How long kratom stays in a person’s body depends on many factors. Some kratom components and metabolites can be detectable with certain, more detailed drug tests.

Before exploring how long kratom stays in a person’s system, it’s valuable to understand exactly how kratom works. Since its recent 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 legal psychoactive substance; however, there are no FDA-approved uses for kratom. Mitragynine is the main active alkaloid in the plant responsible for its effects. Mitragynine stimulates opioid-like activity in the brain and reduces pain response. When the active components of kratom reach the brain, they influence mood and anxiety. They have been shown to create a euphoric effect similar to what happens with opium or heroin.

How Long Does It Take for Kratom To Take Effect?

When someone takes kratom, the effects usually begin around 5 to 10 minutes later. The effects of kratom can last for two to five hours. The effects of kratom depend on many factors, including:

  • Amount taken
  • Medical conditions
  • Other substances used
  • Potency
  • Tolerance
  • Type used and how it’s used

 The peak effects of using kratom are believed to be around 30 minutes to 1.5 hours after someone takes it.

Kratom’s effects may be heightened if someone takes it on an empty stomach. If someone eats before taking it, the effects might not occur for an hour or more. If someone takes the capsule form of kratom, it can take longer for the effects to take hold because it has to dissolve in the person’s stomach.

How Long Does Kratom Last?

How long the effects of kratom last depends on several factors, including how much and what type of kratom is used. The effects of kratom depend mostly on the amount used. At low doses, kratom has a stimulant or energizing effect, and at high doses, kratom has a sedative effect similar to opioids. People who regularly chew kratom leaves may chew between three to ten times a day to maintain the feeling of energy and euphoria. The effects of a few dried kratom leaves are typically felt within 10 minutes and last for about one to one and a half hours. Large amounts of dried kratom leaves can cause a calm, dream-like state that lasts for up to six hours.

Half-Life of Kratom

People often wonder how long kratom stays in the system when they are considering stopping their kratom use. Someone who is dependent on kratom and wants to stop using the substance may be worried about the withdrawal effects and when they will begin. Someone might also wonder how long kratom stays in their system if they are going to 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. It’s only been studied in-depth in animals. However, based on the research conducted thus far, it’s believed that the primary alkaloid found in kratom, mitragynine, has an average half-life of 23.2 hours. 

Based on that information, on average, 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, based on this half-life information.

Based on current research, the fastest half-life of kratom alkaloids could be just over two hours, which would put full elimination at around a half day. However, on the slower end of the half-life spectrum, it could take around nine days for all of the kratom to be eliminated from a person’s system.

Related Topic: How long does it take for weed to leave your system?

What Influences How Long Kratom Stays in Your System?

As with any substance, there are quite a few variables that would determine or influence how long kratom would stay in a person’s system. Some of the factors that can determine the elimination time and, ultimately, how long it will stay in your system include:

  • Age: Older people tend to have a longer elimination half-life than younger people. This is the case with kratom as well as most orally-ingested substances. 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 mitragynine in kratom is very fat-soluble, which means individuals with a high body fat percentage will likely retain the kratom metabolites longer than someone with a lower body fat percentage.
  • Genetics: Certain genetic markers and enzymes 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 high-fat meal, 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 include your renal function, urinary pH and metabolic rate. These aren’t factors that are exclusive to kratom; this is the case with many substances.

Does Kratom Show Up on a Drug Test?

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. Kratom doesn’t show up on many standard drug tests like the SAMHSA-5, but certain forms of drug testing detect kratom alkaloids, such as urine or blood tests. Because blood tests provide a shorter detection window for substances and are more invasive, it’s more likely that a urine test would be conducted. There is a specific kratom drug test called the kratom 10-panel drug test that can be given as well.

Detection in 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. 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.

Detection in 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 detectable 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. Because blood tests provide a shorter detection window for substances, and they’re more invasive, it’s more likely that a urine test would be conducted.

Detection in 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. As more research is done on this herbal substance, more work could be done on accurate testing, which could include hair follicle tests.

Detection in Saliva Tests

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 illegal drug tests, and kratom isn’t currently illegal in the U.S., this testing isn’t commonly performed for this herb.

a woman wearing a black shirt and smiling.
Editor – Theresa Valenzky
Theresa Valenzky graduated from the University of Akron with a Bachelor of Arts in News/Mass Media Communication and a certificate in psychology. She is passionate about providing genuine information to encourage and guide healing in all aspects of life. Read more
a woman in a black and white jacket smiling.
Medically Reviewed By – Elizabeth Cambria

European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. “Kratom drug profile.” Accessed September 19, 2022.

Food and Drug Administration. “FDA and Kratom.” April 27, 2022. Accessed on September 19, 2022.

Meireles, Vania, et al. “Mitragyna speciosa: Clinical, Toxicologi[…]-Biological Samples.” Medicines, March 2019. Accessed September 19, 2022.

National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Kratom.” Accessed September 19, 2022.

Ramanathan, Surash, et al. “Understanding the Physicochemical Proper[…]clinical Evaluation.” Molecules, March 2015. Accessed September 19, 2022.

Suhaimi, Farah W, et al. “Neurobiology of Kratom and its main alkaloid mitragynine.” Brain Research Bulletin, March 25, 2016. Accessed September 19, 2022.

Swogger, Marc T., et al. “Understanding Kratom Use: A Guide for[…]thcare Providers.” Frontiers in Pharmacology, 2022. Accessed September 19, 2022.

Trakulsrichai, Stariya, et al. “Pharmacokinetics of Mitragynine in Man.” Drug Design, Development and Therapy, April 29, 2015. Accessed September 19, 2022

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. “Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa korth).” November 2019. Accessed September 19, 2022.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.