Before we learn how long Kratom stays in your system, it is better if we understand first how it works. While this herbal medicine is not new, having been used medicinally for thousands of years, there are many misconceptions about it.
In the US, Kratom is often promoted as a legal psychoactive substance. Its main active alkaloid is Mitragynine. Mitragynine works by stimulating an opioid-like activity inside the brain, reducing pain response. When this powerful alkaloid reaches the brain, it affects mood and has been shown to stimulate a euphoric effect similar to the effect of heroin or opium.
Kratom users who want to stop using it may experience certain withdrawal symptoms. Like any substance, withdrawal symptoms often indicate that the Kratom alkaloids are leaving your system.
How long does kratom stay in your system?
To know how long it will likely remain in your system, it is important to take into account its elimination half-life.
Half-Life of Kratom
The elimination half-life of Kratom is still not well-understood in humans. The most recent study on humans was published in 2015 and the result of the study suggest that Kratom’s half-life was approximately 23.24(±16.07 hours). However, this is only a small study with a sample size of 10 males who used Kratom for 1 to 2 years.
Based on this information, it is estimated that it will take a whole day to get rid of the 50 percent of the Kratom substance from systemic circulation. And so, to completely clear Kratom from the system, it may take around 5.33 days.
Still, based on this research, the fastest half-life of Mitragynine is 7.17 hours, which means that it is expected to be eliminated in 1.64 days.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, the slowest half-life is 39.31 hours, which indicates that it may take 9 days to completely clear Kratom from an individual’s system.
Considering that the participants in the study used Kratom for more than a year, we may assume that those who use Kratom less frequently or at lower doses would be close to the faster end of Kratom’s elimination half-life.
Factors That May Influence Elimination Half-Life of Kratom
Like any substance, there are a number of factors that could influence how long Mitragynine will remain in your system.
Age. Older Kratom users tend to have a longer half-life than the younger users. This is the same with most substances. It is because elderly people have less efficient renal function than the younger adults. Age-related diseases and the use of maintenance medications also play a role. It is safe to assume that if you are older, particularly over the age of 65, Kratom will have longer elimination half-life than it would in younger user.
Genetics. Certain enzymes and genetic markers may play a role in the duration at which Kratom is eliminated from the body.
Body Fat. A person’s percentage of body fat may play a role too. Mitragynine is highly fat-soluble, meaning that if you have a high body fat percentage, you’ll likely retain Kratom metabolites much longer than a person with lower body fat. Those with less fat will be able to remove Kratom quickly since it would not be stored.
Water and food intake. Taking Kratom with a high-fat meal could lead to faster absorption of Mitragynine. This could speed up the duration of the substance to reach peak concentration level. In addition, if you are well-hydrated, it may play a role on how long it will take for the substance to be excreted in the urine.
Other factors or variables that may influence Kratom’s elimination half-life includes your urinary pH, renal function, and metabolic rate. These are not factors that only applies to Kratom. This is the same with any substances.
The duration of its elimination half-life can also vary on the type of Kratom you take and the specific variety of plant that the leaves were harvested. Research suggests that Kratom from Southeast Asia tend to contain higher levels of the alkaloid Mitragynine. On one hand, those that are grown in locations outside Southeast Asia or in greenhouses tend to have modest or insignificant levels of Mitragynine. In some occasions, Mitragynine may not be present at all.
It is assumed that Kratom leaves with higher levels of Mitragynine will have a more potent effect and that Mitragynine, along with its metabolites, will stay in the system for longer periods. Leaves with minimal Mitragynine may contain higher amounts of other alkaloids, however, they are unlikely to be detected on a drug screening.
Urine Drug Test. Most users would ask themselves, “How long does kratom stay in your urine?,” because with for a Kratom urine test, this is the fastest and the most accurate. But it may give a false positive result. The Mitragynine alkaloids appear on the urine test, specifically on Liquid Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (LC/MS), revealing metabolites concentrations of Mitragynine such as 17-desmethyldihydromitragynine and 5-desmethylmitragynine.
Blood Test. This is not frequently used for Kratom screening as they reveal Kratom only within 24 hours after consumption. Mitragynine concentrations reach 10 to 50 micrograms per liter of blood.
Saliva Test. Not common. The test requires a collection of saliva and performing high-performance liquid chromatography.
Hair Test. At this moment, there’s no evidence of hair testing being conducted to determine Kratom alkaloids. However, an advantage with hair testing is that if offers a longer window of detection compared to blood and urine. Mitragynine may appear on a person’s hair for at least a month after ingestion.