Yes, kratom is federally legal in the United States. Even so, you may wonder whether testing positive for kratom could put you in hot water. Here's what you need to know about kratom and drug tests.
- Standard 5-panel drug tests do not detect kratom.
- Some specialized tests can screen for kratom, but they are rare.
- The most significant risk related to kratom and drug tests is a false positive for other substances.
- The purchase and use of kratom are legal federally, so there is rarely a chance that an employer will act against kratom use.
The use of kratom dates to the 19th century, when people chewed the plant's leaves for its stimulating and soothing effects. Indigenous to Southeast Asia, this remarkable plant is now more widely recognized worldwide and more popular than ever.
Within the leaves of the plant are compounds that improve mood, act as a stimulant or sedative, and help you feel overall better physically. Recently, these and other benefits of kratom have become more well-known, and even more people have jumped on the kratom wagon.
While kratom is legal in the United States and not restricted under the Controlled Substances Act, if you use it, you may wonder if your employer can fire you if kratom shows up on a drug test. Could it be possible?
Here's the deal with drug tests and kratom.
Will Kratom Show Up on a Drug Test?
In most cases, you're not at risk of getting a positive test result if you've recently taken kratom. This is because standard 5-panel drug tests, which most employers use, do not detect kratom. These tests often check for opiates, cocaine, amphetamines, PCP, methamphetamines, and marijuana.
However, more extensive scale tests like 10-panel and 12-panel kits may inadvertently flag kratom metabolites as a different drug, methadone. Therefore, using kratom could trigger a false positive for another substance in these cases.
There are specialized tests that can detect kratom. These tests screen for the alkaloids of kratom using advanced liquid chromatography. However, they are very unlikely to be conducted in most cases.
So, do you have to worry if you've used kratom and face a drug test? Probably not. But the jury is still out on whether kratom will appear on a drug test. That is because testing for kratom is uncommon.
What is Kratom?
Kratom is a tropical evergreen tree in the coffee family. It's native to the continent of Asia in countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar, and other South Asian counties.
The tree's leaves are the most sought-after because of their extracts, which natives claimed helped them feel and function better. People today say they use kratom for its stimulating, mood-boosting, and focus-promoting properties.
However, there haven't been enough clinical trials and studies to understand the health effects of kratom. The active ingredient in kratom is mitragynine and 7-hydroxy mitragynine. Recently, the popularity of kratom has soured as more people have learned about its wide range of benefits.
Currently, kratom fans can buy kratom in various forms, including kratom shots, kratom capsules and kratom gummies. Kratom can have stimulant-like properties in low servings, and in higher servings, it can have calming and relaxing effects.
Is Kratom Legal?
Yes, kratom is legal in the United States.
States and municipalities can elect to label it as a controlled substance. In these circumstances, you cannot legally possess, grow, or sell kratom in those states.
With increasing drug tests in workplaces and the professional sports scene, you may still be concerned about your kratom use causing a positive drug test.
Regardless of where you live in the U.S., it's very rare that your employer would prohibit you from using kratom. And if you're a competitive athlete, you'll be happy to know that kratom is not a banned substance on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List.
That doesn't mean that kratom isn't restricted anywhere. For example, some government organizations, like the U.S. Department of Defense, prohibit the purchase and use of members of the armed forces.
Also, Kratom is not federally regulated, meaning no government body checks or guarantees the quality and safety of kratom products purchased in the U.S.
So before purchasing kratom gummies and other products where you live, do some due diligence to make sure they are legal where you live and that you buy from a trusted source.
How is Kratom Broken Down?
With that background information on kratom and drug tests, you now understand that testing for kratom is rare. If you do face a kratom drug test, whether you're at risk relates to the presence of metabolites.
Metabolites are compounds left behind for a period after your body breaks down a substance. Drug tests work by testing for these specific metabolites.
Kratom is metabolized in the liver and is broken down into an active metabolite, 7-OH-mitragynine, by certain liver enzymes. More research is required to understand the whole process and the enzymes involved. But experts also suspect that 7-OH-mitragynine is the essential element responsible for many of kratom's effects.
Available research into what exactly happens when the body breaks down kratom is limited to animal studies, so it needs to be clarified if this is the same for humans. But it's widely understood that the liver metabolizes kratom's alkaloids before they are eliminated from the body, mainly through the liver. Research also suggests that a small amount excretes through the urine.
How Long Does Kratom Stay in Your System?
If you're still concerned, the best way to approach any test is to ensure you don't have any kratom in your body at the time. This is more so if the test relies on 10-panel and 12-panel kits that might flag kratom as a different drug.
If you've recently taken kratom or happen to enjoy kratom frequently, knowing how long kratom lasts and how long it stays in your system can help you manage your intake better in time for the test.
The duration kratom stays in the body varies depending on various factors and the sample required for the test.
How long does kratom stay in urine?
Some kratom alkaloids might show up on a specialized urine test. There are not enough tests to determine how long kratom is detectable in urine, but there could be trace amounts in urine for over a week. For average kratom consumers, kratom would probably be detectable within five days after your last intake. However, some kratom might be noticeable for over a week.
How long does kratom stay in your blood?
Blood tests are more efficient at detecting kratom use. They can determine if someone took kratom and calculate how much they could have taken. Kratom is readily detectable in the blood, especially among avid kratom consumers. However, blood tests only provide a short detection window of usually just a few hours or up to a few days after consuming kratom. Therefore, urine tests are more common.
How long does kratom stay in your saliva?
Saliva tests may be able to identify kratom or its metabolites in saliva. Saliva tests might be standard for various drug tests, but there's none currently available for kratom.
How long does kratom stay in your hair?
Generally, testing of hair follicles can show whether someone has been consuming a particular substance over the past few months. Hair tests can provide evidence of consumption over a longer period than the other methods, usually up to 90 days.
However, for kratom, there are no hair tests currently available. Therefore, it's unclear whether kratom would be detectable in hair. More research could provide information on whether kratom can be detected in hair follicles.
Factors That Affect How Long Kratom Stays in Your System
Besides the type of sample required for the test, other factors impact how long kratom stays detectable in your body.
As you grow older, your metabolism naturally slows down. That means older people require more time to metabolize and eliminate kratom from their bodies, so the metabolites will be detectable over a more extended period compared to younger and more energetic people.
How much kratom you consume, and what concentration
Avid kratom consumers will have metabolites stick around for much longer. You also need more time to remove kratom from your system if you take high-concentration kratom products. New consumers and those that take low-concentration kratom products require less time to clear the metabolites from their system.
Mitragynine, the active compound in kratom, is very fat-soluble. A high BMI or a high-fat content increases the body's ability to hold on to the active compound, increasing the time required to pass out the metabolites. Lean consumers or those with a more toned physique may need less time to eliminate kratom metabolites.
Biological factors could also affect how quickly you process and pass kratom from your system. Some of these factors are genetically driven, like the level of enzymes in the liver and your sex. A high concentration of enzymes in the liver facilitates faster processing and elimination, while the opposite is true.
Taking kratom on an empty stomach results in a shorter detection window than taking it with a high-fat meal. Also, when you take more water, the body purges itself of any traces of mitragynine more rapidly.
Method of ingestion
The method of ingestion also determines how long it takes for kratom to clear from your body. Inhalation has the fastest effects and takes the least time to remove from the system, while edibles take the longest time because they must complete digestion before absorption, which requires more time to clear from the system.
Can Kratom Produce a False Positive Result?
Yes, in some cases, kratom can trigger a false positive result, making it appear like you've taken other banned substances. This is more of a risk in wide-panel drug tests.
Experts have found that kratom can initially cause false positives in opioid drug tests such as methadone. However, in many cases, a confirmation drug test can show that the opioid is not present.
Can You Beat a Kratom Test?
Many products available online claim they can help you beat a test. Some methods have been tried over the years, like taking a lot of water and vitamin B-12 when taking urine tests.
However, most of these methods are readily detectable in the lab. Therefore, the surest way to pass a drug test is to abstain for a prolonged period to allow metabolites to clear the body or fall below detectable levels.
More Kratom Education
There's much more to learn about kratom. We encourage you to check out the Koi Kratom blog, a valuable source on kratom and considerations to remember for an enjoyable experience.