Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Portal Botanicals Collective Review

Portal Botanicals, as those who have been following closely lately may already know, was the sponsor for our most recent (anniversary) promotion and graciously donated a grand total of 6 kilograms of choice kratom, some U.E.I., to the top 3 winners of the contest and honorable mention. This contest was designed to increase community participation and appreciation, as well as promote an up and rising company which shows much promise.

Having now considered all of these points, it is essential for our audience to understand absolutely no promotions or paid advertising (paid anything) will ever have influence on our reviews. "Integrity" is, after all, a main factor in our slogan and what has garnered us a faithful audience. Assessments are a genuine personal reflection of the product's worth.

Anyhow, enough about that:

This is obviously a new company as indicated by its MozRank... us webmasters can tell these things. It may be new, but everyone has to start somewhere and Portal's launch pad is no doubt a strong one on the rise. Initial public opinion (i.e. from Secret Garden Guide) will have a high impact on their future success, and so a good deal of their business hinges on peer reviews and the evaluation that follows.

I will compose a concise list with a rundown on each strain, accompanied by numerical ratings. These numerical ratings, mentioned before but worth repeating, are arbitrary to a certain degree. It still gives the reader a quick look at the reviewer's perception of their experience (for those who don't care much for reading).

Portal Botanical's website has a simple and intuitive design. They have a total of 45 products although we only received 5 to evaluate. They must have done their research, because practically all of the submitted strains are Red, and Klato has mentioned on many an occasion his preference for red strains. We hope to assess a wider variety of their strains in the near future.

Oh... and they have a proclivity to seemingly send complimentary candy to their customers (myself included)! That Jolly Rancher and Airhead satisfied my sweet tooth--a perfect companion for trying out a kratom strain. I can't guarantee they do this all the time for everyone, but there have been multiple reports.

For the sake of brevity I will group the comparatively similar Red Maeng Da and Red Horn Thai

No doubt these are some high grade red strains. Red MD is a solid relaxer, without the hazy punch some reds pack. It is great for pain relief (as is the Red Horn Thai, which seems to have a slightly longer duration). It is worth noting that Red Horn Thai is acutely less sedating. Represented graphically with our property meters, Red MD and Red HT respectively:

Overall, I would rate these products the same in all arenas. It all comes down to personal taste here.

POTENCY: 8.4/10
VALUE: 8.9/10 ($6/oz.) - A bargain price for those looking for more wallet friendly strains.
OVERALL: 8.6/10 - Quality reds that won't break your wallet


According to their blog, R&R is their latest product. Being an inconsistent insomniac, I love the fact that kratom's aroma can be relaxing and pleasantly lull your body into a more relaxed, sleep prone state. Portal Kratom's Red Relax (R&R) is fantastic when it comes to this. R&R is, according to Portal's blog, a mixture of the following:

25% Red Indo
25% Super Red MD
25% Red Vein Thai
20% Red Bali
5% Full Spectrum Extract
5% Portal Chicken Voodoo (just kidding)

Described by Portal as a "generally very quieting and soothing [scent]. This unique blend will melt the tension in the air and give you much needed R & R. You will not be disappointed." I can attest to the accuracy of this audacious claim.

Quite the concoction! R&R is an intelligently fused product, and for this we bestow the "Gold Leaf Award."

POTENCY: 9.0/10
VALUE: 8.8/10  ($9/oz.) - R&R has a higher price tag than most of their products, but one which is justified.
OVERALL: 9.0/10 - R&R, at $9 an ounce, is if anything worth a try. For many, it will likely make it into their rotation of strains.


After seeing their own publication of R&R's formula, we couldn't help but inquire as to the content of the Top Shelf Blend. True to the fact details are not to be found on the site, it is somewhat of a "secret blend." However, it can be revealed it is comprised of a "few different greens/white so it's much more energetic than the R&R blend" (according to Portal's proprietor).

POTENCY: 9.1/10
VALUE: 9.0/10 ($9/oz.) "Top Shelf" is the same price as their other sure winner and top seller R&R. If you were to only try one of their strains, Top Shelf would be it (as far as the limited selection I have received from Portal).
OVERALL: 9.1/10 - I found myself quite keen of this blend and ability for its scent to energize/motivate. Top Shelf is also inherently different, as stated by the proprietor herself. If you are looking for something more energetic, Top Shelf is your top choice. R&R on the other hand rises to its name's sake and so the numerical comparison is not completely valid. One thing is for sure: they are both deserving of the "Golden Leaf" award. I would recommend trying multiple strains at Portal, especially considering their fiscally friendly prices.


I have always loved burning any Ultra Enhanced Indos. U.E.I. is notorious for its proprietary potency. Some brands are admittedly higher caliber than others (see our reviews page for some comparisons) because of diverging ingredients and levels of efficiency in the extraction process. Although this may be just a margin, taking price into consideration is also of great importance in addition to the more unique qualities.

POTENCY: 8.8/10 - In the scheme of extracts, these are hard to do right; meticulous processing is involved. Potent by nature, I didn't feel as thoroughly impressed in comparison to their normal blends. Seeing as how our top contestants and honorable mentions were given some of their U.E.I., I would love to hear any differing opinions or confirmations.
VALUE: 8.5/10 ($9/g) - Still not a bad deal for a gram of some quality U.E.I.
OVERALL: 8.7/10 - In the "Potency" spiel, I mentioned I wasn't "thoroughly impressed in comparison to their normal blends." This is nitpicking. In the scheme of kratom extracts and U.E.I's, this is still quality product.

Be sure to give Portal Botanical's a visit. During the Portal Promotion, we decided to wait until the contest ended to avoid conflict of interest. Some participants left user reviews on our Reviews & Awards page in the meantime. If you are one of these posters, feel free to move your review to this forum.


  1. Red Maeng Da Powder:

    This was the first variety I ever tried. I was interested in kratom for mild pain relief and relaxation in the evening and had ordered from a few other providers before finding portal. This is the "classic" scent I expected. Warm and relaxing. Even though R&R is much stronger, I'm keeping this stuff in rotation for when I don't necessarily feel like an early night. ;)

    Red Horned Thai:

    I figured I'd drop my two cents on this one since it's one that SGG will be reviewing soon. When I talked with them about the effects I was looking for in a strain, Red Horn Thai (and all horned varieties) were mentioned by the helpful folks at Portal Botanical as being more energetic that standard reds. After having tried a green sample or two, I figured they'd probably be perfect for me if I was needing some ache relief but wanting to remain active. It was just what I hoped it would be. A nice mix of red and green effects, "Chilled out" but not cloudy. The aroma hung around for a good long time, and this one is pretty pungent too. The pain relief was definitely there when I needed it.

    8.5 for potency and 9 for duration.

    I still mainly order reds, and this one is still a favorite!

  2. Red Relax (R&R):

    This was recommended to me by the folks at Portal when I mentioned pain relief and relaxation. I've since branched out and tried just about all their reds and even some greens, but I'll always keep this stuff on hand for evenings with moderate back pain or even just restlessness. I think I've reordered 4 times over the last few months now and the quality is still dead on.

    This stuff is what they call a "slightly enhanced house blend" of:
    25% Red Indo
    25% Super Red MD
    25% Red Vein Thai
    20% Red Bali 2
    5% Full Spectrum Extract

    Having tried now these all individually, I guess I shouldn't be surprised at the potency of this blend. At the time though, this was the second variety of kratom I'd burned, and my first enhanced.

    My first experience was an evening after a particularly stressful day. I burned after a light dinner, about the same amount that I'd burn a normal red. Plopped down in bed to watch some documentary or another on netflix and within 30 minutes I had that lovely warm fuzzy red feeling. Another 15 to 30 minutes and I was in a state I love, knowing that if I closed my eyes, I'd be out like a light. That's just what I did, and I awoke refreshed :)

    Since then I've burned it earlier in the evening, even blending in some green for a less sedative aroma. Even alone though, it only konks me out when I lay down and let it. I'll burn after sundown and watch some tv or play video games for a few hours while it does wonders for my back and shoulder aches. The effects are fairly long lasting as well.

    My fiance serves at a local sports bar, often getting home at 3 AM and this blend really helps her unwind and get to sleep faster. In fact she was a bit skeptical of kratom because of a few lackluster purchases I'd made from random vendors. This one made a believer out of her. I'd say R&R or a standard red with a pinch of gold standard or portal gold on top are still our favorite PM burns.

    Rated against everything I've tried from Portal, I'd say this is one of the strongest and lowest spectrum. I'd say an 9 for strength and 8.5 for duration. I'm pretty new to kratom still, so I'm interested to see how the connoisseurs among you will rate it. If you love the warm cozy feeling reds or just have trouble drifting off at night, I can't recommend this blend enough :)

  3. Enhanced Top Shelf Full Spectrum Blend:

    This is another one that's remained a favorite through trying everything I could get my hands on. I've been ordering from portal for months, and I always make sure I keep some of this in stock.

    It's up there with R&R as far as potency, but the aroma is much more a balance between the relaxation of reds and the energy of greens. Portal's site puts is slightly on the higher end of the spectrum, but I'd place it dead center personally. I'm not sure what varieties they put in, but it's a great blend of everything nice about Kratom. This means I can burn it any time of the day or night and not worry about being kept up or knocked out. I noticed improved mood and focus while working after a burn. I'd recommend this to anyone curious about trying an enhanced blend!

    9 for Potency, 7 for duration.

  4. Ultra Enhanced Indo:

    I ordered this and Gold Standard a while back to try out extracts. This stuff is surprisingly potent, but cost prohibitive for me. It adds really strong "all around" aroma similar to the Enhanced Top Shelf to any other burn. I've never burned extract by itself, as I've read that it's not very effective alone. Not as strong as Gold Standard, but a tad more than Portal Gold. Still I prefer PG for the value, and have taken a break from extracts all together. I think all that aromatic smoke kind of made me lose my sense of smell for a bit ;)

    Nice for a treat every once in a while though!

    9 for potency and 7 for duration (but I imagine this would vary greatly depending on what you burn it with)


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