Kava is gaining in popularity, so is it similar to kratom?
Kava also called kava kava and Intoxicating Pepper is like kratom only in that it’s a natural plant that’s typically sold as a green powder. Like kratom, kava is somewhat bitter and is reportedly used by people for relaxation, sociability, and relief of various mild to moderate symptoms.
From cultural and religious traditions to bars, restaurants, and head shops in the United States, kava use is swiftly increasing. It’s basically considered to be a mild but effective substance, similar to coffee or chocolate.
What is kava?
Kava is an herbal preparation that has been used for generations in Oceania (Pacific islands). It comes from the roots of Piper methysticum trees.
It’s mainly used for stress relief, special rituals and official ceremonies, and as a coffee substitute for starting the day. Some say that kava can be effective in preventing seizures and making muscles less tense.
Kava is not a designer drug to goof around with playfully. Nor is it intended to serve as just another “get high” recreational party drug. Instead, kava is a serious substance that provides some nice benefits, according to those who use it, when used maturely and wisely.
What are the effects of kava?
Kava is said to relieve anxiety, boost mood, reduce nervousness, help with insomnia, alleviate depression, and helps with pain that’s not too severe. It is also said to relax muscles and provide an overall feeling of general well-being.
Kava activates serotonergic and dopaminergic mechanisms, which put a spring in your step and a smile on your face. You feel like the world is not so horrible after all and you gain a bit of confidence, calmness, focus, and motivation.
Most folks seem to get animated and talkative right after taking a dose of kava, but, like with kratom, after a few hours, they start feeling drowsy, contented, and peaceful.
Some have compared the effects of kava to drinking a few beers or a glass of wine. Others experience more powerful effects. A lot depends on your own system and metabolism, how much water you drink, how active you are, and what other substances you are taking.
What causes kava to produce its effects?
Kava is not an opioid, though people have said they use it as a substitute to some degree.
Whereas kratom (mitragyna speciosa) generates effects from leaves of the plant via the alkaloids mitragynine and 7-hydroxy mitragynine, kava gets its effects from kavapyrones and kavalactones, from the plant’s roots, chemicals which are very different from kratom’s chief constituents.
Is kava legal?
Unlike kratom, kava is legal in many places. So far, Big Pharma has not seen it as a threat to their profits. That day will arrive, sooner or later.
But for now, kava is not considered a dangerous substance by the FDA or WHO.
Laws can change rapidly, though the trend is toward legalizing kava. Check the legality of kava for your specific region.
Can taking kava be harmful?
Kava is generally considered to be non-toxic and non-addictive when used moderately.
But kava is reported to be destructive of the liver when consumed in too large of an amount or too frequently. Like anything else, moderation and caution are advised. Even too much water can drown a person.
Signs of kava abuse as said to include bloody urine, dry/scaly/yellow skin, weight loss, body tremors. So kava may not be quite as safe as kratom. More research is needed in this regard.
Can you take kratom and kava together?
There are mixed reviews on the compatibility of kava and kratom when taken together, at the same time. Basically, at this point, it seems safe to combine them, but with certain cautions.
Keep in mind that kava is one-dimensional, unlike kratom which is easier to tailor to your specific needs, due to the many different strains, vein colors, and origins of kratom. For example, if you need energizing, white vein kratom is often the go-to type; while if you need relaxation, a red vein kratom is generally suggested.
A general rule of thumb is to try NOT to mix any substances. But sometimes combining two substances with somewhat similar effects can be very helpful, especially when your symptoms flare up and you feel like you might need a little extra herbal power.
Ideally, you will find one substance that your body is comfortable with, and you go with that, again though, in moderation, skipping days, switching strains, and taking the lowest dose possible. But for some folks, empowering one substance with a somewhat similar substance can produce good results. Just don’t rush into excessive amounts.
Smart way to use both kava and kratom.
If you want to try combining kava and kratom, it’s suggested that you start slowly. There have been reports of people using kava and kratom powder together and vomiting it up because it was a shock of bitterness to the stomach. So just realize you are combining two unpleasant-tasting substances. Hot Tea Method is recommended.
If you’ve been taking either plant, be careful about introducing another plant to your system. Try using just a small amount of kava with your daily kratom dose, and maybe take the kava several hours before or after you take your kratom.
Some folks advise using a green vein or yellow vein kratom with kava, for red veins might combine with kava for a result that is too sedating. Taking white vein kratom with kava might, for some people, be a bit too intense. So take it easy, go slow, start low.
Do NOT jump right in, taking the same amount of kava that you do with kratom. Take a little kava and see how that goes. You can always use a little more next time until you reach the perfect level. Like kratom, your dose of kava will not keep escalating (which is a problem opioid users experience, they need to keep increasing their dose amount and frequency).
Many people are very enthusiastic about combining kava with kratom, while others say they take kava one day and kratom the next or use them in some other pattern of dosing. Your body will help you determine what works best for you.