To the Southeast Asian populations who discovered the kratom tree thousands of years ago, kratom might have seemed nothing more than a simple "feel-good" leaf.
But today, kratom is the focus of a massive global industry — and that industry has diversified to include many types of kratom.
Maeng Da and Bali are two of many popular kratom variants or "strains" on the market. Generally, kratom farmers use strain names to differentiate between kratom leaves that are grown in various conditions or regions. But how do these strains compare, and which one is best suited for you? Let's take a look!
While "Bali" usually refers to kratom grown in Bali, Indonesia, the Maeng Da strain name is slightly more cryptic. When translated from Thai, Maeng Da (แมงดา Mængdā) translates to "pimp" in English. Some kratom enthusiasts and suppliers believe the Maeng Da name is an indication of potency. Considering that "pimp" usually means to "upgrade" or "improve" something in western culture (Pimp My Ride), this explanation doesn't seem far off.
Because Maeng Da is one of the most popular and well-recognized kratom strains, other kratom fans have theorized that the Maeng Da name is a product of marketing. It's possible that the original Maeng Da strain built a strong reputation for potency, which prompted other kratom vendors to begin selling their own Maeng Da. Following this explanation, Maeng Da would have become an obligatory product in any kratom vendor's inventory.
Although Maeng Da and Bali kratom differ in name, their differences are especially apparent when you compare their properties.
Red Bali tends to offer strong pain relief and relaxation but isn't very energizing. In contrast, Red Maeng Da is more energizing than Red Bali, but also less pain-relieving. Red Maeng Da's effects also seem to be longer-lasting, which could be a bonus depending on your preferences.
Similar differences exist between the green versions of these strains. Green Bali seems to offer a balanced effects profile, providing moderate stimulation, mood elevation, and relaxation. On the other hand, Green Maeng Da appears to be much more energizing, euphoric, and longer-lasting in comparison.
This trend continues when comparing White Bali and White Maeng Da, too. As a white strain, White Bali is stimulating, but White Maeng Da's energetic potential seems to surpass it. However, White Bali appears to be slightly more relaxing, if shorter-lived.
Choosing between Maeng Da and Bali kratom doesn't have to be difficult. Depending on what you're looking for, it's easy to recommend one strain over the other.
Because Maeng Da seems to be more energizing and long-lasting overall, Maeng Da is likely the better strain for those seeking a potent energy boost.
In contrast, Bali appears to offer more sedation and pain relief than Maeng Da. As a result, Bali kratom is probably best for those looking to relax and/or relieve discomfort.
Note that, due to the subjective nature of kratom and personal variations in body and brain chemistry, your experiences with these strains might differ from the average user.
What are your experiences with these strains? Do you disagree with our findings, or are they spot-on? Let us know in the comments!