Recent US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) kratom testing discovered some of the herbal products were contaminated. As the agency doesn’t regulate the supplement, unscrupulous sellers can put substandard botanicals on the market.
New laboratory services are now available that test kratom before it reaches consumers to ensure safety. Customers can buy red Thai kratom powder by Kratom Country and other accredited products with peace of mind.
Why is it essential to test the supplement, and what do laboratories look for? How do you know if you’re purchasing the herb from a reliable company?
Read on to learn about these services and how to make informed buying decisions.
What Is Kratom?
Kratom is a tropical tree native to Southeast Asia. Locals in the region have used the plant as a traditional remedy for ailments like cramps, diarrhea, and exhaustion for centuries.
The botanical’s main alkaloids, mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, reportedly interact with the opioid receptors. Users claim this process provides benefits similar to those of prescription medications.
Consumption of this supplement has dramatically increased in the US. Enthusiasts view it as a safe, natural alternative to pain relievers and treatment for opiate withdrawal symptoms.
There are no FDA-approved uses for kratom, and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) lists the plant as a “chemical of concern.”
Why Is It Necessary to Test Kratom?
Following an outbreak of Salmonella among kratom consumers in 2018, the FDA analyzed 26 herbal products from various sources. All batches were positive for the bacteria.
The agency later conducted heavy metal tests of kratom and found nickel and lead in concentrations exceeding safe exposure levels.
These results highlight the urgency for regulation and strict quality assurance guidelines for kratom suppliers. Safety analyses facilitate trading by providing a base for pricing and ensuring growers develop pure products.
Laboratories also assess kratom alkaloid levels, as their ratios can affect the supplement’s effects. These controls help companies correctly label their products, satisfying customers and positively impacting technological change in business activity.
What Is Kratom Tested For?
Kratom testing labs use state-of-the-art instruments and validated methods to determine levels of the following:
- Alkaloids: These analyses confirm the presence of the active compounds and measure their concentrations to determine the product’s potency.
- Contaminants: Purity tests ensure kratom is safe for consumption and identify any potential hazards, such as heavy metals or pesticides.
- Microbials: This evaluation checks for harmful bacteria or fungi that could cause health problems if ingested.
How Is Kratom Tested?
Reputable sites begin their analysis with a simple sensory test, noting the sample’s appearance, smell, and texture. They compare these observations to benchmarks that set industry standards.
Advanced technological processes delve further into the alkaloid, contaminant, and microbial levels.
Alkaloid testing allows suppliers to determine the amounts of the compounds in a sample, which identifies the effects the product is likely to produce.
Supplements with higher levels of mitragynine might be more stimulating, while those with more 7-hydroxymitragynine could be sedating.
Laboratories such as the NCTC testing center in Thailand use several methods to measure the active compounds in kratom:
- Thin-Layer Chromatography (TLC): After separating the alkaloids, TLC confirms their presence by visualizing them using a special dye.
- High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC): This technique separates the alkaloids based on their chemical properties and then measures their concentration. HPLC is highly sensitive and accurate.
- Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS): These tests confirm the results of the HPLC.
Impurities like heavy metals can accumulate in the body over time and may cause various health problems. These issues could include kidney damage, neurological disorders, or anemia.
There are also several kratom testing techniques used to check for the presence of any contaminants:
- Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (AAS): This method is one of the preliminary tests conducted for impurities. The specialist measures how much light a batch of kratom absorbs to determine if contaminants are present.
- Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS): Technicians vaporize a kratom sample and measure the concentrations of any heavy metals.
- X-ray Fluorescence (XRF): This test also screens for any metals in kratom by exposing it to X-rays and then measuring the fluorescence emitted.
Microbial contamination can occur during harvesting, processing, packaging, or storage. The consumption of these pathogens could cause infections, food poisoning, or allergic reactions.
Laboratories carry out the following tests to ensure kratom is free of microbes:
- Rapid Microbial Detection Systems: These systems use sensors and reagents to detect the presence of bacteria or fungi in a batch of kratom.
- Microbial cultures: Any bacteria or fungi in the sample grow in a specialized culture medium. These organisms are identified based on their physical characteristics and development patterns.
- Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR): For greater microbial identification accuracy, technicians amplify small amounts of their DNA using a polymerase enzyme.
How Can I Tell if a Company Supplies Quality Kratom?
Check the company’s website for third-party analysis results before a kratom purchase. These reports should indicate the supplements are high quality and safe for consumption.
Another easy way to ensure you only buy a top standard, lab-tested product is to look for American Kratom Association (AKA) approval.
The organization has established a Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) program to ensure kratom suppliers produce supplements safely and consistently. AKA-certified botanicals meet the highest standards for quality and purity.
Enjoy Safe Kratom
Only purchase your supplements from reputable suppliers of kratom. Explain why you’d like to see their testing practices and results if they don’t appear on the brand’s website.
Enjoy the reported therapeutic benefits of kratom stress-free by buying products guaranteed free of contaminants and bacteria.
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