After running out of codeine for the first time in ages, I was forced to fall back on my trusty friend kratom to avert the worst of withdrawals. Problem is, my kratom stash is all from a season in which every vendor had what can only be termed weak to mediocre leaf at best. I was guzzling bottle after bottle of thick kratom sludge and still shivering my ass off, fighting off withdrawals while praying I didn't give myself an ulcer by drinking too much kratom too fast. I nearly failed but that's another story for another article.
During my misery I sought out a new vendor. I decided on Smiley Time Herbals, a somewhat exclusive vendor who requires you to be approved manually via email before ordering. Apparently I'd already applied long ago and didn't remember, so ordering was a breeze. His selection is extensive and contains strains I've never heard of, such as Blood Moon and various Sibau strains. I decided to try 125g each of the Pure Red Glow and Premium Red Vein MD for $32 (free shipping).
|Smiley Time Herbals Red Glow|
There are no pictures of the product on the page which is a bit of a bummer. Kratom's effects are determined more by its actual color and how it's dried than anything else, a fact I recently learned on the Double M Forums. Therefore seeing whether a "red-veined" strain is actually light brown in color is important; ditto for green-veined strains which should be green and so on. I may do a longer post on this subject another time, but for now let's just say it's preferable for vendors to take photos of their recent batches when possible. If not, they should offer a brief description: is the strain fermented? Coarse or finely ground? What color is the actual powder? Etc.
I paid with credit card and waited about a week for the package to arrive, which was not bad considering the major delays due to COVID and the holidays. I was stoked to find a sample of Red Kali (free!) that came with my order. Very cool. Less cool was the fact that all 3 kratom samples were the exact same color--bright green. As stated above, red-vein strains should be light to dark brown as this reflects the fact that they were dried in a way that produces "red-vein" effects. (The vast majority of kratom is actually red-veined, and vein color doesn't account for the color or effects of the final powder--drying method does). Anyway, I'll have to give it a try before judging but this is a bit of a bummer, particularly since they're all the exact same shade of green which could indicate they're the same batch/strain.
|Pure Red Glow up close (notice green color)|
I start with the Pure Red Glow at a very low dose since my gastritis is acting up from my latest kratom foray. Even after a day of pill-popping I'm getting some decent euphoria on my first test. And a night of insomnia. This definitely feels more 'green' than 'red', though I'm digging the vibes it's giving me. The next day I finish off the small dose in the water bottle and get more of the same effects. This is most certainly not a red-vein strain because a small dose makes me tweak out too much. Bummer. But I like how it makes me feel overall so that's not a bad thing. I just don't like mislabeled product.
I'm giving the Pure Red Glow a 4.7 of 5 stars for effects and potency. Points must be deducted for the fact that it's a green strain labeled as a "pure" red, and it appears to be the exact same strain as the other two I received from Smiley Time Herbals. I've yet to try them so I'm trying to withhold my judgment but based on appearances alone, I'm leery.
Stay tuned for the Premium Red Vein MD review which will be coming soon.