TL; DR: I’m happy to report that Captain Vietnam Kratom Premium Platinum Strain more than lives up to the buzz about it. It’s strongly uplifting, but not overwhelmingly so; relaxing, but not soporific; and its effects are fairly long-lasting, without any unpleasant after-effects. Factor in their nice price (30 0.5 gram caps for $32.95), and CapAm’s got a real winner here.
Captain Amsterdam (or as they’re colloquially known in herbal enthusiast circles, “CapAm”) has a pretty solid reputation for producing consistently good kratom products. I’ve sampled a few of CapAm’s kratom wares in the past, and while their effects weren’t particularly long-lasting, they worked well enough for the first few hours that I’d give them a decent recommendation. To be fair, I’ve only tried their Thai and Maeng Da kratom products, and these strains aren’t generally known for the longevity of their effects.
But what of this “Vietnam” or “Bumblebee” strain of kratom that’s been popping up lately? I wasn’t sure at first if this stuff was actually from Vietnam, or was simply another exotic locale used by unscrupulous manufacturers to market plain ol’ Indonesian kratom. I was previously under the impression that kratom was illegal in Vietnam, as most online sources indicate that this is the case. I did a bit of digging online, and found a site called vietnamkratom.com, run by Arena Ethnobotanicals. The home page of this site claims that this Vietnamese kratom strain grows along a 200-mile stretch of the Mekong River, and is exported out of An Giang Province in Southwestern Vietnam. The info text also mentions: 1.) that lab tests on this strain indicated that it possessed a 25% higher alkaloid content than Malaysian, Indo, Borneo (considering Borneo is located in Indonesia, this seems a bit redundant), and Maeng Da strains, and 2.) only a select few “ethical vendors” (Arena Ethnobotanicals, as well as Captain Amsterdam and Kratom.PRO) had access to this miraculous new (in the West) strain.
I was immediately intrigued to find out if this Vietnam strain lived up to its hype or was just more marketing hokum, so I contacted my editor about procuring a sample for me to review. Within days of this request, I received a 30-capsule pack of Captain Vietnam Premium Platinum Strain in the mail from the fine folks at Super Fun Cave, where it’s currently available for purchase. The packaging of this product is admittedly pretty amusing: it features CapAm’s pirate captain mascot standing in the foreground, with lush, tropical swamplands and an army helicopter hovering in the background. Even the font used for the product’s name is reminiscent of movie posters for grim late 80s ‘Nam flicks (e.g., Platoon, Full Metal Jacket). The description on the back of the package is pretty much what you’d expect: “Captain Amsterdam gathers fresh, organic kratom leaves from the lush and beautiful forests of Vietnam to be carefully prepared and packaged”. I got a pretty good chuckle out of imagining the Captain in his tricorne hat and cape trudging through a rice paddy, toting a sack full of freshly-picked kratom leaves.
After opening the packet, I counted out the capsules inside. Thirty 0.5 gram capsules for $32.95 (their retail price listed on Super Fun Cave, as well as the manufacturer’s site) comes out to a little over a buck a capsule, so that’s not a bad deal at all. The kratom inside of these Vietnam capsules has a somewhat gritty texture, and not much of a noticeable smell to it. However, its taste was another story; after I tossed-and-washed down the powdered contents of four CapAm Vietnam capsules, I was taken aback by this strain’s unique and pleasantly spicy taste. Well, I thought it was tasty, but then again, I typically ask for extra hot peppers on my Banh Mi subs.
This kratom didn’t take very long at all to kick in – about 20 minutes – and when it did, it felt especially nice. I took a walk to the store to pick up a few groceries, and the sun seemed to shine much more brightly, and the breeze felt especially nice on my skin. I had been horribly under the weather before taking this kratom: an all-day migraine and a lingering stomach bug had me feeling thoroughly defeated by life. However, this Vietnam kratom quickly vanquished my headache and discomfort, and replaced them with (physical and mental) feelings of tranquility and a nice burst of energy. Best of all, there was no mental “cloudiness” that accompanies the effects of some kratom brands; I could focus on my work just fine.
These effects were pretty consistent for the next 3-4 hours before tapering off a little, though I still felt pretty good after the 6 hour mark. All in all, I have nothing but good things to say about Captain Amsterdam Vietnam Premium Platinum Strain, and I’ll even go so far as to award it a full five out of 5 stars. The effects were admittedly a bit shorter-lived than a few other brands (notably Save on Kratom’s Wildcraft), but its particularly uplifting effects and lack of any negative after-effects more than makes up for this. Short of taking a trip to the Mekong Delta, I have no idea if this stuff actually hails from the jungles of Vietnam, but with kratom this good, I’m not too concerned. Keep up the good work, Cap’n.
-Very uplifting, relaxing, pain-relieving
-Increased focus and mental clarity
-The powder has an interesting, “spicy” taste to it
-Very nice price = $32.95 for 30 very effective kratom caps