As the popularity of kratom rages on, more people are increasingly curious about this all-natural herbal supplement. The kratom tree thrives in Southeast Asia and has been long used for many years by the locals in the region for various effects such as increasing energy, boosting physical productivity, pain relief, mood elevation, and more. In the western world, kratom can be purchased in different forms including powder, capsules, extract, etcetera. Although it is not classified as a controlled substance, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has attempted to make kratom a Schedule 1 substance.
Kratom usually takes effect around 15 minutes if taken on an empty stomach. In the capsule form, it can take longer to take effect. The effects can take 60 to 90 minutes to reach its peak. Depending on the kratom strain, most effects last for 2 to 4 hours and some can go up to as long as 8 hours. This is dependent on the dosage taken as well.
The half-life of kratom refers to how long it takes to eliminate 50% of the kratom in the body. Since research on kratom is limited, the half-life of kratom has yet to be fully understood. So far, it has only been studied in animal models. Based on the research available, it is believed that the half-life of mitragynine is about 24 hours. This means it takes a full day for the body to eliminate 50% of the kratom in the system. To fully eliminate kratom from the body, it can take anywhere from 1 day to 9 days depending on many variables.
Factors That Affect How Long Kratom Stays In The System
There are several variables that can influence how long kratom stays in your system. Some of these factors include:
- Body Type – Kratom can stay in the system longer for individuals with higher fat percentage or have heavier bodyweight. Since the alkaloid in kratom (mitragynine) is fat soluble, those with a higher percentage of body fat may retain kratom metabolites longer compared to individuals with a lower percentage of body fat.
- Age – As older individuals tend to metabolize drugs slowly, kratom is more likely to remain in the system for older individuals. This is because older individuals have reduced renal function and use of medication. Those over the age of 65 years old would most probably retain kratom longer in their body compared to younger individuals.
- Metabolic Rate and Genetics – The higher the metabolic rate, the faster kratom exits the system. Genetics also play a role in metabolic rate and enzymes in the body that help to eliminate kratom from the body.
- Kratom Dose – The higher the kratom dose used, the longer it stays in your system.
- Other Drugs – Combining kratom with other drugs including medication can affect the rate it is eliminated from your system.
- Health Issues – Mitragynine is initially absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract and metabolized by the liver into metabolites. Therefore, some health issues such as those that affect the liver can cause kratom to be retained in your system for longer durations.
There is also some evidence that suggests those who use kratom at lower doses or less frequently can eliminate the substances more quickly compared to long-term users. Drinking more water is also thought to help the body purge itself of kratom.
Detecting Kratom In Drug Tests
On many standard drug tests such as the SAMHSA-5 test, kratom is not detectable. However, some alkaloids in kratom may be identified in urine or blood tests. There is also a specific drug test known as the 10-panel drug test that can detect kratom. This test detects kratom for up to 7 days after use. The most common method to detect kratom is through urinalysis.
- Urine Test
On average, users who consume high doses of kratom takes an average of 5.4 days to completely eliminate kratom from their system. A urine test can detect kratom after 6 hours and up to 9 days after kratom use.
- Blood Test
With exceedingly high doses of kratom, blood concentrations of mitragynine are usually higher than 300 ng/ml. For normal users, effects are felt around 100 ng/ml or more. A blood test can detect kratom for the first 24 hours after consumption. In frequent or long-term users, kratom can be detected in the system for several days.
- Hair Tests
Hair tests are uncommon but can be used to detect kratom use for up to 90 days.
For those in military service, kratom will not be detected on a routine Department of Defense (DoD) drug test. However, military service members are not allowed to use any kratom products as it is on the Operation Supplement Safety (OPSS) list of DOD-prohibited substances.
Is Kratom A Controlled Substance?
No, kratom is not currently a controlled substance. However, the DEA considers it to be a drug of concern. In countries where kratom is cultivated, it is often used by the locals to reduce anxiety, provide relief from pain, and to boost energy. The dose for kratom is important. Besides the effects of individual strains, low doses of kratom generally acts as a stimulant while higher doses offer pain relief, relaxation, and mood elevation making it often sought after as a recreational substance. Many users also use kratom to help relieve their opioid withdrawal symptoms and chronic pain. Due to its potential for therapeutic use, the move to make it a controlled substance has been halted for now.
Conclusion: Should You Worry About Drug Testing?
Despite the efforts of the FDA and DEA, kratom remains legal in the United States at the federal level and can be obtained legally and used without prescription. On the state level, the legality of kratom constantly changes and varies from state-to-state. Although kratom is legal in most states, there are some local counties and cities that have deemed kratom to be illegal. Examples include San Diego, California and Sarasota County, Florida. Unless kratom is considered illegal in your region or workplace, there is little need to worry about your drug test results for kratom.