LC/MS stability analysis of kratom samples: preparing for the apocalypse
It's a Reddit posting, and here's the quote. Click above so as to see the embedded links in the post, and the comments.
TL/DR: Kratom seems to be shockingly stable and you don't need to worry about protecting it from the elements for long-term storage. Raw science data here
Long version: If you're like me, at this point in time you are preparing for the inevitable by stockpiling kratom from wherever you can find it (personally I found that Moon Kratom shipped the next day; Buy-Kratom.us also shipped but with a few days delay). This material needs to last for a long, long time, but how should I store it?? Do I need to stick it in a vault buried under 10 feet of ice?
Enter science. Several months ago I did a quick and dirty analysis of a kratom sample from Fresh-Kratom.us (they are sold out, don't bother) by following a published protocol that entailed extracting the alkaloids with methanol and characterizing the content using liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry, aka LC/MS. See the original post for details. I was curious how this stuff would hold up when subjected to rather harsh conditions, so I performed the following experiment:
I took 3 portions of this sample:
stored in a zip lock bag in the freezer
2) stored at room temperature in a drawer, and
3) stored open, in a mason jar set on top of a furnace.
I did this back in February, so the sample on top of the furnace was subjected to hundreds of heat/cool cycles and exposed to the air for 6 months. I have recently performed the same extraction and LC/MS analysis procedure in order to see how these three samples fared.
Here are the chromatograms
To my amazement, all three samples look more or less identical, even the one that was hellishly left sitting on top of a furnace. Bio-assays confirm that subjective potency is essentially unchanged. I am very surprised by this, because at first glance mitragynine has at least two major chemical soft spots: the electron rich methoxy-substituted indole ring, and the vinylogous ester. I honestly would have expected the furnace sample to be toast (pardon the pun), and the room temp sample degraded relative to the stuff kept in the freezer. But you can't argue with results!
So in your own preparations for the long, dark winter, one thing you don't need to worry about is the stability of your kratom. If you put your material in a zip lock bag and throw it in the back of the pantry it will be perfectly fine for a long, long time.