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When the term “white elephant” comes up in conversation, it’s usually related to gift-giving, not kratom. However, there is a lesser known variety called white elephant kratom, and it tends to be shrouded by myth and misconceptions, even in the kratom world. Luckily, by breaking the details of this strain down, you can decide if it’s the right fit for you. 

Curious about this underrated strain? Explore this article, as well as the basics of kratom and the truth about kratom strains, to understand the potential this unique variety has. 

White Elephant: Kratom Strain or Subtype? 

There’s much discussion surrounding white elephant strains in the kratom community (and for a good reason). It’s helpful to break down each part of this variety’s name to understand exactly why. 

A Word on White Strains 

Kratom leaf icons with muscles, computer, and chill vibes

The first thing to know about white elephant kratom is what the “white” part of its name indicates. White strains come from kratom leaves at the beginning of their growing cycle, when they appear lighter and less vibrant, and contain white veins. Very mature leaves appear redder (which is where red strains come from) and those in the middle leaves appear greener (which is where green strains come from). 

Often the color of a kratom strain will give you some indication as to the potential effects you may experience. For example red strains are thought to be more soothing, white strains are thought to be more energizing, and green strains are believed to be a “happy medium” between red and white. 

Explaining the Elephant in the Room 

After understanding what white strains are known for, it’s helpful to unpack what the “elephant” means. Right away, white elephant kratom can be confusing to some, since strains are often named for their area of origin, import, or export (such as White Indo).  

Instead, white elephant kratom is named for the type of leaves used to make it. A lot of elephant kratom typically comes from the Sumatra Island of Indonesia, and differs from other types of kratom in its appearance. The leaves of this kratom tree are what really stand out, since they are large and resemble elephant ears in their appearance.

Elephant ear in black and white

In other words, elephant kratom is a unique exception to common naming “rules,” and as such, is surrounded by a bit of confusion. Some sellers don’t consider it a unique strain at all, saying the only thing unique about it is the size of leaves it comes from. Others swear by elephant strains, noting a stark difference in the way the strains feel. 

White Elephant Alkaloids: Clarifying Compound Confusion 

White elephant is an often underrated strain, since it’s believed to provide a more intense experience. This is believed to be due to its unique mix of alkaloids, which are the basic compounds that are responsible for kratom’s effects. The white elephant strain tends to have a lower 7-hydroxymitragynine and higher mitragynine content, a balance thought to be prime for producing energy-boosting effects. 

Although the alkaloid difference is believed to be relatively minor between white elephant and other strains, a white strain’s immaturity in the growing process combined with elephant kratom leaf size are said to make white elephant stronger than its counterparts. A larger leaf at the time of harvest could mean that those particular plants were thriving during that growth phase. In other words, bigger may be better in the sense that increased leaf size may affect the alkaloid content in the finished product.

A MIT45 White Vein Powder of 250 capsules.

Some users of white elephant kratom do report that it has more intense effects, although other kratom users are unable to tell a difference from other high-quality white strains, including the strong and pure kratom blend that MIT45 uses for our white vein powder and capsules.

White Elephant Effects: Energy-Boosting or Soothing?

As mentioned above, white strains of kratom (and elephant strains in particular) are thought to be more energizing, and this certainly seems to be true of white elephant kratom. It’s not necessarily considered the most “balanced” strain, meaning it doesn’t provide a wide array of potential effects like other strains might. However, it leans towards adding an “oomph” more than promoting relaxation, which can be a good fit for kratom users prioritizing an added sense of focus or as a pre-workout. 

Some people swear by white elephant kratom’s uplifting effects, and prefer this “pick me up” strain to other strains once they’ve given it a try.

Onset & Duration 

Like other strains, the effects of white elephant kratom are likely to kick in about 20 to 30 minutes following consumption. When it comes to duration, the effects are reported to last about 3 to 5 hours, which is actually on the shorter side compared to other strains. Taking this strain on an empty stomach may be too intense, so it may be better to consume it with a small amount of food or snack (especially at first). 

Serving Size Suggestions 

Since everyone reacts to kratom differently, it’s difficult to make a blanket statement about serving size. However, the rule of thumb is to start small and work your way up. If you’re a kratom first-timer, it’s best to start at 0.5 to 1 grams. If you’re more familiar with kratom’s effects, it’s still suggested you don’t exceed 2 to 5 grams for this strain. Again, some people believe white elephant kratom to be stronger than other strains, so it’s best to err on the side of caution

Where To Find More Information About White Elephant Kratom 

This elephant kratom Reddit may be helpful for locating user stories, but it’s crucial to keep in mind that these accounts are not based on science, but rather on personal experience. Nearly anyone can create an account, and while there are certainly helpful pointers and ideas out there, it may also be where rumors or myths get perpetuated. 

Although the science for white elephant kratom seems sparse, it’s best to get your information from evidence-based and credible sources when possible. This can be as simple as scrolling to the end of an article and looking for a references list, or double checking that a brand you’re buying from participates in third-party testing to ensure strength and safety. 

A word of caution concerning white elephant kratom in particular—there seems to be little consistency between sellers on what constitutes an “elephant” kratom leaf. This means that some sellers mark certain leaves as big enough to be “elephant” even if they aren’t taken from the traditional area that elephant leaves are sourced from. 

It can be difficult to track down the source, since the people selling kratom aren’t always the same people that are growing and sourcing it. However, it’s worth researching and asking questions to find out where your kratom is coming from, especially if sourcing is important to you. Keep an eye out for counterfeit products, and remember it’s okay to ask questions to your vendor to ensure you’re getting real white elephant kratom. Most reputable kratom vendors won’t mind your questions, and will be able to answer them in a straight-forward way if they are conducting their business in accordance with Good Manufacturing Practices

A Final Word About White Elephant Kratom 

Some consider white elephant kratom an exciting new strain, while others simply appreciate that white elephant kratom may be a more exciting version of the basic white strains they’ve come to know and love. Kratom elephant white strains lean more towards energy-boosting and less towards mood-mediating effects, which can be a bonus for some kratom users and a good fit for their lifestyle. While waiting on the science to catch up with and confirm user stories, it’s important to seek out credible resources and responsibly sourced kratom whenever possible. 


Deer M. White Elephant Kratom: Uplifting & Euphoric. Published 2022. 

Desalles H. Kratom Strains Explained: Kratom Color, Kratom Effects, and Kratom Strength Comparison Charts. Published 2022.  

Our Friends. Kratom Strains Chart: A Guide to Kratom Strains and Their Effects. Published April 2020. 

Paul W. Elephant Kratom Strains & Their Effects. Published 2021.

Annika Weeks

Annika Weeks ("Anni") is a registered nutrition and dietetic technician (NDTR). With expertise as a health professional and experience as a patient in the healthcare system, she hopes to bridge gaps by creating more credible nutrition, health, and wellness information online.


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