The kratom leaf is a delicate natural product that has impressed the eastern world and is now ready to take on the western markets. Over the last few years, kratom has served several people, and many users claim the benefits they enjoyed due to this product.
Although only a few studies have been conducted or confirmed some of these claims, the effects are there for all to see.
Several well-known brands like garners natural life bring the best of this Southeast Asian herb to the American markets.
Let us start with a better understanding of kratom trees first. Let us take a deeper dive into kratom and its various production methods. It will help us differentiate between the different drying processes of the kratom leaves and help us choose the best one.
We must first understand the kratom tree itself. Kratom comes from an evergreen tree. The kratom tree is native to a humid tropical environment with rich soils and dry air. The typical kratom plant is an exceptional specimen from Southeast Asia that can soar above 60 feet under good conditions.
Kratom has a scientific name: Mitragyna speciosa, and the plant has green leaves with glossy, waxy skin. Because kratoms are evergreen, the leaves stay in the trees all year. Therefore, when mature leaves fall, the leaves become somewhat barren.
Kratom leaves vary greatly. Depending on the growth conditions and soil types, the tree may vary in length, color, or composition. Color is an incredibly intriguing component in harvests, as color differs not only in how plants grow but also in how they are processed.
A farmer picking kratom leaves has carefully planned to help the tree keep growing leaves. Farmers monitor leaves to select them at the correct time of maturity to produce harvests.
The leaf veins also decide the kratom leaf type, commonly known as the kratom strain. You may have heard of the term strain if you have been around the kratom industry for some time.
Kratom strains refer to the different varieties of kratom leaves available and are broadly classified based on their color. The properties of the kratom leaves also vary with the strains. Hence, it is an interesting property of the kratom plant. Let us take a look at the three main kratom strains based on the color of the leaves:
Red Vein Kratom Strain
The red vein kratom leaves are the most mature of the three and hence, often the costliest one. However, it is also the most potent strain and offers a strong euphoria.
Green Vein Kratom Strain
The green kratom strain is a middle ground between the red and white strains. They are balanced and an ideal choice for beginners.
White Vein Kratom Strain
The white strains are the most immature leaves and often the cheapest. They are also less potent than the red strains.
3 Best Drying Processes For The Kratom Leaf
Some Kratom fans might have wondered about kratom’s properties. What happens when you take these leaves off a tree? Do these plants have long-term storage in stores? Let us examine the kratom production process and understand more about the kratom tree’s life cycle.
Forming the herb into tinctures or powders involves drying the leaf. It reduces moisture levels as well and activates all plant alkaloids. The following section shows you the best methods to dry kratom leaves.
Once a plant has been harvested, you must dry it before processing it for packaging. But there is no universal drying method for leaves. As discussed earlier, it has a role in the resulting leaves’ color and type, so kratom farmers need to determine the drying method.
Kratom flowers are placed on large stands in large containers. This rack can be either placed inside or outside for drying or in combination. How does the leaves drying process affect alkaloid compositions in the leaves? Let’s find out.
Air Drying Process
Air drying is one of the most popular methods of drying kratom leaves, as it preserves most of the alkaloids. Alkaloids are what create the unique effects of kratom in the user. Hence, you can understand how essential they are to the overall essence of the products.
Furthermore, unlike Sun-drying or using a dehydrator, air drying doesn’t generally destroy some alkaloids. Hence, you can always get strong kratom products after air drying.
It is also essential to remember that you must monitor the temperature and humidity of the surroundings when drying kratom leaves. If you dry the leaves too rapidly, they might become brittle. Hence, it would be difficult to grind them, decreasing the product quality. When dried too slowly, however, the leaves could mildew or mold.
It is crucial to remember that 40-60% humidity is ideal for drying kratom leaves. However, the ideal temperature for drying is between 68-77 degrees Fahrenheit.
Sun Drying Process
This section should give you a fair idea of the sun-drying process of kratom leaves. The first step, of course, is to harvest the kratom leaves. It would help if you chose mature kratom leaves to dry. Once you are done with the harvesting, wash the leaves thoroughly and remove dirt and debris. Then you need to spread the leaves on a clean surface to let them dry (air-dry) for a few hours. You can also use a dehydrator or hang the leaves in a well-ventilated region.
Once this step is done, store the leaves in airtight containers in a dark and cool place. It is a common notion that sin-dried kratom leaves can maintain their potency for up to 12 months.
Sun drying is a natural method and hence, considered one of the best ones out there. Although air drying is better at retaining the natural alkaloids of kratom leaves, sun drying is just a little behind. Hence, this method can also help get supreme quality kratom powder.
Therefore, if you are looking for potent kratom products, opting for sun-dried kratom leaves or powder may be a smart choice. Once the leaves are dried completely, they are ground into powder using food processors (or you could even use a coffee grinder).
You may use it to make kratom tea or mix it with other foods and beverages. Some people prefer adding a bit of lemon juice to their tea. Make sure to store the powder in airtight containers in cool and dark places.
Oven Drying Process
Preheat your oven to temperatures between 105-115 degrees Fahrenheit to oven-dry kratom leaves. Next, you must spread the leaves onto a baking sheet and line them with parchment paper.
You must also ensure that the leaves are kept from touching each other. Finally, place this baking sheet into your oven and let the leaves dry for about 2-3hrs.
Once finished, remove the dry kratom leaves from your oven and allow them to cool off. After cooling, you must store the dry leaves in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.
When using the oven-drying method for kratom leaves, it is essential to use low temperatures so that you don’t cook them! If you expose the leaves to extreme heat, they will also lose their potency.
Furthermore, remember to dry the leaves for recommended periods to avoid mistakes. It will also save you from burning the leaves entirely.
Oven drying can be challenging for newbies, but it is also an effective method to preserve kratom’s freshness for an extended period. If you follow these steps with caution, you can get high-quality dry kratom leaves.
To Destem Or Not to Destem?
Another standard method employed in kratom farming involves maintaining an attached stem after removing kratom leaves from a plant. Kratom leaves harvested with their stems attached develop slightly different alkaloid profiles compared to the ones without stems. It may even be desirable to keep the stems off the leaf during harvest, but this varies with the expertise and requirement of the Kratom growers.
Blending and Packaging
Kratom is sourced by farmers who harvest different kinds of seeds. Some of these species are sold directly, while others blend with special proprietary mixtures. You can also find kratom leaf, powder, and capsules in many forms.
Mixing kratom supplements in another form allows for more choice in what customers can get for themselves. In addition, you can explore a wide variety of kratoms in many kinds (strains).
Remember that the harvest stages vary significantly in different ways and affect the impacts kratom might have on you.
To conclude, you can see several excellent ways of drying kratom leaves. It depends on your requirements and preferences to choose the best one. If you want packaged products, you can also get the details about the drying process on the website of the top vendors. They often clarify which process they use for the users to make an informed choice.
If you want to buy kratom leaf (both fresh or dried leaves), then ensure that you trust only the top vendors on the market as they have years of experience and a huge fan following, thanks to their elite products. They also often provide impressive discounts, especially during festive seasons. If you are buying kratom products, ensure you know the rules in your area regarding kratom. If you’re a beginner, you should also know important facts like how long does kratom stay in your system, to dose appropriately on it.
Above all, you must also consult a doctor before buying these products as they have several effects and react differently to different people.