Thursday, July 20, 2017

How Many Strains of Kratom are there in existence?

There seems to be a new strain popping up everyday. Are they really breeding that many different varietals of Kratom in Indonesia?

The answer is no. According to the scientific literature pertaining to Kratom, there appear to be no genetic variations on record except the 2: Rifat and Bumblebee. It doesn't mean that mutations haven't occurred over time, creating genetic variation. It just means that the world of academia only recognizes 2.

So, what's up with the numerous strains that keep getting invented? They are simply blends of the 2 types of curing methods in various proportions. Theoretically, they could qualify as a strain if they have a specific alkaloid profile. The Borneo Kratom Association gives to it's members a "bible" which encompasses the "recipe" for each of the strains in circulation. This is far from standardization, but still useful as a system to try and categorize the effects.

One of the benefits of this blending is that it gives balance of alkaloids to sometimes lopsided profiles found in nature. This "balance" is generally what makes for a pleasant overall effect. The main 2 alkaloids: 7ohm and Mg trade off within a plant, making it impossible to have high levels of both alkaloids without blending. It also allows you to customize the alkaloid content of powder.

One of the disadvantages to blending, is that you will have consistency issues even within one batch of powder. Indonesian agriculture is primitive at best, as is manufacturing. Most of what is being blended is done in giant tubs and mixed by hand. So, having variation within a batch and from batch to batch is inevitable, particularly if it is a big batch. The bigger the batch, the harder it will be to have uniform mixture of the constituent pure strains used to make it, within that one batch. This is most likely the cause for all of the differences in reported effects. That is more likely the culprit than differences in individual body chemistry like people seem to think.

The fact of the matter is all mixed strains will be different depending on the recipe used, the quality of the pure constituent strains used, and how thoroughly it was mixed. Just the fact that there is a "bible" in existence is evidence to this. In fact, i have  a copy of it myself, and have tested many of the recipes. Bali is the most common strain, and it varies considerably across vendors and batches.

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