Kratom, scientifically known as Mitragyna speciose, is an evergreen tree that grows in the tropical forests of Malaysia, Thailand, and Myanmar. It has a long history of use, which dates back to the 19th century when farmers chewed on Kratom leaves to benefit from its medicinal properties.
Today, however, Kratom is gaining popularity as a recreational drug. This changing trend has led the authorities to reconsider the legality of the drug and its public availability.
Moreover, the question as to whether Kratom should be included in drug tests is yet disputed, but there have been many instances when results have revealed the presence of the substance. This brings us to the real problem- Is Kratom detected in Drug tests or not?
What Is Kratom And How Does It Work?
Kratom is a medicinal herb. Its main components are two chemicals called mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. These compounds act on the opioid receptor system, in a way similar to endogenous endorphins, causing sedating, euphoric and pain-relieving effects.
The substance is also used as an analgesic, anxiolytic and as an aphrodisiac. In addition to that, it is sought by opiate recovering addicts, who consume Kratom to find relief from drug withdrawal symptoms. The substance is also considered to function as an energy booster.
For How Long Does Kratom Stay In Our System?
The amount of time for which Kraton stays in our system is dependent upon its half-life. Since the drug has not been studied on an extensive level, and all experiments so far have been animal based, there is insufficient data related to Kraton.
We, however, do know that mitragynine, the primary alkaloid found in Kratom, has a half-life of about 24 hours. This means that for 50% of Kratom to leave our body, we need about 24 hours.
Based on this information, it will take about nine days for all of the Kratom to be eliminated from a person’s system. It is also believed that individuals with lower Kratom consumption can get rid of the substance more speedily.
Age, Genetics, Body fat and food intake are also among the factors that influence the time duration that Kratom stays in our system.
What Is Drug Testing?
Drug testing is the chemical analysis of a biological specimen such as urine, blood, saliva, sweat or hair to determine the presence or absence of specified parent drugs or their metabolites.
It is usually performed to reveal the presence of prohibited drugs such as heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and cannabis. Drug testing is now a standard part of the employment hiring process.
It is also used by police officers, sports agencies, and other law authorities. There are four types of drug testing panels which are used to determine different levels of drugs.
The choice of the number of panels to be tested can be influenced by profession, state laws, or even corporate culture.
4-panel drug test; Tests for only four of the most controversial drugs such as THC, Opiates, Cocaine, & PCP.
7-panel drug test; This test is usually conducted in workplaces, to make sure employees are not abusing prescription drugs.
10-panel drug test; It is generally administered in legal situations involving the law. This test is more expensive and determines the presence of 10 varieties of drugs or their metabolites.
12-panel drug test; This is an extension of the 10-panel test, with the added ability to reveal the abuse of medicinal drugs (such as pain-killers).
Does Kratom Show Up In A Drug Test?
Drug tests are not designed to reveal Kratom. In most workplaces, standard drug test panels only test for cannabinoids, cocaine, amphetamines, and opiates.
Since studies related to Kratom are still in their initial stages, and most people still consider Kratom as a medicinal herb, there are no screening tests for the substance.
Recent development has, however, allowed drug tests to reveal Kratom if it exceeds the cut-off level, which is the minimum amount of drug residue that must be found in a sample for the test to be positive.
For Kraton, this value is one ng/ml of the alkaloid, Mitragynine in body fluids. Kratom might appear in the following drug tests;
This is a non-invasive technique for drug testing and is, therefore preferred in many workplaces.
A sample of fresh urine is obtained from the subject and tested for the presence of Kratom metabolites. Since the elimination period of Kratom is about nine days, trace quantities of the drug remain detectable for up to a week.
This test can be performed to determine not only the presence of Kratom but also the amount of substance that has been consumed.
The test will be highly efficient if conducted within one day of Kratom intake; this is because mitragynine remains highly detectable in the blood for the first 24 hours of ingestion.
If the results show blood concentrations of Mitragynine exceeding 300 ng/ml, then the individual can be charged for Kratom overdose.
With prolonged Kratom use, mitragynine becomes accumulated in hair follicles. This enables laboratories to determine the presence of Kratom in hair outgrowths for up to 3 months. This, however, is very unlikely to be conducted in many cases.
Since Kratom is not an illegal drug in many parts of the world, screening tests are usually not meant to detect it. In some cases, however, an employee suspected of drug abuse at a workplace might be asked to be tested to maintain the drug-free workplace policy.
In some instances, Kratom can give a false positive result for an opiate such as heroin. In these cases, the alleged can ask for another test called the Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) test.
Although the components of Kratom are believed to resemble that of opiates structurally, Kratom intake is highly unlikely to give a false positive for the drug.
As a conclusion, we might say an individual is highly unlikely to be tested for Kratom as long as he is not suspected of drug abuse.