Our tireless pursuit for superior quality is one of the crucial characteristics that sets ETHA apart. We continue to go beyond basic standards and minimum requirements to be the very best kratom manufacturer. Our Research and Development (R&D) team never stops working on new concepts, products and projects. One way our R&D team helps ETHA solidify its credibility is through emphasis on both in-house and outside independent third-party lab testing of all harvests coming into our US facilities.
Whereas a lot of companies simply rely on one single outside lab to provide them with test results, we supplement these results with our own research and extensive in-house ETHA Lab testing. Such comprehensive lab testing not only ensures accuracy of results, but allows ETHA to make a contribution to the kratom science field as a whole.
ETHA Exclusive Research
As a result of our Research and Development team’s in-depth lab testing and substantial research, ETHA customers derive significant benefits of kratom. They reap the benefits of cutting edge, leading products, as well as research-tested answers to some frequently asked questions. One such common and frequently asked question was answered after conducting our kratom herbal tea research. We learned that when making kratom herbal tea, the hot water will not extract all the alkaloids out of the kratom leaves. However, adding lemon juice does help extract some additional alkaloids out of the kratom.
We understands that laboratory testing with proper equipment is very important for shedding light on medicinal plants. Plant morphology can vary tremendously. It is based on environmental factors such as: soil conditions, amount of sunlight, frequency of available water, natural fertilization, pollution levels, and even what is living within the plant. Any human contact and interaction with the plant will also impact the plant.
Additional factors, such as how it is harvested, processed, where it is stored, and how long it sits on shelves are also important to consider. These factors can impact how the plant develops, matures, and reproduces. Also what happens at the molecular level to the bio-active alkaloids. These differences can be very subtle and even invisible to the eye. Nevertheless, they can be extremely important to the effectiveness and safety of your botanical products.
Are All Lab Tests The Same?
Tirelessly, we highlight the importance of lab testing. Likewise, we are happy to see more vendors touting the fact that they lab test their botanical products. It is good to see the botanical industry incorporating more testing and recognizing its importance. Unfortunately, the quality, consistency, and frequency of such testing drastically varies from vendor to vendor.
Unfortunately, some vendors have even been exposed for providing false test results and copy/pasting other test results and applying them to their own products. As part of our effort to bring superior quality, we put much emphasis on educating our customers and training them to become savvy consumers.
How can you, as the consumer, determine which test results are real? Moreover, even if you know that a result is real, how can you determine the quality of a particular test? And, whether a vendor is testing correctly? Here are some things to consider when looking at a lab test:
Spot the "Red Flags"
- Each test is like a fingerprint: No two tests should be identical. Do NOT just look at the lot/batch/harvest number and the mitragynine percentage results. These numbers and percentages are easy to change with counterfeits. Look at the graph itself and the details of the results. All of it must be different for each test. Even testing from the same exact batch will have some visible differences.
- Date of test: just like our check-ups, blood work and exams, lab tests MUST be current to be valid. Throughout the course of our recent field research, we happened upon in-stock product from a reputable company on the shelves in a local store, with lab test dates over a year old! This is absolutely NOT acceptable.
- Size of the batch/harvest being tested? If a vendor is applying a single test result to hundreds of kilos of kratom or more, that is a problem.
- How many samples are taken from the batch/harvest to test? For the results to be validated, multiple tests should be done for the same batch.
- When are the test samples collected and sent to the lab? Some suppliers will do testing on their botanicals before they ship to a vendor. Although this is good, there are contamination problems and other issues that can occur after a supplier performs its testing. The handling of a botanical from storage to shipment to repackaging can create multiple contamination issues. The testing must be done at the end of the transportation process, once the botanicals have arrived at their final destination.
- Experience of the particular lab and whether they can identify the botanical and its molecular composition is important. Make sure to ask if the lab has a stable sample for reference and individual reference samples of the measured alkaloids.
- Quality testing machines used? Are they using a Liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC-MS) machine? Our team recently invested in a Super Critical, High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) machine to expand our in-house lab tests and analysis.
- Compliance with Kratom Consumer Protection Act (KCPA): make sure that if a vendor claims compliance with the KCPA they actually label their packaging appropriately with all the requirements as specifically mandated by the KCPA. Same goes for vendors who say they are American Kratom Association (AKA) approved, make sure they are actually AKA approved.
“Lab Tested” vs. Lab Tested
As mentioned above, many companies now claim to “lab test” their products. We want to make you aware of what that actually means. It is important to note that for many companies, “lab-tested” means testing for biological contaminants and NOT efficacy. While this is better than nothing, it is definitely the minimum standard, a relatively inexpensive test, and does not really paint the full picture, since you are testing a small sample of a huge batch. At ETHA we do things differently since we ultra high-heat pasteurize the whole batch each and every time to prevent any such contamination.
At ETHA Labs, we use well-established laboratory procedures to test our botanicals. We use solvent-extraction and purification techniques to analyze bulk plant alkaloids. We also partner with 3rd-party, independent testing laboratories to provide confidence and transparency in your botanical analysis. Our partner labs specialize in kratom analysis and help us to identify adulterants and heavy metals (lead) to ensure your kratom is safe. These labs utilize HPLC to analyze our botanicals. Testing done internally at ETHA Labs as well as through third-party, independent labs means you can trust ETHA kratom.
The ETHA team has over 40+ years of R&D experience with Fortune 50 companies. Likewise, we have been extensively researching and testing botanicals such as kratom and continue to improve and build on our strategies, processes and techniques. We have discovered that not all labs will produce consistent results. Example, grinding the kratom leaves finer will release more alkaloids and test higher than the same kratom that is course ground.
Our R&D team never stops pushing itself and will continue to lead the industry in open and objective communication. As a result, we only provide you with 100% validated products. We guarantee kratom purity, origin, process and production of the highest standards. Our team works harder and smarter so you can have the peace of mind you need to Live Fully!
Bonus: Alexander's Answer to What do you Want to Know Wednesday
Thousands of tons of kratom are consumed monthly through the world, providing relief across demographics and lifestyles. Beneficial affects of kratom can be apparent but due to a number of issues with contamination, inconsistencies, adulteration and illicit substances there can still be some hesitancy and confusion. With the right information, an educated, confident decision can be made implementing kratom into your daily routine and lifestyle.
There have historically been 2 main concerns:
First Issue: Inconsistent Mitragynine levels have perpetuated concerns about tolerance and addiction; one batch may be stronger than the next, requiring different doses to reach the same threshold.
Solution: Thoroughly testing kratom products and providing understandable labeling on each package.
Second Issue: Unsanitary harvest and storage conditions have allowed low quality kratom to be produced and sent around the world.
Solution: Dry-heat Pasteurization or dry-heat sterilization as well as boiling kratom tea before consumption will remove harmful contaminants without degrading alkaloids.
Third Issue: Adulterated (may have been contaminated) with illicit drugs, or to increase 7-hydroxymitragynine
Solution: Purchasing from reputable vendors with published COA’s, certificates of authenticity, in an easily accessible format.
What can companies do to ensure sterile, safe kratom for you?
Work with harvesters directly, who handle kratom in sanitary conditions.
Adhere to GMP, good manufacturing practices, and Food manufacturing standards.
Use dry-heat pasteurization as a further preventative measure
Look for kratom tablets as evidence (NIH research) suggests that the tableting manufacturing process (extreme high pressures) also reduces potential biologic contaminations.