Location: Chicago, IL.
Items: Kratom, Akuamma Seed, Lotus Flower Extracts.
Rating: 4.8 of 5 stars
Despite being extremely impressed with my current sources of kratom, I wanted to branch out a bit & give some new vendors a chance. Kratom, no matter how high quality, tends to create tolerance after repeated use of the same strains which makes it necessary to add variety to your stash. This time I went with Benni Botanicals, a vendor located in Chicago, Illinois. I'm starting with a small sample order of 4 red strains, as always:
- Super Red (100g)
- Red Cambo (100g)
- Red Jongkong (25g)
- Red Bali (25g)
Free sample! Benni Benty Bali (25g)
Free sample! Benni Benty Bali (25g)
Right off the bat I'm impressed with the service & friendliness of these folks. I also appreciate the variety of payment options & nice website. Shipping is free which is another awesome touch. I paid $32 including tax & shipping for 250g split 4 ways. I kinda dislike how the products are laid out on the website, with the same strains listed twice in different quantities (hard to explain in words). Would prefer they just list each strain one time & let you choose the amount from a drop-down menu or write-in list, but it's not a huge obstacle. I'm seeing lots of positive reviews on various forums which is reassuring. Shipping was lightning fast, with the package arriving in my state the day after paying & at my mailbox the following day. WOW. Free Priority shipping is something ya don't see often in this biz either.
|Beauteous Benni Botanicals bags of bounty!|
Upon opening the package, I notice an extra bag: 25g of "Benty Bali" sample. SWEET! First I make a batch of tea from the Benni Red Cambo, as I've never tried a Cambodian strain before & am curious what to expect. It has a typical kratom smell upon opening the bag & is a brownish red color. The Cambo tastes kinda rank but immediately provides a super mellow wave of bliss after only a few sips. Music is sounding gorgeous after partaking. My migraine is melting away despite the storm brewing outside.
Next day I try the Benni Red Bali, which I've seen many rave reviews about online. It's nice but not quite as potent as the Cambo for me. Super Red is on par with the Cambo in terms of potency but unfortunately is triggering a massive itchy hive rash all over my body, which is not something that's ever happened to me with kratom or even opioids. Gonna have to throw that one out. I'd rank them in the following order from most mild/stimulating to most potent/relaxing: Jongkong, Red Bali, Super Red, Cambo. From a personal taste standpoint, I'd say the Cambo is my favorite all-around strain but I'll probably revise this later after I've had a chance to experiment more with them. (I've yet to try the Benty Bali but am sure it's quality).
From what I can gather, Benni's business model is to source most of his own bulk kratom & also offer some good batches from other domestic vendors he's tried. The strains with the word "Benni" in front of the name denote a strain he's sourced from his own Indo source, I believe. I appreciate his openness regarding where he picked up these batches. It would do no good to buy a bunch of domestic kratom sourced from the same Indo source I buy directly from so this is helpful. They also include actual batch numbers on each package which is pretty official. 👌
I give this order a 4.8 of 5 stars for the generous sample, lightning-fast shipping & friendliness in communications. Quality is on point too but I gotta dock a point for the allergic reaction to the Super Red. You can tell these folks take pride in their business & care about the kratom community. I look forward to ordering more from them in the future.
Regarding this rash: It's still present a week later & I'm not 100% sure it was the kratom that caused it, but the timing was extremely suspicious. After my first few sips of the Super Red strain I began itching intensely all over my body & it hasn't stopped. My entire torso & face are feverish & red...my legs & arms covered in hive-like bumps ("maculopapular" rash if we're being technical). I might try a skin contact test with the strain again later just to see if it provokes a response, but I won't be ingesting it again to be on the safe side. Whatever it is, it's most definitely a ME problem; not a Benni issue. I don't hold it against him & neither should you. For all we know I have West Nile Virus or some other thing entirely.
Update #2: Benni was kind enough to email me personally to check on the rash issue. He's pulled the Super Red from his sale rack just to be safe, which is exactly what a responsible vendor should do. I highly recommend Benni Botanicals & will definitely be using them again myself.