Southeast Asia has a rich history of kratom use and production. The first recorded instance of kratom can be found in the early 18th century. Thai researchers have synthesized the two most abundant active alkaloids in kratom, mitragynine, and 7-HO-mitragynine from Rauwolfia serpentina, which belong to the plant class Apocynaceae. Some cultures have used these plants for medicinal purposes. Continue reading to learn how kratom is made.
The History of Kratom and its Origins in Southeast Asia
Kratom is a tropical tree that has been used for centuries in Southeast Asia for its medicinal properties. The kratom plant grows naturally in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. Kratom trees can grow up to 30 feet tall, with a trunk diameter of 3-4 feet. The leaves of the kratom tree are large and glossy and can grow up to 8 inches long and 6 inches wide. Kratom trees typically bloom between May and September.
Once the kratom tree is harvested, the leaves are typically dried in the sun or a dehydrator. Once dry, the leaves can be ground into a fine powder using a coffee grinder or other type of pulverizer. The powder can then be taken orally or used to make tea. Kratom powder can also be added to food or beverages.
How Kratom is Harvested
It is crucial that the leaves of the kratom plant are picked or collected when they are at ideal maturity. The freshness of the leaves is key to altering the phytochemical concentrations that create the plant’s characteristics. For example, red kratom strains usually come from mature leaves, while white and green kratom strains come from younger leaves. Inspecting these leaves and the amount of time since they’ve been harvested is crucial to getting the best results out of the plant.
To produce kratom powder, the leaves of the mitragyna speciosa plant are dried in the sun or shade. The drying or “curing” process’s length and specifications determine the powder type produced.
After the leaves have been dried and shredded, they are ground into a fine powder using an industrial grinder. This creates an even finer powder with the texture of flour, which is essential in making kratom. This final step ensures a consistent product for consumers.
After the leaves have been dried and ground into a powder, they are ready for post-harvest production. Post-harvest production is vital to ensure kratom powder is high quality and safe for consumption. Improper production can lead to contamination and degradation.
When packaging kratom powder, it is important to use airtight containers. This will prevent the kratom powder from coming into contact with oxygen, which can degrade the quality of the powder. Light and heat can degrade the kratom powder.
The World’s Biggest Kratom Exporters
Southeast Asia is the world’s largest exporter of kratom, with Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia being the top three kratom-producing countries. Indonesia is responsible for most kratom exports, with an estimated value of $1.5 billion annually. In comparison, Thailand is the second-largest kratom producer, followed by Malaysia. These three countries account for over 80% of the world’s kratom supply.
Kratom is typically exported in the form of dried leaves, powder, or extract. The majority of kratom exports are destined for the United States, with Europe and Asia also being significant markets. In the United States, kratom is primarily used as a dietary supplement or alternative medicine. In Europe, kratom is mostly used for its recreational properties.
The top kratom-exporting countries have strict regulations surrounding the cultivation and export of kratom. These regulations are in place to ensure that only high-quality kratom is exported. Kratom exporters must adhere to these regulations in order to maintain their export licenses.
Now that you know how kratom is made, you may be wondering where to buy kratom. Check out our guide to the best kratom vendors to find a reputable source of kratom powder. You can also learn more about the different types of kratom and how to use kratom for specific purposes.