Everyone has their own holiday traditions; for some it’s decorating the Christmas tree, for others it’s an annual bake-off and for many it’s simply sitting around the fireplace with friends while you sip on some egg nog.
All of these traditions are perfectly suitable to the holiday season, but for me and my closest friends, it’s just not enough. Instead we’ve instituted a new tradition which started back in 2015. Each year on December 15th to get the jump on the Hanukkah/Christmas rush, we gather in my father’s cabin in Upstate, New York.
Each of us is tasked with bringing a different kratom strain from the vendor of our choosing. Much like a game of Secret Santa, we gift-wrap unmarked bags of kratom powder. Once each bag is dispensed to the person whose name you draw from a hat, you and your pals brew up your respective kratom teas and sit around warming the proverbial cockles with your brew.
Some of us like to spice things up, such as my friend Dave who insists on adding cinnamon and a splash of Half and Half to his cup. Personally, I find that this distracts from the point of the game, but we always allow it…lest Davey pout under the mistletoe until he gets his way.
The game functions in much the same way as the Pepsi Challenge. It’s a sort of taste test to try and determine what strain you’ve been given. Since my friend group is largely composed of serious kratom heads if not kratom vendors, you could say that each of us believes we have a pretty refined palate.
Nowhere is this more true than in the case of Dave who likes to prattle on for hours at a clip about the subtle differences between White Vietnam and Yellow Vietnam. In fact, it was his carrying on that gave us the idea for the game in the first place.
This year I decided to make Dave put his money where his mouth is. After having a secret pow-wow with his wife who informed me that Dave would be gifting me some White Maeng Da, I decided to order 28 grams of White Vietnam.
In a stroke of sheer cunning, I got the idea to remove the package’s label and draw a small MD on the bottom of the pouch. In this way, I figured I could trick Dave into thinking that I’d given him Maeng Da powder as well.
What follows is Dave’s on-the-nose strain comparison in the wake of my trickery. As it turns out, Dave wasn’t just blowing hot air when he went around telling everyone about the subtle differences between the two. The dude really knows his stuff and it showed this weekend when he bested us all yet again.
As we’ve noted in the past, Vietnam Kratom is a broad description for any strain that grows in the wilds of Vietnam. It is typically harvested from mature kratom plants along the Mekong River. Boasting high concentrations of mitraphylline and 7-hydroxymitragynine, it is analgesic, adrenergic and muscle relaxing in nature.
By comparison, Maeng Da is a kratom strain that possesses far less 7-hydroxymitragynine, but the volume of mitragynine, another key analgesic indole alkaloid, makes it one of the most potent strains on the market.
Maeng Da is often referred to as “Pimp Kratom” because it’s powerful and provides a fair amount of endurance. It is more stimulating than Vietnam strains and is notable for its nootropic effects.
None of this matters to Dave who swears by Vietnam strains. If he had his druthers, Vietnam would be the only kratom available. I thought dude was straight up crazy until he gave that mislabeled bag of mine ye olde toss n wash.
Within fifteen minutes, he was dancing around to Drake like a fool and smiling from ear to ear. Soon thereafter he pointed a finger at me and said, “I know what you’re doing, you sonovabitch. Who do you think you’re dealing with?”
I tried to play dumb, but I never said I had the greatest poker face. Dave promply pelted me with the remainder of the kratom pouch.
“That’s grade A White Vietnam right there!”
I asked him to explain how he knew that I’d fleeced him and he said the effects were obvious. “The effects are too pronounced too quickly. Right away I could feel that nervous energy creeping up on me and then the tingles. God, the tingles!”
It is true that White Vietnam is far more effective than Maeng Da when it comes to potentiating intense stimulation. Although Maeng Da does provide clean energy, it is far more suited to the active gym member or athlete than it is to those who want to crush a Powerpoint presentation and crank out a quarterly report before lunch.
Maeng Da is made for people who are into endurance sports and outdoor activities whereas Vietnam is ideal for working professionals who crave that extra focus and enhanced concentration expected from cognitive enhancement supplements.
“You bastard,” Dave exclaimed. “I wouldn’t have burned so much if I’d known you were up to something. Now I’m gonna be…I’m gonna be…”
Before Dave could finish his thought, we all started clowning on him. “Oh, no!” I said. “It’s the return of Wiggins!”
Wiggins was the nickname we’d given Dave in college because whenever we’d burn some kush, Dave would start wigging out like a cartoon character. Coffee and other stimulants tended to have the same effect on him, particularly in large doses.
Luckily, Dave was able to stave off any anxiety and we all had a good laugh while enjoying our secret speciosa strains. But the point was made clear: White Vietnam bests White Maeng Da any day of the week when it comes to stimulation and focus.
Further proof of this could be found in Dave’s solving of a Rubik’s cube in record time or the fact that he suddenly recited an entire passage from Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil without prompting…all because one of us mentioned HBO’s True Detective.
So what did we learn today, kids?
White Maeng Da is your go-to strain if it’s clean energy, endurance and analgesia that you’re after. But if you want to burn a kratom strain that’s wildly stimulating and mood enhancing, White Vietnam is where it’s at. Just remember to practice moderation, Wiggins!
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