Does Kratom Show Up on a Drug Test?
- What is Kratom?
- Is Kratom Legal?
- What Types of Drug Tests Can Detect Kratom?
- Factors Influencing Kratom Detection
- How Long Does Kratom Last in Your System?
- Are there Legal Implications if Kratom is Detected in a Drug Test?
- Bottom Line
Kratom, a psychoactive plant, is increasingly popular in the United States for its stimulant and pain-relieving abilities. The 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health revealed that about 1.7 million people consume kratom in the United States. At the same time, people are still unfamiliar with its effects and regulations. Many want to know if kratom will show up on standard drug tests and whether a positive result could lead to consequences.
This article explores kratom’s origins and investigates state consumption rules. It also answers the critical question, Does kratom show up on a drug test?
What is Kratom?
Kratom is an herbal plant native to Southeast Asia. It has been used for centuries as a traditional medicine due to its opioid and stimulant properties. Native Asians often chew or boil the leaves to increase stamina and productivity and reduce pain.
Kratom effects depend largely on the dose. In lower amounts, Kratom acts as a stimulant, helping people stay alert, reduce fatigue, and improve energy levels. At higher doses, Kratom has opioid-like properties, reducing pain and causing sedation (drowsiness or sleepiness).
Is Kratom Legal?
Kratom is legal to consume in the U.S., although some states have bans and restrictions.
Federally, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has classified Kratom as a drug of concern “based on the conflicting reports made by the FDA, particularly with the deliberate adulteration and mislabeling of kratom products by some unscrupulous vendors in the kratom marketplace.
Common adulterants include fentanyl, heroin, buprenorphine, and morphine. The DEA simply maintains surveillance of kratom to review reports of adverse events to potentially identify and interdict such adulteration with dangerous substances,” according to the American Kratom Association.
Most states have no official kratom regulations. However, some have restrictions, such as age limits. Others have placed outright bans on kratom:
- 11 states, including Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Florida, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, Utah, and West Virginia, have passed some version of the Kratom Consumer Protection Act (KPCA), supported by the American Kratom Association. The KPCA sets common-sense rules like setting a minimum age limit (18 years old), prohibiting the use of adulterants or synthetic content in kratom formulas, and creating labeling and packaging standards.
- Six states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Tennessee, Vermont, and Wisconsin have kratom bans, along with some local jurisdictions.
What Types of Drug Tests Can Detect Kratom?
Kratom's controversial status in the U.S. has led to common concerns about its detection in routine drug tests. The short answer is no, Kratom won’t show up on most regular blood tests. However, specialized drug tests may detect the presence of kratom’s main active ingredients–mitragynine and 7-hydroxy mitragynine.
Drug tests that look for these alkaloids will automatically register positive for Kratom use. However, standard drug panels like the 5 and 10-panel tests typically do not detect them. Some specialized tests may specifically look for these alkaloids.
Does Kratom Show Up on Standard Drug Tests?
In short, kratom does not show up on standard drug tests.
Standard drug tests like the common 5-panel, will not detect kratom. The 5-panel drug test checks for five drugs, including Opiates, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), phencyclidine (PCP), amphetamines, and cocaine.
Even the more elaborate 10-panel drug will not detect kratom alkaloids. The 10-panel drug test looks for, amphetamines, cocaine, cannabis, opioids, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, phencyclidine (PCP), methaqualone (ludes), methadone (dollies), propoxyphene (Darvon), tramadol, and buprenorphine.
Does Kratom Show Up on Specialized Drug Tests?
More in-depth tests, such as chromatography techniques and other urine drug screens that specifically look for kratom’s metabolites (mitragynine and 7-hydroxy mitragynine) may detect the plant. However, employers do not routinely submit to these types of tests, as they are typically reserved for in-depth investigations or medical evaluations where law enforcement suspects use.
Does Kratom Show Up as an Opioid on a Drug Test?
Kratom, despite having opioid-like properties, will not show up as an opioid on a standard drug test. This is because common drug tests, such as 5-panel and 10-panel tests, are designed to detect specific opioids like heroin, morphine, codeine, and their metabolites.
Mitragynine and 7-hydroxy mitragynine, aratom’s main active compounds, act as opioid agonists, meaning they interact with opioid receptors. However, these compounds are chemically distinct from opioids, and as a result, Kratom will not trigger a positive result on an opioid test.
Factors Influencing Kratom Detection
Several factors, including frequency of use, dosage, type of testing method, body weight, hydration, and other individual factors, can influence whether or not Kratom will be detected on a specialized drug test that looks for the plant’s metabolites.
Frequency of Use
Kratom has a half-life of about a day, which means it takes approximately 24 hours for the body to eliminate half of the consumed amount. However, this process is exponential, not linear, meaning small amounts of the drug can remain in the body for extended periods even after several half-lives have passed.
Additionally, repeated kratom use can lead to its accumulation in the body, potentially extending the detection time. Thus, frequent kratom consumption raises the likelihood of drug test detection over longer periods.
Dosage and Metabolism
Kratom’s detectability is also influenced by dosage and metabolism.
- Higher kratom doses persist in the body for longer durations, increasing the likelihood of detection in specialized tests.
- Metabolism plays a role by breaking down the substance faster or slower in the body.
A faster metabolism means the body breaks down substances like kratom more quickly. Rapid processing leads to quicker conversion of kratom into its metabolites (mitragynine and 7-hydroxy mitragynine) and subsequent faster elimination from the body.
Type of testing method
The type of drug test influences whether Kratom shows a positive result. Standard drug tests are less sensitive to Kratom, while specific tests that employ chromatography methods are more likely to detect kratom metabolites.
Does Maeng Da Kratom show up on a drug test?
Maeng Da Kratom, one of the most potent kratom strains, can only be detected in tests specifically designed to identify the plant’s alkaloids (mitragynine and 7-hydroxy mitragynine). It is not detectable in routine drug screenings.
How Long Does Kratom Last in Your System?
Kratom can linger for days before it is eliminated from the system. However, the timing will vary based on factors such as age, individual metabolism, weight, and kidney and liver function.
How Long Does Kratom Last in Urine?
Not enough research has been done to fully understand the exact length of time kratom stays detectable in the urine. However, some resources suggest that the plant’s metabolites can persist for up to a week following consumption. Metabolism and frequency of use will affect this timeframe.
How Long Does Kratom Last in Saliva?
The scientific literature does not clearly establish the exact duration that kratom can be detected in saliva. However, in general, saliva tests detect recent drug use, often within a few hours to a couple of days after consumption.
How Long Does Kratom Last in Hair?
Hair follicle testing is one of the most reliable methods for detecting drug use over an extended period. Scientists are still investigating the specific detection window for Kratom in hair follicles. However, available information estimates that Kratom could be detectable in the hair for up to three months.
How Long Does Kratom Last in Blood?
Kratom has a short duration in the blood. Some drug treatment facility websites indicate Kratom may last anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days in the blood.
Are there Legal Implications if Kratom is Detected in a Drug Test?
Jurisdictions determine the legal implications of kratom detection.
In some U.S. states, such as Alabama, Arkansas, and Indiana, the purchase or consumption of kratom products is illegal.
In other states, kratom may be legal but banned in some cities. For example, kratom is generally legal in California but banned in cities like San Diego.
Testing positive for kratom in these states or jurisdictions could result in legal consequences based on the state's specific laws and regulations.
Kratom Legality in the U.S., federally and state by state
Kratom is federally legal. In most U.S. states, Kratom and kratom-based products remain uncontrolled and unregulated.
However, Kratom is classified as a controlled substance and subject to regulation in six states: Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Tennessee, Vermont, and Wisconsin. These states have explicitly banned the plant.
Eleven states have regulations governing the possession, distribution, sale, or manufacture of Kratom, including age restrictions. Others are planning to do the same.
Consumers and brands must check the local laws to determine kratom legality.
Workplace Drug Testing and Kratom
Routine workplace drug tests, like the 5-point urinalysis, do not detect Kratom. However, states with kratom bans may utilize specialized methods to screen for the plant’s metabolites. Additionally, government agency drug tests may look for mitragynine and 7-hydroxy mitragynine due to stricter employment rules than in private sector jobs. Applicants in these states and organizations may be denied employment if the tests detect kratom use.
Kratom is generally legal in many U.S. states, and most workplaces do not routinely screen for the plant’s metabolites.
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