Mitragyna Speciosa (Kratom)

Discussion in 'Plants: Science and Cultivation' started by Britinborneo, Aug 25, 2018.

  1. Britinborneo

    Britinborneo New Member

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    I have recently immigrated to Borneo Indonesia and plan on getting married very soon. Whilst here I discovered a product by the name of Kratom (Mitragyna Speciosa). There is a huge market for this controversial product in the west, typically in the USA. It is used as a sedative and painkiller, it also offers users light Euphoria. The plant contains the alcaloids Mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine and is only a partial antagonst. Now, I am not a Botanist, neither have I studied chemistry, however I did realise this plant to be a profitable venture for myself and seeing as I didnt have much in the way of an income other than teaching English online, decided to set up an eccommerce website and begin exporting it. Surprisngly business is doing relatively well, however I am lacking a little on knowledge in a few areas and hoped some folks here mght be able to provide me with some expert information... there is very little information on the net with regards to the science. Kratom is marketted in strains, each strain is available in 3 colours and the colours refer to the vein of the plant, Red, White and Green. The different strains are usually plants from different regions or countries and will have a product name like, Green Borneo or Red Malay for example. Ive visited a lot of farms here and I quickly began to realise that white vein does not actually exist and green vein is extremely rare... I have also seen red vein leaves at the end of green vein trees.. here is where it starts to get confusing for me... most of the suppliers in fact are not being honest with there customers and using the actual vein coloured leaf that refers to the product they market it as, instead they are mixing all of the leaf regardless of its vein colour and using different processes to produce different coloured powders. I have been told that you can take seeds from a green vein tree and that it wouldnt neccasirily sprout a green vein plant... it could be red... could someone please tell me what is going on here with these vein colours as nobody here in Indonesia seems to know or care, it is just a recent cash crop for folks here as it has been banned in all of the neighbouring countries of south east Asia...
     

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  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Renowned Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Hard to say without seeing many plants over the course of several years and trying to get an understanding of the environments they grow in. Vein colour could be induced by something as simple as amount of direct sunlight hitting the emerging leaf, triggering (or not) the production of anthocyanins. Or it could be something else, like drought stress.

    See: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1751-1097.1999.tb01944.x

     
  3. Britinborneo

    Britinborneo New Member

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    Well, I’m seeing red and green vein trees in the same farm, receiving the same light and the same amount of water. As far as a I can tell, both plants are under the same conditions. I have been told it might have something to do with the lifecycle of the plant? However that doesn’t seem to make much sense either as I frequently see red and green vein trees of the same age and of all ages. Could this be male and female? Why is green rarer than red? Can you think of any plants off the the top of your head that behave in the same manner, which might give me a clue as to what’s going on here. I’m trying to understand what causes this or how to replicate it... I aspire to produce my own products in the future and would like to be able to separate the leaf correctly, in order to do that I’ll need to know how to reproduce the vein colours I want.
     
  4. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Renowned Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Were you able to read the above linked paper? If it is behind a paywall, you can contact the author directly and request a digital copy, most journals will permit the author to release upon request: Linda Chalker-Scott | Horticulture | Washington State University

    Dr. Chalker-Scott has references to almost 140 other papers (not surprising, since it is a review of the literature on induction of anthocyanins in plants). Looking through these, I would say about 100 other species are mentioned in some way as having some sort of variability of anthocyanin production (and, in some cases, inducing the anthocyanins to degrade).

    It is almost certainly not male / female or lifecycle.
     
  5. thanrose

    thanrose Active Member

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    I have no experience with this plant. I'm basing this off of my experience with plants, seeds, and herbals being sold online. Most people haven't a clue. Period. Maybe a few sellers noticed the vein color difference and promoted as something other than arbitrary or incidental.

    The market for any herbal online is going to have people demanding stuff they don't understand: Organic! Non-GMO! Wonder food of the Gods! Ancient Himalayan or Aztec or Siberian herb! People will try to sell blue roses, black roses, chocolate roses, unscented roses, thornless roses, et al, as if the thousands of roses out there aren't enough. They will claim to have a species but they don't even nail the genus. And they will make arbitrary claims of psychoactive principles that may not be any different than other plants of the same species. BTW, I do rather like the darkest of dark roses although I wouldn't call them chocolate or black. Preference: It's part of your sales pitch.

    There are a few, very few, drug forums out there, or maybe just archived out there. A giant Erowid library for instance. Haven't had cause to go there in many years and only did because I had to work with narcotics and the patients who took them. If you google, and erowid comes up in the first page of links, try that.

    Of course, volatiles and other organics may differ in concentration in many plants. The claims are generally not to be believed, although your buyers might.

    The reason kratom is not regulated, or not very much, is that it hasn't been studied enough. Give it time.
     

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