Kratom is becoming increasingly popular these days, being a natural substance that works similarly to opioids in its ability to offer relief in various ways to the body and mind. Derived from an evergreen tree in Southeast Asia known as Mitragyna speciosa, kratom is available in all kinds of product forms, and is legal in most areas throughout the United States.
Now, just because kratom might be legal where you live doesn’t mean that it automatically won’t show up on a drug test. But, the question is: do drug tests even pick up kratom? The answer is a bit complicated, so buckle up, because you’re about to find out.
Can Kratom Trigger a Positive Drug Test Result?
Here’s the thing: kratom may or may not show up on a drug test depending on the type of test being administered. Most drug tests issued in the United States are known as “5-panel” drug tests, which test for cannabis, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, and PCP. Kratom doesn’t fall into any of these categories, so it wouldn’t be picked up at all, and you’d be able to pass a test. Keep in mind that although kratom works a lot like opiates since it acts on the brain’s opioid receptors, the two substances are very different in terms of chemical structure, so you wouldn’t test positive for opiates because of your kratom use.
One thing to keep in mind is that there is a certain risk of false positives. A person who takes either Benadryl or Prozac along with kratom may be at risk of testing positive due to a rare chemical reaction between the two substances. There may be other drugs that cause this effect as well, which have yet to be identified.
Now, what about other types of tests? 10-panel drug tests, which are less common and more expensive, search for a broader array of metabolites, and there’s a risk of kratom popping up and triggering a positive result. Still, you can never guarantee that you’re not taking a 10-panel as opposed to a 5-panel drug test, although again, the likelihood is super rare.
But, here’s where things get complicated. Just because kratom is not part of a standard drug-testing procedure doesn’t mean that it can’t be detected. If an employer suspects that you’re using kratom, and that it’s affecting your job performance, they have the legal right to test for kratom, specifically, which can be identified in both the blood and urine. So, there are actually testing methods for kratom, but they are independent of most standard drug test panels that the average potential employee or service member has to take before being hired or accepted. Since there are no laws that restrict employers from drug-testing employees at will, you can’t really get out of being tested for kratom should that come up.
How Long Will Kratom Stay in My System?
Let’s say that you are one of the really unlucky ones who does find out that you’re going to be tested for kratom, specifically. That doesn’t mean that you’re doomed to fail, since kratom doesn’t stay in your system forever.
First, we want to mention that there are two ways to test for kratom: in your blood or in your urine:
- Blood tests only measure active levels of kratom in the system, which is why if it’s been more than 24 hours since your last dose, you won’t test positive. The exception is very heavy users who have accumulated enough kratom in the blood for it to remain there for a few days longer until they stop using it.
- Urine tests contain kratom metabolites, and so they can detect kratom use for up to 3-7 days after, say, a moderate dose. Those who take more than that, or who have been taking it for a long time, can have detectable levels of kratom in their urine for up to several weeks, as well as people with more body fat, people with slower metabolisms, and those who have been ill, as metabolism slows down when the body is fighting an infection.
The reason why those with higher body fat may end up with a longer window of testing positive is because of the substance itself. Mitragynine is the main alkaloid in kratom, and it’s fat-soluble. Those with a higher percentage of body fat can end up with Mitragynine that’s stored in their fat rather than getting metabolized quickly.
By now, you might be wondering if there’s a quick way to flush traces of kratom out of the system before a drug test. It’s true that diluting your urine through drinking water can slightly reduce the risk of testing positive, however, that’s not a totally effective method, especially if you’ve taken more than a moderate dose within the last few days. Of course, a person can overdose on water in a desperate attempt to clear it, so that’s something to be super careful about.
Why Does the Quality of the Kratom Matter?
Kratom is an unregulated market in the United States, which means that customers are left to their own devices to determine whether or not a product they’re buying is safe, effective, and legitimate. Buying kratom from a sketchy vendor could, in rare cases, mean that you’re actually consuming other compounds that do put you at risk of failing a drug test, either through a true or false positive. This is why it’s critical to only buy your kratom from a trusted brand.
Final Kratom Drug Testing Thoughts
At the end of the day, you can test positive for kratom, although it’s not as direct as you might think. Most drug tests that are administered for employment, probation, service, or sports will not test for kratom at all, although the risk is always there. But, you can be tested for any reason at any time, and still end up testing positive. Because of that, we recommend that you avoid kratom if you are going to be drug-tested in the near future, because there is a risk of testing positive.