Mitragyna speciosa genetics

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What’s up with the strains?

Have you ever seen a kratom plant sold with a color in front of its name? Or a plant with the title, Maeng Da? Why doesn’t My Trees of Life have anything like that on our menu? 


We all see the very many names of kratom products available to us. Products like Bali, Borneo, Maeng Da etc. And then on top of that, these names being divided by color. When people see all the names of the different products, many will automatically assume that each one is represented by a specific plant. For example, when they have Red Maeng Da kratom powder, they assume that there is a tree that is called “Red Maeng Da”. This is not the case. Nearly all kratom comes from Indonesian trees. The farmers/pickers will collect leaves from different parts of the islands, farmed vs wild-harvested, leaves from different parts of the tree, and even leaves with a certain shape (ex. horned leaf). They keep all of these leaves separate. Then they have standardized recipes that people in the Indonesia kratom trade use, to create things like Maeng Da and Bali. For example, Borneo kratom is simply leaves that have been wild harvested from the Borneo forest. Horn is a blend where the dominate ingredient are leaves that have that horn shape to them, mixed with other leaves. Green Malaysian leaves are harvested from the northern part of Indonesian, which borders Malaysia, and the trees up there (and across the border) are genetically different than your typical Indonesian trees.


Then the leaves are separated by vein color as well.  Vein color is also not genetic. Every kratom tree, regardless of which region it comes from, will produce all 3 vein colors. The different colored products we receive are the result of the Indonesians picking different colored leaves, and keeping them separate because of the obvious, drastic difference in alkaloid profiles. Also, most reds are actually the result of a curing process; the right type of cure will bring out more of that "red" effect. 


This is the reason why you will only see those names of countries on our menu. An honest, live kratom plant menu should only show names of regions, as this is the only time you will find genetic variation within the species.


So why do some people have a kratom plant they call Maeng Da? Rifat Thai is commonly known as a great go-to plant for those who love MD, so unfortunately years ago some people on Ebay began labeling their Rifat plants as “Maeng Da”. The result of those sales is there is obviously people out there who own Rifat plants, and honestly believe they are Maeng Da, therefore there is no deceptive reason they then sell cuttings titled as such (althought the original, initial mislabeling was in fact, deception). This is why it is very important people learn the truth about Mitragyna speciosa genetics.