People in Southeast Asia have been using kratom for centuries, but it has gotten popular in the United States over the last 20 years or so. With this plant’s growing popularity in the West, you can now find tons of information on the internet about it. But how do you know which information is real from what’s fake? Don’t worry, in this article we will be debunking some Kratom Myths and give you only the straight, hard facts.
Myth 1: Strains and Vein Colors
As there are so many different kratom strains out there (16 at that!), you may be wondering: “how do I know which strain is the right one for me?”. There are some kratom sellers claiming to have more than 30 strains in their shop, adding to the confusion of most first-time buyers.
In reality, the term “strain” is a misnomer when it comes to this plant. More research needs to be done to determine whether different harvests, tree location, and tree maturity can significantly impact the final product.
When it comes to harvesting kratom, there is no specific or consistent criteria that can identify what strain each batch is. So, if you see a kratom vendor or vendors claiming to carry excessive amounts of strains or claiming that certain strains can affect you in a different way, must be a red flag. For instance, a vendor may say ‘Red Borneo is good for sleeping, and Green Brunei is good for keeping you energized,” when in fact they are probably using one batch to create many different strains.
In addition, the geographic location used for some strain names does not accurately determine where the kratom comes from. Most kratom shipped to the United States comes from Indonesia, specifically in villages in Borneo. Some vendors may claim that their Vietnam, Bali or Thai “strains” come from those specific regions, which is totally false.
Another thing to consider is the vein colors. There’s a claim that different growing, harvesting and drying methods create different colors of the kratom powder. In the kratom market, you’re most likely to come across three main vein colors: red, green and white. A difference in drying methods normally create slight color changes. Other vein colors such as purple, rainbow, gold, silver, and yellow have popped up in the market. But there remains no scientific evidence proving how these colors are related to a specific effect.
Categorizing vein colors can be misleading as well. This is because most often, all vein colors can be found in the same tree. The differences in color are simply caused by the harvesting methods. In fact, Indonesian farmers do not even organize their kratom based on vein color. When kratom is left out in the sun, it gets darker and thereby creating the ‘red vein strain’. This is how harvesters are able to create different vein colors. Yet another Kratom Myths debunked.
Some sellers categorize their ‘strains’ or ‘varieties’ based on mitragynine content and color variations. Some strains usually have above 1.4% content, while the Maeng Da strain (regardless of color) has 1.0% content. Other varieties usually have 1.0% content, but some can be as low as 0.5%.
Myth 2: Kratom Can Get You ‘High’
One of the most common Kratom myths being spread around is that Kratom gets you high. This is simply not true. Kratom is actually comparable to a cup of coffee or pre-workout supplement. Natural kratom does not get you high. Some unadulterated kratom products in the market have given the false impression that the plant gets people high (usually kratom products mixed with illegal drugs).
People have also compared Kratom to synthetic cannabinoids (that normally gets people high). However, most kratom users use kratom because it helps them feel relaxed and not because it gets them ‘high’.
Myth 3: Kratom is a Synthetic Drug
Another common misconception about kratom is that it is a synthetic or designer drug. This is far from the truth. Kratom is normally sold and found in smoke shops, gas stations, and convenience stores. But several years ago, it was sold alongside a number of dangerous synthetic drugs/substances. This is why Kratom earned such a bad reputation, especially when legislatures have tried to make kratom illegal.
Kratom is an all-natural plant known as Mitragyna Speciosa. Kratom sellers usually sell kratom free of additives, fillers and synthetics.
Myth 4: There Are No Production Standards or Consumer Safety Protocols in the Kratom Industry
The American Kratom Association (AKA) established the AKA Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) Standards Program. Through this initiative, companies are obliged to abide by strict GMP standards stipulated by the Food and Drug Administration for dietary supplements.
There are many companies certified by the AKA. The FDA requires all products to undergo third-party testing, to make sure there are no harmful contaminants, heavy metals, adulterants, heavy metals, or synthetic additives. The AKA works hard in advocating, lobbying and pushing the FDA to regulate kratom products the way they regulate other dietary supplements. This is to make sure no adulterated kratom products make its way to the market.
Myth 5: The Production of Kratom Tea Destroys the Plant’s Alkaloids
Kratom alkaloids can actually withstand high temperatures—around 212 degrees Fahrenheit or more. There have been countless of tests done to prove this.
A lot of people believe or claim that heating Kratom kills the alkaloids in it since it’s a natural plant. There have been several tests done to disprove this myth. One test involved batches of kratom beig tested for their alkaloid content. Then they were boiled in water and allowed to steep for at least 15 minutes. The sample of the finished kratom tea was then sent to a third-party lab. The test revealed that the tea retained 70% of its original alkaloid content. Naturally, some of the alkaloids remained in the actual plant material, so the 30% alkaloid loss was somehow expected and normal.
This test only showed that the kratom’s molecular composition can withstand higher temperatures and that such myth was based only on unfounded assumptions.
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