Kratom Lab Testing
With kratom’s recent popularity in the States, it is essential that any and all kratom products are analyzed for things like microbes and heavy metals before they make it to the customer. The kratom industry is unregulated, so it is up to each individual company to do the right thing for their clientele. In this article, we will discuss the importance of lab testing kratom, what the process looks like, what contaminants to watch out for, and how to read results.
Why Lab Test Kratom? Kratom Lab Testing
Unfortunately, kratom has had a history of some contaminated samples. The most famous example is 2018’s multistate salmonella outbreak, which allegedly resulted in 199 reported infections and the recall of over 26 individual products.
In an unrelated effort, the FDA found 30 kratom products from various vendors that contained lead and/or nickel at levels significantly higher than the established safe limits. Fortunately, nether of these two situations resulted in any deaths, but both highlight the need for vendors to adhere to strict product testing protocols.
Many people are shocked to discover that the majority of kratom businesses do no lab testing on their products. Some say everything is tested, however there is no evidence of this on their website or on their product packaging.
Others may provide results, but they are often outdated and not applicable to the batches currently being sold. Testing is expensive, running around $400 per batch, but companies must be willing to absorb the costs in exchange for safety.
Companies that fail to do so are only helping the spread of the misinformation regarding the kratom leaf.
Heavy metals and harmful bacteria can both be found in many unprocessed botanical specimens, and they can both present major health problems. Kratom lab testing can detect the presence of both heavy metals and bad microbes in raw ingredients to ensure that they are within safe limits.
There are several analytical techniques for detecting heavy metals and microorganisms in kratom. The most frequently employed methods are real-time polymerase chain reaction (rPCR), high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS).
A PCR test can detect pathogen-related or abnormal cell samples by looking for genetic material.. It amplifies DNA or RNA to determine the presence of harmful bacteria like salmonella or e-coli. It yields results more quickly than other methods, but the total number of detected bacteria includes dead bacteria, which are of course not harmful.
The technique of liquid chromatography (LC) is used to separate chemicals dissolved in a liquid sample and allows for the analysis of what components and how much of each component are present.
ICP-MS is an extremely delicate process that can identify even small amounts of heavy metals in kratom products. This works by turning the kratom sample into ions and then using a mass spectrometer to measure those ions.
What Does Testing Look For?
At the very least, a quality kratom lab test will examine for specific microorganisms as well as toxic metals. When examining a vendor’s test results, be sure they’ve looked at these factors.: Kratom Lab Testing
- Salmonella: The CDC estimates that 35 million people in the United States contract salmonella every year. The most usual cause of diarrhea, salmonella is also linked with fever, cramps, and occasionally death. In the past, Kratom contaminated with salmonella caused a problem; however, it was traced to a single likely source.
- coli: E. coli O157:H7, which is found in contaminated water and dairy products, causes diarrhea, nausea, tiredness, and severe stomach cramps in those with weak immune systems. The majority of people recover within a week, although the experience isn’t pleasant.
- Lead: Symptoms of lead toxicity include headaches, anemia, stomach pain, hypertension, and kidney damage in adults. Lead is often found in contaminated drinking water and unprocessed herbal products.
- Cadmium: Ingested cadmium is stored in the kidneys, liver, and bones and can cause lung issues, breathing problems, fever, malaise, painful body aches, high blood pressure, and renal problems. Plants absorb cadmium easily from the soil they’re grown in.
- Mercury: Nearly all of the kratom sold in the US comes from Indonesia where artisanal gold mining is very popular. The process of gold extraction uses mercury, which could eventually end up polluting the soil in areas with kratom trees. Like cadmium, it is easily absorbed by plants, so this is a test result you’ll want to pay attention to.
- Mitragynine: Mitragynine is the most abundant alkaloid present in kratom and the most responsible for its effects, so its levels are often correlated with the user experience. It is usually found at levels of <1-2% of total weight.
These are the most likely to be present at excessive amounts in a given sample of powdered and crushed kratom leaf from Indonesia. Other items that you may notice on lab reports are coliforms, total aerobic plate count (TPC), yeast and mold, staph bacteria, Listeria, and Pseudomonas.
How to Read Results
To read kratom lab testing results, you simply compare the outcomes to reference ranges established by certain recognized agencies. Some of more commonly used standards are those set forth by the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) and the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP). Some, but not all, test results will include a list of these standards alongside their findings. Kratom Lab Testing
Since kratom is unregulated federally in the US, there is no requirement to choose a particular set of standards, but the AHPA is a popular authority because they are an internationally recognized source of expertise on herbal products and botanicals.
In conclusion, kratom lab testing is an essential element of ensuring the safety and quality of kratom goods and can help prevent public health problems. Before being sold to the consumer, all kratom items should be tested for bacterial and heavy-metal contaminants. The reputation and future of the industry depends on it and it’s up to the public to demand transparency.