How Does Kava Make You Feel?

Sleeping overworked businessman at workWhile chemists might be very interested in the specific chemical actions of the kavalactones in kava and their effect on the brain, most of our customers are curious about kava’s effects on a more subjective level; most of them simply want to know, “How does kava make you feel?” Whether it’s kava for sleep, kava for fun, or kava for pain; there are several ways we could answer the question of how kava makes you feel. For one thing, any given preparation of kava will contain up to 18 separate kavalactones, each with some tangible or psychoactive effect. Moreover, there are several distinct strains of kava grown in the South Pacific and Hawaii today, all with their own unique profiles of kavalactones and thus their own subtle differences in effect.

In general, drinkers of kava attest that it makes you feel relaxed, enhances calm and lowers anxiety while promoting sociability. Higher doses can generate feelings of gentle euphoria, with greater sedation and mild motor impairment. Many people have said that in lower doses, kava’s effects feel like those generated by alcohol or certain kinds of anti-anxiety medications, but without the dizzying or nauseating side effects. How does kava make you feel calmer, you ask? Well, some studies by researchers in the field of anxiety treatment have discovered that many kavalactones seem to affect the same pathways in the brain as certain diazepine drugs prescribed for anxiety! And, with our extensive 25-page study on kava for anxiety, we’re able to legally make the claim that kava is a remedy for anxiety. Not many over the counter dietary supplements can say that!

Many people compare the way kava makes you feel to the buzz from drinking alcohol, probably because both alcohol and kava are muscle relaxants, encourage sleep, and can relieve social and general anxiety in users. However, there is much evidence to suggest that kava’s effects are gentler on the body both in the short and long term. Many people have attested that they feel a sense of relaxation and reduction in anxiety with kava, but without the attendant mental dulling and blurred thinking that often happens with alcohol. Furthermore, sleep studies comparing the duration and quality of sleep between people who took either alcohol or kava discovered that people who took kava reported experiencing a much deeper and more restful sleep than those who had consumed alcohol. In some cases, kava users even stated that they felt their sleep had been more restful after using kava than if they hadn’t taken any herb at all. Finally, unlike alcohol, regular kava users don’t seem to build up a resistance to kava with continued use, which means that kava doesn’t require a person to consume more over time to generate the same anxiolytic effect and thus has a lower potential for addiction. Kava will make you feel just as happy, content and relaxed on your 1000th bowl as on your first.

The delivery method you choose will also impact how kava makes you feel. Many herbal supplement stores now sell kava in extract and pill form as a sleep aid — and in these formats, mild sedation and restful sleep is about what you can expect. For a more enjoyable kava experience, a kava brew or tea made from the dried or fresh root is the way to go. A properly prepared kava brew should give you a feeling of relaxation, sociability, and overall well-being about 30 minutes to an hour after you drink it. How kava makes you feel physically depends on the strain of kava, the way you consume it, and the dose you take, but many users attest that moderate doses of kava will ease muscle tension and can often temporarily relieve troublesome aches and pains. Some people have also reported feeling a bit like they were floating after ingesting really good kava.

Experienced kava drinkers also like to point out that there is no one “kava”, but rather several different strains of the kava kava plant scattered throughout the South Pacific. Each strain can have its own unique personality when it comes to how that particular brew makes you feel. Some strains of kava induce greater euphoria, others make you feel upbeat and energized, while still others may inspire personal introspection and a contemplative mood, and work best as a meditation enhancer. On the Hawaiian Islands, certain kava strains were even restricted to the nobility because of their uniquely potent physical and mental effects!

One of our favorite ways to discuss Kavalactones is through the YourTube Video called Kavalactones Decoded. This video discusses the science behind why different Kavalactone lineups can make you feel differently. If you’re looking for Kava for sleep, you may want to choose a lineup of 5-2-x. If you’re looking to be energized, then look at a 2-4-6 or a 4-2-6. In a few short minutes, you’ll be an expert and talking Kava like a pro!

The setting in which you take kava can also affect how kava makes you feel: traditionally, Pacific Islanders would drink kava in the evening in a hut or room with dim lighting, as kava can sometimes make users sensitive to light. You’ll probably get the best effects from kava if you wait till evening to take it recreationally, though you can also take kava in small doses during the day as an anxiolytic. Our employees here at often take Kava tincture during the day to help them get through difficult days. The tincture is a really good instant fix, and doesn’t make anyone here sleepy.

We hope this overview has given you a good idea of how kava can make you feel. As with many herbs that have broad effects on the body and mind, there are multiple ways kava can make you feel, just as there are multiple ways to enjoy and benefit from this calming South Pacific herb. Also, remember that Kava can be cumulative. The more you take it on a daily basis, the more you will become familiar with the effects, the more you will notice and appreciate the subtleties of the Kava feeling. We know no other sensation that comes close to the panacea of positives this safe and effective supplement can provide, and for us, it’s True Kava Love through and through.


25 Responses

  1. Can kava really help anxiety and panic attack is there side effects I had a heart attack can I still take it I have anxiety panic attack disorder

  2. Theresa,

    Good question, and the answer is a resounding “Yes!” for Kava’s amazing ability to help combat both stress and anxiety. We here at have a self-affirmed function claim for Kava and it’s ability to help lessen symptoms of anxiety. This was based on 20+ clinical studies done specifically to find out how effective Kava really was at helping support healthy levels of wellness. You can read a number of posts on that very topic here:

  3. Kava and Anxiety
  4. Does Kava Work for Anxiety?
  5. Social Anxiety Disorder and Kava
  6. And that is just a smattering the data regarding Kava’s effectiveness when it comes to anxiety!

    Keith & Team Kava

  7. I drink kava throughout the day for combating anxiety and in low doses gives me energy. For complete relaxation I drink larger dose at night and for sleep. I am recovering alcoholic 8 months sober. Kava has been a blessing for me in treating the anxiety and insomnia from post acute withdrawal symptoms due to alcohol. And it is not addictive. The more you use kava the less you need. Reverse tolerance. Stories about liver problems based on userst with compromised livers. And think of otc medications like Tylenol that in high doses and regular use causing liver failure in healthy doses.

  8. Theresa,

    Its wonderful to hear that kava has helped you to to overcome alcohol dependence. It is remarkable how many benefits kava has to offer.

    You are quite right to point out that kava has a reverse tolerance effect. New kava users may notice that the effects feel mild at first and gradually become easier to achieve after consuming it a few times. Sounds like you have done your research!

    Team Kava



    You should begin to feel the effects of kava capsules approximately 20 minutes after ingestion. However you shouldn’t expect to experience effects that are similar to alcohol. Kava is doesn’t impair motor functions or produce feelings of intoxication. Rather it acts as a mild muscle relaxant and eases feelings of stress and tension. Enjoy!

    Team Kava

  11. Cool glad it helped with your problem, I’ve been trying to quit heroin for a couple years and I have finally discovered my keys to success! I’m going to pick up some kava today, but I’ve been drinking chamomile tea and taking theanine, tyrosine, etc and have not felt this good in years, since I was maybe 13? I’ve also noticed instead of sleeping foe 8 9 hours and still being tired and unmotivated, I get maybe 5 hours and have lots and lots of dreams of stuff I’ve actually been doing or thinking about and not some wild scary wierd shit. I know other addicts know what I’m talking about lol. I also wake up with no alarm every morning ready to rock. I hope kava can help as much. I’ll repost later on with results. I’m very versed in the effects of different substances and I am very suprised and content with the natural herbs I’ve already been taking. They have helped tremendously and most likely have saved my life. Anyways I’ve heard a lot better about kava so I’ll give it a go.

  12. Josh, kava has helped me kick a growing oxycodone (well, any opiate really) habit and I agree about the dreams! When I first took kava a couple days after beginning withdrawals, it took away most of the more acute physical symptoms as well as any thoughts I had about relapsing or using.

    I couple it with a little bit of vaporized medicinal marijuana after work before bed to promote sound rest without any noticeable impairment on my day to day productivity or mental sharpness.

  13. Does it cause you to feel more depressed or anxious in the absence of it? I would be interested in trying it , with the intention of over time changing anxious brain pathways , and hopefully not being reliant on it thereafter , perhaps just for recreation occasionally.

  14. Jennifer,

    In my experience kava will not make you feel depressed or anxious if you have been taking it regularly and then suddenly stop. Kava is not known to cause dependence or trigger withdrawal symptoms. This is one of the great advantages of choosing kava instead of prescription benzodiazepines to manage anxiety. It is very possible that you may take kava for a little while and then decide at some point that you don’t need it anymore, or that you just want to take a break.

    Team Kava

  15. Hi all, I would like to order kava for the first time and am a little lost. I am tapering (very slowly) off of Kratom and I have heard a few whispers that kava can help combat some of the withdrawal symptoms. I work 50+ hour weeks and so for me, I’d like to find a type of kava that doesn’t put me to sleep during the day. I’m hopeful that with a slow taper schedule of Kratom and some help from kava, I’ll be able to safely and successfully withdrawal. Any suggestions or opinions would be very greatly appreciated. Thank you so much.

  16. Hi Kelly,

    I’m sad to have to inform you that kratom may soon be illegal, so you are not the only person looking for an alternative. The good news is that kava is a great substitute and can provide many of the same benefits. Kava acts as a mild muscle relaxant and is available in many different forms. Since it sounds like you lead a busy life, I would recommend kava capsules so that you don’t need to worry about preparing drinks. Our 30% Kavalactone capsules are a potent option that can be used during the day without putting you to sleep.

    Team Kava

  17. I really appreciate your reply. I’ll place an order tonight and be sure order the capsules you recommend. Thank you again!

  18. I read somewhere that Kava may help with ADD/ADHD but there is no mention of it in this article. Is there info you can give me on Kava and it’s effect with ADD/ADHD? Also at are there age restrictions or limitations for taking this? My son suffers from ADD and has horrible impulse control and I am always trying to find all natural methods as I do not want to pump my child full of man made chemicals. Any info you can provide would be much appreciated! Thanks!

  19. Kristina,

    Kava acts as a natural muscle relaxant, and many people find it to be helpful for managing stress and anxiety. However to be clear, kava has not been approved for the treatment of any conditions or disorders. Thats why it is a good idea to check with your doctor to determine if kava may be helpful for something like ADD. In many cases doctors do endorse the use of kava, but it does vary on a case-by-case basis. Hope this helps!

    Team Kava

  20. I suffer from chronic pain and would like to know what is the best Kava in pill or drink to help with that?

  21. Trisha,

    Typically the 30% Capsules are used for chronic pain. They deliver the Kava a little more slowly than the Kavalactone Pastes. It’s also our second-strongest product, and well suited to help with pain.

    Team Kava

  22. What is the most potent kava root powder you sell? I am looking for a good strain that is similar to the effects of medical marijuana. I use med marijuana for anxiety but lately it has been causing anxiety and panic attacks. I have tried other kava from other sites and can say that it does feel similar to medical marijuana, but I’m just looking for a more potent strain. I prefer to knead the root powder by hand as it is more effective for me than capsules and tinctures. I would like a good day time strain and also one for nighttime for sleeping. Do you have any good kava root powder to fit these desired effects? Thanks in advance!

  23. Brad,

    Thanks for reaching out to us. The strongest powdered kava root we sell is the KDC powdered root premium:

    This product has a 12% kavalactone content which is significantly higher than the average of 8-10% kavalactone content. Kava is something that has the potential to help manage your anxiety but the effects are quite a bit more mild than medical marijuana.

    Another product that you may be interested in is our Full Spectrum paste:

    This is a non-traditional kava product but it is the most potent item we sell and it is hugely popular with our customer base. If you have any further questions please feel free to email us at [email protected].

    Team Kava

  24. Wow!! I have been reading up on Kava for a few days now and I’m getting ready to give it a shot!!! I suffer from chronic pain along with bad anxiety and panic attacks which one should I try?? This will be my first time trying Kava note* I used to be on Klonopin for my anxiety & panic attacks!!

  25. I just started drinking Yogi Kava Stress Tea on Saturday 02/24/2017, I’m not cured but I do feel as if the last couple of days has been refreshing compared to the last few months… My doctor said I’m suffering from major depression, PTSD, abnormal fear, panic disorder and anxiety disorder, I’m still confused but something was going on with me I started getting angry and having outbursts, crying all the time, my mind was like a storm at sea I even thought about killing myself, my daughter said Momma try this tea and I did I felt a peace that I hadn’t felt in a while so ……I’m going to keep it up foe I month and see if there is truly any changes

  26. Hi guys I’m an alcoholic and suffer with acute anxiety disorder. The alcohol addiction began when I was 21 after self medicating with alcohol to reduce the symptoms of anxiety. I am now 37. One of the most tempting times I face in substaining from alcohol is on surf trips which would often involve 8 hours of surfing followed by 8 beers and 20 spliffs. My interest in kava is I want something that can ease the anxiety ( and therefore the temptation to drink ) and to be perfectly honest with you I want to get a bit of a buzz on with the boys without risking my sobriety. Any help and advice would be much appreciated

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