A lot of people believe Kratom is a useful herbal drug supplement that’s relatively harmless when compared to other drugs. This popular-yet-incorrect belief stems from both historical and modern usage.
In Southeast Asia, people have historically and traditionally used parts of the tropical evergreen (Mitragyna speciosa or Kratom), a plant related to common coffee plants, to treat a variety of health issues and as a recreational stimulant that alters the mind and physical sensations. They consume powder with liquid or capsules, chew gum or leaves or smoke parts of it. Its other common names include Biak, mitragyna, ketum, Thang and Thom.
Kratom has properties similar to caffeine, opiates and opioids primarily via an active indole-based alkaloid known as mitragynine and additional properties from other alkaloids and chemicals. It’s been used to help people feel energetic, balance or improve their mood, pain-relieving, restore appetite and treat fatigue. At low doses, it tends to have stimulant effects. Given its opioid properties, many people use it to combat their addiction problems as well. They take higher amounts to mimic other drugs, provide sedation benefits and lower their pain. It helps to fill the void temporarily while they wean themselves off more powerful, similar drugs. The effects of Kratom may be heightened if someone takes it on an empty stomach
Experts have found that Kratom often causes problems for addicts and non-addicts alike, especially with larger doses. The has wide-ranging effects. It also can build tolerance, which means that a person must use an increasingly larger amount of it each time to receive the same benefits. As a result, Kratom is often abused and a gateway drug that leads people to mix it with substances (alcohol, caffeine, cough syrup, sedatives and illegal drugs) that increase negative side effects, abuse other drugs and even participate in the illegal buying and selling of drugs.
People often ask about Kratom drug testing because they have concerns about a positive Kratom or opioid test result during a drug screening by an employer or law enforcement. Misuse of Kratom also often leads to serious health and other problems, including but not limited to:
- Agitation and Irritation
- Aggressive and Violent Behavior
- Bad Decision Making
- Brain Swelling
- Breathing Difficulty
- Cognitive Decline
- Child Custody Loss
- Chronic Unemployment
- Excessive Thirst
- Financial Damage
- GI difficulties
- Job Loss
- Legal Troubles
- Liver Toxicity and Damage
- Muscle Spasms
- Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms
- Relationship Conflicts or Divorce
- Respiratory Difficulties
- Runny Nose
- Sexual Dysfunction
- Thyroid Problems
- Watery Eyes
- Weight Loss
In the most severe cases, typically when Kratom is mixed with alcohol and certain other substances and in people with underlying health conditions or poor health, Kratom can cause coma and death.
This guide outlines everything you need to know about Kratom usage, addiction and drug tests that can help you or a loved one understand more about this highly addictive drug and the options available to improve outcomes:
Table of Contents
Kratom and Drug Tests
Kratom typically isn’t detectable in many of the standard tests used by employers and others during standard drug screenings, including the standard SAMHSA 5-panel test that’s primarily used to catch use of amphetamines, cocaine, opiates, marijuana and PCPs. The best test looks specifically for Kratom, but most employers and others don’t use a custom test.
Standard 10-panel, 12-panel and 16-panel tests can detect Kratom metabolites for approximately 7 days before Kratom leaves the body. Common tests for Kratom require blood, hair or urine. Saliva tests don’t provide useful results for the substance use.
Factors Affecting Kratom Detection in Drug Tests
According to one of the most recent papers about Kratom usage (“Understanding Kratom Use: A Guide for Healthcare Providers” by Swogger et al), a review of past studies found that people who took Kratom 22 or more times weekly at a dosage of at least 5 g experienced side effects with dependence, tolerance and withdrawal all similar to other opioids but with a shorter duration. As with opioids, higher dosage, such as 8 g and above, and longer usage makes the symptoms worsen and extends the period of withdrawal symptoms and the detection window for drug tests.
These issues occur because Kratom is fat-soluble, which means that body fat and the liver store it for a period after usage that’s longer than water-soluble substances. It can take approximately an hour for the GI tract to absorb mitragynine. This means that the half-life of Kratom ranges between 24 and 40 hours. That said, how long does Kratom stay in the body? The total elimination of Kratom from the body usually happens within 6 to 9 days as long as it isn’t impacted by other factors that extend the detection window further beyond the time of the last usage, including:
- Age (drugs metabolize slower as a person ages)
- Body Fat (retains metabolites longer)
- Diet (high-fat foods increase absorption and slow elimination)
- Dosage (higher doses take longer for the body to eliminate it)
- Dehydration (decreases urination and slows elimination)
- Genetics (some people just retain it longer)
- Leaves (some plants have higher concentrations than others)
- Liver Disease (slows the metabolism)
- Mixed Non-Kratom Drugs (slow or speed up elimination)
- Stomach Contents (full stomach extends the detection window)
Types of Drug Tests for Kratom
The three most recognized tests (blood, hair and urine) vary in terms of their detection windows. Blood tests typically make it possible for laboratory technicians to detect Kratom from 24 hours after usage up to approximately 7 days. Hair follicle tests can detect it for up to approximately 90 days. The detection window for urinalysis lasts approximately 9 days, but labs can detect Kratom within 6 hours of usage.
Of the three tests, urinalysis is the most widely used even though blood tests are often the more precise option. The reason for this practice comes down to the following:
- Urine testing inexpensively detects a wide variety of drugs.
- There’s no painful or fearful blood draw necessary.
- The test merely requires a person to urinate into a container.
- The six-hour detection window is perfect for work and crime spot checks.
False Positives on Drug Tests and Legal Implications
Kratom is detectable in some tests that look for opioids. An employer or member of law enforcement might incorrectly believe that the person who took the drug test is taking illegal substances, such as fentanyl, heroin or synthetic opioids, or abusing legal, prescription drugs like codeine, morphine and oxycodone.
The majority of employers in the United States have strict rules about drug abuse and usage. Anyone who abuses drugs can become mentally, physically or verbally harmful to others. They’re also at higher risk of having heavy machinery and other accidents. A positive test result can lead an employer to suspend or even terminate a worker’s position within their company. Members of law enforcement might even consider any test result an indication that the person buys or sell illegal drugs, which can result in charges and time in jail.
Many medical and scientific experts believe that Kratom hasn’t been properly classified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or law enforcement. They consider it a true opioid because it activates opioid receptors. Kratom is such a problematic drug that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) attempted to reclassify it in 2016 as a controlled substance. Representatives of the agency proclaimed that it didn’t actually offer real health or medical benefits. Complaints and interference by Kratom users and others eventually forced the agency to not move forward with their plan.
As of April 2023, Kratom usage isn’t illegal in the United States at the federal level except within the military, but several states have made it illegal for a person to buy, use, possess or sell Kratom (Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin). Several cities and counties have also banned it.
Kratom isn’t as useful as an herbal supplement as many people think. In fact, it’s dangerous and deadly. As with any opioid drug, it’s usage can eventually tear apart a person’s entire life. It can adversely effect their health, finances, relationships and lifespan.
At Garden State Treatment Center, we know that Kratom abuse and addiction are serious and that support is critical to recovery. Our concerned team of counselors, therapists and other staff members provides a wide range of educational, guidance and therapeutic services to help people discover the best treatment options and solutions for their situations. We do more than treat substance abuse and addiction. We offer custom, one-on-one and group experiences designed to help people improve their lives. We address concerns about future drug tests as well.
You are not alone on this journey. We can help you gain access to as many tools as needed through a multi-layered approach. To learn more about the importance of understanding drug testing methods, factors affecting Kratom detection and services for yourself or a loved one, please speak with a caring, professional member of our team today.
Does Kratom Show Up on a Urine Test?
Kratom is not detectable on many standard drug tests, such as a 5-panel drug test, but some kratom alkaloids can be identified on specific drug tests that involve urine or blood. There is also a drug test that tests explicitly for Kratom. It is known as a 10-panel drug test. When using a 10-panel drug test (and 12-panel/16-panel drug tests), the substance can be detected for up to 7 days after use, but many variables can influence how long the drug can be detected in a person's system, including:
- Fat percentage and body weight: Kratom is known to stay longer periods of time in the system of someone with a heavier body weight.
- A person's age: Older people metabolize drugs more slowly than younger people.
- Metabolic rate
- The amount of Kratom used
- Other substances that may have been consumed: Combining drugs affects the rate they eliminate from your body.
- Health problems
- Liver function: A person with liver disease may metabolize substances more slowly.
Often Kratom is used to help people wean themselves off of the opioids they are abusing. It is also used purely as a recreational drug. Unfortunately, due to lack of research, there is not much known about the long-term effects of using this drug, but it is possible to abuse it due to the impact it produces in small and large doses.
Kratom abuse and addiction should be treated just as seriously as addiction to any other substance. Getting help for this is just as crucial, and that is what we are here for. We offer many different treatment options that best fit your needs. They provide therapeutic education and guidance for every individual in our care. With the help of our therapists and staff, we can offer you one-on-one, group therapy, and other specialized options depending on a person's needs.
What drug tests do they use in court?
For reasons of both economy and accuracy, urine testing is currently the most appropriate method for drug courts and most criminal justice agencies for detecting the presence of illegal substances.
Does Kratom show up on a probation drug test?
Standard drug tests, such as those typically used for employment or probation screenings, typically test for common substances like marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, and others. These standard tests do not normally include a screen for kratom (Mitragyna speciosa).
However, it’s important to note that specific tests can detect kratom, and it’s possible that such a test could be used if there’s reason to believe a person might be using the substance. It’s also worth noting that the legality of kratom varies in different places. In some countries, states, or cities, it is legal, while in others it is not.
Please remember that while kratom is a natural substance, it is not without risk. Its safety profile is not well-studied, and it can have potential side effects and interactions. If you have any concerns about drug testing or substance use, it would be a good idea to speak with a healthcare provider or a legal expert.
How long does Kratom show up in a drug test?
Kratom is a plant native to Southeast Asia, known scientifically as Mitragyna speciosa. The leaves of the kratom plant contain compounds that have psychoactive properties, and some people use kratom for recreational purposes or as a self-treatment for pain or opioid withdrawal symptoms.
Standard drug tests, such as the SAMHSA-5, do not typically screen for kratom. However, there are specialized drug tests that can detect the alkaloids found in kratom, such as mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine.
The detection window for kratom in drug tests can vary based on several factors, including the amount of kratom used, the frequency of use, the type of test, and individual variations in metabolism. Generally, kratom might be detectable in urine for several days after use. Some sources suggest that kratom can be detected in urine for up to 7-9 days after use, especially in cases of frequent or heavy use.
Since kratom is a relatively new substance in terms of widespread recreational use and research, the exact duration for which it can be detected is not well-established and may vary.
Additionally, it’s important to note that the use of kratom is not without risks and it is important to exercise caution. The legal status of kratom varies by country and even within regions in a country, so it is also important to be aware of the legal status and regulations regarding kratom where you live. If you have concerns about drug testing or the use of kratom, I would recommend consulting a healthcare professional for guidance.
Does kratom have opiates that would show up on drug tests?
Kratom, which is derived from the leaves of the Mitragyna speciosa tree, does not contain opiates, but it does contain alkaloids, primarily mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, that act on the opioid receptors in the brain. These alkaloids can produce effects similar to opioids, such as pain relief and sedation.
Standard drug tests, including the typical urine drug screen for opioids, usually do not detect the alkaloids in kratom. This is because the chemical structure of kratom’s active compounds is different from that of traditional opiates like morphine or heroin, and standard drug tests are not designed to identify kratom’s alkaloids.
However, there are specialized tests that can detect kratom use, such as liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. These specialized tests are not commonly used but may be employed in certain situations where kratom use is suspected.
It is also worth noting that while kratom is used by some individuals for pain relief or to help with opioid withdrawal, it is not regulated and has not been approved for medical use by regulatory agencies like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). There are also concerns regarding the safety, efficacy, and potential for dependence and addiction associated with kratom use.
What does Kratom show up in the 10, 12, 16 panel drug test? Does it show up as Kratom, or is there a specific name?
Standard drug tests, such as the 10-panel, 12-panel, or 16-panel drug tests, do not typically include specific testing for kratom. These panels are designed to detect commonly abused substances, such as opioids, amphetamines, cannabinoids, benzodiazepines, and others.
Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a plant-based substance that contains alkaloids with opioid-like effects. It is not a substance that is routinely tested for in standard drug screenings.
However, it’s worth noting that specialized tests or specific kratom screenings can be performed if there is a specific need or request to detect kratom use. Some specialized laboratories may offer specific kratom testing as an add-on to standard drug panels or as part of a comprehensive toxicology screen. In such cases, the test may specifically identify the presence of kratom alkaloids in the system.
If you have concerns about kratom use or potential testing, it is advisable to consult with the testing facility, healthcare professional, or the organization requesting the drug test for specific information about what substances will be included in the panel and whether kratom testing is part of it. It’s always best to provide accurate and honest information about any substances you have used or are currently using to ensure appropriate testing and interpretation of the results.
Is there a Kratom specific drug test?
Yes, there are drug tests available that can detect the presence of kratom in the body. However, it’s important to note that kratom is not typically included in standard drug tests. Most standard drug tests, such as urine or blood tests, focus on detecting commonly abused substances such as opioids, amphetamines, cannabinoids, cocaine, and benzodiazepines.
Kratom is a unique substance that contains various active compounds, including mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, which interact with opioid receptors in the brain. These compounds are not typically included in routine drug screenings.
If there is a specific need to test for kratom, specialized tests are available that can detect its presence. These tests employ more specific and sensitive methods, such as liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) or gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). However, these tests are not typically part of routine drug screenings and are typically reserved for specific situations, such as forensic analysis or legal proceedings.
It’s important to keep in mind that the legality of kratom varies by jurisdiction. Before using any substance, it is crucial to understand and comply with the laws and regulations of your specific region. If you have concerns about drug testing or need more information about kratom’s detection, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional or a toxicology expert.