Red Maeng Da Kratom Strain Review

May 13, 2020 Articles, Kratom Alkaloids, Kratom Blends, Kratom Extracts, Kratom Products, Kratom Research, Kratom Reviews, Kratom Shots, Kratom Strains, Kratom Tea, Kratom Vendors

Maeng Da has gotten more press than any other form of kratom on the market. Infamous for its strength and duration, this Thai classic has attracted a lot of attention, both positive and negative.

Whether it lives up to its namesake, which roughly translates to “Pimp kratom” is a matter of opinion. But one thing is for sure: people will never get enough of this curious cultivar.

Red Maeng Da is one of the most widely sold kratom strains in the Western world, but it hasn’t always been the most well-known. Today we’ll talk about why that is, how Red Maeng Da differs from Green Maeng Da and what makes it special.

We’ll also dive into the specific reasons why Red Maeng Da may be the strongest of its kind. As you’ll see, there is a lot to recommend this one, but there’s also reason to approach it with caution.


Red MD is a celebrated Mitragyna speciosa cultivar that was first discovered in Thailand. For a long time, this one went largely unnoticed by Westerners. This had less to do with its quality and more to do with sourcing. Most small batch kratom vendors simply didn’t bother to invest in importing Red MD when they saw the overarching demand for green vein kratom.

As the market grew and users sought new and more exotic strains, Red MD emerged as yet another popular alternative to green veins. Like Red Bentuangie, this Maeng Da strain is a happy haven for those who seek relaxation and clarity.


This potent strain is harvested from mature trees in Indonesia where its horned leaves have been chewed by local farmers for many years to potentiate physiological performance and deep feelings of exhilaration.

In contrast to Green MD, which is more of a natural endurance herb, Red Maeng Da is known as an inspiring, introspective brew. Its oft-dark crimson hue owes to the conditions in which it was cultivated and its attendant exposure to sunlight.

It is a common myth that Red MD is genetically modified, but this could not be farther from the truth. On the contrary, it is grown using a meticulous grafting process, a technique that was initially developed to yield Red Vein Bali.

This process effectively merges two disparate trees into one sturdier tree. The result is a cultivar that shares the pronounced and unique features of each respective strain. In Red Maeng Da’s case, a Green Maeng Da tree is grafted on to a Red Borneo strain. The native petani occasionally substitute other strains in lieu of Red Borneo, but this is considered the most common combination for grafting purposes.


The alkaloid profile of Red MD plays a vital role in why it is so substantive across kratom’s spectrum of purported effects. As most seasoned users already know, alkaloid content varies quantitatively from one region to another. Maeng Da may be the most abundant source for key alkaloids, such as mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine.

Containing high concentrations of monoterpenoid indoles—corynantheidaline, mitragynaline, etc.—and large volumes of both alkaloids and flavonoids, Red MD is a veritable powerhouse. As with all forms of Mitragyna speciosa leaf, mitragynine makes up at least 66% of this strain’s total content. However, some batches have been submitted for testing and have been found to contain even more.

In total, this strain contains more than 25 alkaloids and precise levels fluctuate between 0.5% and 1.5% with mitragynine comprising as much as 2.5% or more in “enhanced” versions, such as liquid kratom shots and kratom extract.


I’ve only ever tried this one twice, once from our friends at Kats Botanicals and once from Kraken Kratom. On both occasions, I was taken by its extensive duration and smooth texture. The aroma takes awhile to hit, but when it does you know it.

If ever there was a strain that made me exclaim, “Wowzers,” this would be the stuff. Kats Botanicals’ blend of red and white is robust, wildly fragrant and brimming with a remarkable level of lucidity. What’s more, it got me to break out of my shell and be more social, which is really saying something when you consider how much of a misanthrope your faithful blogger is.

On a scale from 1-10 with 10 being the absolute strongest strain around, I’d easily slip this one a nine. It wasn’t the most intense leaf I’ve ever brewed…and that’s a good thing.


  • Serenity
  • Well-being
  • Mild invigoration
  • Moderate exhilaration
  • Restful sleep
  • Hypothetical reduction in distress


As with all forms of Mitragyna speciosa, Red MD may lead to some adverse effects, many of which typically present at larger dosages. Chronic use is highly ill-advised, as it may potentiate these adverse effects and lead to dangerous health consequences.

Pregnant and lactating mothers should never consume kratom for any reason, as it may be harmful to your health and the health of your unborn child.

Persons afflicted with preexisting health conditions should avoid kratom use as it may conflict with medications or exacerbate your condition. This is particularly true for those suffering from high BP (Blood Pressure), heart problems or intestinal issues.

Side effects of Red Maeng Da kratom may include any or all of the following:

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Dilated pupils
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Muscle cramps
  • Constipation
  • Confusion
  • Darkening of the skin
  • Skin rash
  • Agitation
  • Restless legs
  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Hallucination
  • High blood pressure
  • Liver damage
  • Kidney damage

The FDA has not approved kratom for medicinal use. After a salmonella outbreak swept the industry in 2018, the agency issued a public warning, urging Americans to avoid kratom consumption. Nevertheless, users have attested to the relative safety and efficacy of this Ayurvedic herb, and persist in brewing mitra tea.

Those who wish to brew a cup should remember to drink it responsibly. It is advisable to stick to moderate dosages and refrain from daily use. Cycling one’s dosages assists in the prevention of tolerance, addiction, abuse and potential overdose.

Bob Freville
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