing or uplifting ones. From reading through hundreds of user reports and test results in our time, we have to conclude that this can indeed be seen as some rule of thumb. But again a producer and seller should be strict in separating the leaves directly and classify the trees correctly as well, once these vein types are mixed up the effects will not show much difference anymore of course.
Besides the differences per region and vein color there can be big differences in quality per region as well. Trees selected for harvest, Harvest methods (even time of day), drying process, freshness and so on, all have their impact on quality and also on alkaloid footprints. This can again cause different effects.
To conclude; Learning about kratom and the different types can be compared to the process of learning about wines. There is a lot of variation and it takes a while to learn and appreciate the differences. A good starting point is a sample pack that contains a variety of powders from really different regions. Bikhuk has a great value deal with a sample pack of 8 different powder (149,90USD totaling 2.65lbs ( 1.2KG at Bikhuk ) and other sellers like Deepjungle kratom offer sample packs with similar variety. These packages offer a nice way to learn about regional specifics.
Whatever you use or try, do ask your seller about the origin of the powder. For as long sellers still rename and relabel their powders at will, you might indeed end up using the same powder without knowing it.