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Horned Kratom?

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An examination of Horned Leaf Kratom, a somewhat uncommon subspecies of common Kratom strains.

What exactly is Horned Leaf Kratom?

Red, green, and white vein kratom – these three strains dominate the properties of their respective products. And so farmers have mixed these strains, tinkered with drying and curing techniques, shifted cultivation locations, as these factors can further impact the properties of the kratom leaf. 

But a wildcard of sorts has emerged. A property of kratom that is not easily quantified or labelled. And so bid fair welcome to the Horned Leaf Kratom tree.

Horny for Kratom

a close up look at the kratom horned leaf
A typical Kratom horned leaf.

Oh, yes – it is horny, for kratom. Whereas most kratom leaves are smooth, Horned Leaf kratom is as named – the leaves have distinctive spikes and ridged edges along the leaf. Its rarity is thought to be in large part because it takes longer to grow and mature than the traditional strains, and thus farmers may shy away from it as it could threaten to upset their tightly run harvesting schedules. Horned Leaf kratom may have originated in Borneo, and has been reported to be more sensitive than other strains of kratom, with one of its proclivities being an incessant need for water. Horny and wet – sounds like my kind of –

What? No. No, I did not! No, that’s – that’s you! You are the one who is thinking these thoughts! Sheesh!

One theory holds that the horned leaves are an adaptation that arose from kratom trees in less humid environments, and the function allowed those plants to thrive in such places. Others posit that it is simply a genetic mutation. Whatever the cause of the change, all three strains can have the horned leaves: white, red, or green (Though it seems more common in Red).

As with any novel product – Horned Leaf is relatively new, or at least its visibility is – excitement abounds. Many report that Horned Leaf is more potent and offers a unique profile than the traditionally smooth leaves. Whether this is a marketing tool pushed by vendors, anecdotal reports by over-eager users, or a combination of both with synergism, we can’t definitively comment on the qualities of Horned Leaf Kratom. Why?

Once again, the central determination is the wide variety of quality you find in kratom vendors. 

Trusting a product marketed as “Horned Leaf Kratom” is dicey. Because when you open up your fresh bag of kratom, it is a fine powder. You’d never be able to know the source of the leaves in the first place.

Leaf or Leave?

For regular readers of the blog, this refrain might be getting tiresome, but it bears repeating – If your vendor is professional, then proceed with confidence. It is likely that the kratom was indeed sourced from a Horned Leaf Kratom tree. But plenty of reports exist of those who have received their “Horned Leaf” only to be disappointed. It could be because the product was subpar to begin with, or it could be because it was no different than the White Thai they ordered last week. 

Horned Kratom Leaf
Some Horned Leaf Kratom effects are subtle.

It is very possible that the effects of Horned Leaf Kratom are different than that of traditional kratom plants; likely, even. The horned leaves denote a genetic differentiation, and the requisites for healthy plant growth – more moisture, ideal locales – mean that the plant is indeed unique. Is it different enough to merit being a separate product? We can’t be sure, not yet at least. If I had to guess, I would think that Horned Leaf does merit its own classification. How far marketing takes it, however, is a wholly different concept.

Horned Maeng Da seems to be the leading product within the brand. This would generally be ‘Red Vein’, but could also be a mix. It also appears to be common for vendors to attach their more ‘yellow’ or ‘golden’ product (Explanation of what these are here) to mark a clear difference, but this of course comes across as a worrisome tactic. Horned Leaf could very well be claimed to be more difficult to grow and rare to merit higher prices, so I bid caution to any prospective purchasers. Reach out to your vendor, or anyone here at TKC – we’ll be happy to help you sort out if a certain Horned Leaf product is right for you.

The fanfare for novel kratom products, like ‘golden’ or ‘yellow’ or ‘Horned’ kratom is a surprisingly dense and confusing topic. Any time a new product hits the market, the community should keep a wary eye and wait until more information is available, as they are often trumpeted as the next best thing in all the excitement. But be patient. Better science will come, though don’t be afraid to experiment with a trustworthy vendor in the meantime.


I guess in this case, ‘Horned’ would be a more apt term.

Anthony Dent is one of the founders of The Kratom Company who has had years of personal and professional experience in the industry. As a kratom user himself, he is an advocate for all the potential benefits kratom can offer users both new and experienced. As the industry and legal atmosphere change, Anthony stays up to date on the latest Kratom Consumer Protection Acts to keep readers up to date with reliable information.
Anthony DentFounding Member

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Xander Phillips

    Love this blog. Consistently great stuff keep it up

  2. Kaya

    I never knew a lot of this stuff, but I will say the white horn and the White MD are my favorite TKC strains of all – possibly my favorite strains of all time!!

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