Kratom Veins: How to Choose White vs Red vs Green Varieties

One of the first things kratom newcomers are likely to hear about this tree is that it has different colors that offer slightly different effects for the user. But what do these colors mean, where do they come from, and is what you heard about the different effects they deliver true? We’re going to answer these questions for you. 

Many companies categorize their kratom into all kinds of different colors, but there are only three real kratom veins that arise from the growth cycle of the tree’s leaves. Learn how to choose between red vs green vs white vein kratom—and what it means if you see kratom being sold under different colors. 

White Vein Kratom

Most people who use white vein kratom do so for its energizing and focus-boosting effects. Some individuals also report that white vein kratom helps provide an improved mood while enhancing their ability to socialize. These qualities make white vein kratom ideal as a pre-workout supplement or a helpful aid for getting through a long shift at work.

Cultivators must pluck and collect true white vein kratom early in the leaf’s growing cycle. If not, these leaf veins will mature and change color, becoming green vein kratom. The white vein stage is also when the leaf has its highest concentration of mitragynine and its lowest concentration of 7-hydroxymitragynine.

Close up of red and white vein kratom leaves

Red Vein Kratom

Red vein kratom typically provides feelings of calmness. Because of that, some people might use red vein kratom in the evenings or for help falling asleep. If you need help winding down after a long day or night, definitely consider trying red vein kratom.

Harvesters collect red vein kratom leaves late in the leaf’s growing cycle. This waiting period causes kratom leaves to go from white to green to red. While red vein kratom takes the longest time until it’s ready for harvest, it’s not really accurate to claim, as many do, that red vein kratom is inherently stronger. As the concentration of mitragynine goes down, there is a slight uptick in kratom’s secondary alkaloids. It’s widely believed that this transformation is where the enhanced feelings of calm and tranquility come from. 

Green Vein Kratom

If white vein kratom is too energizing and red vein kratom is a little too zen, choosing green vein kratom might be the sweet spot you’re looking for. Green vein kratom provides more balanced effects than the boost of white vein or the soothing of red vein kratom.

Many kratom companies, cultivators, and consumers view green vein kratom as the mid-stage between white and red kratom. But that doesn’t mean green kratom fails to deliver as good of an experience as its red or white counterparts—it’s just more balanced. In fact, it’s one of the more popular veins.

It’s also worth pointing out that this kratom vein growth cycle only applies to the leaves. The kratom tree itself has something of its growth cycle in which it takes about 2-5 years to reach a good-sized tree, while the quality of the kratom it produces will continue to slowly improve for 10-20 years of growth.

What Is Yellow or Gold Kratom?

Whether you shop for kratom online or in stores, you’re likely to come across yellow or gold kratom. Beware of the marketing hype with these products. It’s understandable to see gold or yellow kratom and believe you’ve stumbled onto a rare and treasured form of kratom. The truth isn’t quite that exciting. 

Most often, yellow or gold kratom strains simply come from leaves harvested in between the white, green, or red stages. Sometimes, it’s a blend of different veins. Another explanation for these kratom colors involves cultivators using special drying techniques to alter kratom’s color to take on a yellow or gold appearance.

If you’ve been told over and over again that you need to try this type of kratom, we recommend our fermented Red Bentuangie kratom, which delivers this type of enhanced powder experience.

Brightly colored powder labeled as kratom

What Are Kratom Blends?

While learning about kratom, you’ll eventually find a vendor offering kratom blends. Kratom blends are two or more colors or strains of kratom blended together. That’s not to say that kratom blends are of a higher or lower quality than a single kratom color and strain. 

However, kratom blends are great if you want to try something new. For example, a red-vein kratom blend might provide you with better relaxation not because it’s more potent but because your body chemistry responds well to one or more strains in a blend.

What About Kratom Strains?

You’ll typically notice kratom’s different effects by trying the three main kratom colors or veins. However, subtle differences can exist between individual strains of the kratom tree. While kratom is available in three main colors, far more kratom strains exist.

For instance, let’s assume that you enjoy the White Maeng Da kratom strain for the energy it gives you. Switching to a White Bali or White Sumatra kratom strain may produce a subtle rise or drop in the energy levels you have with White Maeng Da—or it could hit you slightly faster or last for slightly longer. Often, however, these subtleties between strains are too subtle to notice.

Here’s a quick look at a few popular kratom strains:

Maeng Da

If you speak with others who enjoy kratom, you’ll often hear that Maeng Da kratom is the best. Some say that this kratom strain earned its name as “pimp” or “pimp-grade” due to its higher-than-average alkaloid concentration. Maeng Da strains also often go through a selective breeding process to produce the highest-strength final product. On the other hand, there is no strict definition or regulatory standards, so sometimes Maeng Da is just leaves that have been hand-selected as the best specimens from that harvest.


Some people who consume kratom may notice subtle differences in how this plant smells and tastes. What makes Borneo kratom distinctive is its more balanced and less bitter aroma. For instance, Borneo would be a strain to consider if you found the bitterness of other strains to be too potent.

Horn and Elephant

Not all kratom strain names have to do with how they grow or their aroma. Horn kratom simply gets its name because this plant variety produces leaves with noticeably jagged edges. Likewise, elephant kratom is simply the nickname for extra-large kratom leaves that look like elephant ears.

Are you interested in learning more about the world of kratom strains? Check out our complete list of kratom strains.

Kratom Loose Powder vs. Capsules vs. Gummies

After narrowing down your preferred kratom strains based on color and strain, you have one more option to consider: what type of kratom product you’ll choose.

Loose Powder

When you want to experience kratom’s effects as fast as possible, loose powder is the ideal method to choose. Kratom powder also tends to provide its effects over time (typically over a few hours) rather than all at once. The differences are relatively small, but this kratom could be described as more of an extended release. Someone who needs relaxation ASAP would want red vein kratom powder.


Kratom capsules are ideal when you can wait about 30 minutes for this plant to take effect. It typically takes a little longer as the capsule casing needs to be broken down first. Many people who use kratom as a pre-workout supplement prefer capsules because they’re easy to take, discreet, and produce effects all at once.


Kratom gummies offer the convenience and discreteness of capsules. Plus, kratom gummies are perfect if you don’t want to taste kratom. Kratom gummies typically take longer to kick in, similar to capsules. Gummies also contain kratom extract, which largely removes the differences of kratom vein colors. These extracts can also produce more intense effects compared to kratom powder, especially if your individual physiology is adept at absorbing highly concentrated kratom extract.

Informed Choices are the Best Choices

We hope this post helps you choose between red vs green vs white kratom. Browse a wide variety of high-quality kratom at Golden Monk today. You’ll find white, green, and red vein kratom available in many strains. We’re also fully stocked with kratom gummies, powder, and capsules.

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