Mitragyna speciosa leaves are used to make Kratom powder. The region has used kratom for centuries as a stimulant and analgesic. A range of potential benefits have been associated with kratom powder in recent years. 

Main active ingredients 

Kratom leaves contain two naturally occurring compounds that give it its psychoactive properties: mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. Approximately 66% of the alkaloid content is mitragynine. This substance interacts with opioid receptors in the brain, providing analgesia. There is a lower concentration of 7-hydroxymitragynine, but it is 30 times more potent than morphine. A sedative effect is produced by this interaction with opioid receptors. Apart from these two main alkaloids, kratom leaves contain more than 40 compounds, including speciesynine, paynantheine, and speciociliatine. The pharmacological kratom effects are likely to be complex due to these other compounds. Different strains and sources of kratom produce different alkaloid profiles.

From leaves to powder

Kratom is a natural substance derived from the oval-shaped leaves of a tree that grows to 50 feet in the jungle. A Kratom tree produces bright green leaves year-round that are typically 5-7 inches long and 3-5 inches wide. Kratom powder is typically harvested by hand and dried in the sun or mechanically. Crushed leaves are crushed after they have dried. The powdering process makes the alkaloids more bioavailable when consumed. Packs of capsules or teas containing kratom powder make it easy to consume. Adding other liquids or foods masks the bitter taste of the powder. Kratom powder varies in hue based on the drying method and age of the leaf.

Traditional and modern day uses

In Southeast Asia, kratom powder has long been used during social gatherings, manual labor, and religious ceremonies. Among manual laborers, stimulants helped combat fatigue and increase productivity when performing physically demanding work in extreme heat. Minor aches and pains were numb by its analgesic properties.

In religious ceremonies, kratom was sometimes used to induce a trance-like state to commune with ancestors and spiritual beings. By promoting a heightened sense of well-being and dulling sensations of pain or fatigue, kratom allows sustained concentration during long rituals. Indigenous groups still rely on kratom today much like their ancestors have for generations.

  • Boosting energy and alertness
  • Alleviating chronic pain 
  • Easing opioid withdrawal symptoms
  • Enhancing mood 
  • Promoting feelings of calm and relaxation
  • Intensifying focus and motivation
  • Reducing anxiety or depression

Users report that effects are dose-dependent, with low doses being more stimulating and higher doses having more sedative qualities.

Kratom strains and colors 

There are three main strains of kratom powder currently available on the market – red vein, white vein, and green vein. The names refer to the color of the veins and stems in the original kratom leaves. Each strain has a unique alkaloid profile and is said to provide slightly different effects:

  • Red Vein Kratom – Providing predominantly analgesic and sedative effects, relieving pain and promoting relaxation.
  • White Vein Kratom – Reported to provide an energetic boost and enhance focus and motivation. 
  • Green Vein Kratom – Said to offer a balance between stimulating and sedative effects, promoting alertness as well as pain relief.

In addition to these main strains, varieties like Maeng Da and Bali are also available. Maeng Da is considered one of the most potent varieties, while Bali kratom is known for being more affordable but still providing a range of effects. There are even proprietary blends that combine different strains and veins for unique alkaloid profiles.