Kratom Strains

Red Vein Kratom Strains & Their Effects

Red vein kratom is one of the three primary categories of kratom (Mitragyna speciosa).

In general, people who gravitate towards red vein kratom use the plant to manage pain or support sleep.

In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about red vein kratom — including dosage, benefits, safety, & where to buy. 

Written by Wade Paul
Last Updated 2 years ago

Wade Paul

Founder & Editor-In-Chief

Wade Paul is the founder and editor-in-chief at

What is Red Vein Kratom?

As you would expect, red vein kratom all sport a bright red color on their leaf veins. The color comes from a particularly high concentration of an alkaloid known as 7-hydroxymitragynine.

This alkaloid is a potent mu-opioid agonist, which gives these leaves a strong painkilling and sedative action.

They’re fast-acting and powerful — offering reliable pain relief within about 45 minutes.

What Does Red Vein Kratom Do?

There are many different types of red vein kratom — each one with a unique effect profile.

With that said, there are a few generalizations we can make for these strains due to the particularly high concentration of 7-hydroxymitragynine:

  • Potent analgesic effects
  • Mild euphoric effects (smaller doses)
  • Moderate euphoric effects (higher doses)
  • Potent anxiolytic & stress-reducer
  • Sedative (higher doses)

Most people who prefer red vein kratom use the herb to manage chronic pain, anxiety, or insomnia. The white vein or green vein leaves are generally better to use for the nootropic, energizing, and immune-supportive effects instead.

Is Leaf Vein Color Important?

Knowing the color of the leaf veins of kratom help to give us a clue as to what effects we can expect — but there are some exceptions. Some red vein kratom strains will be more energizing than others (such as red Bali).

I should note that you won’t see the vein color when you order kratom powder. Once the leaves are dried and ground into a powder, the color of the leaf veins is no longer apparent. All kratom will look the same in powdered form.

Red Vein Kratom Dosage

The dose of kratom can be split into two categories — low dose (stimulating) and high dose (sedating & painkilling). These principles apply to red vein kratom just as much as they apply to other vein colors.

Most people who take red vein kratom will prefer the higher dose since these strains are considered better for their sedative and painkilling action:

  1. Red vein kratom dose for mild pain — 4 grams of dried leaf powder
  2. Red vein kratom dose for moderate pain — 5–7 grams of dried leaf powder
  3. Red vein kratom dose for sleep support 5–7 grams of dried leaf powder
  4. Red vein kratom dose for energy & focus 2–3 grams of dried leaf powder

Check out our detailed kratom dosage guide if you want to find the specific dose to match your size and weight.

If this is your first time using red vein kratom, start with a small dose for your first session. Every strain is different, and a dose that may have worked for you in the past may be too strong with this particular strain. Start with a smaller dose (2–4 grams) first, and increase by one or two grams every hour until you find what works for you.

The goal isn’t to take the highest dose of kratom possible — it’s to take the minimum amount that provides the effects you’re looking for.

Also see: How Much Kratom is Too Much?

Best Red Vein Kratom Strains

There are dozens of different strains of red vein kratom to choose from. It can be daunting to decide which one to order (trust me, I’ve been there).

Red vein kratom strains include:

There are plenty of subtle differences between each red vein variety, but ultimately most of them provide the same general effect.

If you want a recommendation for the best red vein kratom for pain, go for the red maeng da or red Bali kratom.

If you’re looking for the best red vein strain for sleep, I suggest you try red Sumatra instead.

It’s a good idea to try out a few different strains to see which ones work best for your body. The best strain for one person may not be the best for someone else.

With that said, here are six of the most popular red vein kratom strains on the market today:

Red Bali Kratom

Summary: Good for daytime pain-relief

This kratom comes from the tropical island of Bali in Indonesia (duh). This region is known for its lush rainforests. The high humidity, rich fertile soil, and dense rainforests provide the ideal climate for kratom to thrive.

Unlike many other red vein strains, which are mostly relaxing and soothing in nature, red Bali kratom has a slightly more energizing effect.

This is a great strain to manage pain during the day since it tends to have fewer sedative effects than other red vein options.

Red Thai Kratom

Summary: This strain makes you feel at peace with yourself and the world around you.

This Thailand native is most popular for its ability to provide a sense of calmness and relaxation. It’s particularly soothing compared to most other kratoms — which is fitting for a strain that comes from a country known for having some of the most peaceful and content people on earth. Red Thai kratom is known for its ability to help people feel calm, soothed, and at peace with themselves and the world around them.

Higher doses of this strain can cross over into the strongly euphoric realm, which may be too intense for some. Start with a slightly lower dose than you would normally use when trying this strain for the first time.

Red Horn Kratom

Summary: Strong but unpredictable effects.

Horn kratom is named after its horn-like protrusions or spikes on the leaf edges. This type of kratom is only found on the island of Borneo, Indonesia. It’s earned the nickname of ‘the unpredictable strain’ among kratom enthusiasts due to its wide range of potential effects. It’s hard to pinpoint the exact effect profile a horn kratom will provide, and it seems to differ from one harvest to another.

Despite the variability in effects, red horn kratom tends to be very strong and is one of the most popular strain choices among the more veteran kratom users. They’re generally stronger than other red vein varieties when it comes to managing pain and inducing deep restorative sleep.

Red Sumatra Kratom

Summary: High doses are powerfully sedative.

Sumatra is one of the western islands of Indonesia. A region known for its dense rainforests and astonishing biological diversity.

Red vein Sumatra kratom is one of the most relaxing forms of kratom you’ll find. In moderate doses (4–6 grams), its effects are similar to red Thai kratom — providing a sense of inner peace and tranquility. However, in higher doses (over 6 grams), this strain becomes deeply sedative. If you’re having a hard time falling asleep, this is definitely the strain to try.

Red Borneo Kratom

Summary: Great all-around painkiller.

Borneo is the largest island in Asia — spanning over 288,869 square miles, most of which consists of lush tropical rainforests.

The red vein kratom strains that come from this region are known for their potent painkilling and sedative action. There are some inconsistencies with this strain from one batch to another. For example, the red vein Borneo from Kona Kratom seems to be about 50% stronger (subjectively) than the red vein from Kraken Kratom.

I’ve also had some red vein Borneo that had a heavier effect compared to others.

Even with the inconsistencies, this strain is a reliable painkiller and has a relatively low incidence of side effects compared to other strains.

Red Maeng Da Kratom

Summary: One of the most potent kratom strains you’ll find.

Red maeng da kratom first originated in Thailand but is now grown in other parts of Asia like Indonesia and Malaysia. It’s known for being one of the most powerful forms of kratom.

This strain is more energizing than most red vein options, especially in the mild to moderate dosage range. I like this one for daytime pain relief or when I need to take kratom while at work or university. It’s a potent painkiller but doesn’t interfere with critical thinking as much as some of the more sedative red vein products.

This stuff can be quite powerful. I recommend you start with a lower dose than you’re used to if trying this strain for the first time.

Side Effects of Red Vein Kratom

All kratom shares the same side effects in general. Taking too much kratom can cause sedation, dizziness, nausea, and loss of muscle coordination.

Red vein kratom strains tend to be more sedative and have a stronger action on the mu-opioid receptors than other strains (generalization). This means they’re more likely to cause lethargy and sedation than other strains and less likely to cause anxiety or tachycardia (rapid heart rate).

Possible side effects of red vein kratom include:

Related: Is Kratom Bad for Your Heart?

Where to Buy Red Vein Kratom

Virtually all kratom vendors will have at least one red vein kratom strain, but most carry several.

We’ve ordered from pretty much all the major vendors and have been distilling our recommendations down over the last couple of years.

When it comes to the selection and potency of the red vein kratom strains, three vendors in particular really stand out:

Kona Kratom

Aka GMP Certified yes
Pricing $45.00 — $115.00
Verified Vendor

Kona Kratom

4.95 / 5
Ranked 1 out of 190 vendors

Kona Kratom has one of the most impressive lineups of kratom strains we’ve seen yet. It’s a little overwhelming, to be honest.

This brand carries all the red vein strains mentioned above and more. They’re a member of the American Kratom Association (AKA) — which we consider a must in order to be considered a reputable brand.

We’ve ordered from Kona Kratom many times and have yet to be disappointed.

Star Kratom

Aka GMP Certified yes
Pricing $35 — $95
Verified Vendor

Star Kratom

4.9 / 5
Ranked 2 out of 190 vendors

Star Kratom is a relatively new vendor. They’ve only been on the market since the start of 2020 but have been a savior to many throughout the pandemic.

What makes this brand different is its fast delivery times. They’re situated very close to a major postal hub and make several drops per day. The goal is to get your order on the next available flight. On average, we receive packages from Star Kratom 2 or 3 days faster than other vendors.

This company also emphasizes customer service and is confident in the quality of the products they sell. They have a no-questions-asked, money-back guarantee on all orders. If you don’t like what you ordered for any reason, you get your money back.

VIP Kratom

Aka GMP Certified yes
Pricing $40.00 — $125.00
Verified Vendor

VIP Kratom

4.85 / 5
Ranked 4 out of 190 vendors

VIP Kratom is a premium kratom vendor by all metrics.

Will you pay slightly more per gram for kratom from this vendor? Yes. Can you find comparable quality from other vendors? Also yes. But the difference with this brand is that everything the company sells is considered the highest caliber of quality. It doesn’t matter what you order; it will be A-grade kratom. Most other brands carry A-grade as well, but it can be very hit or miss from one strain type to the next.

VIP Kratom has a smaller selection than the other brands on this list to keep all offerings premium. If they can’t get the best of a given strain, they simply won’t carry it.

Final Thoughts: Best Red Vein Kratom Strains

Kratom comes in many forms. The simplest way to break it down is to look at the color of the leaves. The color of the leaf veins gives us a clue as to what alkaloids are most predominant and what effects we can most likely expect.

Every strain is different, but what unites all red vein strains together is the high concentration of 7-hydroxymitragynine. This alkaloid is just one of over a dozen in the kratom plant that accounts for its effects. 7-hydroxymitragynine is a mu-opioid agonist which provides potent painkilling, sedative, and analgesic benefits.

As a result, red vein kratom strains are most popular for managing chronic pain and supporting sleep.

If you’re unsure where to start, I recommend checking out strains like red Borneo, red Thai, or red Sumatra kratom. All of these strains are well-loved in the kratom community and offer all the general benefits associated with red vein varieties.

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