In recent years, there has been an increase in popularity of a common medicinal plant in Thailand called Kratom. Kratom has been used as a stimulating drug for its opiate-like activity in Europe and the US. In Western countries, users of this drug have been called “Kratom Connoisseurs”, who have been known to prefer “white vein kratom” than “red vein kratom”. Veins refer to the vascular tissue of the leaf located in the spongy layer called mesophyll. The leaves of the Kratom have either red veins or white veins, both strains interspersed in different locations across Sumatra and Borneo.
Kratom is now being marketed across the globe, even through the Internet, and is available in powder form. Most sellers package them in 1 ounce or as much as 12 ounce tins or bags and go for around US$15.00 to US$40.00. White vein kratom is claimed to be more potent than red vein kratom. Some users are reported to prefer mixing the white vein powder together with the red vein powder in different percentages. White vein kratom is claimed to give a euphoric, inspiring, strengthening, and invigorating feeling than red vein kratom. After intake of the leaves, Thai users engage in agricultural work which requires a lot of energy.
In Thailand, many young people and adults are addicted to Kratom. Although it is medicinal, some people abuse it as a substitute for opium. Because of the ill-effects of Kratom addiction, this plant has been banned from cultivation in Thailand. However, efforts to control this plant were difficult because it is a locally growing.
People who are interested in taking kratom should be aware of the mood effects that a certain strain will have on them before purchasing. Red vein kratom is known to reduce anxiety, and gives a more relaxing feeling than white vein. White vein kratom on the other hand, is used by people who self-medicate, to reduce stress and increase their activities. In high doses, both strains will cause relaxation and sleepiness. Science has been helpful in identifying the hazards and benefits of using kratom. Studies on animals and evidence on humans indicate the psychological effects of taking kratom, thus, it is important to be knowledgeable and cautious when using these products.