11 Must-Know Facts About Kratom and Drug Tests

kratom and drug tests

Though they can be intimidating, drug tests aren’t exactly innovative. 

For years, everyone from HR managers to probation officers have requested that individuals take a drug test to ensure that there are no illegal substances in their system that could impact their health, safety, or performance.

Are you gearing up to take one yourself? If so, it’s normal to feel a little apprehensive, especially when something as simple as poppyseeds could render an unfavorable result.

If you use kratom on a regular basis, you might be especially concerned. That’s why it’s important to know the facts around kratom and drug tests. 

Today, we’re sharing 11 important details that can ease your mind and help you prepare for the big day. Read on to discover the facts you need to know to pass your test and move on.

1. Kratom Can Show Up on a Drug Test

Many people are drawn to kratom under the belief that it will not show up on any drug tests. On one hand, it is true that it can go undetected in standard tests such as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Five-Panel test (SAMHSA-5). This test checks for the presence of five common categories of drugs, including:

  • Amphetamines 
  • Marijuana 
  • Cocaine 
  • Opiates 
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)

Still, it’s unwise to assume that kratom won’t show up on the drug test you take.

In fact, kratom alkaloids are detectable in certain test formats, including urine tests and blood tests. There is even a specific drug test designed solely around kratom testing, called the Kratom 10-Panel Drug Test. However, a standard, extended 10-panel urine test will still show a negative result if kratom is the only substance in your system.

This is because the kratom plant, or Mitragyna speciosa, has a different chemical makeup from the illegal narcotics that modern drug tests were created to detect.  

2. Urine Tests Are More Likely

Is your employer administering a drug test specifically to look for traces of kratom? If so, they’re more likely to choose a urine test over a blood test.

Why? Blood tests usually have a shorter detection window, and unless the testing takes place soon after the drug use, it can be difficult to detect accurate levels. In addition, blood tests are more involved and invasive.

If you’re scheduled for a urine test, make sure to tell the person conducting the test if you have taken any prescription medications or supplements in the days prior. While it is not possible for the presence of kratom alkaloids to result in a false positive, the presence of any other substances could trigger such a result. For instance, if you have elevated levels of ibuprofen or pseudoephedrine in your system, these could cause your test to read as positive.

3. Kratom is Legal in Most of the U.S.

On the federal level, kratom is not considered an illegal substance. In 2016, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) sought to classify it as a Schedule 1 drug, which would have meant hefty fines and even jail time for anyone caught in possession of it. 

Following intense public outcry, the DEA changed its mind, explaining that further research into the makeup and effects of kratom was still required. Instead, individual states were allowed to set their own guidelines governing kratom use. 

To date, all but six states in the U.S. have approved the legal use of kratom. Those that have not include:

  • Arkansas
  • Alabama
  • Indiana
  • Tennessee
  • Vermont
  • Wisconsin

To this end, employers tend to focus more on other illegal substances that are easy to detect on a standard test, such as the SAMHSA-5. 

4. It’s Their Right to Drug Test

Though kratom is not a commonly tested-for substance, an employer is within their rights to administer a test to check for it. This is true if they have a reason to believe that you are misusing kratom. This can result in side effects that could affect your overall productivity levels and make the workplace unsafe. 

If your employer maintains a drug-free workplace policy, they would be within their rights to request and conduct a kratom test, regardless of whether or not the substance is legal in your state. In a similar way, they can also test for the presence of prescription drugs, even though they are legal.

5. It’s Important to Know Kratom’s Half-Life

The half-life of a substance is the time that it requires to reduce to half of its initial value. This is an important value to know, as it can help you determine how long kratom will stay in your system.

Not only can this help you plan for a kratom drug test, but it can also indicate when you might begin to feel withdrawal symptoms if you develop a dependency on kratom and decide to stop using the substance. 

While kratom’s half-life has only been studied extensively in animals, researchers estimate that Mitragynine, the primary alkaloid compound found in kratom, has a half-life of 23.24 hours.  

What does this mean for you?

Using this data, it would take almost 24 hours, or a full day, for you to eliminate half (50%) of the kratom that you initially ingested into your body. In about five days, the kratom would be fully eliminated from your system. That means if you know that you have a kratom test next week, you should abstain from taking kratom at least five days prior to ensure that there isn’t any traceable amount detected.

6. You Have a Unique Reaction to Kratom

Knowing the half-life of Mitragynine is a good place to start. Yet, the length of time that kratom stays in your system will be different from how long it stays in your neighbor’s. 

There are a few different factors that influence your elimination time. These include:

  • Your age
  • Your body fat percentage
  • Your overall food and water intake
  • Genetic markers and enzymes

Each individual is different, but research suggests that older adults over the age of 65 have a longer elimination half-life than their younger peers. In addition to age-related physical differences, this could also be because seniors tend to take more medicines that could interact with kratom differently. 

In addition, those with a higher body fat percentage are more likely to retain kratom for longer. This is because Mitragynine is highly fat-soluble. 

7. High-Fat Meals Mean Quicker Absorption

There’s a reason why it’s suggested to take kratom on an empty stomach. Ideally, it’s best to take it first thing when you wake up, then wait a little while before breakfast. If you take it after breakfast, allow at least an hour after your meal to aid in digestion. 

As you prepare for your kratom drug test, it helps to understand the absorption rate of the substance. Taking kratom alongside a high-fat meal could enable your body to absorb it quicker. If you’re looking to enjoy its sedative effects, this would be a negative. However, if you’re trying to eliminate as much as possible before your test, it’s a good thing. 

Quicker absorption will speed up the amount of time that kratom requires to reach its peak concentration. From there, your body can start slowly ridding itself of the substance. 

8. Detection Differs By Test

There are a few different ways that employers can test for kratom. The four most common types of test include:

  • Urine tests
  • Blood tests
  • Hair tests
  • Saliva tests

Urine tests are the most popular, as well as among the most effective. Trace amounts of kratom alkaloids can remain in urine for up to a week. While blood tests can show concentration levels of kratom, they’re most accurate when used on people who regularly ingest high levels of the substance. 

While kratom metabolites can show up in saliva, these tests are most often reserved to detect the presence of illegal substances. As kratom is legal in almost every state, oral fluid tests aren’t used as frequently. Finally, hair tests are the least commonly used form of kratom testing. This is because it’s unlikely that the alkaloids would show up in hair follicles. 

In addition, detection times do not only differ by test type. There are also other factors that determine how long kratom can stay in your system. These include:

  • Your body weight and body fat percentage
  • Your age
  • Your metabolic rate
  • The presence of other substances in your system (e.g. alcohol or tobacco)
  • The amount of kratom you recently used
  • Your liver health and function
  • Any other co-occurring health problems you may have 

When taking kratom before a pre-scheduled drug test or workplace screening, keep the above factors in mind. While some tests can be performed in an unexpected manner, if you have time to prepare beforehand, it’s best to do so. 

9. The Mitragynine Cut-Off Level is Small

When taking a standard Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) test, it’s important to know the cut-off levels for Mytragynine detection. In drug screening, cut-off levels are the minimum detectable amounts of a substance that the test must recognize to render a positive result.

To this end, keep in mind that a negative kratom test does not necessarily mean that there was no kratom discovered in your system. Rather, it simply means that there wasn’t enough kratom present to meet the minimum cut-off level.

Most LC-MS/MS tests have an established 1 ng/ml cut-off level for Mytragynine. If you have more than one nanogram per milliliter of kratom in your body, the test will show a positive result. 

10. Testing is a Challenge

There are some substances, such as cocaine or heroin, that are easier to detect through drug testing than others. Kratom is an especially challenging subject, and it helps to understand why.

While the two primary compounds in kratom, Mitragynine and 7-α-hydroxymitragynine, are relatively simple to detect on their own, there is a large number of other compounds that can muddle the results. 

In addition, the kratom plant also has three distinct chiral centers and as many as eight diastereomers. While these terms are technical and very scientific, the main takeaway is that the molecular makeup of a kratom leaf is complex and complicated in ature. This can make testing difficult at best.

11. New Drug Tests Are Being Developed

While kratom-centric drug tests are rare, this does not seem to be the case for long. Developers are working on new drug tests to detect the presence of this substance in your system, so it pays to do your research and understand the effects and implications of using kratom, especially in the workplace. 

Still, these tests will most likely be reserved for extreme cases and are not expected to enter the normal employer drug screening rotation any time soon. This is primarily attributed to the lack of industry knowledge that exists around kratom and the need for further studies to be conducted. 

Discover More About Kratom and Drug Tests

Drug tests aren’t the most pleasant part of joining a workforce. Yet, they’re important processes that can keep your teammates safe and healthy. 

If you enjoy taking kratom for pain relief, energy boosts, and improved clarity, you don’t have to live in constant fear of being subjected to one of these analyses. There is still much research that needs to be performed around kratom and drug tests, and most employers remain more focused on identifying illegal opiates than anything else. 

Still, these 11 facts are important to understand. As kratom becomes more popular, it’s expected that testing methods will sophisticate and become more prevalent. 

Have any questions about kratom? Want to learn more about how you can buy premium, high-quality kratom powder from an industry-leading supplier? Feel free to browse our online shop and contact us with any questions!

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