-A new color has entered the mix. What exactly is ‘Yellow Veined Kratom’?
Ignoring the ever elusive pot of gold, nothing quite shines like a rainbow. And as kratom continues to glow, the range of colors can begin to seem like we are mimicking the laced hues in the after-storm sky.
We’re familiar with the classics, of course. Red, green, and white vein kratom; all well documented strains with their accompanying regional delineations. But another shade has emerged from the shadows – yellow vein kratom. With little information upon its emergence some years back, the astute observer was compelled to inquire: is this a marketing trick, a genetic mutation? And for it all, we wonder – Is yellow vein kratom a product worth getting?
The origin of yellow vein kratom is subject to some conjecture. This is because kratom can appear yellow for a variety of reasons. Note that the ‘vein’ in the strain name literally reflects the coloration of the vein, and not necessarily the leaf. This is due primarily to genetic and production factors. In some cases, it is a misnomer to refer to ‘yellow’ kratom as ‘yellow vein’ kratom, as it does not always have a yellow vein. Confusingly, sometimes the appearance of the powder, often on a spectrum between copper, yellow, and gold, is how this type of kratom receives its name.
It is important to note that yellow veined kratom is not a separate genus of Mitragyna Speciosa(Kratom), in the way that green, red, and white vein kratom are distinct, separate strains with differing genetics and cultivation styles. Thus, it is technically more accurate to refer to it as ‘yellow kratom’, as ‘yellow-vein kratom’ would imply that it is its own unique species. It is not.
So, how then does the yellow kratom receive this designation?
It seems to come largely from the process of drying and curing which occurs with many botanicals. Drying and curing is not a strange or foreign process; it is not so different from allowing a fruit to ripen. Many plants that are consumed are wet upon being freshly picked, are not at their optimal state to consume when fresh off the branch of stem. Thus, many growers dry and cure their product. This allows some compounds that are undesirable for human consumption – like chlorophyll – to dissipate or collect in the soon-to-be-removed stems, while also allowing other chemical processes to occur that better enable the desirable compounds in the product to mature so that their potential can be maximized. Additionally, as kratom is often ground into a powder, having a dried product is advantageous. Packing up a wet, goopy pile of powder would not only be of low appeal for the consumer, but can risk mold and other pathogens.
A Maze of Maize
Yellow kratom is thought to come from white vein kratom, having been dried and cured in specific conditions (alterations in humidity, length of time, temperature, exposure to light and air flow, etc…) that give it a differing hue and tinkered chemical profile. And as we’ve noted, the curing process can have a substantial impact on the final effects of a product. It’s not just with kratom. For example, cannabis is dried and cured in very specific ways that can drastically alter the final product. Users of yellow kratom have reported effects that vary from the standard reports users give on white vein kratom, indicating that the process to create yellow kratom can indeed yielded compelling results.
But you will notice that I have not listed these effects. That is because in its current state in the marketplace, claims about yellow kratom cannot be made with any certainty. For one, little is known exactly how farmers produce this yellow kratom. Some farmers have said they altered the curing process for red leaf, others that of white leaf. Some yellow kratom is simply a mix of two different types of kratom – say, a Red Malayian and a Green Thai – that simply shifts its color, allowing it to be called as such. At times, leaves of a kratom tree, depending on how and where they are grown, may plainly be one strain, but have a yellow hue, enough of an impetus for a bored grower to call it yellow. A number of users have reported ordering yellow kratom only to posit that they later recognized it as a red or white. Other reports have also confirmed that a number of less reputable kratom vendors have caught wind of yellow kratom and have simply renamed their normal product as ‘Yellow Vein Kratom’ in order to drum up sales and interest.
Authentic yellow kratom may in fact be the consequence of a local technique used by a small circle of farmers. Its rarity suggests that yellow kratom takes additional steps to create, likely a longer drying time with specific or difficult to achieve curing conditions. Due to the fact that yellow kratom will not necessarily be ‘better’ than the traditional triumvirate of established strains, it may be seen as superfluous by kratom farmers, beyond a marketing ploy. Simply put, we just don’t know enough about yellow kratom to make any claims. Again, the most likely bet is that it is white vein kratom which is dried and cured under special circumstances, which alters its chemical profile (But not necessarily improving it) to varying degrees.
So you see some ads for yellow kratom. Should you buy it?
Do you trust your vendor? Or rather, is your vendor trustworthy? Once again, the leading factor in the discussion about kratom comes down to the quality of the merchant. A trustworthy kratom vendor likely has ensured that this yellow kratom is authentic to some degree, if they are offering it, and not merely a marketing ploy. I would caution a prospective buyer not to set expectations beyond reality; there remain but three strains of kratom, and a differing drying technique is like making strawberries into jam. They’re still strawberries, just presented in such a way that somewhat alters the overall impression when consumed.
That’s not to discourage you from trying, however. If you feel comfortable with your vendor, you may find the balance of compounds in yellow kratom agrees with your intent on using kratom in the first place. There are a range of positive reviews regarding yellow kratom (contrasted from the negative ones in which buyers feel ‘duped’ or had unrealistic expectations of some crazy new strain). One could imagine a world in which a kratom user, excited at receiving a rare and exotic strain, finds themselves enamored beyond merit with a strain. Or, yellow kratom could indeed be the salve they have long sought. Perhaps you, too, could find your comfort in color.
What treasure be this?
Gold, yellow – one can hardly tell the difference between these hues of kratom powder. But that hasn’t stopped vendors from marketing it. Yellow and gold kratom are often interchangeable; further confusing things, some vendors attach the ‘gold’ name to their kratom product to give it a greater appeal, when it may in fact be yellow kratom, or a mixture of various kratoms, or just plain old red, green, or white vein (I know, its confusing). Gold kratom is widely claimed to be more potent – but only by the vendors, of course. Gold kratom is, at best, yellow kratom – and at worst, a cheap marketing tactic. Personally, I would suggest against using one of these ‘gold’ products. The fact that the vendor feels compelled to trump up their product and add misleading claims makes one question why they felt the need to do so, when any authentic representation of high quality kratom is more than ample. Be it a mixture, yellow kratom, or nothing special at all, gold kratom is hardly the treasure it is suggested to be. Be advised.
But keep digging. If a vendor looks professional, you can rest assured that their entire product line will be genuine and free of coloration gimmicks. Gold, yellow, green, red; good kratom is good kratom. Just don’t get caught up by the colors – for now at least, beyond the Big 3, we aren’t exactly certain what they mean, and they aren’t always staying in their lines. For best results, go with a vendor of repute who has certified genetics. Because with kratom, there’s no need to add any color.