Why Does Kratom Vary In Price?
Kratom is not federally regulated, so no codes or guidelines dictate how kratom is grown, sold, or marketed. This means there can be a lot of variation in kratom products, even among strains. The following gives a detailed look at each variable.
Quality is mainly based on potency; the alkaloid content of the end product usually determines this.
Many factors affect the alkaloid content, including the following:
- Growing techniques and environment
- The use of pesticides and herbicides
- Post-harvest processing
In order to grow well, plants need an optimal environment; sun and soil largely determine plant health. Pesticides and herbicides used to encourage large yields will affect the overall quality and safety.
As with most herbs, kratom loses potency over time, so hopefully, you’re not buying old or improperly stored kratom.
To help keep your kratom as fresh as possible, store it in cool temperatures away from direct sunlight.
Related: How to Store Kratom? Do’s & Dont’s.
The reputation of a kratom vendor directly affects the price. High-quality vendors tend to be more expensive than low-quality vendors and for good reason.
Established vendors usually charge fair prices, though kratom sourced from ethical, fair trade, or organic farms will likely cost more due to increased expenses.
More important than reputation, though, is certification from the American Kratom Association. Reliable kratom vendors are certified or at least carry products tested by a third party.
The companies that charge the least tend to have really poor-quality products. Often they’re even contaminated, contain virtually no active alkaloids, or are straight-up scams, to begin with.
The best balance is to find a vendor that’s AKA-certified, has a decent reputation but doesn’t charge an arm and a leg because of “branding.”
The Cost of Shipping
Unless you’re buying kratom from a local head shop, your location often determines how much you pay for shipping, though this varies from vendor to vendor.
Some charge a flat rate, while others calculate your shipping as you’re checking out, taking weight and location into account. Some seem to set an arbitrary amount for shipping with no apparent explanation.
You can usually save money on shipping by placing a larger order. Many places offer free shipping if you spend a certain amount or give discounts for buying in bulk, often for a lot less money per gram. Bulk orders cost more upfront, but it’s an excellent opportunity to save money if you know what you want.
You can also get your kratom shipped directly from overseas. Shipping costs from Southeast Asia are incredibly high. However, the prices of kratom from these countries are equally low. Do the math to see if it’s in your best interest to purchase kratom from somewhere like Indonesia, but don’t forget to consider shipping times.
Production methods, harvesting techniques, and farming practices all influence the cost of kratom.
In most agricultural businesses, any method that requires more human resources and time leads to an increase in price. Most kratom farms are simple operations run by a few individuals. Almost the entire industry runs on manpower alone, so any added cost from labor is not likely to change.
However, the processing time after harvest can vary considerably. For example, red vein kratom strains need to be fermented for several days to convert the alkaloids properly. This is an entire two or three days more than green vein strains, which only need to be air-dried and powdered before being sold.
For this reason, red strains used to cost more; however, this doesn’t seem to matter as much anymore. Green, red, and white vein kratom generally cost the same. Perhaps this is because the kratom business is thriving enough that most vendors have a reliable system, allowing for consistent fermentation of red strains.
So, What’s the Cheapest Kratom?
There’s not a cut-and-dry answer to finding the cheapest kratom. Some vendors are more affordable than others, and some strains are on the cheaper end, but there are other variables to consider.
Cheapest Kratom by Strain
Some kratom strains are cheaper than others. As the market has progressed, names and labels of kratom have changed quite a bit. Supply and demand, availability, and market prices fluctuate, making it hard to say for sure what you’ll encounter.
Bali kratom is one of the most popular and among the cheapest.
Red Bali is a hard hitter and one of the go-to strains for anyone interested in pain relief and sedation.
White Bali is a good option for people who want more of the stimulating effects from the plant instead.
Indo kratom is another strain sitting on the low end of cost but has plenty to offer. Its price is similar to Bali and, in some places, can be a bit cheaper.
There’s also Super Green Indo and Super Red Indo — but these are going to be more expensive due to their rarity and higher potency.
Kratom grows abundantly in Thailand. Therefore, kratom is actually surprisingly cheap from this country. There’s a lot of farmers growing it here despite the fact that it’s illegal. Its off-radar production is thought to play a factor in why this herb is so cheap from Thai farmers.
Cheapest Kratom by Form
Kratom is available in several different forms, such as capsules, crushed leaves, powder, tinctures, and extracts.
Kratom tinctures aren’t cheap if you look at the upfront cost. However, if you work out the cost per dose, it’s cheaper than virtually any other form of kratom on the market.
This is because kratom tinctures have a much longer shelf-life and can be made in large quantities to preserve the kratom leaves during times of excess. They also come in a much smaller form that makes it easier (and cheaper) to ship.
Related: How to Make Kratom Tinctures.
Kratom extracts are comparable to tinctures in terms of the cost per standard dose — however, due to a lack of plant synergy, extracts aren’t quite as strong as tinctures or leaf powder when used at equivalent doses. Expect to take a slightly larger dose equivalent with extracts than you would with kratom tincture or powder. This means the cost per dose is going to increase slightly.
Kratom capsules provide no additional benefit over kratom powder aside from being easy to use and measure.
Because of the extra steps involved during production, they cost more than straight powder.
Kratom powder is the least processed form of kratom and among the cheapest to boot. Extracts require a great deal of effort to make, and tinctures are time-consuming. The best way to take powder? Make kratom tea; it’s bitter but fast-absorbing and less likely to cause digestive issues.
Cheapest Kratom by Vendor
Vendors change their prices often, and new vendors are coming onto the scene as quickly as old ones are leaving. As such, it’s hard to pinpoint which vendors are the cheapest.
Additionally, it’s not a good idea to go with a particular vendor just because the products are cheap. Most of the cheap vendors cut costs by sourcing low-grade kratom, which not only won’t provide you with many benefits but could also be contaminated.
Others are even sketchier — sourcing plant material that isn’t even kratom, to begin with, and adulterating it with opiates or stimulants to mimic the effects. This, of course, should be avoided at all costs.
What you should look for instead are vendors with the best value — meaning that they offer the highest quality for the lowest price.
We like vendors like Kona Kratom for their competitive pricing and high-quality standard. They source direct from kratom growers (cutting the cost of middlemen) and order very large quantities at a time to cut the cost of shipping.
Keep reading: Can You Invest in Kratom?
How to Save Money on Kratom
We order a lot of kratom. Over the years, we’ve learned a few tips and tricks to getting the best value for our money. Here are some of the tips we’ve discovered so far:
Buy Kratom In Bulk
The more kratom you order, the better the deal. If you know you’re going to be using a lot of kratom, it’s useful to order as much of it in advance as possible.
Most vendors offer free shipping on minimum orders, and some have additional deals for very high quantities.
Think about your kratom use long-term. If you’re using it for a chronic condition and plant to use it for several months, you’ll be better off spending the money upfront than over the course of the year.
Wait For Discounts & Coupons
Sometimes it helps to sign up for a vendor’s newsletter and waiting for a discount code to pop up in your inbox before you buy.
Most vendors will run sales throughout the year; you can take advantage of this technique.
Pay With Bitcoin
Most credit card processors charge a premium for vendors selling cannabis or kratom products. This added cost goes into the price of the kratom products the vendor carries.
Now that Bitcoin is a viable option for transferring payment, vendors can sell products without having to use these expensive credit card processors at all — saving them a lot of money.
Many vendors will pass the savings along for customers willing to pay with Bitcoin in the form of a discounted rate.
Final Thoughts: Where to Find the Cheapest Kratom
Kratom can feel expensive if you’re using it on a regular basis. While it remains much cheaper than using pharmaceutical painkillers, it’s still worth looking for a cheap supply so long as it doesn’t compromise on quality too much.
Every vendor is different, so some strains may be cheaper from one company compared to another — but in general, common strains like Bali kratom, Indo kratom, or Thai kratom are going to be the cheapest.
You can get further cost savings by ordering your kratom in bulk, waiting for sales or coupon codes, or paying with Bitcoin to leverage various vendor discounts.