Drug Tests and Kratom: What You Need to Know

Are you concerned about your kratom use being detected on a drug test? It’s understandable, especially if your job requires you to be tested periodically. The last thing you want is to lose your job because of a bit of kratom. Don’t worry. The regular drug test you would undergo as a part of workplace drug screening won’t detect kratom. That said, there are tests that will detect kratom, which is important to keep in mind, especially if you live in an area where kratom isn’t legal.

Read on, and we’ll explain drug testing as it relates to kratom. You’ll learn about how kratom is detected and the different types of drug tests, plus some other information to help you out.

Kratom alkaloids not included in standard tests

There are two main ways that drug test samples are collected: blood and urine. Some tests will detect kratom, but these types of tests are relatively rare. Standard drug tests using either method are not designed to detect kratom. The reason has to do with how these tests detect drugs.

Every drug test works in a similar way: the substances or metabolites to be tested are identified beforehand (for example, a test may look only for cocaine use), and the test then looks for those substances or chemicals. Adding more drugs to the list increases the cost, so most tests cover only the commonly used substances. This also means they don’t look for less common substances, such as kratom.

So what are these drug tests looking for? Tests that fall in line with federal guidelines look for the following substances:

  • Opiates
  • Cocaine
  • THC or cannabis
  • Amphetamines
  • Methamphetamines

As you can see, kratom isn’t on that list. Nor is it on the list for another common test, known as the 10-panel test, which tests for commonly misused prescription drugs as well as the previously mentioned substances. The substances flagged in this more advanced test are:

  • Ethanol
  • MDMA, also known as ecstasy or molly
  • Prescription opioids
  • Benzodiazepines, such as xanax or valium
  • Barbiturates

These are the two most-used drug tests for workplace screening, neither of which test for kratom. To detect kratom alkaloids, the test must specifically look for them, which can be costly.

Drug screening and kratom: keep these things in mind

Your kratom use won’t be detected under a standard drug test, but if you’re concerned that you may have to undergo a more thorough test, there are a few things to keep in mind.

The source of the test

Some workplaces or governments may do more extensive testing than the tests we spoke about earlier. Even in these cases, kratom use, compared to other substances, is relatively uncommon, and it just isn’t worth it for most employers to include the added cost of testing for kratom.

There is one scenario where kratom use is tested for, according to some users: tests ordered by a parole officer. This is because parole drug tests tend to be more thorough than workplace screening. For kratom users who need to meet with a parole officer, it is worth asking whether or not kratom is on the list of tested substances.

Is Kratom Legal in Your Area?

The legality of kratom in your area can play a part in whether or not it’s included in a test. In the United States, kratom is legal federally and in most states. This means kratom use is perfectly fine, and there isn’t a need to be concerned. But in a handful of states, kratom is on the banned list:

  • Wisconsin
  • Tennessee
  • Rhode Island
  • Indiana
  • Arkansas
  • Alabama

Illinois and New York have both imposed an age limit on kratom use. In two states where kratom is legal, individual counties have banned it. These are:

  • San Diego County in California
  • Sarasota County in Florida

How Long Does Kratom Stay in Your System?

Drug tests work by looking for signs of drug use by detecting indicators in the urine or blood. This means that the substance needs to be in your body to be detected. The body regularly digests and expels the substances we ingest, including kratom, over time.

Everything stays in our system for a period of time, but how long exactly that is varies depending on the substance. This period of time is measured by something called half-life. As the name suggests, it refers to the amount of time required for half of a substance’s amount to leave the body. If the half-life is 24 hours, then 50% would be left after a day. Two days later, 25% would be left, then 12.5% on the third day, and so on. As it happens, kratom has been found to have a half-life of just under 24 hours. What does this mean for testing? It can take a week or more for kratom to fully leave your system.

Urine tests have been found to detect kratom for up to nine days after use. This is because of the way urine tests detect substances: they look for the chemicals made when the substance is digested, known as metabolites.

Blood tests, on the other hand, detect substances in a different way. They look for the original form of the substance and, as a result, have a shorter time frame. Typically, this is up to three days for kratom.

What does this mean for kratom users? If you suspect that kratom is on the list of screened-for substances and you know a drug test is coming up, the safest option is to halt your kratom use about a week and a half before the test to allow the body time to clear the kratom out of your system.

Does your vendor have a good reputation?

Even if you know for sure that kratom isn’t included in your upcoming test, there is still reason to be cautious. Some less than reputable kratom suppliers have been known to include illicit chemicals in their kratom poser and capsules. These additives could potentially trigger a positive result on your drug test.

To avoid this unfortunate scenario, be sure to buy from a reputable supplier who regularly tests their product using a third-party lab.

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