Kratom or Mitragyna speciosa has been a part of traditional Chinese medicine since the 19th century. As people got aware of the potential benefits of Kratom, they increased the use of Kratom and recommended it to others.
Previously, the locals used to chew on raw leaves or brew tea, but later Kratom vendors introduced it in different forms. These include pills, gummies, powder, tinctures, vaping liquid, and shots.
Kratom is a composite of alkaloids such as Mitragynine (MG), 7-Hydroxymitragynine (7-HMG), Corynantheidine, Speciociliatine (SC), Speciogynine (SG), Paynantheine (PAH), and much more. These are what act on the body and bring out the effects of Kratom.
Can You Consume Kratom And Drive Under The Influence?
The answer to this question cannot be a simple yes or no. There has been a long debate going on over the safety of Kratom, specifically while driving.
Kratom is a natural substance that is considered safe in comparison to other substances and herbs. But still, it can not be deduced whether a person should drive or not when they have consumed Kratom.
There are numerous effects of Kratom, and they vary from person to person. This is why some people may ingest kratom and drive safely, while others may not.
The four questions that will determine if a person can drive safely or not are the following;
- How fast will the effects kick in?
- When will the effects be at their peak?
- How strong will the effects be?
- For how long will the effects last?
The below mentioned are the influencing factors that will give an answer to the above-listed question and so should be kept in mind while driving after consuming Kratom.
1) The Kratom Strain
There is a huge variety of Kratom strains available in this world. They can be categorized based on their effects as slow, moderate, and fast strains. It is the potency of the strain that will determine the effects.
Usually, the Red Vein Kratom strains are considered slow in their action. These include Red Bali Kratom and Red Maeng Da Kratom, which have soothing and sedating effects. Thus, researchers do not recommend driving after having them.
2) Other Substances Being Consumed With Kratom
Like every other substance, Kratom can also interact with any medicine, supplements, or substance that it has been taken with. The effects may vary as any other product may increase or decrease the impact of Kratom on the body.
Sometimes the side effects of Kratom may also aggravate. For example, taking Kratom with cough syrup can have excessively sedative effects and induce sleep, thus making driving difficult.
3) The Dose of Kratom
The dosage of Kratom that is ingested is directly proportional to its impact on the human body. The higher the quantity of Kratom you take, the stronger its effects will be. If someone is planning to consume kratom and drive after that, they need to ensure they have it in a small quantity.
4) The Frequency of Using Kratom
Similar to other substances, the effects of Kratom vary with time. In case a person consumes Kratom for the first time, its effects will be more potent and last for a longer duration. However, the human body builds up a tolerance with frequent usage.
Thus, before driving, a person needs to understand how strongly Kratom is affecting them at that very moment.
5) Duration of Kratom in the Body
A person can eat kratom and drive after a few hours as it is eliminated from the body during this time. and its effects are either subsided or reduced. The duration of Kratom effects depends on various things such as the metabolization of the body, mode of intake, body fat, water intake, etc.
The effects of Bali Kratom last for 3 – 4 hours, while Maeng Da Kratom has its impact on the body for at least 8 hours. This is further discussed below.
How Does Kratom Metabolize In Your Body?
The process of Kratom metabolization is solely responsible for the effect of Kratom on the body. It determines the strength of the effects and if a person will be able to consume kratom and drive after that.
As a person ingests Kratom either diluted in water or as tablets, they directly go into his GI tract. This is where metabolization starts, and Kratom is broken down. This results in the release of alkaloids that are then absorbed into the plasma. The entire process takes around 10 – 15 minutes, after which the effects of Kratom kick in.
Incase of Kratom vape the effects occur much faster as it bypasses the chemical digestion process, and the alkaloids directly enter the bloodstream.
The peak effects of Kratom are around 1.5 – 2.5 hours after consumption, and so it is not considered safe to drive then. For smaller doses, the effects last for only 2 hours, while they may extend to 8 hours for higher doses.
Will You Get A DUI On Kratom?
DUI or “Driving Under Influence” is a crime when a person is driving under the impact of any substance, specifically a substance that may cause intoxication.
The possibility of getting a DUI on Kratom is low in a state where Kratom is legal. However, a DUI depends on the impact of Kratom on the body. If the police consider the user an unsafe driver, they may give a DUI regardless of its legalization in the state.
Will Kratom Show Up On A Drug Test?
The only way to check if a person is has consumed kratom and driving under the influence of any drug is through drug tests. But, unlike other substances, Kratom does not show up on any random drug test except for a 10 panel Kratom drug test. It is performed with either urine or blood samples that trace the presence of Kratom metabolites in time.
While a urine sample shows the presence of Kratom for 6 hours to 9 days after consumption, a blood sample only has 24 hours to 2 days detection window.
Kratom is a widely used therapeutic herb. A lot of kratom aficionados are concerned about whether consuming kratom and driving is safe.
Considering the facts mentioned above, driving after consumption cannot be labelled as entirely safe or unsafe. However, it is always better to avoid doing so in such a debatable scenario.