Conduct an online search using the word 'Kratom,' and you will find thousands of results with information on various strains, formats, and blends. There are many different Kratom capsules and powders, and even when you look on the Urban Ice Botanicals website, you will see evidence of this.
This flood of information will surely make you wonder what the differences between these strains are. While the answer is not simple, it is essential to understand what these differences are if you want to get the most out of the Kratom you use.
At Urban Ice Botanicals, we are always eager to provide our customers with the information they need to make informed decisions about the types of Kratom powders and capsules to use. The differentiations we talk about here will tell you how crucial the various harvesting and drying processes are to ensure high-quality final products.
About Kratom Leaf Harvesting
Kratom plant harvesting, drying, and processing happen in several different ways. The unique techniques used to make the products contribute to the differences in most Kratom strains available today. Typically speaking, three Kratom leaf categories are used in Kratom strain categorization- White Vein, Red Vein, and Green Vein. Kraton leaves have distinctive leaf venation patterns on their undersides, and that is what the term "vein" refers to.
- In most cases, the leaf veins on younger Kratom trees are lighter in color and are called White Vein.
- Once the Kratom trees are fully mature, veins on their leaves start blending in with the leaf color, and they are called Green Vein.
- As the Kratom leaves get more mature, the leaf veins begin to turn brownish or reddish, and the variety is called Red Vein.
Note- It is essential to note that all Kraton leaves do not necessarily undergo this leaf color transformation in the exact same way. Several variables become the determining factors in Kratom leaf veins colors, such as nutrient absorption, soil type, genetics, and the sunlight the Kratom plant receives during its life cycle. This is also what makes the strains different from one another.
Timing is everything in Kratom leaf harvesting. When this occurs at certain times during the tree's lifespan, a White Vein Kratom leaf can transform into a Green Vein Kratom within months.
Given sufficient time, the green-veined leaves will transform into the Red Vein Variant within a matter of one or two years. The vast majority of leaves are harvested in the Red Vein stage. The post-harvest techniques used during processing determine the powder’s associated alkaloid profile and color. It is crucial to track Kratom leaves as they grow, which is why Kratom cultivators follow highly accurate harvesting schedules so that the final product has the required amounts of Red Vein, Green Vein, and White Vein kratom.
Dedicated plantations have been used to grow the Kratom tree for centuries. In this time, the cultivators went through a significant amount of trial and error and had the opportunities to learn from them.
Is Destemming Necessary?
Many Kratom farmers keep the attached stems intact after they have harvested the Kratom tree leaves, which is quite a common practice. Some tests prove that when Kratom leaves are harvested along with the stems intact, it alters their alkaloid profile slightly compared to leaves that have been pruned without stalks attached to them.
In many ways, it's best not to keep the stems on the leaves during harvesting. However, the process that Kratom cultivators follow depends entirely on their knowledge and experience.
Processing of Kratom Leaves
Once the Kratom leaf harvesting is completed at the right time, and the leaves are segregated correctly into White Vein, Green Vein, and Red Vein categories, they will either be dried or moved into the fermentation stage.
Drying of Kratom Leaves
If the Kratom strain is spared fermentation and is going to be dried right away, the leaves are spread out uniformly, and the layers are allowed to dry in either one of these environments:
- Indoor Drying - In this fan-assisted process, the harvested Kratom leaves are kept in massive, dark holding rooms to protect them from exposure to direct sunlight. Industrial-grade fans installed in these rooms help indoor air circulation, expelling the moisture as the Kratom leaves dry.These spaces need to be highly sanitized and the process strict attention to detail. Without appropriate moisture management practices, mold and mildew can develop very quickly in dark rooms.
- Outdoor Drying- The Kratom leaves are spread outdoors in thin layers and left to dry naturally between 24 and 72 hours. Managing the outdoor drying process is easier and cheaper than the indoor one because the sunlight helps kill mildew and mold spores. However, that is not always the case. The cultivators also have to monitor the weather conditions closely and agitate the harvested leaves every few hours. This step helps ensure that the entire crop yield gets consistent exposure to sunlight.
Most farmers use both indoor and outdoor Kratom drying methods. The duration for which the leaves are kept in these different settings will be a determining factor in the final powder product's potency.
Fermentation of Kratom Leaves
In some cases, instead of being moved into the drying process immediately after harvesting, the freshly harvested leaves are packed in burlap bags and allowed to ferment in an indoor, dark environment. This method is typically used in Red Vein Kratom processing. However, the white and green Veins can also be fermented in this manner before being dried.
This step results in a slight modification of the Kratom leaf’s biomolecular, which also changes the alkaloid profile. Fermentation alters the proportions and densities of various naturally occurring phytochemicals in the Kratom plant. However, since this step is more laborious and time-consuming, the farmers sell the fermented Kratom strains at rates higher than the unfermented ones.
Typically, Kratom leaf fermentation lasts between 24-72 hours. Once this timeframe has elapsed, the leaves are dried outdoors or indoors, depending on what the Kratom farmer prefers. This process also has a bearing on the final product quality and type.
Crushing of Kratom Leaves
Once the Kratom leaves go through the harvesting, destemming, fermentation, and/or drying processes, they lose almost all their moisture content. In a desiccated state, the Kratom Leaves are primed and crushed into a finer consistency until they reach the desired granularity.
Fact: Natives of Southeast Asia often chew Mitragyna Speciosa, or Kratom leaves whole.
Alternatively, they may cut the dried leaves coarsely and use them in teabag form for steeping. These practices are not new and date back to the early 1800s.
You can consume extremely fine Kratom powder by mixing it very quickly into beverages. The finer the Kratom powder, the more efficiently and quickly it gets absorbed by the human body.
Historically, native Kratom farmers would crush the dried Kratom leaves using a mortar and pestle. However, today there has been a phenomenal rise in the global demand for Kratom. It is now exported on a commercial scale. It’s why modern-day Kratom cultivators use specifically designed advanced agricultural machinery to cleanly and quickly crush the dried Kratom leaves for an incredibly fine consistency.
The Pasteurization Process
After reading this detailed explanation of the processing stages, you might believe that the most challenging stages are behind us. However, the steps that follow are more time-intensive and crucial as well. Here we look at what is involved in the pasteurization process.
In pasteurization, uniform amounts of heat are applied to the processed, fine Kratom powder to rid it of any potential microbe content. This scientifically proven method effectively eliminates more than 99% of microbial contamination than any Kratom powder.
Might contain. This is a crucial post-harvesting step in Kratom processing, and we have an article exclusively on this subject that you can read on our blog.
Lab Purity/Potency Testing By an Independent, Third-Party Lab
It is crucial to test the Kratom powder for potency and purity, and the two key goals accomplished by this are:
- Scanning for impurities like pathogens and heavy metals
- Determining the concentrations of plant alkaloids such as 7-Hydroxymitragynine and Mitragynine
State-of-the-art lab equipment, including specialized spectroscopic probes are used to conduct these tests. These highly sensitive instruments can effectively detect microscopic particles, otherwise undetectable to the human eye.
If any contaminants are found in the Kratom powder, they will be sequestered and destroyed immediately. Only authenticated, certifiably clean Kratom powder will be moved into the blending and packaging stages.
Kratom Blending, Packaging, and Shipping
After the comprehensive screening and testing process, the Kratom powder is ready for packaging and retail sale. However, before this, the Urban Ice Botanicals processing experts mix various strains in specific proportions to produce our brand’s signature blends, including Spacebird, Above the Waves, Digital Buddha, Above the Waves, and more.
Most Kratom users swear by the 'full-spectrum Kratom experiences that our premium blends provide. Years of research, experimentation and testing have gone into creating our signature blend products so you can be sure that the ones you get today are the "survivors" with the brightest and best qualities.
Compliance with industry-recognized safety and material handling standards is crucial in blending and packaging Kratom powders. We at Urban Ice Botanicals are committed to providing quality, and it is why all our capsules and powders are produced in line with AKAs cGMP (Current Good Manufacturing Program) standards.
Urban Ice Botanicals is committed to supplying high-quality Kratom powder and capsules to our customers. It's why we use this additional step to maintain quality assurance to help ensure that the Kratom products you purchase from us are potent, contaminant-free, and as pure as possible. This is an essential aspect of Kratom powder blending and packaging in compliance with industry-recognized material handling and stringent safety standards.
Numerous advanced processes go into bringing our premium Kratom capsules and powder to market. This incredible plant has helped enhance so many people's lives that and we firmly believe that all the effort we put in is worth it.
Now that you have a clearer understanding of the Kratom harvesting, drying, and processing steps, you will be more confident with exploring the various strains that we use in our extensive premium Kratom capsule and Kratom powder categories. Feel free to browse our website and contact us for any additional information you need.