Of course vein color is real. But the word "vein" doesn’t mean at all what many think it does. The following is based on what the farmers themselves, independent of each other, tell me:
There is a myth floating around the kratom community (hey I fell for it for so long too!) that some products should have the word vein in them – such as Red Vein Thai. So much so that this specific product is shortened to RVT in some circles. Problem is, there is no such thing, there is only Red Thai. A lot of vendors have fallen for this, as you will see the word vein on a lot of powder menus. Sure, we see on our plants and in pictures that kratom trees do indeed have different colored veins. But this has absolutely nothing to do with the products we all enjoy. There is no such thing as a “White Vein Borneo”, only a White Borneo. Colors are ONLY a reference to the drying process. The Indonesian farmers find it amusing that us Americans are so obsessed with this word vein. So what do the colors really mean? The farmers harvest their leaves, without consideration of the vein color. They then dry using 3 different methods: Whites are dried in the sun. Greens are dried in the dark. And Reds are moistened for a bit until they turn dark, then dried in the sun. With these 3 different ingredients, the farmer then makes the blends. It varies by farmer but here are some examples of the "recipes" of blends we all enjoy: A Super Green is a pure green. A Red Thai is approximately 70% red, 30% green. A White Bali is 90% white, 10% red.
Now how on earth did this myth get started? I can only give my theory: The plant itself has different vein colors on the leaves, which do appear white, green and red. By coincidence, the farmers label their drying processes white, green and red, because the 3 different powders do indeed appear as such especially when they haven’t been blended yet. Complete coincidence, but since Westerners are so new to this, we saw pictures long ago of the leaves, saw the titles of blends like Red, White, and Green Thai, that we automatically assumed that those color names were due to the vein colors. Can’t blame whoever started this, I probably would have come to the same erroneous conclusion myself. This misconception must have happened very early on in American kratom history (mid to late 1990s?), otherwise the myth would not have become so prevalent.
*The only time the word vein is used appropriately in regard to dried kratom products, is with the product called “stem and vein”. This is where they take the leaf vein that has been separated from the rest of the leaf, and sell it, as some people like to buy it as an alternative from time to time. Although the color of the vein is still not a factor here.
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