Does Kratom Affect Drug Tests?
Kratom is a tree (Mitragyna speciosa Korth) that originates in Asia and is closely related to the trees that give us coffee. The leaves of the kratom tree have been used as a stimulant for centuries. These leaves are typically steeped into tea, and people drink the tea to fuel themselves with more energy. Others have used the leaves of the kratom tree for medicinal purposes.
Before diving into how long kratom lingers in a person’s system, it’s important to know precisely how kratom works. Many people in the U.S. market misunderstand what kratom is or simply don’t know enough about it.
Mitragynine is the primary active alkaloid in the plant responsible for its effects. That said, the herbal drug is often promoted in the U.S. as a legal psychoactive substance. Mitragynine incites opioid-like activity in the brain, diminishing pain response. When the active compounds of the herb reach the brain, they alter mood and anxiety. These compounds have been proven to induce a euphoric effect similar to that of opium or heroin.
Since research on kratom and its effects are still inconclusive, the Kratom half-life hasn't been thoroughly debunked yet. However, based on the study published so far, it's believed that the primary alkaloid found in kratom, mitragynine, possesses a half-life of around 23.24 hours.
That said, it would take around a whole day for the body to eliminate 50% of the kratom. Based on this half-life information, it would take over five days for the drug to be entirely eliminated from the system.
Based on the latest research, the fastest half-life of kratom alkaloids could be over two hours, putting total elimination at around a half day. However, on the lower end of the spectrum, it could take several days (9) for all kratom to be eliminated from a person's body.
Evidence infers that someone who uses kratom less frequently or takes lower doses eliminates the substance more quickly than long-term or sustained users.
What Influences How Long Kratom Stays in Your System?
Like any substance, a few variables determine or influence how long kratom stays in your system. Some of the factors that determine the duration time of the drug in your body include:
Older people tend to have a longer dismissal half-life than younger bodies in general. This is the case with kratom as well as with other substances like CBD. This is often due to renal function, age-related bodily changes, and the use of prescribed medications.
Another characteristic that can play a role in how long it takes kratom compounds to be excluded from the body is the body fat percentage. The mitragynine in kratom is very fat-soluble, which means the kratom will likely stay in the system of individuals with a high body fat percentage longer than someone with a lower body fat percentage.
Certain genetic makeups and enzymes may influence the speed at which kratom is eliminated from the body.
Food and Water Intake
If you take kratom after a high-fat meal, it may speed up the absorption and rush how long it would take the substance to reach its peak concentration levels. If you’re well-hydrated, the kratom to be excreted via urine, therefore shortening the time it lingers in your body.
Other factors that play a role in how long kratom stays in your system include your urinary pH level, renal function, and metabolic rate. These factors aren’t exclusive to kratom. The same goes for many other substances.
Does Kratom Show Up in a Drug Test?
Before we get into it, kratom is not generally tested for in most drug panels. Even advanced testing methods used for major jobs may not screen for traces of mitragynine or its metabolites (substances produced due to the drug breaking down). That said, kratom is simply not a popular drug of abuse, and most employers are not concerned about it.
One of the reasons why many people decide to switch to kratom is that they believe it won't show up on drug tests.
While kratom doesn't show up on most standard drug tests like the SAMHSA-5, specific drug tests can detect some kratom alkaloids, such as urine or blood tests. Because blood tests provide less precise detection for substances and are more obtrusive, it's more likely that a urine test would be administered.
While most standard drug tests don't detect kratom, a specific kratom drug test called the kratom 10-panel drug test can detect traces of mitragynine or its metabolites in the body.
To answer your question, if the employer uses a standard drug test like the SAMHSA-5, it might not detect the kratom. However, if the employer conducts a kratom 10-panel test, it may be able to detect the kratom in your body if it's still in your system.
Kratom Abuse and Addiction
As aforementioned, kratom has not yet been thoroughly studied. But, because kratom can produce psychoactive effects, it is usually considered to be addictive.
Tolerance building, a condition in which a person may need to consume more of a substance to achieve the wanted effects, is also possible with kratom. This frequency of use can rapidly grow into an addiction.
Because kratom attaches to some of the same receptors in the brain as painkillers, it has been advertised to help manage chronic pain or help people detox from opioid use by alleviating withdrawal symptoms. Sadly, it’s also been linked to dangerous side effects, abuse, and even addiction.
Side effects of kratom may include the following:
- Rapid heart rate
- Increased urination
- Lack of appetite