Does kratom show up on a drug test? If you’re a kratom user facing a work-related drug screening, it’s understandable that you might be a bit concerned. But there’s good news: standard drug tests do not detect kratom alkaloids, so unless they run a kratom drug test specifically it’s doubtful that your kratom use will get you in hot water.
There are a few things to keep in mind, however. Some tests specifically look for kratom and depending on where you are in the country, kratom use may be frowned upon. But because kratom is legal in most parts of the US, employers in most areas of the country simply don’t care about kratom use.
Today we’ll be going over the ins-and-outs of kratom and drug testing. From the different types of drug tests to how long kratom stays in your system, you’ll learn everything you need to know about this common question!
Standard Drug Tests are NOT Testing for Kratom Alkaloids
Let’s get straight to the point: standard drug tests, including blood tests and urine tests, will not detect kratom. There are tests that can detect kratom alkaloids, but these are extremely uncommon.
Not all drug tests are created equal. In order to detect a particular substance, a drug screening needs to look for that specific substance or its metabolites. Each additional substance screening makes the test more expensive, so standard drug tests rarely go the extra mile to detect rare substances.
The most commonly screened substances fall into five broad categories, as per Federal workplace drug testing guidelines:
- Marijuana (particularly THC)
Even when drug tests screen for other substances, as in the 10-panel drug test, they typically only look for the following:
- Benzodiazepines (valium, xanax, etc.)
- Prescription opioids
- Designer drugs like MDMA or spice
So ‘does kratom show up on a drug test?’ To sum it up, a test will only find kratom if it is explicitly testing for kratom — and it is extremely uncommon (and pricey) for tests to do so.
Still Worried? Other Considerations for Kratom Drug Screening
Despite the extreme rarity of a kratom drug test, it always pays to be safe. If you’re worried that your employer or other drug screening agency might be looking for kratom, here are a few things to consider.
Who is Performing the Drug Screening?
Depending on who is performing the drug test, they may go to the extra expense of testing for unusual substances.
For work-place drug tests, kratom testing is virtually unheard of. That’s because each screened substance adds a significant expense to the test. Given kratom’s relative obscurity, testing for kratom simply isn’t feasible in the typical workplace.
For testing through a parole officer, however, drug screenings may be more thorough. Some users’ anecdotal reports claim that drug tests through a parole officer did detect kratom use. If you are concerned about such a test, it may be worth discussing with your parole officer whether kratom is permissible under the terms of your parole.
Is Kratom Legal in Your Area?
Despite FDA efforts, kratom is legal at both the state and federal level, throughout the vast majority of the United States. For users in these areas, kratom use is perfectly permissible, and users should not be concerned about their kratom showing up on a drug test.
However, some state and local governments have banned kratom. These include the following states:
- Rhode Island
Additionally, the following states have imposed limited restrictions on kratom use:
- California, kratom is legal except in San Diego County.
- Florida, kratom is legal except in Sarasota County.
- Illinois, kratom is legal but with an age restriction.
- New York, kratom is legal but with an age restriction.
Even if you live in one of these areas, it is extremely unlikely that common blood or urine tests will screen for kratom. However, it is worthwhile to review local policies to put your mind at ease.
International kratom legality is far more complicated. Be sure to research legality in your own country, and check out our guide to international kratom laws for a quick overview.
How Long Does Kratom Stay in Your System?
If you have an upcoming blood or urine test and want to be extra careful, temporarily stopping your kratom use is a good option.
Like any substance, kratom remains within the body for some time after use. The body eliminates the remaining traces gradually. The rate of this elimination is referred to as the substance’s half-life. Half-life measures the amount of time it takes for one half of the remaining substance to be eliminated from the body (after one half-life, only 50% of the substance remains, after two half-lives 25%, etc.).
According to a 2015 study, kratom has a half-life of just under 24 hours. Depending on the type of test used, this means that kratom could be detected for up to a week after final use.
Urine tests detect the metabolites of substances in your body (that is, the chemicals that result from the substance being digested and broken down). As a result, urine tests can typically detect substances for a longer period than can other standard tests. Most sources agree that urine tests can detect kratom for seven to nine days after use.
Blood tests find only substances that are still present in their original form. As a result, they can only detect substances in a briefer window than can urine tests. Most sources agree that blood tests can detect kratom for two to three days after use.
Are You Buying from a Reputable Vendor?
As always, it’s extremely important to make sure that you’re buying your kratom only from reputable vendors who can prove the purity of their kratom powder and capsules with independent laboratory test results.
Unfortunately, the kratom industry features some disreputable vendors. There have been instances of such bad actors selling a product labeled as “kratom” — but which was actually laced with a host of other illicit substances.
For your health, safety, and peace of mind, there is no substitute for laboratory-proven quality. Always source your kratom from a reputable source, and ensure that vendors can provide Certificates of Analysis that prove the safety and purity of their product.