Does kratom show up on a drug test? Well, the answer to this question depends on the kind of test. Kratom isn’t detectable on the standard 5-panel drug test, but it does show up in blood or urine tests. Additionally, there is a specific kratom drug test known as the kratom 10-panel test that clinicians can administer as well. In other words, yes, kratom does show up on some drug tests, but not as frequently as other, more dangerous drugs.
Further, it’s also important to remember that kratom is legal at the federal level and in most states. Therefore, authorities and employers aren’t likely to test for kratom if it isn’t illegal in your state. Even advanced testing methods– those employers use for high-level positions– might not test for kratom or its metabolites because it is not a popular or well-known drug of abuse. Next, we’ll have a look at what kratom actually is.
What Is Kratom?
Kratom is a tree that grows in Asia and is related to the plants that produce coffee. Traditionally, people native to the region have eaten its leaves for their stimulant effects. Others brewed the leaves into a tea, and people would drink it to increase their energy levels and productivity. Still others use the leaves for medical purposes, such as the alleviation of pain.
Today, kratom has become popularized in the U.S. and can be purchased online in a variety of forms, including in capsules. While scant research has been conducted, many anecdotal reports assert that kratom can be used to help people trying to recover from opioid abuse. Because kratom acts on the same receptors as opioids and induces similar effects, many believe that it reduces cravings and some withdrawal symptoms that people face.
More specifically, when consumed in low doses, the kratom has stimulant-like properties. In contrast, at higher doses, the substance’s effects simulate the actions of opiates, particularly their sedating and pain-relieving properties. It may also induce some unwanted side effects, such as sweating, overheating, frequent urination, reduced appetite, diarrhea, nausea, and weight loss.
Although the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) does not classify kratom as a controlled substance, it is considered to be a substance of concern. At one point, the agency reported that it was planning on controlling it, but that move was met with harsh criticism from the public and was at least temporarily quashed.
A few case studies have suggested that prolonged use of kratom may result in some level of physical dependence, meaning that if the drug is discontinued, unpleasant withdrawal effects and drug cravings may occur.
How Long Does Kratom Stay in the Body?
The effects of mitragynine are dose-dependent. Using higher amounts of the substance will lead to effects that can last for several hours. But because it not regulated as a prescription drug or approved by the FDA, there are no specific guidelines for its use.
It is believed, however, that the half-life of kratom is probably around 24 hours for most users. The half-life of the drug refers to the amount of time it takes a person’s system to eliminate half of the amount of a substance.
To completely clear a drug from the body under most conditions, it will take between 5–6 half-lives, but the precise elimination time of any drug in any individual depends on several factors. But for kratom, this window would be around 5–6 days to ensure that kratom was wholly eliminated from the system.
Testing for Kratom
As noted, few tests are likely to detect kratom, but its metabolites might be identified in specific tests such as 10-panel drug screens. Through the use of one of these tests, the substance could be found in urine for up to seven days. Even if it is identified, this may or may not be a problem because kratom is legal in most areas and would be similar to finding alcohol in a person’s system that they consumed two days prior to the test.
Currently, saliva tests, blood tests, and hair follicle tests are not commonly used to detect kratom or its metabolites. For people taking the specialized 10-panel drug screen, several variables can influence the length of time the drug can be detected in the system, including the following:
- Bodyweight and fat percentage
- Amount of kratom recently used
- Age and metabolic rate
- Presence of other substances, such as alcohol
- Liver function
- Existence of co-occurring health problems
Getting Help for Drug Abuse
Many people use kratom to wean themselves off of opioids or for purely recreational purposes. While this may be viewed as harm reduction, it is possible to abuse kratom, and due to the unfortunate lack of research, not much is known about its potential long-term risks.
Harmony Recovery Center offers comprehensive treatment and support for all manners of drug and alcohol addiction, as well as mental health. Our approach features a variety of therapies and services beneficial for the process of recovery, including psychotherapy, counseling, group support, and much, much more.
If you or someone you love is struggling to overcome a dependence on kratom, other drugs, or alcohol, contact us today and find out how we can help!