I know people don't like talking much about this possible side effect.The topic may even have been banned at one point on r/kratom. It's possible that addressing it might help ease this paranoia during a time when we're all scarfing down considerable amounts of green sludge. Or, if you weren't paranoid about it before this, you might be after reading this. One of the most fucked up side effects from Kratom that people have discussed is about alopecia (hair loss). Although people have called bullshit on it, people have also posted pictures and documented their ordeal mainly on r/quittingkratom. The good thing is that it seems to grow back once you quit. Nobody can figure out what's going on exactly and what's causing it, but luckily it does seem to grow back once you quit. It just sucks that you have to quit, right? In looking at a bunch of lab tests recently, I noticed an alarming trend among red kratom (not red vein): mold.
All Red Kratom is essentially bentuangie and virtually all strains have some of it mixed in. They allegedly try to ferment the leaf by putting it in plastic bags and then in then sun until it turns red. Why they do this seems to be nothing more than trying to get a red color. We'll never know because here's a serious disconnect between effect and muslim Indonesian. Please don't say anything about red "vein" kratom because it doesn't exist. Let me clarify: it does exist, but every plant produces it at one point in their life, and there is no scientific evidence that it has a different alkaloid profile.
Even if there were a different alkaloid profile to be found in different vein color, Indonesian farmers are not differentiating between vein colors when harvesting so it's moot to even consider it as factor. Additionally, recent research says that most of the psychoactive effects are caused by mitragynine, and the other alkaloids (with the exception of mitraphyline) are found in too small of amounts to make a significant impact on effect. Mitraphyiine is a strong anti-inflammatory that has shown promise in treating cancer. All "strains" from Indonesia are blends of red and green kratom.
There seems to be an inherent flaw in the way red kratom is made, and this causes it to grow mold. Fermentation isn't really feasible when it comes to kratom as there are no precursors present (sugar, yeast, etc) in a plastic bag filled with leaves and put in the sun. I'm not sure why it is that we think fermentation occurs in this kind of environment. With failed fermentation most likely comes mold growth. How do I know this? I looked at a bunch of lab tests of a bunch of different types of kratom from the same farmer and found that bentuangie is very susceptible to mold. Since it's blended into virtually every strain this could cause problems. Most of the red strains that have this blended in also failed the mold test. Bali, Borneo, etc... I wouldn't be as concerned with toxicity, as I would be with an allergic reaction, especially if you're also asthmatic. Coincidentally, mold allergies can cause hair loss. So, now you have 2 reasons to avoid Bentuangie, especially if it hasn't been lab tested for microbes. For all of those that feel that reds are void of effect, it may be because this drying process severely degrades Mitragynine (some of the levels of Mg were as low as .3%). My assumption is that the longer you leave it in the bag/sun, the more of it is degraded. What we learned from this is that there does appear to be value in reduced levels of Mitragynine. This reduced level of MG could be the reason that reds are perceived to have a more opioid effect.
To validate our theory we just need to find out if hair loss sufferers were allergic to mold along with which strain and how much they were taking.
Symptoms of Mold Allergy
Runny or stuffy nose
Cough and postnasal drip
Itchy eyes, nose and throat
Dry, scaly skin
Finally, there is something that needs to be said about moderate levels of Mitragynine, which is the most common in consistently popular strains. the average was around 1.5%. Reds averaged .9. Sun dried greens (Supergreen) were 1.4%. High levels of Mitragynine seem to be void of opioid effect possibly because of the inhibition of the cyp3a4 enzyme in our bodies, preventing conversion of 7ohm. But, more on that in another post.