So you’ve finally heard about the wonders of Kava and are deciding to try it for yourself. Good for you.
It’s no wonder that Kava is all that everybody’s talking about these days. After all, it’s an incredible all-natural herb that leaves you feeling both physically and mentally relaxed, calm, and blissfully happy. And it helps you sleep like a baby. But just like with anything new, it’s understandable that you have some questions.
And one of the questions that we get asked most frequently is;
‘’How long does it take for Kava to kick in?’’
And the answer is; Well, it depends.
In this article, we’ll discuss everything from how long the Kava lasts to the factors that affect its onset. Let’s begin!
So, How Long Does it Take for Kava to Work?
When it comes to how long it takes for this herb to kick in; it depends on many factors. But generally speaking, it takes around 15 minutes for Kava to render its effects. And in some cases, it can take up to 30 minutes for the first bout of effects.
You should know that each strain of the herb reacts differently. But usually, the effects come in waves. You’ll feel the euphoric effects first, followed by sedative and calming effects. And while some strains begin their effects as soon as you finish the first cup of Kava tea, others will take a good two to three cups to show any effects.
Immediately after drinking a really good cup of Kava tea, you’ll feel a sort of tingling or numbing sensation in your tongue and lips. Now don’t panic. This is perfectly normal. All it means is that the herb’s active ingredient, i.e, the Kavalacones, are doing their job. And the intensity of the numbing sensation you feel depends mainly on the strength of your tea. The stronger the Kava, the stronger the tingling sensations.
You’ll soon start experiencing euphoria and an energy boost within around 15 to 30 minutes. A feeling of relaxation and mild euphoria will wash over you. And this happens cephalocaudally. Meaning that the effects travel from your head down to the rest of your body.
In the next 30 to 120 minutes, the euphoria continues to build up. And the intensity of your reaction depends on the amount of the herb you took. You’ll feel a general sense of well-being. Your creativity will start flowing, and you’ll feel like talking your heart out. What’s more, your social confidence will enhance ten-fold. This feeling of calm coupled with confidence is the perfect way to start your mornings.
As time passes, i.e. in the following 120 minutes to 6 hours, the effects of the herb will increase. Your mind is already chilled out. But now, your body follows suit as well. Just like sitting in a therapist’s office where you’re told to let go and relax completely, your muscles will start feeling heavy and relaxed as if you’re sinking into an incredibly comfy chair. This is the stage where Kava does most of its heavy lifting. And if you’ve drunk this natural herbal tea to help you drift to sleep, now’s the time. Since your mind and body are in perfect harmony, you will experience the best sleep of your life. Trust me, I’ve been there.
But wait – How Long Does Kavas’s Effects Last?
How long the herb’s effects last depend on different factors, including strength and variety. Also, it is different for everybody. But in general, you’ll likely feel its effects anywhere from 4 to 6 hours. But, if you continue consuming herbal tea throughout the day, you can experience its effects for much longer.
You’ll find that the euphoric effects of the herb will last for around 2 to 4 hours. Whereas its stress relieving and relaxing effects can last longer_For 6 to even 8 hours.
Keep in mind that Kava doesn’t take a ‘One Size Fits All’’ approach to how long its effects last. And you can experiment with different types and dosages of this evergreen tree until you find what suits you best.
What Factors Affect Kava’s Onset?
With or Without Food
It’s simple. Whatever is sitting in your digestive tract will compete with any added substance for absorption. Say you consume the herb on a full stomach. It will compete with the food for absorption by your body. Meaning the Kavalactones will absorb much more slowly. And consequently, it will also take longer for you to feel the effects of Kava.
On the other hand, taking the herb on an empty stomach will kick in much more quickly. And you’ll experience the effects pretty quickly as well.
In What Form You Consume It?
This is pretty straightforward. The Kava you consume will directly affect the herb’s absorption rate. If you consume the herb in capsule form, you’ll have to wait longer to experience its effects. On the flip side, drinking your Kava tea will result in a faster emergency of your desired effects.
So, if you need to relax asap after a long tiring day, drink up!
How Fine the Herb is?
As far as the onset of Kava’s effects goes, the grind plays a big role. The finer the grind, the quicker you’ll face its effects. And this is exactly why people prefer using micronized Kava.
When you grind the herb fine, it spreads through water and intersperses the Kavalactones super efficiently. Meaning that your digestive tract will soak up more of these Kavalactones, resulting in a quicker buildup of Kava in your bloodstreams. And you’ll experience the desired results pretty quickly.
Interaction With Other Drugs
You’ll probably already be aware of the concept of drug-to-drug interaction. And for those who aren’t, here’s an example. Say you take a thyroid medication at the same time as a vitamin. The thyroid drug will affect the absorption of the Vitamin in your body, and will prevent it from doing its job.
The same goes for Kava. Taking the herb with certain other supplements or medications will affect how your body reacts to it. Where some medications will affect the herb’s absorption in your gut, others will prevent it from absorbing properly in your digestive tract. Therefore, you need to consider whatever you’re taking before using Kava.
How does Kava work In Your Body?
Since the biggest factor affecting the onset of the herb depends on the absorption of the active Kavalactones in your gut, let’s take a look at how your body absorbs Kava.
So, your body largely uses two pathways to move substances from your digestive tract to your bloodstream;
- One for water-soluble compounds
- One for fat-soluble compounds
Kavalactones – the active compounds in the herb are sticky, fat-soluble compounds. Meaning they’ll dissolve in fats and solvents like alcohol, but not in water.
As opposed to the water-soluble compounds, the absorption of fat-soluble ones is much slower. This is because your blood is mainly water. So, substances readily dissolved in water are absorbed more efficiently into the bloodstream.
Fat-soluble compounds, like the Kavalactones, need to first dissolve in a fatty substance in your body, the lymph tissue. And from here on, the lymph and the dissolved Kavalactone race up towards the heart and eventually mix with blood via the help of special proteins. And because the lymph fluid travels slowly through your body, it can take a while for Kava to render its effects.
As the Kavalactones pass into your bloodstream, which causes the herb to act as a muscle relaxant. Of all the six major Kavalactones found in Kava, the Kavain is largely responsible for causing relaxation.
And it’s worth mentioning that Kavalactones don’t affect your brain directly. So while the herb has wonderful sedative properties, it’s not an actual sedative. In fact, the mild euphoria with Kava comes from desmethoxyyangonin – Another major Kavalactone that enhances the dopamine levels in your body. So, this is exactly when there is no alteration to your perception of reality after consuming the herb. Meaning that it won’t get you high in the traditional sense.
And That’s A Wrap!
To cut it short, how long it takes for Kava to kick in differs for everybody. And this is mainly because it depends on different factors, primarily the dosage and whether or not you consume it with food.
Interaction with other supplements or drugs, the type, and the form of Kava are a few other factors that dictate how much time it takes for the herb to render its effects in your body. Generally speaking, your body will take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes to experience some sorts of effects with Kava.