Welcome back, my fellow kratom community. Since we’ve already delved into the differences between the varieties of kratom based on the color of the leaf’s vein and fermentation process in our last article, we’re going to discuss a different aspect of kratom products for today’s post. So we’ll be talking at length about the regions that the kratom varieties are named after.
With the diverse products offered online, it makes it difficult for someone looking to buy kratom for the first time. While some vendors have limited product options available, quite a few offer a selection that spans up to 60 different kratom varieties. And one of the defining factors in certain products is the geographic region associated with the kratom plant advertised. From Indo (Indonesian) to Thai (Thailand) to quite a few others, the selection is enormous. So we’ll be discussing each location in detail today. That way, you’ll understand what each of these names means, leading to a more informed decision before your purchase.
Keep in mind that these locales are not the only places where kratom can be grown. In the right circumstances and conditions, it can grow almost anywhere. However, for the plant to acquire the molecular composition we’re accustomed to, these following territories harbor the perfect ecological environment for the best potential outcome. So, today, we’ll only be focusing on the geographical destinations that are used by most suppliers to peddle their wares.
The country of Indonesia is a vital nation when it comes to the kratom products we see on the market. Not only does the country provide perfect conditions for growing the tree because of its tropical rainforests in the area, but Indonesia also supplies the world with approximately 95% of the kratom that’s exported across the globe.
As a result, the country has been targeted by the United States to curb the importation into our country. There have even been discussions by Indonesian political leaders to ban kratom inside its country, at the behest of US federal agencies. The Minister of Health in Indonesia issued regulations against kratom cultivation and exportation, but the government ministry placed a 5-year transition period into effect to make it a reality. However, other Indonesian officials are challenging the ban. So the future of kratom’s legal status in the country is something we’re closely watching.
Should it become illegal in the next few years, then the kratom industry would feel the repercussion of the proposed ban. At that point, the likelihood that you would ever be able to find kratom online would become an issue. And it would also allow the FDA to strengthen its argument for scheduling the substance in our country. That’s the reason US agencies had taken measures to influence the Indonesian government in its decision.
Here at Kratom Geek, we’ll keep you updated about the issue as time progresses. Hopefully, everything will work out for the best.
According to the limited scientific research available, the concentration of mitragynine found inside a kratom leaf from Thailand boasts a concentration of 66% of all alkaloids, making this variety a noteworthy product in terms of its strength.
Even so, Thailand’s government has had a complicated relationship with its legislation for the plant. Back in 1943, Thailand officials passed the Kratom Act 2486 and made the cultivation and use of kratom against the law. They even went a step further and started chopping down trees in the country. While they never were able to eradicate the plant from the wild, they did manage to take down a bunch of trees located across several villages.
Then, in 1979, the government of Thailand moved kratom to a schedule 5 substance of the Thai Narcotics Act, loosening its restrictions. And finally, in 2018, Thailand representatives changed the law to allow kratom to be used for medicinal purposes. At the current moment, exporting kratom outside of the nation is only allowed for pharmaceutical purposes. So the ability to import any kratom to the US for commercial usage is prohibited. Only our pharmaceutical industry has that privilege.
But since kratom was just legalized on the medicinal level, Thailand might be the next country to legalize it for recreational purposes. And if that happens, the country could take over as the world’s largest exporter of kratom in the world to come. With a possible kratom ban in Indonesia’s future, let’s hope this happens sooner rather than later.
Whenever you see kratom products marketed from Malaysia, they usually carry the name “Malay” in the labeling. But if we look at the scientific evidence about kratom found in that region, we see there are notable differences between this particular variety and the others.
Scientific studies show that Malaysian kratom has a significantly lower concentration of the two primary alkaloids when compared to the kratom grown in Indonesia or Thailand. The Malaysian kratom leaves only have a limited amount of mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine available for the user. And the other alkaloids that are found in the plant were more abundant. And that can change the effects that are felt from the plant. But until we have more research into this phenomenon, we’ll never be able to understand the impact those alkaloids have on the outcome.
While kratom grows wild in Malaysia and can be found outside households in different villages, the country has legislation on the books covering the plant’s presence. The regulation of kratom falls under Malaysia’s Poison Act of 1952. And as such, it carries a criminal offense for harvesting or marketing the plant. This means that exporting Malaysian kratom is illegal, and those caught breaking the law can be imprisoned for four years. But Malaysia does have death penalty sentences for drug traffickers, so if the government were to push the envelope, someone caught exporting kratom could one day find they are looking at the possibility of death row.
When people think of Bali, the first thing that crosses a person’s mind is the tourist destination it’s known for. The tropical island houses mountainous regions, several hot springs, volcanic activity, and breathtaking scenery. But a lot of people don’t know that it also is the home of wild kratom trees deep in its rainforest. And since the island is part of Indonesia, kratom is legal for consumption and sale there.
However, there are no large plantations or farms on the island that are dedicated to the cultivation of kratom. And the areas of forest that house a few trees are in dense areas that are located in the mountains. So it would be impossible to harvest—at least for commercial purposes. Plus, the amount of suitable land for growing wild kratom is very limited, meaning there would be no bulk supply on the market for purchase.
So, it’s safe to say that none of the kratom found on the market that’s labeled as Bali kratom actually comes from the island. Instead, those varieties of Bali kratom are simply the result of a fermentation technique that gives it a distinct effect that’s usually more subtle than some of the others.
One could even argue the fact that a product called Bali kratom even exists is because Bali is one of the more well-known territories of Indonesia and has a large exporting port where products were shipped out in the past, leaving the confusion as to its real origins.
Sumatra is one of the Sunda Islands that are part of western Indonesia. While the island hosts a large terrain filled with rainforests that provide the perfect ecological conditions for cultivation kratom, those forests have recently been deforested for commercial developments. In the past few decades, almost 50% of the island’s rainforests were destroyed. And the island’s leaders have permitted to convert up to 70% of the remaining forest in palm or acacia plantations. So the wild kratom trees found inside those areas will also be subject to deforestation efforts.
The rate at which the island’s rainforests have been destroyed rivals all others on a global level. And according to researchers, there will only be fragmented portions of its rainforest left in the next 20 years. But even if that’s the case, its commercial kratom farms will still survive. But since the mature leaves from older kratom trees provide higher concentrations of alkaloids in the finished product, it will still take its toll on the merchandise sold from the region.
Another thing of importance about the island is its influence on the coffee industry. And since kratom is a member of the coffee family, it provides the world with two different stimulating beverages. Indonesia is the fourth largest cultivator of coffee beans in the world. And its island of Sumatra is the top producer of Indonesian coffee out of all the provinces and islands that belong to the country.
Borneo is a unique island. Not only is it the third-largest island in the world, but it’s also divided between three separate countries. Those countries are Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei. Malaysia and Brunei own the northern portion of the island, but Brunei only has a small jurisdiction over a tiny area in the allotted land. But both of those countries have outlawed kratom, so none of the kratom products that are sold from Borneo comes from those areas.
But the southern portion of the island is controlled by Indonesia. And that area is known as Kalimantan. Out of the entire island of Borneo, Kalimantan is almost three-quarters of the entire islands. Sometimes, you’ll find vendors selling products from both Borneo and Kalimantan. But there is no distinction between these products, as Borneo and Kalimantan are the same.
Out of all Indonesian territories that are home to kratom trees, Kalimantan is the most important. Pontianak is the capital of West Kalimantan, and it’s the central hub for kratom exportation around the globe. Almost all of the world’s suppliers of kratom are found within that region alone, creating a believable case that most of the global supply of kratom is grown right there on the island. Some have estimated it produces 95% of the kratom on the market. And the fact that the other varieties don’t carry greater costs for its importation into the island (only to be exported shortly after) also helps to solidify that argument.
Out of all of the kratom varieties that are available for purchase online, Riau kratom has a nostalgic presence in my mind since it was the first type of kratom tea I ever bought in bulk whenever I ordered a kilogram. And its unique flavor is easily remembered by me to this day, alongside the exhilarating euphoria that accompanied it.
The Riau province is part of the Sumatra Island. The central territory is along the island’s coast, next to the Strait of Malacca, which operates as a major worldwide shipping channel for maritime traffic. But as a region in Sumatra, any kratom marketed as Riau would officially be considered Sumatra kratom. And some argue the Riau variety is technically a marketing ploy by the suppliers, giving the island an additional variety of kratom to export to other countries along with its Sumatra kratom.
However, one could argue that there is a group of islands off the coast of Riau that is known as the Riau Archipelago. The Kepulauan Riau consists of approximately 3,200 islands within the vicinity. And that set of islands has the rainforests and ecological conditions needed to cultivate kratom. Though, there is little evidence to support that any kratom farms are present on any of those islands. So, it’s more believable that true Riau kratom comes from the province in Sumatra that carries the same name.
A lot of vendors claim that kratom trees are grown in the An Giang Province of Vietnam. Most of those vendors specify Long Xuyên, the capital city, as the destination of these elusive forests, along the Mekong River. But that area is heavily populated and doesn’t have the rainforests that are known to accommodate the kratom species. So the information available is unconvincing without tangible proof.
However, kratom is an indigenous plant to Vietnam, so kratom trees are native to the country. But the location of such trees would realistically be located on the northern coast of the country where its rainforests reside. But one must also take into consideration that Vietnam has outlawed the kratom plant for its use or marketing potential. So farmers are not allowed to harvest the leaves without the consequences of breaking this law.
While it is possible to find a few suppliers located inside Vietnam, their presence is almost nonexistent when compared to those in Indonesia. And it’s impossible to know for sure if the products they sell are originally from their country, to begin with. Out of the US vendors, barely any have ever admitted to getting any kratom from the country, due to the legal constraints associated with the practice. The handful that does utilize Vietnamese suppliers is putting the kratom industry in jeopardy due to its illegal status in Vietnam.
Are All Kratom Sources Legit?
Now that you understand that certain countries don’t allow the exportation (and some don’t allow the cultivation, either), then it begs the question of whether those products that are marketed from those countries are legitimately sourced from the country of origin on the label. The massive amount of those kratom varieties that are found on the market would suggest otherwise. For even if the products were the result of kratom purchased on the black market, then the prices would suggest it would cost more than its counterpart.
Then there’s the argument that any such illegal trade would jeopardize the future of kratom products in those regions. And that’s a risk that is not worth taking. We already have a legal channel for obtaining kratom in the United States, so we owe it to the industry to maintain its legitimacy.
The Truth About Kratom Regions
Most of the kratom products sold with a regional attachment are done as marketing gimmicks. The logistics surrounding the amount of kratom that is sold online from separate countries do not match with a realistic expectation, given the legal status in most nations.
So the chances that any Malaysian, Thailand, or Vietnam kratom products were cultivated and exported from those countries are very slim. And some Indonesian kratom suppliers have admitted this fact. Instead, they claim that those varieties were grown in Indonesian provinces from seeds or clones that belonged to trees originating from the country the product is said to have been cultivated at.
Still, other farmers have claimed those products consist of chemical properties that mimic kratom trees that grow in those countries through particular fermentation processes they use. And that explanation sounds a bit more believable. But, with little scientific research or evidence to back up either argument, we can only take their word at face value.
We Need More Research on Fermented Kratom
Without the proper research in place, it could be possible that there are no significant differences in a fermented product labeled from one country as being any different from another. If that’s the case, every therapeutic contrast you might associate with the variety is nothing but the placebo effects of confirmation biases from online sources.
Unless a proper number of kratom studies are performed in those countries to understand the complexities of each plant’s molecular structure, we may never know the answers for sure. Until then, we can only speculate. But if you’ve found a particular product that’s claimed to come from one of those countries to be your favorite, then, by all means, keep using it. We’re not here to try to steer you away from any of your chosen kratom varieties. Kratom Geek only wants to enlighten you that the probability for the procurement of kratom from those sources leaves us skeptical as to the accuracy of the Indonesian supplier’s claims.
But the kratom plant is still a gift. So drink up. Be merry. And keep kratom legal.
Do you have a region associated with your top pick of kratom tea? If so, let us know in the comment section below. We would enjoy hearing about your testimonials.