The following common forms and preparations of “true” Mitragyna speciosa Kratom can be distinguished:
Leaf form Kratom
Traditional Kratom users of Thailand and Malaysia distinguish between different types of Kratom, the two main varieties being distinguished by the colour leaf’s veins – which are either red (red veined Kratom) or green/white
(most often referred to simply as white veined Kratom).
The green/white-veined variety of Kratom is supposed to have a stronger effect.
One survey of Thai Mitragyna speciosa Kratom users found that most users preferred a mixture of both types of Kratom, followed by red-veined alone and then lastly green/white-veined alone.
While the alkaloid makeup of these two Mitragyna speciosa Kratom varieties is different, the leaves could actually be coming from the same plant. The colour and chemical variations could actually be simply linked to the season in which the leaves of the same plant are picked. A theory which is supported by the recent reports of Kratom growers in Australia, which reported that both red and green/white veining occurs at different times in different plants which were all cloned from the same mother plant- yet they have not yet undertaken further comparisons between the two leaf types.
Further scientific studies on Mitragyna speciosa Kratom leaves is necessary: in November 1962, a team of researchers from collected both red and green /white veined Kratom leaf samples, and the resulting analysis, a paper published by E. J. Shellard listed both varieties as having the same alkaloids. Yet concentrations were not given, and most importantly, what is now believed to be the most important alkaloid, 7-hydroxymitragynine, was not even mentioned…
Fresh Kratom leaves
Fresh Mitragyna speciosa leaves are very difficult to find outside of the cultivation areas. Yet in South-East Asia, Mitragyna speciosa Kratom is most often sold in the form of fresh leaves or fresh leaf tea. Before the Kratom leaves are sold or consumed, the stringy central veins are usually removed. This is done to help with chewing and said to prevent nausea. Fresh leaves are also consumed in Betel like preparations, notably in Malaysia where the leaves are mixed with dried coconut, ginger, onions, nutmeg and lime and rolled with daun kaduk (wild pepper leaf) and chewed like daun sirih (Betel leaf quids)
Dried Kratom leaves
Outside South-East Asia, Kratom is mostly sold as dried leaves and extracts. The dried Mitragyna speciosa Kratom leaves are often shredded or powdered for making tea, and labelled by potency, with such common terms as standard strength, premium and super strength. Some vendors have actually tested the alkaloid content of their Mitragyna speciosa Kratom and categorized it accordingly.
Most Kratom material falls in the range of 65 milligrams per 25 grams of material to 300 milligrams per 25 grams of material. When exposed to air, Mitragyna speciosa foliage tends to loose potency with time, and shredded/ powdered material appears to loose potency faster than
whole leaves. Yet this is highly dependent of the storing method used, and the key is to limit air exposure: using “Ziploc” type closing plastic bags or even vacuum sealing containers will help preserve Mitragyna speciosa Kratom’s potency for a long time. Though no proper rigorous testing of Kratom storage has been done, it has been reported that Mitragyna speciosa Kratom properly stored in airtight conditions can remain potent for a few years, or even possible decades.
Freezing the Kratom plant matter can help further prevent degradation and loss of potency. It's interesting to note that although many online vendors sell Mitragyna speciosa Kratom, almost all of the Kratom sold outside South-East Asia appears to have come from only a few different sources.
Mitragyna speciosa Kratom is also made into crude extracts by boiling large amounts of leaves in water, and evaporating the liquid until a thick resin remains.
Kratom extracts are usually eaten, or made into tea. Vendors also sell this traditional Kratom preparation directly, most commercial extract being in the form of thick, resinous dark tar.
Kratom extracts are less sensitive to degradation and can be stored for long periods of time. Traditionally, Mitragyna speciosa Kratom balls where rolled in flour or other powders for easier, less sticky handling, and preservation, by limiting the extract’s exposure to air.
Kratom extracts tend to be made using acetic acid and water in the extraction process. It is important to note that these crude Kratom extracts are concentrates, not pure alkaloids extracts, and still contain a great deal of organic matter.
Recently, a few Internet vendors have been reported to sell pure alkaloid extracts such as mitragynine, at very expensive prices- and also without the benefits of the natural balance of Kratom’s alkaloid makeup present in a crude, whole Mitragyna speciosa Kratom leaf extract. New, improved versions of crude Kratom extracts are sometimes also sold as “Kratom Pies”.
Alcoholic tinctures of Mitragyna speciosa Kratom, “liquid Kratom” do exist, but they tend to vary greatly in potency - and are also rather expensive. Most users mentioned that effects were actually similar to many "normal" Kratom extracts, making them not very worthwhile.