What is Green Thai Kratom?
What is Kratom?
Mitragyna speciosa, more commonly known as kratom, is a large evergreen tree that grows in tropical climates. In the same family as the coffee plant, the kratom is a large tree that can reach up to 80 feet tall with a trunk that measures up to three feet in diameter. The kratom's leaves grow in clusters and reach up to eight inches in length and three inches in width. The dark green, shiny leaves are "ovate-acuminate" in shape, meaning they are oval, but come to a point at the end. The foliage is distinctive for its thick veins of deep green, white, or red, give them a striated appearance. Native to South-East Asia, kratom grows most often in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Myanmar.
Types of Kratom
Each type of kratom has a name that is based on the color of the veins that bisect the leaves and the area where the strain originates. Kratom is either red, white, or green and the properties of the plant vary depending on the color. Interestingly, the green kratom is a naturally-occurring hybrid of the red and white varieties.
Because kratom grows throughout South-East Asia, different locations provide different strains, and due to the combinations of veined leaves and locations it grows, there are dozens of known strains. For example, green Thai kratom is a variety that is known for the green veins in the leaves and is also native to Thailand. Red Borneo kratom is from kratom trees from the Borneo region (in Indonesia) with red-veined leaves.
Growing Green Thai Kratom
Kratom flourishes in the hot, humid climates of South-East Asia. Seeds from the tree scatter easily and grow with very little encouragement. Trying to grow the tree in other climates is not nearly as easy. The seeds only grow when they are fresh, so they often don't grow in a home garden away from the region. Another challenge to growing any variety of kratom is that they require plenty of sun, but they also need plenty of shade. The unique sunlight patterns of the rain forest are suited for kratom trees to grow. Trying to mimic the optimum growing conditions outside of the region are nearly impossible.
History of Green Thai Kratom
While kratom has been growing for thousands of years across South-East Asia, it was first officially documented in the early 1800s. Dutch botanist, Pieter Willem Korthals discovered the tree while he was in Thailand, where he was the official botanist for the Dutch East India Service for several years.
Despite being the location of kratom's discovery by the outside world, Thailand banned it in 1943 and destroyed all of the trees they could find. Opium was one of Thailand's largest income sources, and at the time, kratom was used in similar manners as opium, and therefore it was considered a rival crop. Because it was in competition with such a large business and harmful to the Thai economy, the Thai government outlawed it. Both possession of kratom leaves and planting or growing the kratom trees became illegal, and in 1979, kratom was designated a Category V Narcotic, in the same class as marijuana.
While Thailand was the first nation to pass laws prohibiting kratom, many other nations have laws regarding the legality of the plant. In Malaysia, possession of leaves is illegal, and if Malaysians are caught with kratom, they may receive heavy fines and time in prison. The legality of kratom in the United States is left to the individual states, with several states prohibiting the plant in any form.
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