With kratom becoming more popular as a regular experience for many people, as well as being a replacement to help people get off opioids such as heroin, it’s no wonder that people are wondering how long it stays in your system, and if it can be picked up by standard employment or law enforcement drug tests.
It’s an interesting topic as kratom is a herbal drug like cannabis, but its effects are far more in line with opioids, but without the expense or high level of rapid addiction.
So with it being a far less risky thing to consume, but with effects that can be transcendental, it’s no wonder that people are panicking about if they can be found out for taking it.
But are they worrying for no reason? Can the psychoactive substance in kratom be detected by standard drug testing, and do employers see it in the same way as drugs like cocaine, cannabis, and heroin?
How Kratom Works In Your Body
Kratom is usually taken orally in powder, capsule or tincture form.
A good quality kratom dose will take effect in 30-40 minutes, with full effects being achieved in 1 hour (check out my recommended kratom vendor list).
The effects of kratom in a single dose are quite short-lived, with a return to normal within a couple of hours. But at higher doses, or taking multiple doses, the experience can go on indefinitely but may be for up to 6 hours, with peak experience reached within about an hour.
How Long Does Kratom Stay In Your System?
Because kratom has not been subject to many serious studies, it’s actually the case that the half-life of the drug is not known.
The half-life of the drug is the time in hours that it takes half of the traceable active ingredient to leave plasma in your body.
The active alkaloids in kratom are mitragynine and 7-Hydroxymitragynine. They have effects similar to opioids, and therefore it has been championed as a legal opioid. These alkaloids are only present in kratom.
Based on anecdotal evidence and the limited research, it is generally accepted that the half-life of mitragynine in the body is around 24 hours. In simple terms that means it will take around a day for 50% of the active ingredients be eliminated from your body.
But it’s not that simple because of the limited evidence. Other sources suggest that regular users, higher doses, or extend slower body systems could extend the elimination time to five days or longer.
Can Kratom Be Detected In A Drug Test?
The alkaloid in your body could be detected by a drug test, producing a false positive. But that is incredibly rare. If kratom is the only drug that you are using then you will be fine.
The great news is that kratom (mitragynine) is not looked for in a standard five-panel drug test, most commonly the SAMHSA-5 and NIDA-5 tests. Neither is it looked for in any of the extended tests, right up to the most expensive and really used 20-panel drug test.
However, it’s not all good news.
In a 10-panel drug test methadone is looked for. There have been numerous reports that kratom can give a false positive as methadone in certain circumstances. So that’s something you need to be aware of, especially as often people don’t know how many panels the drug test has, therefore not knowing how many substances it will check for.
The other bad news is that it is now confirmed that labs have developed panel drug tests that specifically look for kratom. Now you are not going to know if that is the case with you, but if it is anything to do with probation, or law-enforcement, or a high-level job, then it’s increasingly likely that you could encounter this type of drug test.
An example of this is that New Jersey courts now specifically test for kratom metabolites. Other states now send off samples (which costs an extra $10) to specifically test for kratom metabolites amongst the other substances, the for some offenses, the most common being DUI.
So if you are going for a standard employment screening drug test, usually a five-panel test, then you have nothing to worry about. However, if you are going for an extended panel drug test, or are being tested due to an offense, or at the order of a judge or a probation officer, then you could be in trouble.
Many websites will tell you to not to worry (they are usually selling kratom), you can not fail a drug test because of Kratom, but it’s not true.
You have to forget about legality. Even though kratom is legal in most states, because of the incredible influence it can have over your mind, it is increasingly being looked for. So you could fail a drug test for perfectly legal substance and still suffer legal consequences.
Can You Pass A Drug Test Using Kratom?
You can definitely pass a drug test even when you have recently been using kratom. The ways you can do this are:
- Stop using kratom a week before a drug test. This will pretty much guarantee you that the metabolites have left your body unless you have an incredibly unusual circumstance.
- A good quality detox drink, taken with pre-rid tablets will flush out any toxins, including kratom metabolites.
- You could just submit a high-quality fake urine sample.
However, if you are going to submit a blood, saliva or hair sample to be sent off to a lab, then it will be incredibly difficult to mask or get rid of kratom metabolites, although toxin-hiding gum can work for saliva tests. If it’s a hair test, the macujo method is probably the only thing that might work.