Kratom Q & A

What is kratom?

Kratom (mitragyna speciosa) is a tropical evergreen tree indigenous to Thailand, its surrounding countries, and New Guinea. The plant has been used for millennia in traditional medicine and in social and religious contexts.

Kratom belongs to the Rubiaceae family, which includes coffee and gardenia plants. The trees can sometimes reach 80 to 100 feet in height, but most stand somewhere between 13 and 52 feet. Kratom trees require very rich, fertile soil, and they are extremely sensitive to drought and frost.

What is responsible for kratom’s effects?

As the kratom plant matures, different levels of alkaloids build within the leaves, and these ultimately impact the kratom’s overall effects. 

Kratom contains at least 37 different alkaloids, a class of naturally-occurring compounds that contain primarily nitrogen atoms. 

The two primary psychoactive components in kratom that are responsible for its effects are called mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine (7-OHMG). Both of these active components are found only in Mitragyna speciosa, but other analogues have been identified, including speciogynine, mitraphylline, paynantheine, and speciociliatine.

The particular harvesting and drying process can also affect the alkaloids. For example, sun exposure levels can impact the final color and alkaloid content. 

Is kratom legal in the U.S.?

At this time, kratom is legal in all U.S. states except for the following states: Arkansas, Alabama, Indiana, Rhode Island, Wisconsin and Vermont.

In addition, there are individual city bans including Alton, IL; Columbus, MS; Denver, CO; Jerseyville, IL; San Diego, CA; Sarasota, FL; Franklin City, NH and a county ban in Union County, MS.

What is white kratom?

White vein kratom, often relatively pale or yellowish in color, is derived from young leaves and is typically linked to more stimulating and energizing effects. We offer White Bali, White Borneo, White Maeng Da, White Malay and White Thai.

What is green kratom?

Green vein kratom, which tends to come in a more vibrant green color, is derived from middle-aged leaves and is associated with a more balanced, euphoric effect.  We offer Green Bali, Green Borneo, Green Maeng Da, Green Malay and and Green Thai.

What is red kratom?

Red vein kratom, a darker reddish-brown color, is made from the most mature leaves and is typically linked to more relaxing effects. We offer Red Bali, Red Borneo, Red Maeng Da, Red Malay and Red Thai.

What is yellow kratom?

Yellow vein kratom is said to be the result of a unique drying process. The yellow hue is said to occur by drying red vein kratom for a longer period of time. It may also be made by blending white and green kratom outside rather than indoors. The effects are said to be similar to green kratom.

Where does kratom come from?

Indonesia provides around 95% of the world’s kratom with most of the product being shipped to the United States with an estimated 2 to 4 million kratom consumers. Kapuas Hulu in the West Kalimantan province is the main hub for kratom production, generating U.S. $13 million per year. The region has several kratom plantations that are fertilized by the seasonal floods of the Kapuas River. 

Is kratom good for the Indonesian economy?

Kratom has dramatically increased the quality of life for rural farmers in Kapuas Hulu and given the area’s economy a much needed boost. Many farmers have stopped farming cash crops such as palm oil and rubber in favor of growing kratom which is far more profitable and sustainable.

Is farming kratom good for the environment?

Farming kratom is much better for the environment than other cash crops commonly harvested in tropical areas, such as palm oil and rubber. 

For example, palm oil has a terrible environmental impact on the rainforests and the orangutans who live there. Palm oil plantations, which take up more than 27 million hectares and produce 66 million tons of oil per year, are cleared by bulldozing or burning down the rainforest.

In contrast, kratom can be grown without any damage to the tree or surrounding area, thus allowing for greater rainforest preservation.

What is the traditional use of kratom?

Kratom has been used for various purposes in Southeast Asia for centuries, including as a household remedy for various ailments, as a recreational drink (primarily among men), and in some Thai villages, it was used as part of religious ceremonies. 

Farmers, fishermen and other manual laborers in Southeast Asia would also chew the fresh or dried leaves to combat fatigue and improve work productivity. The leaves could also be smoked or brewed or steeped into tea.

In traditional use, rural populations would ingest kratom leaves to treat common medical problems, such as diarrhea, fever, cough, anxiety and pain and even used it as a wound poultice. It is still popular in Asian village communities during social gatherings. 

Is kratom sustainably sourced?

Kratom is sustainably sourced. The tree is not cut down and the leaves are harvested from mature trees which are typically at least 3 years old. In fact, the best quality leaves are from much older trees, at least 20 years old. This harvesting process allows the trees to keep growing for a long time, allowing for sustainability and with less disruption to the environment.

Do you test your kratom for contaminants?

Yes. As with any organically-grown plant, kratom is susceptible to contaminants that may be present in the soil, water, and air. All kratom from Siesta Botanicals is thoroughly tested for potential contaminants, including heavy metals and bacteria. In particular, a third party lab tests our kratom for lead, arsenic, cadmium, mercury, E.coli, and salmonella. 

What is a kava bar?

Kratom/ kava bars are typically set up like alcohol bars, but instead of beer and hard liquor, you are given a wide variety of botanical teas, kava concoctions, and coffee drinks that won’t leave you with a painful hangover in the morning. Most likely, you can have your choice of either white (stimulating), green (mildly euphoric), or red (relaxing) kratom. Many of these bars open early and don’t close until late at night.


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