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Kratom Detection Time – How Long Does Kratom Stay In Your System?

Medically reviewed by

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

February 26, 2019

Kratom can be detected in a person’s system for up to 9 days, depending on the type of drug test given. For those struggling with kratom addiction, detox programs and inpatient treatment are available.

What Is Kratom?

Kratom is a tropical tree called Mitragyna speciosa, found in Southeast Asia. Although kratom is relatively new to the U.S., this herbal drug has been around for many years.

Kratom is detectable in a person’s system for up to 9 days after use. Kratom leaves have psychotropic (mind-altering) components, and individuals may ingest the leaves through powder-filled capsules or in a tea.

Someone may be concerned about kratom detection time for several reasons. This drug can cause withdrawal symptoms, and those trying to quit kratom may try to gauge how long until the kratom is fully out of their system.

Others may be concerned about kratom showing up on an upcoming drug screen. While kratom is not usually included on a standard five-panel drug screen, there are newly developed tests that can detect kratom in a person’s system.

The detection window for kratom can be up to 9 days, depending on the frequency of dosage. Some that use large amounts of kratom will have traces of the drug in their body longer than someone who uses kratom less frequently.

How Is Kratom Metabolized?

The major active alkaloid in kratom is called mitragynine. Mitragynine is metabolized through the liver to other metabolites.

Kratom (and kratom metabolites) have a half-life of about 23 hours. This means that after 23 hours, the body has cleared about half of the kratom dose — and the other half remains in a person’s system.

It’s difficult to know the exact metabolization process of kratom, as most mitragynine studies have taken place with animals. However, research does tell us that kratom itself is not passed through the body, but it is broken down into metabolites during the metabolization process.

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Kratom Detection Time

Kratom can stay in a person’s system for up to 9 days, depending on their level of usage. While most standard drug tests do not directly test for kratom, the metabolites of this drug can be flagged as a different drug.

Mitragynine levels peak in the body about 90 minutes after use. If an individual ingests a low dose of kratom, they may feel stimulatory effects of the drug, similar to caffeine.

If a person takes a larger dose, they will experience more opioid-like effects. These effects could include itchiness, nausea, sedation, and a sense of well-being.

Kratom can be detected in a person’s system long after they stop feeling the effects of the drug. The amount of time that kratom can be detected in a person’s system depends on a variety of factors, including the type of drug test.

Urine Tests

If a person is drug screened via a urine sample, mitragynine could be detected for up to nine days. This is the most common type of drug screening, and is often used by employers and court systems.

Blood Tests

Blood tests are less common, but they do occur. Mitragynine traces can show up in a person’s blood for several days, depending on a number of factors.

Factors That Influence How Kratom Is Metabolized

As with most substances, there are additional factors that affect how long a drug will stay in a person’s system. Kratom can be detected in the body for varying lengths of time, based on personal information such as age, weight, and dietary habits.

Age

Older individuals tend to experience longer elimination times. This is due to metabolism speed, as younger people tend to have faster metabolisms.

The faster a person’s metabolism, the quicker their body will clear itself of any toxins. This means that younger people may experience a shorter kratom detection window.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

Mitragynine is fat soluble, and is stored in fatty tissues. A person with a higher body fat ratio may retain kratom metabolites for a longer period of time, due to their body’s makeup.

Likewise, if a person has a low body mass index (lower fat content), they will clear mitragynine and other kratom alkaloids much faster.

Dietary Choices

Taking kratom on an empty stomach could result in shorter detection time, as opposed to taking the drug with a meal that has high-fat content.

Additionally, your body’s level of hydration is an important factor in detection time — the more water someone drinks, the faster their body voids itself of mitragynine traces.

Kratom Abuse And Addiction

Because high doses of kratom can cause opioid-like effects, this drug has a high potential for abuse.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has declared kratom an opioid, in order to further assert this point. Additionally, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency lists kratom as a drug of concern.

In certain doses, kratom can cause intense feelings of calm and pleasure. A person may develop a tolerance to kratom, and gradually increase their dosage to continue getting the same response. This heavier usage and increased tolerance can quickly turn into an addiction.

Kratom is often heralded as a way to treat chronic pain, without the use of traditional pain pills. Unfortunately, kratom is also considered an opioid and is associated with dangerous side effects and rates of abuse and addiction.

Side effects of kratom include:

  • nausea
  • itching
  • constipation
  • racing heart
  • euphoria
  • loss of appetite
  • seizure
  • hallucinations

Many people use kratom in an attempt to curb withdrawal symptoms from other opioid drugs, such as oxycodone or heroin. However, kratom use can also result in a physical dependence, which keeps a person in the painful cycle of use and withdrawal.

Treatment For Kratom Addiction

If you or someone you love is struggling with kratom addiction, help is available through the use of inpatient addiction treatment.

In inpatient treatment, individuals have full access to medical detox programs, counseling, behavioral therapy, and support groups.

For those who have previously tried to stop using kratom and been unsuccessful, an inpatient program provides a stable and supportive environment in which to begin recovery. Many people suffering from opioid addiction have also found relief with medication-assisted treatment.

To learn more about kratom detection time, or to explore treatment options near you, reach out to one of our specialists today.

National Institute on Drug Abuse - Kratom

United States Drug Enforcement Administration - Drugs of Abuse

U.S National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health - Kratom: a dangerous player in the opioid crisis

U.S National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health - Pharmacokinetics of mitragynine in man.

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