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4+ Tips for Reading and Understanding Kratom Lab Test Results

Third-party lab testing has been emphasized time and again as the gold standard to ensure product purity and safety. As a discerning consumer, you’ve probably scoured labels looking for that “third-party tested” stamp of approval on your Kratom. But once you find it, what next? Do you simply trust that label and leave it at that? Or do you take the extra step to get the lab report? 

And once that report is in your hands, can you confidently discern what a product contains or if it lives up to its claims? Understanding the Kratom testing lab analysis is the key to ensuring you’re truly getting what you’re promised.

Here are some tips on how to read kratom lab results:

1. Understand the Structure of a Lab Report

When you first glimpse a lab report, it might seem overwhelming with its rows of numbers and technical terms. Luckily, every lab report follows a fairly standard structure:

Header Information: At the top of every report, you’ll see the lab’s details. This includes the lab’s name, location, and accreditation credentials. Equally important are the sample details. Here, you’ll find specifics about the Kratom batch, including a unique identifier, the date the sample was received, and the date it was tested. This information can help verify the report’s validity and ensure that it corresponds to the product in your hands.

Test Summary: This section provides a concise overview of the results. It’s an initial glimpse into the findings, highlighting the primary conclusions drawn from the tests. However, while it’s tempting to only look at this summary, the subsequent details often hold the most valuable insights.

2. Interpret the Alkaloid Profile

Kratom’s unique effects are largely attributed to its alkaloids, with mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine being the most prominent. The Alkaloid Profile section of the lab report offers insight into the concentrations of these compounds.

The concentrations of Mitragynine and 7-Hydroxymitragynine are often presented as percentages, indicating how much of the Kratom sample comprises these particular alkaloids. Higher percentages usually suggest a more potent product, but it’s essential to remember that potency isn’t the only measure of quality. The ratio of these alkaloids can also impact the product’s effects.

While 7-hydroxymitragynine and mitragynine receive the most attention, Kratom contains other alkaloids. Some reports might list additional alkaloids like speciogynine or paynantheine, which may affect the overall effect of Kratom.

There aren’t universally agreed-upon “perfect” levels for these alkaloids, as the ideal concentration can vary based on personal preference and intended use. However, it’s important to compare results from different batches or suppliers to identify any significant discrepancies.

3. Review the Contaminants’ Testing Results

One of the primary reasons for third-party lab testing is to ensure the product’s safety. Contaminants like heavy metals, microbiological agents, or chemicals can pose significant health risks. Here’s how to understand this section of the report:

Heavy Metals

Like any agricultural product, Kratom products can absorb heavy metals from the soil. Common heavy metals tested include lead, mercury, arsenic, and cadmium. The report will show the concentration of these metals in the sample. While small traces are often unavoidable, there are established safety thresholds. Exceeding these limits can be harmful, so always compare the detected levels with safety guidelines.

Microbiological Contaminants

Pathogens like E. coli, salmonella, mold, and yeast are unwanted guests in any Kratom product. The report will typically display these in terms of colony-forming units (CFU). Zero or very low counts are ideal. High counts indicate contamination and can be a significant health risk.

Pesticides and Chemicals

With Kratom being an agricultural product, there’s always a concern about pesticides or other chemicals. The report should list any detected chemicals and their concentrations. Like other contaminants, there are established safe levels, so ensure that any detected amounts are below these thresholds.

4. Confirm There Are No Solvent Residues

Kratom processing sometimes involves solvents, such as ethanol or butane, to achieve concentrated products. In the solvent residues section of a lab report, you’ll find a list of solvents used during the extraction process alongside their detection limits, which denote the smallest detectable amount. 

Next to each solvent, you’ll see the measured amount present in the sample. Ideally, this value should be zero or very close to it, indicating minimal to no residue. Just as with contaminants, there are safety thresholds for solvent residues. It’s vital to ensure any detected amounts remain well below these limits.

Conclusion

A Kratom lab report can offer a reassuring sense of security, but you must approach each one with a discerning eye. Be wary of unusually high alkaloid concentrations; while they might seem enticing, they can indicate potential adulteration or synthetic inclusions. 

Similarly, reports that consistently show zero contaminants might seem ideal, but that’s a big red flag. No agricultural product is entirely free from trace contaminants, and overly perfect reports may suggest manipulated results. And then there’s the matter of transparency.  If the report glosses over certain tests or provides vague results without clear metrics or units, be cautious. Comprehensive testing should be transparent and detailed.

 

Jeff Campbell