Kratom is a natural botanical that has gained fans around the world thanks to its wellness benefits. It comes in numerous strains with differing effects and can be incorporated into various products depending on how it is processed. Often, Kratom enthusiasts try many blends and varieties before settling on a few favorites.
However, it?s essential to make sure your Kratom is always thoroughly tested. Kratom is a natural product that can be affected by many outside variables, from the cultivation environment to the manufacturing equipment. Testing helps confirm its quality and potency. Some companies take better care of their Kratom than others, and the risk of receiving a low-quality product increases sharply when the company isn?t transparent about its test results.
Since not all testing processes are the same, understanding the basics of Kratom lab testing can help you make better buying decisions. By looking for a company that performs third-party independent testing on all their products, you can have better peace of mind and enjoy the final Kratom product more.
Kratom Testing Processes
The Kratom testing process looks for multiple potential issues, including pathogens, heavy metals, and abnormal amounts of the alkaloids that give Kratom its effects. Testing the alkaloid profile helps look for problems with the Kratom?s potency or may indicate the presence of fillers. Although many fillers in cheap Kratom products are harmless, they reduce the overall value for customers.
Heavy metals testing includes checking for arsenic, cadmium, mercury, and lead. Although the exact specifics vary from lab to lab, many rely on an advanced type of mass spectrometry testing known as Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry. This process breaks down a test sample into individual ions, which can then be analyzed to determine their contents.
Pathogen testing focuses the most on coliforms, E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Salmonella bacteria. These bacteria can cause serious illness in humans, and they can multiply quickly under the right conditions.
However, pathogen testing also includes checking for yeast and mold. Although these won?t be dangerous to most humans in moderate quantities, they can be a hazard to people with specific allergies. Testing helps confirm that yeast and mold quantities are within acceptable limits to keep allergy risks to a minimum.
Finally, testing examines the presence of alkaloids in the Kratom. In addition to checking for appropriately high levels of Mitragynine and 7-Hydroxymitragynine, liquid chromatography testing looks for all of the significant alkaloids Kratom can contain and compares them to the total alkaloid content to get a percentage value.
These alkaloids can all work together in what?s known as the entourage effect, which affects customers? experience. Since all of the alkaloids can vary in quantity depending on soil and environmental conditions, it?s essential to test each variety of Kratom frequently to ensure the final product is still of high quality. Some natural variation is inevitable, but companies may choose to discard batches with test results that are too far outside of the established norm, as these results may indicate a substandard product.
Why Does Lab Testing Matter?
Lab testing matters because any botanical can have contaminants introduced at multiple steps in the cultivation, manufacturing, and distribution processes. Unsafe pesticides and heavy metals in the soil can easily be absorbed into nearby plant life, making them dangerous to consume. Carefully managing the Kratom farms sharply reduces this risk, but lab testing is still necessary confirmation.
Another possibility is the development of mold, mildew, or bacteria due to poor storage conditions. Although Kratom is dried, any failure to dry and store it properly could allow mold to grow. Since Kratom is sold in powdered form, an unsuspecting customer might not even notice small amounts of mold or an off taste, so testing is even more necessary than it would be for other products.
Many companies make good-faith efforts to monitor their overseas production partners. However, the actual testing process does not begin until the Kratom powder is in the U.S., where laboratories typically have better equipment.
Testing later in the manufacturing process also gives the companies a better chance to detect any problems during the process. For example, a piece of manufacturing equipment that wasn?t adequately cleaned could introduce bacteria or other contaminants.
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Keep in mind that not all Kratom companies test their products frequently. The best places to order Kratom rely on small-batch testing that gives them updated and accurate results regularly. Since there are so many variables that affect each batch, frequent testing is the most responsible way for companies to be confident in their product.
Lab Testing Requirements
Despite its importance, lab testing is not required in many jurisdictions. Federal law does not currently regulate Kratom, so the requirements about fillers and potential contaminants are lax. Since lab testing is expensive, many manufacturers avoid it.
Some Kratom associations require stringent lab testing to become a member. One of these is the American Kratom Association (AKA), which has a certification program that includes lab testing as a requirement. Members of AKA?s Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) program are held to high overall quality and safety standards.
Independent Third-Party Laboratories
It?s important to note that any company can test their Kratom independently, but they may not do a thorough job. They may also omit parts of the results that paint an unfavorable picture of their product.
Independent laboratories that are hired to provide honest and thorough testing are the best option for Kratom vendors. A Kratom distributor that uses a third-party laboratory for its testing is committed to getting meaningful results and eliminating potential bias from the process. By then showing the independent results to customers, these Kratom distributors are prioritizing customer trust and safety.
Independent testing is even more expensive than in-house testing due to the strict oversight, but it?s crucial for customers? peace of mind. The Kratom company you buy products from should choose to make this investment in their brand.
Enjoying Your Kratom
Like anything you eat or drink, Kratom should be safe and contribute to your overall wellbeing. Even if you use boiling water to make your Kratom into a tea or incorporate Kratom into dishes cooked at high heat, there may still be unexpected contaminants like heavy metals that remain.
Take the time to read the lab results and manufacturing information from a trusted company for the greatest peace of mind possible. You might even learn something new about Kratom varieties and how they differ from one another.