Kratom leaf is sold in three colors, namely red, white and green. These three colors refer to the vein of the leaf, not the leaf itself or the powder. Each kratom color is generally thought to have a distinct effect from the other two kratom colors. There seems to be some merit to this concept given that the effects of kratom are the result of the interplay between multiple kratom alkaloids. Many people are familiar with the mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, but there are a host of other at least 25 other alkaloids, including corynantheidine, 9-hydroxycorynantheidine, paynantheine, speciogynine, speciociliatine and more, many of which contribute to the overall effect. It is possible that there is a correlation between the ratios of these alkaloids within a particular vein color. However, this correlation does seem to have some inconsistency, which is why you may find certain instances where a particular strain or batch does not perform as expected.
Kratom powder color does not always represent its vein color accurately
Many people expect that they can tell the kratom color by looking at the powder. In many cases, white or green kratom powder will be lighter than red kratom powder. However, kratom powder color does not always accurately portray the vein color as you might anticipate. The better suppliers remove as much of the stem material as possible before powdering because kratom stems are thought to bear proportionately less of the most desired alkaloids than the leaf material itself. Removing leaf stems can influence the kratom powder color. When you also factor in variation in the exact shade of the kratom leaf itself, either due to drying methods or growing conditions, there can be variation in kratom power color that way too. Just like tea leaves can change color depending on drying, method, so can kratom This is usually just natural variation, unless we are talking about yellow kratom leaf. Even distributors near the top of the kratom supply line may get different colors of kratom powder from different growers or collectors, and so this may also add to the disproportion of the final powder color between the different vein colors. It can also explain why you might notice small changes in the shade of your kratom between batches. So if you discover that the shade of your kratom powder varies from what you might expect, it does not automatically mean that your kratom was mislabeled.
Kratom colors are not separate strains.
Although kratom leaf with different vein colors can have different effects, many people do not realize that each vein color is NOT a separate kratom strain. The concept of strains identified by vin color is a myth. It is apparent that the vein color myth is a problem because we see live kratom plants sold under names like Red Vein Indo Kratom, Green Malaysian Kratom or Pink vein Thai. If live kratom plant vendors and the kratom community as a whole understood the truth about kratom vein color, we would not see live kratom plants sold under these names. When we see plants being sold in this manner, by supposed experts, it perpetuates the misinformation. The reality is that a single kratom plant can bear leaves with multiple vein colors, even at the same time! Factors such as growing conditions or leaf age can dictate vein color. Some kratom plant vendors may describe a particular strain as having especially red veins. But that is misleading when you consider that the same plant can end up bearing mostly green and white veins in different conditions.
Younger kratom leaves tend to start out with white veins, turning green after that and ultimately red with maturity. But that is not always the case either. Kratom leaf veins may stay light in color even as the plant ages or they may start out pink. If you’re growing kratom, you may find that your so-called red and green strains end up having the same vein color. Sunlight seems to be a factor too. Just like skin can darken when exposed to sun, it seems more light tends to help facilitate red vein production. However, the exact factors that contribute to variations in kratom vein color are still in need of study.
So how do we get different kratom colors you may ask?
The answer is simple. Kratom leaves are sorted by vein color from the same strain. Leaves may be sorted by age on the same tree, or they may be sorted from different trees displaying a majority of one leaf color. The sorting may not be an exact science. Most growers probably do not meticulously sort every single leaf. This could also be another reason for variation in the final powder color or why you may spot some different colored veins in a batch of crushed kratom leaf. But the principle is that the younger leaves have a lighter color with a different alkaloid profile than the older leaves. By separating in this manner, you can obtain different products from the same group of trees.