Before exploring how long kratom stays in the system of a user, it’s valuable to understand exactly how kratom works. Since it is such a new introduction in the U.S. market, a lot of people have misconceptions about kratom, or simply don’t know much about it.
This herbal drug is often promoted in the U.S. as a psychoactive substance that’s legal, and mitragynine is the main active alkaloid in the plan responsible for its effects. Mitragynine stimulates opioid-like activity in the brain, and it reduces pain response. When the active components of kratom reach the brain of the user, they influence mood and anxiety, and they have been shown to create a euphoric effect similar to what happens with opium or heroin.
There are many reasons someone might be wondering how long kratom would stay in their system if they were to use it. One of the primary reasons is if someone is dependent on kratom and wants to stop using the substance, but is worried about the withdrawal affects and when they will begin. Also, someone might wonder how long kratom stays in their system if they may be drug tested, although kratom doesn’t show up in many traditional drug tests. Since there hasn’t been a lot of research done on kratom, the half-life isn’t completely understood, and it’s really only been studied in any kind of in-depth way in animals. However, based on the research that’s been done thus far, it’s believed that the primary alkaloid found in kratom, mitragynine, is believed to have a half-life of around 23.24 hours. Based on that information, it would take around a full day for someone to eliminate 50% of the kratom in their body. It would take just over five days for kratom to be fully cleared from the system of the user, based on this half-life information. Based on current research, the fastest half-life of kratom alkaloids could be just over seven hours, which would put full elimination at around 1.6 days. However, on the slower end of the half-life spectrum, it could take around 9 days for all of the kratom to be eliminated from a person’s system. There is evidence that points to the fact that someone who has used kratom less frequently or uses lower doses would eliminate the substance more quickly than long-term or habitual users.
There is some evidence indicating that for a long-term abuser of kratom, the substance could take around 5 ½ days to completely clear from their system.
As with any substance, there are quite a few variables that would determine or influence how long kratom would stay in the system of the user. Some of the factors that can determine the elimination time of half-life and, ultimately, how long it will stay in your system include:
- Age: Older people tend to have a longer elimination half-life than younger kratom users. This is the case with kratom as well as with most substances. In elderly people, most substances that are ingested orally will have a longer elimination half-life than in younger adults. This is usually due to factors such as renal function, age-related physical changes, and the use of other medications. It’s safe to assume that if you’re older, and particularly over the age of 65, kratom will stay in your system longer than it would in a younger person.
- Body Fat: Another personal characteristic that can play a role in how long it takes kratom alkaloids to be eliminated is the person’s percentage of body fat. The mitagynine in kratom is very fat soluble, which means that if you have a high percentage of body fat, you will likely retain the kratom metabolites longer than someone with a lower body fat percentage. If you have less body fat, you may be able to excrete kratom more quickly on the other hand, since it wouldn’t be stored in fat.
- Genetics: There are certain genetic markers and enzymes that may play a role in the speed at which kratom is eliminated from the user’s body.
- Food and Water Intake: If you were to take kratom with a meal that was high in fat, it could lead to faster absorption, which could also speed up how long it would take the substance to reach its peak concentration levels. If you’re well hydrated, it can also play a role in how long it takes for kratom to be excreted via urine.
Other personal factors that can play a role in how long kratom stays in your system includes your renal function, urinary pH and your metabolic rate. These aren’t factors that are exclusive to kratom. This is the case with many substances. How long kratom stays in your system can also be dependent on the type of kratom you take, and the plant from which the leaves were gathered. There are variations in mitragynine levels between different types of plants, and there is research showing that kratom from Southeast Asia tends to have the highest amounts of mitragynine. Kratom grown in greenhouses or locations outside of Southeast Asia tends to have the lowest amounts of mitragynine.
One of the biggest reasons that many people decide to use kratom, especially as opposed to other opioids and substances, is that they believe it won’t show up on drug tests. It’s true that kratom doesn’t show up on many standard drug tests like the SAMHSA-5, but there are some kratom alkaloids that can be detectible on certain drug tests, such as urine or blood tests. There is a certain kratom drug test called the kratom 10 panel drug test that can be given as well.
Kratom Urine Tests
Some kratom alkaloids may show up on certain urine tests. While research that indicates how long kratom would be detectable in a user’s urine is limited, there could be trace amounts detected in a urine test for over a week. For someone who doesn’t use kratom often or uses low doses, it probably would be detectable in their urine after a week. If kratom were to become illegal in the U.S., there would likely be more focus on urine testing as the preferred method to determine if someone was using it.
Kratom Blood Tests
A blood test could be conducted to determine if someone took kratom, and how much they theoretically took. Blood tests can show concentration levels of kratom, and it is a substance that’s easily detectible in blood. If someone is a heavy or long-term user of kratom, there would likely be metabolites that could show up in blood tests for several days following ingestion, but because blood tests provide a shorter window for substances to be detected, and they’re more invasive, it’s more likely that a urine test would be conducted.
Kratom Hair Tests
With many drugs, testing of hair follicles is seen as a reliable way to test for substance use. It can also be done for a longer period of time. With kratom, however, there isn’t currently any evidence of hair tests being used. It wouldn’t be likely that kratom metabolites would appear in hair follicles, although as more research is done on this herbal substance, more work could be done on accurate testing which could include hair follicle tests.
Kratom Saliva Tests
It is possible that a saliva test could be used to identify kratom metabolites. Oral fluid testing is frequently used to test for a variety of types of drugs, but since this is most often done for legal drug tests, and kratom isn’t currently illegal in the U.S., this testing isn’t commonly performed for this herb.