Does Kratom Show Up on a Drug Test? – Although the presence of kratom (mitragyna speciosa) isn’t detectable on many standard drug tests like the 5-panel, some kratom alkaloids can be identified on certain drug tests, such as those involving urine or blood. There is a specific kratom drug test known as the kratom 10-panel drug test that can be administered as well. In other words, yes, it may be detected on a drug test, but it’s less likely than more dangerous and addictive drugs.
It’s also important to remember that kratom is legal on a federal level and in most states. For this reason, if it is not illegal in your area, it is probably not going to be something for which employers or authorities routinely test. Even advanced testing methods used for high-priority positions may not look for the presence of kratom or its metabolites because it is not a significant or particularly popular drug of abuse.
What Is Kratom?
Kratom is a tree that grows in Asia and is related to the plants that produce coffee. People in the region have consumed the leaves of the tree as a mild stimulant. Historically, the leaves were often brewed into a tea, and people would consume the tea to increase their energy and physical output. Other people use the leaves for medicinal purposes, or to relieve 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, albeit milder effects, it is thought to reduce cravings and ease certain 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!