For thousands of years, various Southeast Asian populations have used kratom powder — the ground leaves of the mitragyna speciosa tree — for a wide variety of medicinal and recreational purposes. More recently, researchers studying kratom use across Southeast Asia have also noted the versatility of the plant, describing the natural aroma as being simultaneously relaxing and energizing.
However, despite kratom’s remarkable versatility, the plant is perhaps best known for its soothing characteristics. To this day, locals across countries like Indonesia and Thailand still use kratom to combat the physical fatigue that often accompanies long, strenuous days of manual labor in the sun.
But, of the dozens of available kratom strains, which kratom is best for pain? Let’s take a look!
Which Kratom is Best for Pain: Red, Green, or White?
Due to the variability involved throughout production, the characteristics of kratom can vary greatly from one harvest to the next. Factors like region of cultivation, growing conditions, and harvesting techniques can drastically alter the aromatic profile of kratom, producing a sizeable range of kratom variants or “strains.”
To help buyers differentiate between the dozens of available kratom variants, vendors classify most strains into one of three color groups: red, green, and white. Of the three, red strains are generally considered to be the best kratom for pain relief; however, all kratom is soothing to some degree. Some users even cite white and green strains as being equally effective when discussing which kratom strains are best for pain.
Ultimately, given the lack of available research on the topic of kratom strains, there is no clear consensus on which kratom strain is the most soothing. Instead, most kratom enthusiasts rely on the experiences of others and their personal preferences in natural herbal pain relief to inform their purchases.
That said, the three kratom color groups are often described as follows:
- Red kratom strains typically produce the most soothing aromas but are also considered to be heavily relaxing.
- Green kratom aromas are generally soothing and somewhat relaxing.
- White kratom aromas are usually somewhat soothing and energizing.
#5 — Red Bali
As one of the most popular kratom strains in existence, Red Bali frequently appears in discussions and online lists regarding which kratom strain is best for pain. Sourced from the Bali region of Indonesia, Red Bali is usually produced with matured kratom leaves, which imbues the plant with a heavily soothing aroma and a dark reddish-brown coloration.
Although Red Bali’s aroma typically excels at mitigating discomfort and physical fatigue, the strain is also considerably relaxing making it potentially unsuitable for users who are looking to maintain their energy levels. However, if you’re in the market for a strain that is equal parts soothing and relaxing, Red Bali is a fitting choice.
#4 — Red Malay
As its name implies, Red Malay is a Malaysian/Indonesian kratom strain commonly cultivated in the Kapuas Hulu region. Along with Red Bali, Red Malay is frequently cited as one of the best kratom strains for pain relief and receives consistent praise for its soothing, relaxing, and mood elevating aroma.
Although Red Malay shares many similarities with Red Bali, the two strains are notably dissimilar in several ways. On the topic of which kratom is best for pain, both strains are capable candidates. However, Red Bali’s aroma is considered to be somewhat more relaxing while the aroma of Red Malay might be more mood-elevating in comparison.
#3 — Green Thai
Green Thai’s name is likely a misnomer as kratom has been illegal within Thailand for nearly a century. Instead, most Green Thai kratom is cultivated and harvested in the neighboring country of Indonesia.
Regional semantics aside, Green Thai is renowned as a natural mood enhancer, but the strain also demonstrates prominent soothing properties. Despite not appearing in many top-ten lists or discussions regarding which kratom strain is best for pain, various users have praised Green Thai’s soothing yet mild aroma.
Unlike Red Bali or Red Malay, Green Thai’s aroma is only somewhat relaxing making it best-suited to users who are looking to alleviate discomfort without drastically reducing their energy levels.
#2 — Red Vein Kali
Hailing from the Kalimantan region of Borneo, Red Vein Kali is a highly-acclaimed kratom strain that’s comparable to other classics like Red Malay and Red Bali. Named after the distinctive red veins of its leaves, Red Vein Kali seems to possess a soothing and mildly relaxing aroma making it a capable candidate as one of the best kratom strains for pain relief.
However, in regards to which kratom is best for pain, there are some key differences between Red Vein Kali and the other red strains on this list. Some users have noted that Red Vein Kali’s aroma appears to be more mood-elevating than Red Bali but less so in comparison to Red Malay. As a result, if you can’t decide between the heavily relaxing aroma of Red Bali or the subtle aroma of Red Malay, Red Vein Kali appears to exist as a reliable middle-ground option.
#1 — Red Bentuangie
Unlike the other kratom strains on this list, Red Bentuangie undergoes a unique post-harvest fermentation process. The result is a strain that’s soothing, slightly relaxing, and somewhat difficult to find.
Although Red Bentuangie is less well-known in contrast to kratom classics like Red Bali and Red Malay, the strain is a convincing answer to the question “which kratom is best for pain?” However, despite the strain’s effectiveness, finding a reliable vendor that carries Red Bentuangie can be challenging