If you’re interested in whether or not Kratom might come up during your next drug screening, let’s start with a few clarifications. The phrase “Kratom drug test” is misleading to begin with because Kratom is not actually an artificial drug. Furthermore, Kratom is perfectly legal throughout most states in the US, so there’s no reason for it to be included in a drug test.
However, the natural herb remains a controversial topic in some regions. For places around the world where Kratom is currently banned, tests were created to detect residues of it in human blood. In what follows, I go through everything you need to know about these tests and whether you should worry about them.
Kratom Drug Test: Does It Even Exist?
Kratom is not included in any of the standard 5-panel drug tests like SAMHSA-5 or NIDA-5, nor will it show up in any 10- or 20-panel test. If you live in a state where Kratom is legal, it is highly unlikely that it will come up during a drug screening simply because it’s not looked for.
However, some laboratories have developed tests that screen specifically for the most important alkaloid in Kratom, mitragynine, and its residues. If you are subjected to one of these tests, it is very likely that Kratom consumption will show.
In addition, you are not usually told what type of test is during a drug screening. As such, if you live and/or work in a region where Kratom is banned, you won’t know whether you’re subjected to a typical 5-panel test or to one designed specifically for the herb. So far, this is what you have to look out for:
- Blood Tests. A blood test has been developed to detect not only if you consumed Kratom, but also how much of it you took. However, most companies see blood tests as invasive, so the latter are rarely used to screen employees.
- Urine Tests. Mitragynine, the alkaloid found in Kratom that is responsible for its analgesic and mood-enhancing benefits, can be detected in a urine test specifically designed to screen for Kratom use.
- Saliva Tests. Theoretically, it is possible to detect Kratom metabolites (residues of Kratom use) through a saliva test. However, there is no evidence that such a test has been developed so far.
- Hair Tests. At present, there is no reason to believe that Kratom metabolites could be detected in hair follicles. While it is possible that a better hair test will be designed in the future, none has been developed thus far.
Things to consider: Although some specific Kratom “drug tests” are currently being sold by laboratories, no typical test can detect residues of the herb in your blood. However, some frequent consumers have reported that taking Kratom before a test resulted in a false positive for methadone. The latter can show up in any 10-panel drug test.
How Do You Pass a Kratom Drug Test?
Kratom drug tests are designed to look for the alkaloid mitragynine and any of its residues. The term “elimination half-life” is used to describe the amount of time it takes for the plasma concentration of a certain substance to be reduced by half.
In the case of Kratom, some studies have shown the elimination half-life of mitragynine to be between 4 and 10 hours, with one study going as far as 24 hours. However, there is too little research to confirm these results at this point in time. In addition, several factors can lengthen the elimination half-life for Kratom. These include:
- Different Kratom Strains. Some varieties of Kratom are stronger than others, which means that their effects last longer and that they can be detected in a test for a longer period of time after use. The most potent strains include Maeng Da, Bali, Borneo, Vietnam, and Horn Kratom.
- The Method of Use. The way you take Kratom can influence how long mitragynine stays in your body. For example, chewing fresh leaves or drinking Kratom tea is likely to shorten the elimination half-life, while the toss-and-wash method will lengthen it.
- Individual Factors. Your health, age, and weight can all influence how quickly your body processes and eliminates Kratom. If you are lean and athletic, for instance, mitragynine will likely be eliminated faster.
- The Type of Test. Blood tests are more exact and, as such, more likely to detect Kratom metabolites for a longer period of time compared to urine tests.
At the end of the day, the one thing we know for sure is that more evidence is needed to determine exactly how long Kratom stays in the human body. Still, there are a few things you can do to reduce the likelihood that Kratom shows up on a specific test.
Pro Tip 1: Mixing Kratom with other substances is not only dangerous, but can influence the results of a drug test. Alcohol, for example, slows your body’s metabolism and allows mitragynine to stay in your system for a longer period of time.
Pro Tip 2: Drinking water is a good way to promote the elimination of all types of foreign substances from your body. This is especially the case with Kratom, which can cause dehydration and constipation if taken in large doses.
Pro Tip 3: The one way to make sure that you pass a drug test specifically designed for Kratom is to abstain from taking the herb for at least one week. If you don’t know when you will be tested, it might be a good idea to quit altogether.
Only One Sure Way to Pass the Kratom Drug Test
If you live in a state where Kratom is legal, you don’t have to worry about drug screening. It is extremely unlikely that you will be subjected to a Kratom drug test and all other 5-, 10-, or 20-panel tests will not detect this herb or any of its residues.
If, on the other hand, you live or work in a region where Kratom is banned, it is possible that you will be tested specifically for Kratom use and that the screening will pick up the mitragynine in your blood or urine. In this case, there is only one sure-fire way to pass the test and that is to avoid the herb altogether.