Are you new to kratom? Not sure what to try or how much to get? We’ve got you covered at Taunton Bay with some easy tips in this kratom guide on where to start with choosing kratom products for the first time!
Kratom, a tea leaf related to the coffee plant hailing from Southeast Asia, is sold in many forms. But, one of the most confusing parts of kratom is really the “strains” & blends that many vendors (ourselves included!) sell. What types are right for you? What strains are best? These are common questions for any kratom newbie in the community. Read on for some more information on kratom strains.
Where Do Strains Come From & Why Are The Named That Way?
Generally, you will see many kratom products commonly labeled with names that include two parts – the “vein color” & “area of origin”.
For example, “Green Borneo” – a popular green vein strain here at Taunton Bay. It’s labeled as a green because it it’s considered a “green vein” leaf, which otherwise indicates that the extension of the branch that runs through the middle part of the leaf (the “vein”) is a green color before a farmer or supplier picks it from the tree. The vein color description can also be from the drying process & how it changes the powder’s color or effects.
The second part of a strain name either describes where it is from, the particular type of blend from the farmer or supplier, refers to the expected effects by consumers of the community. “Borneo” in this case, refers to where it originates from.
One of the few – but popular – exceptions with strain names is the “Maeng Da” or MD strains. These, depending on the vendor, are either single strains or blends & generally refer to the vendor’s favorite or “most popular” kratom type. They may be labeled as a single type with or without a vein color description, which means some vendors offer Maeng Da in each vein color (like our Maeng Da here at TBSC), or simply one product offered with the name Maeng Da.
There will also be various house blends, which depending on the vendor, are generally made by the supplier or by the vendor themselves. These can come in a variety of strains, vein colors, & with different names. For instance, our Starburst blend is a house blend made in-shop with red vein & yellow vein. “Starburst” doesn’t refer to it’s vein color or any other strain-identifying information, we simply thought it was the perfect name for a red & yellow blend!
You’ll see blends available throughout the industry & they may or may not have extensive information on what types they are made from. While most vendors keep their special blend recipes a secret, you can usually expect to at least see the vein colors the blend is comprised of listed somewhere in the product description. But if you don’t see any basic info listed, there’s nothing wrong with trying to reach out to the vendor to see if they’re willing to share that information.
Red vein comes from kratom that has a red vein running down the middle of the leaf before it is picked, or from the drying process. Some red strains are fermented or sun-dried, leading to a darker red color of the powder as well as a change in the alkaloid composition. Overall, these powders can vary in color & may be a greener shade, or a more red to brown color.
Some people prefer the lighter green red strains, while others enjoy the darker red strains, but in the end it’s all down to personal preference. In my own opinion, these are great starter strains or blends & tend to be the least coffee-like.
Green vein comes from the green vein running down the middle of the leaf before it is picked, and/or the bright green color of the leaf itself. These powders tend to be a bright to dark green color once dried Green-based strains & blends tend to be “middle-of-the-road” & a little less intense than white vein strains. Green strains & blends are some of my personal favorites!
White vein comes from the light green-white vein color running down the middle of he leaf before it is picked. White vein powders can be anywhere from a lighter or darker green color to an almost gray-green shade – I’ve seen them all! White strains tend to be compared most to coffee & while some love them, others do not. I personally occasionally enjoy a white strain, but mostly I like them when they’re added to blends with other vein colors.
Yellow, Gold, Chocolate
These are generally made by the drying process or with a blend of the three types listed above. Yellow types, as I’ve seen on my own kratom tree, can come from a more golden-white vein color as well. Gold tends to be a fermented green or (more often) white strain, while Chocolate strains tend to refer to a darkly fermented red vein.
Due to the changes in composition during the drying process or the more full-spectrum result of blending types, these are individualistic types & can be rare finds amongst vendors. While we carry a Yellow Vietnam – which is made due to the drying process – we only get Gold & Chocolate strains in from time-to-time.
Different Forms Of Kratom
Powder & Capsules
You’ll most often see kratom in the form of dried powder, either on it’s own or in capsules. This is made simply from the dried whole, natural leaf that is ground & crushed into a powder. Powder ranges in consistency, from a more coarse powder, to a fine, fluffy, or dense powder. The consistency depends on how fresh it is, how it was dried, & the quality of the grinder used to make it. Our kratom powder tends to be on the finer side & a little more dense (or “clumpy”).
Kratom powder is generally the better deal, which you can buy in small sample sizes, starting at 5-10g (a tablespoon or two, for compasison) to very large sizes like a 1 kilo package, which contain 1,000 grams. You can also use these to make your own capsules if you want to invest in capsule-making supplies.
However, pre-filled kratom capsules are also a very handy, travel-friendly, & convenient way to purchase kratom as well. Though again, they tend to be a little more expensive by weight since it’s more labor-intensive & costly to make the capsules.
Crushed Leaf Kratom
Crushed leaf is similar to powdered kratom, as it’s made once again, from dried natural kratom leaves, it’s just in pieces compared to a ground powder. This is a more rare product in the industry, but great for those who prefer it. We don’t get crushed leaf in very often, but some vendors do carry it regularly.
Liquid & Powder Extracts
Simply put, kratom extract is made by taking the natural leaf & condensing it into a more concentrated end-product. You’ll find kratom extract sold in many forms, including powder, capsules, liquid, like our Beetle Juice, or in edibles like our Gummies. Powdered extract can be found on it’s own, but often added to plain leaf kratom to make “enhanced blends”.
Where Should I start?
That is truly the question of the decade. At least, the decade that I’ve been a part of the kratom community. I’ve seen it asked in numerous groups, subreddits, & comments over the years, & my own response remains the same:
Everyone is so different when it comes to kratom or any other herb, that it will take time, trial & error, & an open mind to find what’s right for you – IF it’s right for you at all.Bekkah with Taunton Bay Soap Company
I always recommend doing your research online & speaking with your primary care team before starting a new herb, especially kratom, to find out if it’s right for you & what an appropriate serving size would be for you.
Once you’ve done that, I suggest starting with a small amount & preferably, a variety pack of some sort. This way you aren’t spending a lot of money or committing to one single product that may not be your style. I highly recommend something like our 240g Variety Pack, which allows you to choose up to 4 different types, in 4 of our 60g packages. You can also call us during business hours at 207-669-8246 to ask for the “New Customer Special” if you’re new to TBSC or you haven’t ordered with us in over one (1) year. You’ll get the 240g Variety Pack, plus 2 free samples of your choice for $25 plus shipping (a $32.98 value, plus shipping).
With your variety pack, you can choose various strains or blends, or stick with 4 different packages of the same type – it’s all up to you! But if you’re not sure what to go with, I suggest trying at least for different products – one type from each vein color (red, green, white, & yellow, if possible), or replacing one of those with a blend. Of course, once you’ve tried each separately, you can blend them together yourself & decide to purchase a pre-made house blend in the future that is similar to your tastes.
While you’re trying these different types, it’s always good to jot down your experience in an “herb journal”. A lot of folks in the community started with one of these, myself included. I just grabbed a notebook I had laying around & wrote down which type I tried, how much, & any details I’d like to save for later. Eventually I found a rhythm so-to-speak, & figured out which types I preferred.
It will take time, research, & trial-and-error to find what works for you in the herbal world. Botanicals may end up not being for you, & that’s ok, too. It’s always best to do your due diligence & research kratom both online & with your doctor, so they can help you decide if it’s right for you to even try. We also suggest checking out our Kratom Warning page & visiting the American Kratom Association for more resources on kratom, the science behind kratom, & how to become an active supporter in our community.
Being a vendor, we are unfortunately limited on the extent of information we can give on our own products, & we are not allowed to make medical claims or give medical advice. We recommend speaking with a medical professional before trying any new product, but we can always suggest some of our (or our customer’s) favorite products if you’re feeling stumped on what to try first!
We hope this is a helpful “starter guide” to kratom products & will help you find what you are looking for at Taunton Bay! Stay tuned for more by following our blog or our Facebook page.
-Bekkah With Taunton Bay Soap Company