Kratom is a tree planted in Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma) and elsewhere in the region. A long history of usage and abuse of kratom has led to the classification of kratom as a controlled substance in its native Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries. However, kratom is not controlled in the United States, and the wide availability of kratom on the Internet and in the streets has led to its emergence as an herbal drug of misuse. With the increasing popularity of kratom, efficient protocols are needed to detect kratom use. In this study, a rapid method for the analysis of kratom compounds, mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, in human urine has been developed and validated using high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). The chromatographic system employed a 2.6-μm 100 mm × 2.1 mm phenyl-hexyl analytical column and gradient elution with a 0.4-mL/min flow rate of water and acetonitrile as mobile phases. A triple quadrupole mass spectrometer was used as the detector for data acquisition. The analyst was the quantification software. The established method demonstrated linearity of >0.99 for both analytes, and low detection limits were obtained down to 0.002581 ng/mL for mitragynine and 0.06910 ng/mL for 7-hydroxymitragynine. The validated method has been utilized for clinical analysis of urine for the purpose of mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine detection.
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